Raw Snack Balls with Apricots, Dates, and Cashews

September  4, 2014

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: A packable snack that's sweet, wholesome, and adaptable to whatever dried fruit and nuts you have on hand.

Shop the Story

When back-to-school season hits, some people get excited about buying new notebooks and pens. Some people get excited for organization, for the structure and rhythm of a new schedule. Some people get excited to see their classmates again. Some people get excited to return to the classroom environment, to live the life of the mind.

I get excited about snacks.

Yup, snacks. For someone who has spent quite a bit of the last few years in classrooms, I don’t actually care too much for student life. I could do without the assignments, the tests, the textbooks, even the camaraderie. But I do love any excuse to pack up a bunch of tasty snacks every morning, and to find them in my backpack later on that day, like hidden treasures. 

More: Pack school lunch (and snacks) in style with these essentials.

These snack balls are probably my favorite student (or non-student) snack. They’re sweet, they’re filling, and they feel like a little indulgence, even if they’re made from some pretty wholesome stuff. Feel free to experiment with different dried fruits and nuts in this recipe: So long as you maintain the volume ratio of dates to nuts (about 1 1/4:1 works best, in my experience), it’s hard to mess this recipe up. It’s also not necessary to only eat the balls at snacktime; they’re equally nice for a hippie dessert, or alongside a banana if you’re looking to make breakfast in a pinch.

Apricot, Date, and Cashew Snack Balls 

Makes 14 to 16 balls

1 cup cashews, walnuts ,or almonds
Generous pinch sea salt
1 1/4 cups pitted Medjool dates (about 15 or 16 dates)
1/4 cup dried apricots
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Alpha Smoot

Choosing RawGena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.


Order now

The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Amy S.
    Amy S.
  • ghainskom
  • AntoniaJames
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


Amy S. September 14, 2014
I tried these with almonds, and as I didn't have any apricots or almond butter, left out the former and subbed the latter with peanut butter. Delicious! A great basic recipe that's easy to customize depending on what you have around.
ghainskom September 5, 2014
I got a similar recipe from my midwife a few years ago. In her words: these are small "calorie bombs" and that's what you need when breastfeeding.
AntoniaJames September 4, 2014
So helpful! Thank you. ;o)