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Date, Nut and Tahini Protein Bites


Date, Almond and Tahini Protein Bites

I love using with classic Arabic ingredients in modern ways, and these healthy, protein-filled bites are no exception. Dates, apricots, tahini, walnuts and almonds are blended together with other goodies and dusted with coconut for a Middle-Eastern flavored snack with trendy Western sensibility.

Protein balls, bliss balls, whatever you call them, these little snacks are everywhere in Australia and rightfully so: dried fruit and cacao naturally satisfy sugar cravings while the tahini and toasted nuts are filling and boost energy levels. I added some chia seeds in mine to boost the antioxidant count, too. Two of these chewy bites at a time, alongside a cup of tea, or before or after a workout, is just the right amount for me.

Date, Almond and Tahini Protein Bites

Tastebuds vary, of course, and the ingredients and quantities in this recipe can be easily played with. I love the mellow nuttiness of tahini, but if you prefer almond or peanut butter, use that. Try dried figs or prunes, pine nuts or sunflower kernels instead of pumpkin seeds. For a vegan version, try maple or agave syrup instead of honey. Protein powder, cacao nibs, puffed quinoa, oats… the opportunities are endless.

Try making them the night before you intend to eat them – they’re even better the next day.

Date, Nut and Tahini Protein Truffles

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 20 1\" truffles


  • 100g whole almonds (about 1 very full cup)
  • 100g walnuts (about 1 very full cup)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 150g plump medjool dates, pitted (about 12 dates)
  • 150g soft dried apricots (about 1 full cup)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tahini
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Unsweetened desiccated or shredded coconut, for dusting


In a large frying pan, gently dry toast the almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds over medium-low heat, tossing regularly, about 3 minutes or until fragrant and popping but not browned. Set aside to cool a moment then pour into the bowl of a food processor.

Process the nut mixture until finely ground. Add the dates and apricots and process again until the dried fruit is smooth and combined with the nuts.

Add the cinnamon, cacao, tahini, honey and pinch of sea salt, then process for 90 seconds until the mixture starts clumping together and looks evenly mixed.

Remove the blade of the food processor. Fill a small bowl with water, and another with the coconut.

Wet hands slightly, then begin rolling the mixture into small ping pong-sized balls, about 1” rounds. Roll each ball in coconut to coat.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge up to two weeks.

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  • Reply Jasser 07/03/2014 at 2:04 pm

    These tasted great and were very filling but has anyone else had a problem with the coconut falling off? Mine didn’t stick very well.

  • Reply Kate 03/09/2013 at 6:00 pm

    Finally made these tonight and they are positively fantastic. I used some dried cherries in place of apricots and it hits the spot. Thanks!

  • Reply Rebecca Ridgeway 27/08/2013 at 8:35 pm

    thank you! this is exactly the kind of balls I wanted. I used sultanas instead of apricot, and added some linseed and sunflower seeds 😀

  • Reply Sony 14/08/2013 at 10:34 pm

    Thats a simple healthy snack :D… It would have been great if you could add the nutrition values as well…

  • Reply vegeTARAian 06/07/2013 at 9:42 pm

    Oh wowser, yours are super healthy! I made really naughty ones

  • Reply Anna 05/07/2013 at 8:34 pm

    We’re in the middle of trying these, they look like they are going to be amazing! Just a question, what do you do with the chia seeds? Are they toasted with the nuts or just added with the dried fruit?

    • Reply Yasmeen 05/07/2013 at 10:55 pm

      Great question Anna! I just added them to the fruit mix without toasting them.

      • Reply Anna 06/07/2013 at 7:54 pm

        Thanks Yasmeen. They taste great, I’m going to spend the night looking through your blog for other things to try.

  • Reply Joanne (eats well with others) 02/07/2013 at 9:46 pm

    I love finding new tasty treats that I can eat before a workout without even a smidgen of guilt. These sound lovely!

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks Joanne! I have these with morning tea and they give me a sweet fix and an energy kick without the guilt. I’ve kept some in my gym bag for after pilates, too.

  • Reply branny 02/07/2013 at 9:22 pm

    Those look really delicious. I’ve made something similar but a little simpler. BTW, I love your logo and site design.

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:27 pm

      Hi Branny, I’d love to know how you make yours. Recipes like this are so flexible. Thanks for the compliment, too, I’m glad you like what you see.

  • Reply Ronnie Fein 01/07/2013 at 9:12 pm

    I agree about the traditional ingredients used in modern ways and do the same. In fact I make something similar to this but without the tahini — will try your recipe next time.

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:28 pm

      Ronnie, do you use peanut or almond butter, by chance?

  • Reply Leah 01/07/2013 at 3:18 pm

    This is my kind of snack! YUM!

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:28 pm

      And guilt-free too 🙂

  • Reply Rosa 01/07/2013 at 3:07 am

    A delicious treat! That is something I really love.



  • Reply msihua 30/06/2013 at 8:20 pm

    Oooh.. such an interesting treat! Yummo!

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks I-Hua — these were everywhere in Byron Bay. Had to try them for myself at home and they’ve become an instant classic.

  • Reply Tutti Dolci 30/06/2013 at 3:39 pm

    These would make a perfect post-run snack!

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:29 pm

      Totally – especially if you crave sugar after a workout (like me…)

  • Reply Hannah 30/06/2013 at 1:10 pm

    Oh darlin’, you KNOW this is my kind of recipe! Love. x

    • Reply Yasmeen 02/07/2013 at 10:29 pm

      I sure do. And no devil ingredients!!

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