A chocolate lovers dream! Rich and decadent chocolate cookie dough balls with no added sugar! The secret ingredient is black beans for added protein and fiber. The perfect healthy snack!
This post has been updated from the original posted June 3, 2021.
When chocolate is calling….how do you answer? This healthy snack recipe for cookie dough balls is the perfect solution to your afternoon chocolate cravings. Super chocolate-y and delicious…..exactly what’s needed to hit the spot!
Edible Cookie Dough that tastes incredible and is also vegan, gluten-free and made with wholesome ingredients! Plus the black beans add important fiber and protein to help regulate blood sugar….so there’s no post-indulgence sugar crash! Oh, sign me up, right away!
It’s no secret I love a good bliss ball recipe…an easy meal prep snack that’s super tasty, incredibly satisfying and ready when you need it! The addition of black beans in these cookie dough bites makes this easy recipe them a top contender for my fave nutritious snack choice…but there’s some steep competition with these other winners:
- Halva Bliss Balls: The OG Bliss Ball in our house. My first experiment….and to this day, the most requested snack item by hubby! Tahini is the main ingredient…so they give off an authentic halva flavor.
- Pumpkin Spiced Bliss Balls No description needed!
- Thin Mint Bliss Balls: if you’re a fan of the fabulous thin mint girl scout cookies, these are a must try! Plus, they have matcha in them….a definite morning pick me up!
- Salted Brownie Bliss Balls: Similar in chocolate-yness…but these are nut based, rather than black bean based…perfect for those who are following paleo or no legumes way of eating.
- Simple Bliss Balls These are walnut based and chances are good you have everything you need in your pantry already!
- Popcorn Bliss Balls: Just like they sound….never watch a movie again without making a batch of these!
Why you will love this healthy snack
- Uh….what’s not to like? Serious chocolate love going on here!
- A great snack that isn’t followed by a crash…wait, what? Yes…no spike in blood sugar, means no energy crash afterwards.
- So so easy to make!
- They freeze beautifully.
- Everyone loves them.
- All natural pantry ingredients you always have on hand.
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- Easy sub for a nut-free version, making them allergy friendly.
- No sugar….yet totally satisfies your sugar cravings.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- BLACK BEANS: Bet you didn’t see that one coming! In addition to adding some protein and fiber, the black beans add great texture to these little bliss balls. If you don’t have any black beans, a good sub would be chick peas.
- MEDJOOL DATES: Dates are full of nutrients antioxidants and fiber….which balance the natural sweetness without spiking your blood sugar. Using whole foods, like dates as a delicious natural sweetener in recipes eliminates the need for sugar. A good sub would be raisins because they will also supply the “sticky” factor.
- ROLLED OATS: A fiber rich whole grain that is naturally gluten-free. I use sprouted oats for an easy to digest source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You could substitute ½ flour (your choice) and ½ almond or coconut flour). I like to use Thrive Market Organic Oats or One Degree Organic Sprouted Oats. Whatever brand you use, be sure they are non-GMO and glyphosate free.
- PEANUT BUTTER: For nut allergies, use sunflower seed butter. Otherwise, cashew butter would be the best nut substitute.
- CACAO POWDER: Yum…here’s where the natural chocolate-y goodness comes from. Also, cacao powder is packed with flavonoids—known to lower cholesterol, increase insulin sensitivity and improve blood flow. Unsweetened cocoa powder is a good substitute.
- GROUND FLAX: A great way to get in some fiber, Omega 3s and antioxidant rich lignans. The ground flax also helps hold these chocolate balls together. Ground chia seeds would be the best substitute, followed by any ground nut/seed…almond meal or walnut meal would be top choices.
- MINI DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS: These add both flavor and CRUNCH….plus a bit of satiety! If you’re completely avoiding sugar, mix in some cacao nibs instead. I’ve done it…they’re still delish!
- PURE MAPLE SYRUP: I thought these tasted sweet enough without the syrup…but hubby preferred the batch with….good thing you can “taste” the batter raw and determine where you are on the sweet-o-meter before rolling into balls!
- VANILLA: A little scrape of a vanilla bean would impart great vanilla flavor if you don’t use vanilla extract.
- SEA SALT: I love a little sprinkle of salt with my chocolate…but it’s not a problem to omit if you’re skipping salt.
How to Make Chocolate Cookie Dough Balls
This is a super easy recipe to make with a food processor. First add the rolled oats and process into a coarse meal. I like to use Thrive Market Organic Oats or One Degree Organic Sprouted Oats. Whatever brand you use, be sure they are non-GMO and glyphosate free.
Next, add in the peanut butter, dates, black beans, ground flax, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Basically, everything but the chocolate chips. You’ll want to stop a few times to scrape down the sides to be sure everything is totally incorporated and your cookie dough batter is smooth.
At this point, transfer to a bowl to stir in the mini chocolate chips by hand. I used an offset spatula because the dough will be “heavy” and hard to stir with a flimsier spatula, though a wooden spoon would also work well. If the dough is too sticky to work with, place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes and then proceed.
Use a small scoop or two spoons to scoop the edible cookie dough out onto a parchment lined rimmed tray.
You should get 24 golf ball sized cookie bites from one recipe. Once they’re all scooped onto your parchment, you can roll them into smooth balls. It’s easiest to do this with slightly damp hands.
Now is the time to add in any optional toppings. I like to roll my chocolate bliss balls in hemp seeds. What a tasty way to get some extra protein, fiber and fatty acids.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before scooping into balls…they’ll be easier to work with.
- Wet your hands to make rolling into balls easier.
- Definitely make a double batch…you can thank me later…and while you’re at it, hide a few in the freezer for yourself!
- Get creative with the toppings….coat them in sesame seeds, chopped nuts, coconut or even crushed freeze dried fruit. More chocolate? Why not….use mini chips, cacao nibs or even shaved chocolate for a decadent coating.
- Going for a hike? Pack a granola bar instead….these will get crushed in your backpack (been there, done that….learn from my disappointment!)
- Need a quick grab and go breakfast? Yeah, chocolate for breakfast works in this situation!!
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Chocolate Cookie Dough Balls
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup peanut butter*
- 8 medjool dates * pitted
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips
- Place rolled oats in food processor and turn on until broken up into a coarse flour.
- Add remaining ingredients, EXCEPT FOR CHOCOLATE CHIPS and process until the "dough" comes together. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times, and then continue to process so everything is well incorporated.
- Stir in mini chips by hand and then place the "dough" in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will make them less sticky and easier to handle.
- Use a small scoop or 2 spoons to portion out 24 golf ball sized cookie balls onto a small baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. Then, wet hands and roll them into smooth balls.
- Roll into toppings*, if desired. Pop into the fridge to solidify. After 30 minutes, transfer to airtight container.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 3 months.
Absolutely! That’s the best thing about vegan cookie dough….you can scoop the batter right into your mouth.
This recipe is! Made with black beans for added protein and fiber….two things that will help with satiety and with blood sugar regulation…..these chocolate cookie dough bites are a healthy snack choice.