No Bake Energy Bites

April 18, 2020 By Aneesha |

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These No Bake Energy Bites are packed with feel-good ingredients including rolled oats, creamy peanut butter, sweet and chewy dates and mini chocolate chips for the ultimate pop of energy! A portable breakfast or healthy snack that’s easy to make with simple pantry ingredients!

peanut butter oat protein balls in black bowl

Quick & Easy No Bake Energy Balls

I have been making healthy protein balls for a while now. And they are always a hit with my kids! I also feel good about making them since they are packed with good-for-you ingredients.

A mix between a granola bar and peanut butter oatmeal cookie, they are a quick and easy portable breakfast or healthy snack that requires no cooking or baking. I could easily finish the whole batch of energy bites myself because they really do taste like a treat!

A little sweet, a little nutty and a lot of healthy – they are the best little bites for that instant pop of energy!

peanut butter oat protein balls in black bowl

What Are Energy Bites?

Energy bites, energy balls, protein balls, whatever you like to call them, are bite-size portable snacks made with oats, nut or seed butter, a sticky sweetener and any mix-ins of your choice!

Why Make Energy Balls?

The simple and sweet reason – they are delicious! But a few other reasons to make no-bake energy balls include:

  1. Using pantry ingredients that are always on hand
  2. Packing them full of feel-good ingredients for that burst of energy
  3. Customzing them to suit your tastebuds
  4. Doubling or tripling the recipe for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast or snack to enjoy throughout the week

Ingredients – Availability & Substitutions

These easy no-bake energy balls are made with simple pantry ingredients I always have on hand, including:

oats, peanut butter, honey, almonds, chia seeds, dates in measuring cups
  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: Stick with old-fashioned rolled oats or a blend of half rolled, half quick (instant) oats for the best texture. All instant oats would alter the texture too much. If gluten is an issue, purchase oats that are produced in a certified gluten-free facility, such as Bob’s Red Mill. Steel-cut oats would not work in this recipe.
  • Slivered Almonds: Purchase already prepared slivered almonds or simply use whole almonds and chop them at home. Alternatively, try walnuts, cashews, pecans or even toasted coconut flakes instead.
  • Peanut Butter: I prefer natural, creamy, unsalted peanut butter (the drippy, refrigerated peanut butter that separates) for taste and texture, but use what you have in your pantry. Keep in mind regular peanut butter (Jif and Skippy) are thicker than natural peanut butter, so you may need more to ensure rolling. Alternatively, almond or seed butter will work as well.
  • Dates: I use pitted Medjool dates, which are larger, sweeter and chewier than Deglet Noor dates. Use whatever you prefer, just make sure to pit and chop before mixing. Other choices include dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, or any dried fruit of choice.
  • Chocolate Chips: Mini chocolate chips mix better, but regular size, semi-sweet chocolate chips can be substituted. You could even try a chopping a 2 oz bar of semi-sweet chocolate into large and small bits, which will give you pockets of chocolate throughout the bites.
  • Honey: I use honey for flavor, sweetness and viscosity. Maple syrup or agave could also be used here, but since these liquid sweeteners are looser, you may need to add additional oats to thicken the mixture enough to roll.
  • Chia Seeds: Optional, but highly recommended! These add a healthy dose of fiber, protein and antioxidants, so I make sure to include them whenever I can!

How To Make Peanut Butter Oat Energy Balls

These peanut butter energy balls are made in three easy increments. Toasting the oats in the microwave is optional, but I highly recommend it to bring out their nutty flavor. Simply:

Step 1: Toast Oats (Optional)

  • Spread oats in a microwave-safe plate, in one even layer, and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool while you gather the remaining ingredients.
peanut butter, oats, chia seeds, almonds in bowl, energy bite mixture in glass bowl, scooping protein balls, healthy protein ball in hand, rolled energy ball

Step 2: Assemble & Stir

  • Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir everything until well combined (Pics 1 & 2).

Step 3: Chill & Roll

  • Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour, or until the mix is chilled. (This will help the mix bind well while rolling).
  • Using a cookie spoon or a tablespoon measure, scoop out a portion of mix into your palm and roll into a 1-inch ball (Pics 3-6). The no-bake energy bites are ready to enjoy!

