Date Pecan Coffee Balls

July 5, 2011

Datey-Nutty Balls seem all the rage right now. I’m happy to roll with it 😉 They are incredibly delicious…

I made these delicious, fudgy delights for the looooooong walk Ben and I did back in November 2010 (see details here). Well, I didn’t quite make these balls, per say. The day before the walk I was really just fumbling around with high energy, nutritious ingredients, as I knew I wanted something delicious, healthy and light as a snack for the walk. So I whipped up some date balls that were similar to these but not as good. They were quite sticky and a little NQR. The recipe certainly needed tweaking.

Well here it is, my improved recipe. I made these for a Healthy Snacking Demonstration I did a few months ago (where I also made these Healthy-No Bake Cookies). These balls are super easy and rather yummy, if I do say so myself. Along with a bundle of good nutrition, they provide you with a beautiful burst of rich fudgy flavour. They taste like an indulgent truffle, but are completely and unabashedly nutritious.

You can really go to town with the flavour additions, everyone has their own preference. There are many similar recipes flying around the internet these days, so you can have a search for ones that play to your tastes. I have my eyes on Hannah’s recipe next (link).

I have made these date balls plain, with ground coffee and with desiccated coconut. I have also used almonds in place of pecans. I personally love the coffee flavoured ones best, as does Ben. So that is the recipe I have put up. If you dislike coffee, then omit this ingredient and either leave them plain or get creative! Play to your preferences… You may like to roll the balls in flaked almonds, or perhaps add a dash of coconut oil to the mix. Try a touch of cocoa for a chocolate flavoured ball. Yum.

If you roll them in desiccated coconut, they start to resemble a rum ball. Maybe adding a little rum to the mix would cement this fact… Yes, I think I may make coconut flavoured rum date balls for Christmas presents this year. How very festive.

Nutritionally, they come in at around 250kJ per ball (that’s for a small ball), and they provide you with some natural sugar and fibre. The chia seeds give you a little more fibre, as well as some protein and healthy fats – albeit in very small amounts (to increase the serve simple add more chia seeds).

Did I mention they are incredibly easy to make? Well, they are. Easy, healthy and delicious. How fabulous is that?

Date Pecan Coffee Balls

Makes 10 balls


110g (~6) Fresh Dates (not dried)
1/3 cup (~43g) Pecans
2 teaspoons Almond Meal
1/3 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Chia Seeds
1/3 teaspoon Ground Coffee
*optional – Desiccated Coconut, for coating


1. Cut along the dates and remove the pit.
2. Place the pitted dates, pecans, almond meal and vanilla extract in a hand blender and whizz until the nuts are very finely chopped and the mixture starts to clump together.
3. Add the chia seeds and the ground coffee and pulse a couple more times to incorporate the seeds and coffee.

4. Moisten the palms of your hands with water, grab a small portion of the mixture (~1 heaped teaspoon) and roll it into a ball. Place on a plate and repeat until all the mixture is gone.
5. If using coconut, roll the balls in the coconut, lightly coating them.
6. Enjoy as a snack, or with a cup of tea or coffee following a meal. Store in an airtight container.

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) July 5, 2011 at 8:13 am

    i love the addition of coffee!

  • denitamudge2014 July 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Yummmm I am so making these as soon as I get a food processor! They sound simply moorish.

  • Blithely Unaware July 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Great Christmas present idea!!!

    They look delicious, perfect for night duty too!


  • Hannah July 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Oooh, brilliant! I'm trying to decide which version of these to make for my gospel party tomorrow (as the healthy alternative to the nutella fudge I already made :P) and I *love* your idea of coffee!! Also, thanks so much for the shout-out – I promise you'll like the cookie dough ones 🙂

  • Heidi July 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Lisa – thanks! Me too 🙂

    De – you would LOVE these!!

    Blithely Unaware – absolutely 🙂

    Hannah – you're welcome! Can't wait to try them!!

    Heidi xo

  • The InTolerant Chef July 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Oh how yummy and naturally sweet! The coffee would work just so well with those flavours too, yummmm….

  • KittyCate July 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Ooooh these look wonderful! Must give them a whirl xx

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I love these kinds of balls! Mr NQN grew up on them and they're so delicious yet healthy too so I feel quite ok having a few of them 😉

  • Jonha | July 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Yum, they sure do look fabulous, delicious and I trust that they're indeed so easy to make! haha Did any of your kids help out in making them?

  • jennaseverythingblog July 6, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Easy, healthy AND delicious?? Wow–you have me sold. And I love the picture of the ball rolling in the desiccated coconut–mmmm.
    Speaking of coffee, I think I need another cup. . .

  • Jemma July 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Hey Heidi,

    I made these last night, so good! I actually used dried dates (same quantity) and used a whole teaspoon of coffee for a bigger hit! 🙂

    Thanks heaps for the yummy recipes, keep them coming!

    Jem x

  • Michelle Chin July 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    They remind me of sweet potato balls, a famous kuih in malaysia. 🙂

  • Lisa July 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I love the idea of these as alternate truffles, this may have to be my Christmas present as well. It seems a whole lot better than the ones which were basically chocolate and cream that I made last year!

  • Heidi July 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    InTolerant Chef – I LOVE the coffee flavour 🙂

    Cate – yay, enjoy!

    Lorraine – exactly 😉

    Jonha – no! I don't have kids yet – maybe in a few years 🙂 these would be great to make with kids though – just watch the blender!

    Jenna – thanks so much! 🙂

    Jemma – thanks Jemma 🙂 I'm surprised they were smooth enough with dried dates, good to know!

    Michelle – well they sound delicious!

    Lisa – they're a great alternative, I think 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Julia @ Boredom Abounds July 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Yum, these sound great. I'm a sucker for bite-sized treats like this!

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook July 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I'm definitely a coffee girl so the addition of coffee got my instant attention. To be honest, I have been looking for a quick sweet but tasty snack for a while – these are great!

    PS my doctor has recommended coffee for when I get my debilitating migraines and I'm happy to report the caffeine therapy works!

  • Heidi July 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Julia – me too!!

    Martyna – oh good to know, yes I've heard it can do wonders. Popping a few of these may help you then – medicine 😉

    Heidi xo

  • BoxerDog July 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Yum Heidi .. I could really go for these!