• Nicola Zaina

Not all Date Balls are Created Equal

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

I have noticed of late an abundance of healthy snack balls and while I applaud the increasing selection, many of them are just date balls wrapped up in fancy packaging. I am fairly fond of dates but would rather eat my dates neat (dipped in macadamia butter) than in a ball or bar that just tastes like dates. 

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So I thought it was time I looked at some different options produced locally. I tried and tested a few to find those that stood out. Flavour options and prices can vary I stuck to the premise that everyone likes a bit of chocolate and so found 4 that feature chocolate.


After all who isn’t looking for a little afternoon pick me up and better yet if it is healthy, full of real natural ingredients. We are looking for that slow steady energy to get us through to the end of the day and these balls will definitely do that.


We often start the day on a healthy footing, we get through breakfast and have that apple half way through the morning. We may have even got as far as organising our own lunch but things can quickly fall apart when that dreaded afternoon slump hits us or we are racing around caught in traffic and we are suddenly starving. All our hard health work can quickly fall apart as we reach for a sugary chocolate treat.


All these balls are filled with dates (fibre) and nuts that will slow down the release of the natural sugars in the fruit and help keep you going further for longer. These balls all contain only natural ingredients some have gone all organic, others have added superfoods.


I like the idea of balls because, well if you are that way inclined you can share them or if you are very disciplined have one a day and let the treat last longer, or you may just need to eat them quietly all by yourself!  There is no guilt in these treats you can show them off proudly. Keep them in your desk at work and in your car or handbag. When you hit those energy lows these little babies will give you the boost you need.

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My top rated one goes at top and my least favourite one at the bottom, all balls are gluten free and all except the Brownie Bomb are suitable for vegans. Just so you know I don’t have a sweet tooth so I often find sweet treats too sweet. To get a second opinion I asked Mike to try them too and without any prompting he put them in the same order. 


What I was looking for:

Not just a date ball tasting of dates, something a bit different

A real chocolate flavour

Natural healthy ingredients, ideally suitable for vegans and gluten free


#1 Joe & Co Real Balls - Cocoa and Coconut Raw Bites 40g R19-95

Dates, raisins, almonds, cocoa, coconut and cashews what’s not to love, really firm and chewy I loved the chocolate flavour with a hint of coconut. Finished off with a little vanilla and Oryx natural salt it has that perfect balance of chewy chocolatey yumminess and was the cheapest option too. Joe & Co Real Balls

Joe & Co Real Balls

#2 Bliss Superfoods Balls - Focused Mind 35g R26-00

For a long time Bliss Balls have been my favourite because I cannot detect the flavour of dates and I love to pack them when hiking. Some hikes I have done required no more than a bliss ball and apple to get me through the day. They have a dense chewy texture and a very delicious dark chocolate flavour. The main ingredient is raw organic cocoa 26% so they are the closest to a chocolate treat. Dates, raisins, Brazil and cashew nuts make this ball a little powerhouse of sustained energy. They have added in special ingredients into their balls like blue green algae, ginseng or a touch of rose geranium and sceletium.  Bliss Superfood Snacks

Bliss Superfood Balls - Focused Mind

#3 Nanuki Brownie Bomb - Buckwheat Crunch 35g R20-95

From the same people that brought us those delicious boom bars they have now created a smaller cheaper option in their bombs. This Brownie Bomb is a bit different to the other balls I tried in that it has more of a biscuity crunch to it with the rice and coconut flour and doesn't have any nuts so that is good for anyone who cannot tolerate nuts. I would have liked a bit more of the buckwheat crunchiness it was chocolatey but the date flavour came through and it was a bit too sweet for me. They are unique so maybe try a Bomb for yourself, they come in 3 flavours: Buckwheat Crunch, Cookie Dough and Sun Butter. Nanuki

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Nanuki Brownie Bomb

#4 Woolworths Raw Activated Date Bites 45g R21-99

Well they aren’t really claiming to be anything other that a date bite but somehow I got caught up in all the activated information. Activated almonds make up 28% and activated buckwheat 11% and 1% activated quinoa (why bother) but dates took over at 37% they were soft and sweet with a very definitive date flavour. The chocolate didn’t really come through. I love the idea of activated nuts, seeds and grains but somehow these balls were a bit disappointing. 

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Woolworths Raw Activated Date Bites

So there you have it 4 balls (well in fact it turned out to be 9 balls) something new to try that is a healthier treat. Even though they may seem small I felt full afterward trying two. If you want to make your own there are lots of recipes out there and they will work out cheaper.


You can find two of my recipes for healthy treats HERE one is the classic figgy date ball the other is more halva inspired.  


Do you have a healthy favourite that you would like to share with us, please get in touch


NBPrices may vary depending on where you buy them

Health is about the food you eat, and the way you move your body.
It's about stilling the mind and connecting to others and nature.
Health is about living a meaningful life that brings you joy & fulfilment.
Find ways to be healthy every day, have fun & don't get stressed or obsess about it.
Health may not look the same for everyone but being healthy is worth striving for.
Nicola Zaina     
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