Categories: Camping Recipes

Date Ball Energy Snacks

Sisters Emmiliese and Anna are all about fueling up before their adventures. Some good old fashioned raisins and peanuts ain’t nothing to knock on but these ladies are stepping up their game. Read on for some delicious recipes and trail running adventures!


A few weeks ago my sister bought a food processor. I was a little skeptical, what could this little contraption possibly accomplish that a good old fashioned blender couldn’t? Little did I know the answer to that question is quite simple: Date Balls!

What is a date ball, you might ask? It’s a spherical snack made of dates, chia seeds, and other yummy ingredients. They are perfect for hitting the trail and will keep you on your toes; Is it a hiking snack? Is it trail running fuel? Is it a dessert? You decide.

The first time I got to try one of her magical date ball recipes was at The Loop. It’s a running and cycling relay adventure (put on by the fabulous Sparrow team) with an overnight stay in Anthony Chabot Regional Park. She brought the little brown treats with her and said, “Fuel up!” I said, “No thank you!” but when I finally did try one, I was HOOKED. After I gave her/the date balls my blessing she taught me the tricks of the trade and now it’s your turn!

Thanks for the intro Anna, onto the fun stuff! The great thing about these treats is that you can get really creative with them. My basic rule is 5 dates per cup of nuts. Other than that, the pantry is your playground and you can mix in all sorts of things!

Some rules of thumb

5 mejdool dates per cup of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.)

Chia seeds, oats, and shredded coconut can help if it’s too moist.

Peanut butter, almond butter, and coconut oil if it’s too dry!

The dates themselves are already quite sweet, but for that extra kick, try adding honey, agave, or maple syrup

A very complex step by step guide

Step 1: Grind the nuts in the food processor (pulse for about 60 seconds), add the dates, and then add everything else. It really is that easy.

Step 2: Form into balls using your palms. You really can’t go wrong here. I like to aim for gumball-sized (you know the ones that come out of a gumball machine?) date balls. Roll them in coconut if they are too sticky…or just because that’s delicious.)

Step 3: Store them in the fridge overnight or eat them immediately! Actually, eat at least one immediately, that’s an order.

Lemon Coconut Almond

  • 5 medjool dates
  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup of chia seeds
  • ½ cup of coconut
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Carrot Cake

  • 5 medjool dates
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • ¼ cup of chia seeds
  • ⅓ cup of coconut
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, grated
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinammon
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

Chocolate Peanut Butter

  • 10 medjool dates
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 11/3 cup of oats

I took this most recent batch with me on an adventure last weekend. Anna was off frollicking in Tahoe but I had some serious trail running to do, so I made my way to Deadman’s Camp in the Stanislaus National Forest. I ran on the PCT, from Sonora Pass, just 15 minutes from the campground! I would highly recommend it if you are into trail running. I used the date balls to fuel up and I was bouncin’ off the rocky slopes with energy.

These three recipes should help get you started, but remember, it’s all about getting creative. Date balls are the perfect power food for before, during, and after a trail run. Take them on your next adventure!

About the authors: Emmiliese is a trail running, food processor lovin’ gal. Oh wait, you already knew that! She spends her days zippin through the city on her 7 speed and traveling to far off places. Anna has been working at Hipcamp for the summer but now she’s headed back to school in… Walla Walla, WA! You can find them on Instagram @emmovc and @annavonclemm.

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