No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks

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No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-FreeI am an excellent flyer and travel buddy.

I recognize the boldness of that statement, but after years of traveling with my roommate, I’m convinced that it’s true. Through his horribleness in airports/on planes, I have come to realize my gift, and for that I am very grateful. (Thank you, Logan!)

Being an awesome flyer involves many things. First and foremost, I am extremely chill. I do not panic or scream obscenities in traffic on the way to the airport, nor do I freak out and sweat through my shirt in long check-in/security lines. I never argue with TSA when they have to inspect my hand luggage (even when they break the zipper on my bag and confiscate my shampoo), and I do not lose my shit and/or ask if the gate agent is “fisting me” when told that my bag is too large to carry-on.

This laissez-faire attitude is most likely the result of traveling with my mother during my formative years. We regularly checked seventeen bags, handed over multiple items to TSA, and missed more flights than I can count, and the world kept right on spinning. As my mom likes to say, “There’s always another flight.” (Disclaimer: Never utter the last sentence to a disgruntled travel buddy. It may not go over well.)

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-2Second, I’m always down to hang. Unlike Logan who gets rather antsy in the terminal and then promptly passes out (and snores) from take-off until landing, I rarely sleep on flights. Wanna have a cocktail and chat? I’m your girl. Into activities? Sweet. I’ll happily share my headphones so we can watch Step Brothers together (I own it!), or you can read one of the many magazines or books I bought at Hudson News. You’re very welcome.

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-4Best of all, I have snacks! I never EVER travel without a snack pack. When I was a kid, my babysitter would pack me a bunch of healthy awesomeness to travel with (she still does it when I see her), and I’ve continued this excellent tradition on my own terms. I find that having a supply of good food in my purse is comforting, and it often helps me make friends on flights. Also, I refuse to be the person that stinks up the entire plane with Panda Express. (And when that person is Logan, I refuse to acknowledge him.)

The requirements for a good snack pack are remarkably similar to those of a sassy desk lunch. Each item should be easy to whip up in advance, keep well in Tupperware/Ziploc, and must NOT be smelly. At the very least, I like to have a piece of fruit, a grain salad or kale situation, raw nuts, and something sweet, like these No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks.

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-5I’ve successfully avoided the recent pumpkin madness, but this is me hopping on the bandwagon, and I have no regrets. It’s fall, dammit, and pumpkin rocks. Especially when it’s combined with dates, oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and lots of dark chocolate, and then rolled into adorable bite-size balls.

Seriously though, these balls! I can’t get enough! (I’m shamelessly giggling every time I type “balls.”) They’re sweet, and chewy, and nutty, and chocolate-y, and they taste remarkably like pumpkin pie, which rules. In short, each perfect bite is super-textured fall happiness in your mouth, and I’m obsessed.

You will be too…

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-6What I love the most about these Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites (you thought I was going to say “balls,” didn’t you?) is the fact that they’re insanely nutritious. They pack more fiber than you know what to do with, lots of protein and Omega-3s, and antioxidants out the ying-yang. I even threw some magical chia seeds into the mix because you can never have too many superfoods in one place, right? The bites are also raw, vegan, gluten-free, and Dude Diet-approved, so take your shirt off! grab a can of pumpkin puree and get on board.

Oh, and as far as easy recipes go, this one’s a total winner, friends. You just throw the sticky ingredients in the food processor with some spices, pulse them a few times, stir in the oats, nuts, seeds and chocolate, and then roll the mixture into balls. There’s maybe 10 minutes hands-on time, and you’re left with 22 little bites of heaven that will keep for a week in the fridge (or infinity weeks in the freezer). Hallelujah.

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-7I’m on a 6pm flight to Palm Beach tonight for a wedding (vamos à #cartitayjaime!), and I’ve got these bites all up in my snack pack. I hear there’s going to be a donkey carrying sacks of tequila on its back at the reception on Saturday, so I need all the superfoods I can get…

p.s. CONGRATULATIONS to Mary Curran and Briana Rosmarin, the winners of the Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen Giveaway! Thank you to all who entered and shared their awesome and hilarious tales of mastery/falure. Please know that I wanted to respond to each and every one of your comments, but I was afraid that you’d get a notification and think you had won (and most of you hadn’t). Love you, mean it!

