These healthy Cacao Nibs Brownie Bites are a delicious, nutritious, and fudgy grab and go healthy snacks recipes. Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and unrefined sugars this cacao nibs recipe satisfies your chocolate cravings with unique taste and crunch!
Love grab n’ go bites? Why not also try these healthy carrot cake truffles, no bake protein balls, or protein peanut butter balls?!
Table of contents
These healthy and decadent cacao nibs brownie bites and almond joy protein balls are exactly why I don’t have to avoid anything chocolatey!
They’re naturally sweetened with dates and ripe bananas and are loaded with chocolate flavor, caffeine, and antioxidants from the cacao. Each bite in this cacao nibs recipe has just 6 g of naturally occurring sugars!
This cacao nibs recipe comes together easily without a blender and in one bowl. Skip the healthy iced coffee and make a batch of these cacao nib brownie balls as an afternoon pick-me-up, a post workout snack, or even a jolt of morning energy!
I have to admit that I have had an issue with the word “balls” lately. I mean moist balls? Let’s just use the word bites for this cacao nibs recipe instead, mmmk? Just kidding, you know I love my chocolate coconut balls!
What Do Cacao Nibs Taste Like?
Cacao nibs are simply small morsels of a cacao bean. They are unprocessed, super crunchy, and have zero sugar in them making them quite bitter to the taste, much like dark chocolate.
They’re nature’s chocolate chips and can be found roasted or raw. I used roasted for these cacao nibs brownies, but raw work equally just as well in cacao nibs recipes!
Cacao nibs are one of the richest sources of antioxidants, iron, magnesium, and fiber. Once you take a bite of cacao nibs brownie bites, you’ll see what the fuss is about.
Can Cacao Nibs Be Used in Baking?
Baking with cacao nibs and even learning how to cook with cacao nibs recipes are an easy way to add so many nutrients into whatever you’re making. You can use them like chocolate chips and sprinkle them in healthy chocolate cake, protein cookies, almond flour banana bread, or any of these best healthy muffin recipes!
For the longest time, I thought they were too expensive and had no idea what to do with the bitter “chocolate chips.”
Now, I make cacao nibs recipes such as:
I also use it in my dry rub seasoning. The sky’s the limit here when it comes to these healthy gems. Whatever you’d use cocoa for, consider making it into a cacao nibs recipe instead!
Ingredients That Set These Brownies Apart
- Bananas and avocado: Unlike many other cacao nibs recipe bites or “balls” that use nut butter and honey (maple syrup) as a base, I chose a few ripe bananas and avocado instead . When mashed together they become a base full of naturally occurring sugars, healthy fats, and save a few calories, too.
- Coconut oil: Another type of good fat. It solidifies at room temperature which is great for holding these little balls…I mean, cacao nibs recipe brownie bites together 🙂
- Vanilla extract: Always a lovely warming aromatic flavor. Brings everything together and always pairs well with chocolate.
- Cacao powder and unsulphured coconut flakes: Cacao powder is used inside the brownie bites and to add a powdered finish to the outside. Not to be confused with cocoa powder which is more processed and can occasionally come with added sugar. Coconut flakes are another optional tasty coating in this cacao nibs recipe.
- Oats: Quick or old-fashioned rolled oats add great texture. They’re also high in fiber!
- Cacao nibs: Delicious chewy, crunchy bits of chocolate without the overload of sugar. That is why I love cacao nibs recipes!
- Chia seeds: High fiber, Omega 3s, antioxidants, and barely noticeable!
- Medjool dates: Dried fruit is a great way to naturally sweeten all kinds of cacao nibs recipes. Make sure they’re pitted and chopped.
Brownie Bites Making Instructions
Step 1: Grab a medium sized bowl and mash together your banana, avocado, coconut oil and vanilla. You will want to continue mashing until there is a smooth texture! I skipped food processors and blenders for the sake of simplicity and texture. I like the chunkier texture the old-fashioned mashing and stirring has to offer.
Step 2: Add remaining ingredients cacao powder, oats, cacao nibs, chia seeds, and pitted and chopped Medjool dates. Stir together until the ingredients are all well incorporated.
Step 3: Coatings are optional but oh so good! Cacao nibs brownies are reminiscent of truffles. And I truly enjoyed those organic long coconut flakes I finally found. Once you roll them up into a ball, coat them in your choice of cacao powder or coconut flakes, and voila! Serve chilled for healthy snacks or dessert!
Try chopped nuts in place of cacao nibs. Walnuts, almonds, or pecans. Toast them for added nutty flavors.
