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Paleo Chocolate Pistachio Date Rolls – Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free Snack Recipe

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Don’t you love recipes that are easy, delicious, and at least mostly good for you? Dates do have a lot of natural sugar, but these snacks are just about as close to healthy as a decadent treat can get! Made with only dates, cacao nibs, and pistachios, they are Paleo, as well as vegetarian & vegan-friendly. They’re easy to whip up, and even easier to enjoy! Especially with coffee. Man, these pistachio date rolls go great with coffee.

Paleo Chocolate Pistachio Date Rolls Recipe

These chocolate pistachio date rolls are based on mersu, an ancient Mesopotamian treat that has been made for about 4000 years. Only, of course, those ancient mersu didn’t have cacao nibs because chocolate is New World thing! I’ve previously warned that eating a handful of cacao nibs isn’t the same thing as chomping down on a bunch of chocolate chips (they’re both more bitter and better for you), but the dates are naturally so sweet that the finished date rolls don’t taste bitter, at all. While you can use pre-pitted dates, I highly recommend taking a couple extra minutes to pit Medjool dates, instead. Medjool dates always seem larger and more juicy than whatever I get in those pre-pitted packages! Sometimes you can find them in bulk at health food stores, but they also have them at my local Costco. Score! If you don’t have a health food store or a Costco nearby 1) I’m sorry and 2) they are are on Amazon. Oh, and, no, it isn’t a typo – shelled pistachios are in the ingredient list twice!

Pitting Medjool dates is actually pretty easy. Just carefully cut into one, lengthways, with a sharp knife. When you feel the knife hit the pit, stop trying to cut! Peel the date open and pull out the pit. Your hands will get a little sticky, but it won’t take long. Make sure you pack your pitted dates into the measuring cup so they’re fairly flat. I typically use 16 or 17 large dates for this recipe, but you may have to use more or less to make a cup, depending on how big your dates are.

pit the medjool dates

I made each date roll from about one heaping tablespoon of the date mixture and made a total of 12 rolls. If you make smaller rolls, you’ll have a larger number of finished date rolls and vice versa. It’s totally up to you how big you make yours! I think a tablespoon is a good size, though.

date balls and pistachios

5.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo Chocolate Pistachio Date Rolls - Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free Snack Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • ¼ cup pistachios, shelled
  • ½ cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  1. Put the ¼ cup of pistachios in your food processor and pulse until they're broken into small pieces, but not totally pulverized. These pistachios are what you will roll the date balls in. Remove the chopped pistachios from your food processor and reserve them for later.
  2. Add the ½ cup of pistachios to you food processor and pulse a couple times to break them into smaller pieces.
  3. Add the dates and cacao nibs and process until the dates are totally mashed and everything forms a big, sticky ball in the food processor.
  4. Measure the date mixture out with a tablespoon or small cookie scoop. With slightly damp hands, form each dollop of date mixture into a ball. Rinse/re-wet your hands as needed.
  5. Roll each ball in the reserved pistachios, making sure to press the pistachios into the date roll with your hands.
  6. Eat and enjoy! Store the date rolls in an airtight container in the fridge to keep them fresh for several days.

Paleo Date Rolls

These date rolls are so delicious – I really need to make more! I think they’d be tasty with other nuts, too, or even with coconut. They’re a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth if you’re trying to avoid processed sugars, and they the nuts have fat and protein that help balance out the dates’ sugar content.

What’s you’re go-to “healthy” snack?


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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • hamza July 4, 2017, 06:34

    Yummy i love dates <3

  • Edi April 2, 2015, 15:22

    These sound tasty and very healthy.
    I do fall under group #2…not close to a health food store and not close to a Costco. And I have to be honest here…I would have to Google what cacao nibs are…lol!
    Man, I lead a sheltered life!

    • Natashalh April 3, 2015, 07:09

      That’s okay! I didn’t know what they were for a long time. They’re just the mostly unprocessed bits from the beans that are used to make chocolate. They haven’t had the sugar and things added in. Where I grew up didn’t have (at the time) anywhere to get exotic ingredients, either.

  • Sarah April 1, 2015, 06:22

    These look yummy. I do love dates 🙂

    • Natashalh April 1, 2015, 10:42

      Medjool dates are so good! I love how much juicer they are than some of the other types.

  • Paige April 1, 2015, 02:30

    YES. Totally making these. I’ve been very snack-y lately and craving dessert at night, so this will be a great alternative to buying an ice cream cone. 🙂

    • Natashalh April 1, 2015, 07:11

      We are both so totally “snack-y!” We carry almost as many snacks as people we know with multiple children, only for just ourselves. I hope these help you beat that ice cream craving!

  • Yum Girl March 31, 2015, 08:22

    Hello from Yum Goggle! Thank you so much for your submission & we hope you will continue to submit your gorgeous photos and recipes – one word of caution: During the submission process, please list your blog name when asked and not your web address. There is a space for your link which leads to your address. When using Yum Goggle as a platform, we would appreciate that you not try to circumvent us by listing your web address. As daily submissions reach 100+ per day, I will be unable to take the time to correct these issues and will be deleting submissions that do not adhere to our terms and conditions. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

    • Natashalh March 31, 2015, 09:36

      Thank you for the head’s up about the blog name vs web address! It’s easy for me to forget because I’m so used to having to put a blog address in comment forms and the like.

  • Duni March 31, 2015, 08:04

    Delicious! We love snacking on dates, figs and nuts around here 🙂
    Pinned to my veggie board!

    • Natashalh March 31, 2015, 09:34

      Sounds delicious! I love figs, but I’ve forgotten to pick up more the last couple times I went to the store. Thank you for pinning!

  • Marieken March 31, 2015, 07:27

    These sound right up my alley! Whenever I want to snack on something healthy I eat medjool dates, dried figs, raisins, almonds or dried apricots. I will be making these!

    • Natashalh March 31, 2015, 09:33

      That sounds like pretty much what I enjoy, too! Dried fruit and nuts. I definitely have at least some of both pretty much every day. I hope you enjoy these date rolls!

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