Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites

Sometimes you need to get your chocolate fix on without getting your gluttony on.

And these are just the little bites to do it.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

There’s NO added white or brown sugar, NO butter or dairy, and NO flour used.

They’re vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free and you’d never guess they’re healthy.

They’re a revamp of my 2009 Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Balls and are made in minutes. Noteworthy changes include increasing the ratio of cocoa powder and adding a dash of agave. The net result is bites that taste even more like real brownies. Rich, supremely fudgy, and satisfying. And are made entirely from plants.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

The new batch size is slightly larger, but still yields just 2 dozen small bites, about 3/4-inch to 1-inch in diameter. If you roll them larger, approaching golf ball size, one dozen is a realistic yield.

I used cashews and highly recommend you do the same. Cashews are the vegan, plant-based equivalent of butter. They’re softer, richer, and creamier than other nuts. They blend smoother and are more flavor-neutral.

I prefer cashew to almonds because almonds are chalkier, harder, coarser, don’t blend as easily, impart more nutty-flavor rather than buttery-flavor, and aren’t what I’d reach for. If my choice was almonds or peanuts, I’d go with peanuts. At least that way the finished bites would taste peanut buttery.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

This is a wet-ish dough, but it shouldn’t be sloppy wet, nor bordering on Chocolate Cashew Butter. If it is, you need to dry it out. Add more cocoa powder or nuts, one tablespoon at a time. In this batch size, one tablespoon makes a difference, so add slowly. If the dough is too dry and is sandy, moisten it either with an additional squirt of agave or another date or two.

Because natural ingredients vary so widely; just how creamy or dry your cashews are, how soft and moist the dates are, and just how finely your food processor can pulverize, are all variables to account for. Use my recipe as a guideline, adding a pinch of this or squirt of that as necessary to get the dough to combine into a big softball that slaps around the interior of the food processor canister. If you have the choice of a food processor and a Vita-Mix, I prefer a food processor.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

Remove the dough, put it on a large plate or in a bowl, cover it, and allow it to chill for a few hours, up to a week, before attempting to roll it into balls. If it’s too warm, you’ll have a sticky, tacky, chocolate sauce-like paste all over your hands. Not the worst problem in the world, but rolling will be more annoying, stickier, and more time-consuming than it needs to be. Chilled dough is much easier to work with.

Optionally, dredge the bites through sprinkles. Only good things can come from sprinkles.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t truly think so, but they taste like rich, fudgy, full of eggs-and-butter and melted chocolate brownies. They pack some serious fudge factor and are dense, chewy, rich, and so satisfying. They keep for weeks, months really, in the refrigerator or freezer and it’s nice to have a dozen around to snack on.

I have tupperwares full of dough balls in my fridge and freezer to be baked off or snacked on at a later date. Some is raw-vegan and some is the real thing. Unless I label it or have a clear memory of what I stashed, these healthy bites could easily get confused as the real thing.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

If you’ve never made a raw vegan chocolate treat before, or something that fools everyone, this is the one to try.

The bites remind me of 2009 when my blog was full of Dessert Bites, Balls, Cookie Dough, and Truffles Recipes. Things change, life moves on and ebbs and flows, but this recipe is full of nostalgia. And chocolate.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

I like to think of putting teeth marks into one of these is as guilt-free.

Get your chocolate on without getting your gluttony on.

Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (vegan, GF) NO Added Sugar, Butter, or Flour averiecooks.com

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Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free)

These bites are rich, dense, ultra fudgy, and taste like they're made with eggs, butter, flour, and sugar, but don't include any of those ingredients. They're vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, with no sugar added and they're healthy, but sure don't taste healthy. If you've never made a raw, vegan chocolate treat before, or want to get your chocolate on without getting your gluttony on, this is the recipe for you. No-bake, easy, and ready in minutes.

Yield: About 2 dozen small 3/4-inch bites

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2/3 cup cashews (I use raw, unsalted, whole from Trader Joe's)
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 cup soft, moist medjool dates, pitted and loosely packed (I used 20 medium dates)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar, or as necessary (maple syrup, honey, yacon, or corn syrup may be substituted but all impart more flavor than agave)
sprinkles for dredging, optional (many brands are inherently vegan)

Directions:

