These healthy Cacao Nibs Brownie Bites are a delicious, nutritious, and fudgy grab and go snack. Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and unrefined sugars this cacao nibs recipe satisfies your chocolate cravings with unique taste and crunch!
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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 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 as I did with these healthier carrot cake truffles.
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!
Enjoy this cacao nibs recipe and be healthy!
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
- Coconut flour chocolate muffins
- Almond flour brownies
You can also browse you my entire collection of healthy dessert recipes for more inspiration!
Healthy Cacao Nibs Brownie Bites
- 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 or freeze for 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.
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