No bake Vanilla Fifteens

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on January 18, 2011

In a chocolate making class I went to awhile ago, it was explained that chocolate is a great delivery system for nutrients that we generally wouldn’t eat by themselves.

Say, if we were to put seaweed in the chocolate as we’re making it. Seaweed is something that many people would cringe at if it were mixed in their water bottle, but wouldn’t bat an eyelash if it were mixed in with chocolate!

I chewed [hehe] on this notion for awhile. A delivery system… of wholesome ingredients… hidden in tasty treats. Interesting.

And that’s how fifteens were born.

The concept of fifteens

Fifteens are a snack that:

  • Deliver a strong dose of nutrients, in a very small package
  • Call for less than 10 ingredients [generally 5 if I can help it], prepared in just 5 steps
  • Take 5 minutes to make, 5 minutes to freeze, and 5 minutes to sit back, indulge, and relax.

Many of us don’t take a time out for our day to check in with ourselves. I can’t tell you how many people I see at the office eating their meals at their desk, rushing to get to meetings after work, and really putting their health on the back burner. The concept of fifteens is to give yourself at least 5 minutes to escape from your day, enjoy your snack, and give your body and mind a break to recharge. You’ll be amazed at what 5 minutes [with a good snack] can do to the entire flow of your day.

The ingredients

Dried fruit: I’ll generally stick with dates

Nut butters: Will change with each fifteen, depending on the flavour


  • Protects the lining of the digestive tract from damage, especially related to inflammation
  • Has a ton of anti cancer nutrients
  • Rich in antioxidants that help to reduce free radical damage
  • Contains high amounts of vitamin K – good for your bones!

Ground chia

  • High in omega 3 fatty acids
  • Contains all essential amino acids, also referred to as a complete protein
  • 2 times more potassium than banana
  • 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries
  • More calcium than milk
  • 5g fiber in each 15g serving

Rice crisps

Quality counts! Many of the rice crisps out there are loaded with sugar, unnecessary additives, and if they aren’t organic, an unnecessary amount of pesticides were used on the rice.

Vanilla Fifteens

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free

The perfect nutrition delivery system. Pack a couple of these in your lunch and you’ll be set to take on the day!


  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 8 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or the pulp from half a vanilla bean
  • 2 1 handful spinach or 2 Tbsp greens powder [may need to add 2 more dates to compensate]
  • 2 Tbsp ground chia
  • 1 1/2 cups rice crisps – I used Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal


  1. Process all ingredients but rice crisps in food processor until dates and spinach have broken down and become sticky
  2. Drop mixture into a medium sized bowl and mix in rice crisps
  3. Scoop 1-1.5 Tbsp of mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, dropping them onto a parchment paper lined plate
  4. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes
  5. Remove a couple, and enjoy!

Makes 15-20

What flavour of fifteens would you like to see next?

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }


Mmm I’m so glad I got a food processor for Christmas! I’d like to see some with pb in them:)



What a great present! Peanut butter, good call! I’ll see what I can create :)


Cajun Chef Ryan

Dates are amazing nutrition, and these “Fifteens” are wonderful.



Thanks Ryan!



Can you do something with both chocolate and peanut butter? Sort of like a healthy Reese’s ball? And maybe something with banana?



mm I’m liking both of those suggestions!


daksha chopra

wow great , nice, healty recipe! i’m veggi and i’ll definately try this thanks for sharing.


Kate @

The ‘fifteens’ sound really good! Thank you for all the nutritional information – I really enjoyed reading this post!


Tracy @ Commit to Fit

Fast, easy, yummy and healthy! I love it!



It’ truly impressive that these fifteens look tasty even though they are packed with highly nutritious ingredients. Plus, they look soooo cute…just like cakeballs but healthier ;)



This is such a great idea. Sadly, I can’t do dried fruit because of diabetes, but my kids sure can and any snack that has packs a nutritional punch but that they love is great in my books.



That last photo is fabulous!!! I’ve enjoyed checking out all your healthy recipes :)


Mateja @indulginglife

I love your concept and your fifteen sounds yummy! Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you for sahring all the interesting information with us!



What a great idea. I love the name too! I’m very intrigued by these and want to try them. But, where do you find chia? I have never heard of it (other then a chia pet, obviously) and for the next fifteens…I think something with almond butter and a dried strawberry/date mix would be interesting.



hehe chia pets. I think I had 4 or 5 of them growing up and never dreamed I’d be eating them one day! You can find chia seeds in any natural food store, in many bulk stores, or online. If that’s challenging, you can also use an equal amount of ground flax seed.



Awesome recipe girl! So glad you found my blog. :)


Diana Ingemanson

Great post and yummy treats! I substituted figs for dates, must of needed to double fig count to date count because I had a lot of crisps left over.


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Yum, fig would be very tasty! Thanks for sharing, Diana! I’ll have to try that :)



These were yummy! I perfect quick sugar fix without the guilt.


Kristina Wright

Could you please recommend a greens powder? I am pretty much limited to what I can order from (I live in South Korea and have no idea how or if I could buy green powder here!) Most of the products seem to be for mixing into a drink. Is that the same stuff you use in this recipe?

Thanks! I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and look forward to trying some of these great recipes!


Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Kristina – I’ve never visited iherb but I imagine they have things like chlorella and spirulina. Any greens powder would work in this recipe, even a protein/greens mixture would do the trick! I hope that helps ;)


Kale & Carob

I’m so happy to have found this site, I love what you are doing here! I have long struggled with trying to come up with dairy & gluten free snacks & desserts. I tried a fifteen recipe last week and fell in love! I’m about to try this one….but, what is coconut butter? I have coconut oil & coconut manna, but not sure what coconut butter is. Huge thanks for all that you are sharing, you’re so inspirational!
Chelsea xx


Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Coconut manna will do the trick! Coconut butter is just mashed coconut, like almond butter is to almonds. Thanks for your kind words :)



Hey Leanne,

These look amazing. We have an allergy to coconut in our home. What would you suggest I could use as a subtitute? Thanks in advance


Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Sylvie – any nut would work, whatever is safest in your home. I’ve made these with crushed walnuts and they turned out really well!



I’ve done these with raw chocolate coconut butter, cacao bliss from Artisana, mainly because it was the only coconut butter I had on hand…WOW! YUMMY! no need for extra dates with the green powder and even the hubby loves them!


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