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks: (Makes 20-22 bites)

1 packed cup chopped Medjool dates (pits removed, duh.)
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon raw honey or agave (optional)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
Pinch of salt
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats (not quick cooking!)
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup raw or toasted pepitas (you can chop them if you like)
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (or more if you’re really into chocolate)

Preparing your No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks:

-Place the chopped dates, pumpkin puree, honey/agave (if using), chia seeds vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, all spice and salt in a food processor.

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-step-1-Pulse until the ingredients become a thick paste. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, people, but it does need to be very well combined. Capiche?

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-step-2-Transfer the pumpkin paste to a mixing bowl and add the oats, pecans, pepitas and dark chocolate. (Pepitas not pictured pictured because I was disorganized, okay?)

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-step-3-Mix until well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes until it’s cold and easy to handle.

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-step-4-Using damp hands, form the mixture into roughly 1-inch balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (Or freeze them for infinity weeks!)

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-step-5Snack on.

No-Bake-Pumpkin-Pie-Energy-Bites-Vegan-Gluten-Free-9They’re cute, right?


I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Fall Fest this week. For more kickass pumpkin recipes, check out the blogs below.

Feed Me Phoebe: 7 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes for Fall
The Lemon Bowl: Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (Gluten-Free)
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Oat Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Bacon and Souffle: Easy Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Weelicious: Quick Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Dark Brownies with Pumpkin Frosting
Devour: Eat As Much Pumpkin As Possible
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip Cake
Red or Green: Spiced Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
The Cultural Dish: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
The Mom 100: Pumpkin Gingerbread with Crystallized Ginger
Haute Apple Pie: Pumpkin Bread Truffles
Domesticate Me: No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites with Dark Chocolate Chunks (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Almond Spice Waffles (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Pumpkin Spice (and Everything Nice)

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  1. Tammy on February 25, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    You say one package of dates? what size package? I have found while looking that it varies in different stores.

    • Serena_Wolf on February 25, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Tammy! You’ll need 1 cup of chopped dates.

      • Tammy on February 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm

        thanks, I am making them right now!! and I was only going to start with about half the package, which would about that. awesome quick response!!

  2. Allison Orszak on October 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    This looks awesome! I assume this calls for fresh dates? I purchased packaged, dried dates and they don’t look (or taste) quite right. At the risk of sounding, well, dumb… are they with produce at most grocers? Thank you!!

    • Serena_Wolf on October 23, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Not a dumb-sounding question at all! You actually want to use dried and pitted Medjool dates (that’s the variety sold at most grocery stores, and probably what you have). They may look/taste a little funny on their own, but i promise once they’re combined with the other awesome ingredients, they’ll be delicious.

      • Allison Orszak on October 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm

        Thank you!! I had purchased Deglet Noor dates, so I’m glad I asked. Also, I love your blog! I’ve found so many recipes that we’ve repeated multiple times! Thank you 🙂

        • Serena_Wolf on October 24, 2014 at 9:53 am

          Thank you!! So glad you found the blog and obviously thrilled that you’ve had epic recipe success!

  3. Sara Rusek on October 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Could you double up on the pepitas and omit the pecans to make these nut free or would it mess up the consistency?

    • Serena_Wolf on October 20, 2014 at 9:04 am

      You could definitely double up on pepitas! Just chop half of them before mixing in order to keep the texture from becoming overly “seedy.”

  4. Lauren Pearcy on October 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I am ashamed to ask, but do I need a food processor? I have a blender. These look amazing.

    • Serena_Wolf on October 13, 2014 at 9:19 am

      You could definitely do this in a blender! (As long as the blender is pretty heavy duty? The dates need a little power to break them down…)

  5. Dixya Bhattarai RD on October 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    good snacks are always a MUST. While I’d love to be your travel buddy, I am like Logan when it comes to sleeping, i have no trouble falling asleep in flights.

    • Serena_Wolf on October 13, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Hahaha, Dixya, as long as you bring your own snacks, I would forgive you for sleeping!

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