bowl full of coconut date bliss balls

These are at the top of my list of tasty, high-energy, go-to hiking snacks. They travel well at moderate to low temperatures, can be stuffed in a baggie in your pocket or pack, and taste good no matter what. If crushed, you have a tasty bag of coconut date goodness. Avoid high temperatures – the coconut oil will melt and your baggie will become soft-but-tasty coconut-date-whiz. But you might like that!

Something about the combo of coconut oil and dates just makes my taste buds do the happy dance. I love that these little snacks provide a fast kick of date sugar, while also providing some long-lasting fat. Perfect for those moments between full meals when you need to keep blood glucose up and mental clarity sharp. Add some almonds for protein and you never need to eat anything else. Well, not really, but I like to imagine it…

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Mickey Trescott’s fabulous book The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. The basic recipe is in the recipe card below, with some options for alternate recipes and higher protein below the card. For those of you with unstabilized blood glucose, be aware that one date has 16 grams sugar; these little dreams can be a gateway food to excessive sugar snacking if you’re not mindful!

AIP NOTE: Dates are an item that some people reintroduce after the initial AIP elimination phase. They are very high in sugars and may not be appropriate for those with unstable blood glucose. Once you test okay for them, they are fine in moderation. Listen to your body.

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Coconut Date Bliss Balls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 x 1.5 inch balls
  • 8 Medjool dates
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut shreds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ plus ¼ tsp cinnamon
  1. Pit the dates, cut in half and soak in warm water for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the water off.
  3. Put dates, coconut shreds, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor (a blender will not mix this).
  4. Melt the coconut oil over low heat, and pour in food processor when just warmed.
  5. Blend the ingredients till everything is well mixed and the dates are in tiny pieces.
  6. Remove food processor bowl from machine then take the blade out. Take about 2 Tbs of mix at at time and roll into small, firm balls. Refrigerate for 1+ hour on a plate to solidify the coconut oil.
  7. Alternate Shaping Method: Place blended mix in a bread-loaf size pan, and press VERY hard into a brick. Cool in refrigerator for 1+ hour, then knock the brick out and slice into bars.
After you mix the ingredients, it will be fairly wet - don't worry. Just roll the balls up, and the coconut oil will solidify in the fridge. Also - Medjool dates are moister than Deglet dates. If you have to use Deglets, increase the coconut oil by a tablespoon.

Alternate Recipe Options:

Gingersnap Bliss Balls (these are my all-time favorites!)
Add to basic recipe:
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of nutmeg (not AIP)

Almond Bliss Balls
Add to basic recipe:
1/4 cup chopped almonds or your favorite nuts (not AIP)

Other Tasty Variations
Add to basic recipe:
1 Tbs powdered maca root (not AIP)
1/2 cup dried blueberries or your favorite dried berries