May 25, 2021

by Alyssa

Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Bites

These Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Bites are a vegan, gluten-free and high-protein snack that's perfect for meal prep. Sweetened with dates and full of real lemon flavor, these taste like dessert but are healthy!

close up on an energy bite with poppy seed and coconut in a white liner

Who doesn't love a sweet snack in the afternoon? There's nothing like bringing yourself out of a 3pm slump with a homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly Mini Muffin. But sometimes you want to hit your sugar craving without actual sugar.

That's when I love energy bites. They're so satisfying thanks to all the plant-based protein from cashews, cashew butter and coconut. Plus, they have satiating healthy fats and just the right amount of sweetness from Medjool dates. In fact, I love energy bites so much, I wrote a book about them!

These energy bites in particular, made with fresh lemon juice and zest and poppy seeds, taste like a bakery muffin, but are so good for you.

collage of four images of a food processor with the ingredients and steps to make lemon energy bites

How to Make Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Bites

If you have a food processor, you can whizz these energy balls together in minutes. Simply add everything in and make a dough!

And by the way, if you love these energy bites as much as I do, then you'll have a blast making other flavors. Read my guide to making energy bites and have fun experimenting with your favorite nut butters, sweeteners and mix-ins.

Ingredient Notes

Here's what you'll need to make these vegan no-bake energy bites:

  • Medjool dates. These are the thicker, juicier and naturally sweeter dates. They add just the right amount of sweetness to the bites without sending you for a crash.
  • Cashews. Use unroasted, unsalted nuts for this recipe.
  • Shredded coconut. To keep this refined sugar-free, choose unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • Cinnamon. For a hint of warmth.
  • Lemon juice and zest. Make sure you're using freshly squeezed lemon for the best flavor!

baking sheet with energy balls rolled in coconut

Shaping Energy Balls and Rolling

Once your dough comes together in the food processor, you can shape them. I like to make cute little round balls. However, you could just as easily shape the dough into squares or bars.

It's easy to mold into any shape you like, so have fun!

However, I will note that one of the benefits of making balls is that you can easily roll them in coatings. I like to dust the lemon poppy seed energy bites in more coconut shavings for color, crunch and flavor.

close up on a wooden board with lemon poppy seed energy bites

Can I Use Other Nuts?

Cashews really have the best texture for these energy bites. They're nice and soft, which makes the bites creamy. However, you can try walnuts if you like.

You can easily substitute the cashew butter for another nut butter, including almond, peanut or sunflower seed.

close up on a vegan energy bite with coconut shavings

How Long Do Energy Bites Stay Fresh?

You can store your bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. For longer storage, pop them into the freezer for up to three months. You can eat them frozen (they're like ice cream) or let them defrost a bit on the counter before enjoying.

overhead of a stack of poppy and lemon energy balls

More Healthy Snack Recipes (that taste like dessert)

If you make Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Bites, be sure to tag me in your pics on Instagram, I love seeing your creations! And be sure to check out my Energy Ball Cookbook for more vegan snack inspiration.

Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Bites

These lemon poppy seed energy bites are a healthy vegan and gluten-free high-protein snack with cashews and fresh lemon juice and zest.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 14 balls
Calories 109kcal
Print Pin
close up on an energy bite with poppy seed and coconut in a white liner
4.80 from 5 votes



  • Add dates and cashews nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients (minus water) and blend until combined. Pulse in the poppy seeds.
  • If a dough forms, then don't add water. If it still seems a little dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, processing completely between each addition, until a dough begins to form.
  • Shape the dough into balls, about the size of golf balls, and place in the fridge/freezer to firm up.
  • I like to store mine in the fridge/freezer to maximize shelf life!


Serving: 1ball | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Hi Alyssa !
    I tried this recipe this past week for my afternoon snacks and it was the best idea ever !!! Lemon balances perfectly the sweet dates, poppy seeds give a nice crunch to the energy ball and the texture was so dense and rich : I’m literally in love with those little things <3 Everbody liked them at home : a beautiful success !
    Thank you so much for the recipe !
    Have a beautiful day and take care <3

  2. These are good. They seemed a bit too sticky, so I added 1/4 c. oats, to make them more solid. They are tasty!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. These look amazing, and I’m going to try them tonight. Do the poppy seeds get blended in or just folded in at the end? Thanks!


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