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Add dates to a food processor and pulse/mix until small bites remain or a ball forms. Scoop out and set aside.
Add walnuts to the food processor and pulse into a fine meal. Then add cacao powder, hemp seeds and sea salt. Pulse a few more times to combine. (Don't overmix or the walnuts will turn into butter.)
Add the dates back in along with the almond butter and melted coconut oil (optional). Mix/pulse to combine. The result should be a moist dough-like mixture. If too wet, add a bit more cacao powder or hemp seeds.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Then scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts (I like this scoop) and carefully form into balls. The dough will be somewhat fragile, so use the warmth of your hands to gently form/roll them into balls. There should be about 20 energy bites total (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
Roll in extra hemp seeds or cacao powder (optional). Note: The bites get a fudgy, sticky outer texture when rolled in cacao powder - which I liked. But for less sticky energy bites, stick with hemp seeds!
Store leftovers in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.