  1. To the canister of a food processor or Vita-Mix (I prefer my food processor for this job), add the cashews, cocoa powder, and blend to pulverize into fine crumbs, about 15 seconds. Do not over-process because you will make chocolate-cashew butter very quickly.
  2. Add the dates, vanilla, and process until mixture begins to combine. It's likely the mixture will be sandy, coarse and not combining. As necessary to get it to combine, add agave, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing to incorporate after each addition.
  3. You'll know the consistency is right when the dough combines into a softball-sized mound and the mound travels around the canister in one big ball. It will still be tacky and sticky, but it shouldn't be wet and sloppy. Dough that resembles the consistency of nut butter is too runny and loose and dry ingredients must be added to help it solidify. Add a tablespoon or two more cocoa powder or cashews, as necessary, to dry out the dough. Dough that's too pebbly, dry, or sandy will benefit from anther couple dates or tablespoon of agave, as necessary, to moisten it.
  4. Transfer dough to a plate or bowl, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 1 week, before rolling into balls. Dough that's warm is difficult to work with; it's stickier, messier, and it leaves a chocolate paste-like layer on your hands. Wait until it's chilled before pulling off small hunks and rolling between palms until smooth. Work quickly because the warmer the dough gets, the harder it is to roll. I roll the balls about 3/4-inch in diameter, up to 1-inch.
  5. Optionally, dredge balls through sprinkles. This has the added benefit of absorbing some of the tackiness or stickiness of the dough.
  6. I prefer the bites chilled and store them in the refrigerator. Bites will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for many weeks, or in the refrigerator for many months, or in the freezer for 6+ months.

Related Recipes:

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Balls (GF) – 5 minutes and 3 ingredients to make an extremely rich and satisfying treat. This recipe inspired today’s recipe

The Ultimate Fudgy Caramel Brownies – My new favorite brownie recipe. Made in one bowl with a whisk and ready in 30 minutes. The brownies are dense, fudgy, rich, supremely moist, and not at all cakey

No-Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles –  Vanilla cake batter in the middle that’s coated in chocolate, perfect for the holidays or to set out at parties any time and one of my most pinned recipes

Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles (no-bake, with vegan & GF options) – For those who enjoy salty ‘n sweet treats, these truffles pair savory pretzels and peanuts with sweet peanut butter cookie dough before being dipped in chocolate

Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting – A longtime favorite brownie recipe that works like a charm every time to produce flawless, fudgy, rich brownies in just minutes with one bowl and whisk

Quintuple Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Cookies – The richest cookies I’ve ever made and the best chocolate cookies I’ve ever had. Five different types of chocolate is used, creaming a supremely rich, decadent cookie

Nutella Brownie Truffle Bites (no-bake, GF) – None of the work of rolling the bites into little balls and instead, the dough is pressed into a pan and sliced to save time

Chocolate Covered Oreo Balls (no-bake) – Crushed Oreos, mixed with cream cheese, and coated in chocolate make for a rich, decadent, and very chocolaty treat that are especially popular around the holidays

Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies - They taste like a fudgy, moist, decadent brownie in cookie form and are almost flour-less, making them even richer tasting

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls (vegan, GF) – Consistently one of the most viewed pages on my site, day in and day out, for the last 4 years since I posted this recipe in 2009. Made them in minutes and they taste like real chocolate chip cookie dough

Have you ever made no-bake bites or balls?

Making no-bake 40+ Dessert Bites, Balls, Cookie Dough, and Truffles is easy and there is no wrong way.

Combining nuts or seeds with dates, raisins, or other dried fruit; sometimes adding peanut butter, agave, maple syrup or other glue-like ingredients, and blending them is always going to result in something wonderful.

If you have favorite recipes, please share links.

   

127 Responses to “Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites”

  1. #
    51
    Valerie — March 29, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    If they were not so expensive, I would spend my days noshing on macadamia nuts. Cashews share macs. creamy, smooth, texture – so I love ‘em almost just as much! :D

    With their pretty sprinkles, these brownie bites almost remind me of bon-bons! All that’s missing is the high fat content (and a jacuzzi, and a mimosa).

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 30th, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      I actually like cashews better than mac nuts. Well, here’s the thing, un-blended, I really don’t love either. Like in white choc cookies, most people like mac nuts, not me! Or cashews in their brown sugar cookies…not for me. But blended up, cashews are my BFF :)

      Reply

  2. #
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    Donalyn@The Creekside Cook — March 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    These look perfect Averie – so chocolatey and delicious!

    Reply

  3. #
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    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — March 31, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Oh, Averie. I love this recipe!!!! So much. Even though I’ve never had a date…

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 31st, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Hold the phone. What?? It’s like a big raisin that’s 10x sweeter and thicker/pastier so it’s perfect to blend into things. Girl. Or just open one up, put a tsp of Pb inside the hole with a few choc chips – the best non-work snack ever!