Since cacao nibs are nature’s chocolate chips, it’s only natural that the substitution is chocolate chips! Dark chocolate, white chocolate, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate. Yes, it’s all the sugar, and no it will no longer be unrefined. It it’s the taste you’re after, however, you’ll be just fine 🙂
Try other unsweetened dried fruit for the Medjool dates and flax seeds in place of chia seeds!
Yes, they do. The amount you’re consuming in one or two brownie bites won’t amount to a cup of coffee, but be mindful not to overdo it.
We know that dark chocolate has amazing properties provide us with so many benefits so I hate to say cacao nibs are healthier. They are more potent in their nutrients because they are less processed and more “pure” than dark chocolate is.
If you find your batter a little too runny to form balls, there are a couple of things you could try.
1. Add a bit of almond flour to the mix to help dry it out.
2. Pour the mixture into a pan and sprinkle it with coconut. Chill in the fridge then cut into small squares. Like an actual cacao nibs brownies square!
How to Store Them
Keep them stored in a glass container with a lid for up to 3 days in the fridge. I like to keep my cacao nibs brownies in the freezer for up to 3 months and just grab one whatever I want.
Thaw them for a few minutes and voila!
Make These Other Chocolate Treats
- Healthy chocolate muffins
- Healthy chocolate zucchini bread
- Healthy chocolate bread
- Healthy pumpkin brownies
- Almond flour chocolate cake
- Black bean brownies
- Almond flour brownies
You can also browse my entire collection of healthy dessert recipes or healthy snacks for more inspiration!
Healthy Cacao Nibs Brownie Bites
- 2 medium bananas ripe (yellow with brown spots)
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 8 Medjool dates pitted & chopped
- Cacao powder and unsulphured coconut flakes for coating (optional)
- In a medium bowl, add bananas, avocado, coconut oil and vanilla; mash with a masher until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Scoop some dough using small cookie scoop and roll into a golf size ball between the palms of your hands. If desired, spread coatings on plates and roll bites in them.
- Place in storage container and repeat this step until run out of dough. Enjoy chilled or thawed from a freezer.
- Store: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to a few days.
- Freeze: In airtight container up to 3 months.
- Chocolate chips could be substituted for cacao nibs.
- If you find your batter a little too runny to form balls you can add a small amount of almond flour to help dry out the mixture.
- Cacao nibs brownie bars: Pour the mixture into a pan and sprinkle it with coconut. Chill in the fridge then cut into small squares.
How long does this last in the fridge? With it having avocado I would think it would go bad in a day or 2?
They stay good for a few days or you can freeze up to 3 months.
I have looked for the organic long shred coconut, but I am not able to locate that product. Would you mind sharing where you found the coconut? Also, is it unsweetened?
Back then at Costco or in natural health food store. Yes, it’s unsweetened. It’s hit and miss.
Nice healthy snack choice. my batter was thin as well so I stiffened it with some almond flour and they came out great.
Delicious! I had to substitute almond butter for the avocado – the one I purchased had unfortunately gotten yucky. A great way to use the cocoa nibs I have been avoiding.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jeanmarie! Thank you for the wonderful review!
I don’t have an avocado but i do have almond butter. May i ask, how much almond butter did you use? Thanks!
I’m guessing medium avocado would be maybe 1/2 cup.
I can’t wait to try these healthy snacks!
Hi Trina! Don’t be shy to leave a comment and star review when you give this recipe a try.
I just made this and they were super tasty. Also my 4 and 6 year old thought they were a great dessert.
The only thing I found is that the mixture was a bit too runny to roll into balls. I put the mixture in a pan and sprinkled with coconut. Then I refrigerated for a few hours before slicing them into small squares. Worked perfectly.
I will use this recipe again.
Thank you. I love the raw healthy ingredients.
You are welcome. Enjoy.:)
I was so excited to see this recipe until I found out avocado banana are in it- since I am allergic to them . Does it to the highest cross-reactive food some people with latex allergy. These 2 foods are put in so many clean food recipes it’s crazy!
Overall I found this to be an awesome recipe. I put the bananas, avocado and dates in a food processor for a nice smooth consistently. Only trouble was it made the dough a bit too soft, I might use just one banana next time.
I generally find cacao nibs a bit bitter but they were fantastic with this recipe. Great job on this recipe it is delicious! Will definitely be sharing these with my vegan work friend!
Yes, dough is soft and moist. Not sure if you don’t add another banana you will have enough base mass and you might need to adjust sweetness. Cacao nibs’ bitterness gets lost in sweet recipes. So awesome, right?! My kids love them!!! Glad you liked these. I keep mine in the freezer usually.
Made the recipe thought it wasn’t sweet enough added a little maple syrup bad move they are to soft added more oats and stuck them in the freezer hoping they will firm up
Yes, that’s risky because proportions of dry to liquid are thrown off. Hope they will work out for you.