plant based energy balls

Plant-based Turtles

Makes about 30 turtles 

If you loved “turtles growing up, you will have fun with these. They are less sweet than the originals, but even more flavorful and far more nutritious! 

Pecans (60 halves)
2 organic, fair trade dark chocolate bars (2 x 90 g/3 oz) 

Caramel Filling

1 cup pine nuts or raw cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours and rinsed)
1 cup pitted, tightly packed Medjool dates (if using other dates, steam them to soften)
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp sea salt (optional)


  1. Place dates, pine nuts, vanilla, and salt into a food processor and process until very smooth. It should look like caramel. Freeze mixture for an hour or two to decrease stickiness and make the caramel easier to work with. Alternatively, refrigerate overnight or for several hours.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Place nuts on the cookie sheets, with 2 pecan halves, side by side, for each turtle.
  3. Make a ball with about 2 teaspoons of the caramel. Place the ball on top of the pecans and press down so it forms a turtle-like round shape.
  4. Freeze the nut/caramel mixture overnight or until completely solid.
  5. Put the chocolate bars into the top of a double boiler over boiling water or in a small pot over low heat and heat and stir until the chocolate is entirely melted.
  6. Take one pan of turtles out of the freezer.
  7. Brush or spoon the chocolate over the top of each turtle – be sure to get the sides. Return cookie sheet to the freezer. Remove second tray and repeat.
  8. Let the chocolate set completely before removing the turtles from the trays. Place in an airtight container and store them in the freezer. They taste best right from the freezer!



  1. For added flair, melt some white, or vegan milk chocolate and drizzle over the dark chocolate. The turtles picture below have been drizzled with oat milk chocolate.
  2. Instead of using pine nuts or cashews, use ¾ cup nut butter – any type.
  3. Instead of making turtles, place caramel right on the parchment paper or silicone mat. Press 3 hazelnuts one Brazil nut on top. Freeze. Once frozen, brush the underside with chocolate, let harden, flip over and drizzle chocolate on the top.

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