      Reply

  4. #
    54
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — April 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    These look so fudgy and rich and delicious, it’s hard to believe they’re healthy. Oh, and sprinkles! :D

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Beth @ The First Year Blog — April 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Okay, stop! I have like a millon things to pin and now my stomach is growling!
    I found you linked up at Chef in Training’s party!
    Beth @ The First Year Blog

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    foodie@foodieportal.com — April 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    I love your pictures and recipes, they are mouth watering. Would love for you to share them with us at foodieportal.com. We are new but at foodieportal.com we are not photography snobs, we are just foodies.

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Lara Richardson — June 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    OMG these are insane!! I am quite new to baking and am testing a heap of your recipes. Can’t believe I can make something so tasty without anything bad in it. Am loving knowing what I am actually putting into my body. These are the best so far and so easy. Thanks a lot!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 2nd, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      So glad you love them – me too! People tend to dismiss ‘healthy’ treats b/c they think they’ll taste healthy or be somehow inferior – but not these! Thanks for the glowing report. LMK what else you try as you make other recipes!

      Reply

  8. #
    58
    rebecca at thisfineday — June 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    These sound delicious and I cannot wait to try them. I’m dying to see if they really do the trick for the brownie substitute. Thank you for the post! :-)

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 21st, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Please keep me posted and LMK what you think!

      Reply

  9. #
    59
    Katrina — August 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    YUM! Just wanted to let you know I just made these and posted them to my blog with props and links to you. LOVE them! Perfectly simple chocolate treat! Thanks! http://www.bakingandboys.com/2013/08/healthy-fudgy-brownie-bites-grain-free.html

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    morgann — August 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Can you make these without nuts if you are allergic? Would oats work as a replacement?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 15th, 2013 at 2:49 am

      You could probably try omitting the nuts and using oats. You may have to play around to get the texture how you want it and so the batter comes together but cocoa powder, dates, agave, and oats is pretty forgiving and I think you’ll have luck. LMK how it goes!

      Reply

  11. #
    61
    Marina — January 6, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Averie! I really want to try this recipe and Have all the ingredients but don’t have a food processor. Could I do this in a blender? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 7th, 2014 at 12:12 am

      I would try it – you have nothing to lose! I don’t think a blender will pulverize the dates/nuts as well as a food proc would but it could still work!

      Reply

  12. #
    62
    Erica — January 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I just made these with what I had on hand. I used 2/3 cup already ground cashews, and I used Turkish apricots in place of the dates (because I couldn’t find them at Trader Joe’s) I put all ingredients in my Ninja, with a couple squirts of maple syrup. The consistency was beautiful and I did not have to refrigerate it to be able to roll the balls. They are so chocolatey. What a great non-guilty substitute for high fat, high calorie, high carb, loaded with refined sugar, brownies! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 7th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Glad to hear they worked well for you and you’re so pleased! I love apricots and bet they’re excellent and a nice change-up from dates. And great that your Ninja did the trick! And no refrigerating needed – awesome!

      Reply

  13. #
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    Jen — January 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Yum, these were delicious. My son loved helping, but disappeared before the food processor came on, he hates noise! I am always so distracted with kids in the kitchen, especially with my youngest, who is just 2 and 4 months. So we accidentally piled all the ingredients in at the same time. The result was still ok, but the cashews were not as fine as I am sure they would have otherwise been.

    http://scatterjen.tumblr.com/post/73877326951/well-it-has-been-a-busy-weekend-i-started-my

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — January 19th, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Your kids are adorable and yes, I can see what you have your hands full! :) Sounds like everything worked out just fine though. Next time, yes, if you pre-grind the cashews first, they’ll be finer but sounds like it wasn’t too big of a deal.

      Reply

  14. #
    64
    kathi dunphy — April 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    This recipe was SOOO healthy til you got to the sprinkles part. They are full of chemical artificial colors and flavor and other nasties ! Roll in organic coconut or crushed nuts, sesame seeds, please, anything but sprinkles !

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — April 6th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      They make ‘healthy’ sprinkles; check your local WFs or similar store.

      Reply

  15. #
    65
    Pam — April 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    I made the no bake vegan balls but couldn’t get it to blend in the vitamix, and broke the dough blade in the cuisinart after switching to that, and had to throw the batch out. What’s the trick? They tasted good minus the broken shards of plastic :-(

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — April 13th, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Gosh I’ve never broken any appliances making any no-bake balls and I’ve made a lot over the last decade! Sorry you were having such trouble! I don’t have any ‘tricks’ other than to throw the ingredients into the canister and turn the power switch on!

      Reply

  16. #
    66
    Shelby — June 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    What makes you like your food processor over the vitamix for these? I tried them in my vitamix and temporarily shut the motor down. What kind of food processor do you use? Thanks!!

    Reply

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