Why Are My Healthy Protein Balls Not Sticking Together?

There could be a number of reasons for this, such as:

  1. The proportion of oats to peanut butter is not right, or in other words, the energy bite mixture is simply too dry.
  2. The peanut brand you used. Peanut butter’s liquidity will vary based on brand and manufacturer.
  3. The oats. Some rolled oats are larger than others, which means more moisture is needed to stick them together.

How to fix it: If you are having trouble with the protein balls sticking together, I recommend adding more peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until you can easily press the mixture together with your fingers.

If you’d like the no bake energy bites sweeter, you could add honey, 1 Tablespoon at a time, instead.

peanut butter oat protein balls in black bowl

Can I Make Energy Bars?

Absolutely! For flat energy bars as opposed to round balls, simply:

  1. Press the mixture into an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper (you can also use an 8 X 8 inch pan, but that will make bars that are a bit thicker).
  2. Chill for 1-2 hours.
  3. Remove the bars and the parchment paper from the pan, then slice into 20 squares with a sharp knife. Store as instructed below.

Protein Balls Recipe Variations

There are so many ways to customize these energy bites to suit your needs. Try:

  • Ground Flaxseed: Feel free to replace 1/4 cup of the oats with ground flaxseed. They will add an earthy bite and up the omega-3 content of the energy bites!
  • Different Nut or Seed Butter: Peanut butter is my go-to, but almond, cashew, sunflower seed or even tahini (sesame seed paste) would be delicious!
  • Alternative Dried Fruits: I adore dates for that natural pop of sweetness, but diced apricots, raisins or craisins are just as good.
  • Seeds: The chia seeds are optional, but feel free to replace them with any tiny seed in your pantry, such as flax, hemp or sesame.
  • Chocolate: Add a few spoonfuls cocoa powder to the energy bite mixture. You may want to add a touch more honey or sweetener to counter the bitterness in cocoa.
  • Spices: Add 1/4 teaspoon of any warm, ground spice such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice or pumpkin pie spice.
hand holding one peanut butter chocolate chip energy bite

Storage & Freezer Instructions

I love to enjoy one or two as soon as they are ready! Feel free to store the remaining no bake energy bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before enjoying or defrost in your fridge for a quick grab-and-go treat throughout the week!

Recipe Tips:

  • Microwaving the oats is not necessary, but it helps to bring out the natural nutty flavor.
  • Add more peanut butter or honey if the mixture is not sticking. I recommend adding additional peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon, at a time until you can easily squeeze the mixture between your fingers and it sticks together. Alternatively, add more honey for sweeter energy balls.
  • For flat energy bars as opposed to round balls, simply press the mixture into an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper (the 8-inch pan will make thicker bars), chill for 1-2 hours, remove the bars and the parchment paper from the pan, and slice into 20 squares with a sharp knife or pizza wheel. Store as instructed above.
  • Refrigerate until the mixture is chilled. This will make the peanut butter oat mixture easier to work with. For added insurance, use a small ice cream scoop for shaping and rolling.
  • To speed up the chilling, spread the mixture out on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 20 minutes until chill.
  • Store these energy balls in the fridge (or freezer). They will lose their shape if left on the kitchen counter.

More Breakfast & Quick Snack Recipes From My Kitchen

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peanut butter oat protein balls in black bowl

No Bake Energy Bites

These quick and easy No Bake Energy Bites are packed with feel-good ingredients for a portable breakfast or healthy snack that's simply delicious!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 20 balls
Calories: 126kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

Toast Oats (optional step)

  • Spread oats in a microwave safe plate and heat for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool while you gather the other ingredients.

Assemble and Stir

  • Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir everything until well combined.

Chill & Roll

  • Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour, or until the mix is chilled. (This will help the mix bind well while rolling)
  • Using a cookie spoon or a tablespoon measure, scoop out a portion of mix into your palm and roll into a 1-inch ball.

Serve & Store

  • The no-bake energy bites are ready to enjoy! Refrigerate the leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes & Recipe Tips

Recipe Tips:
  • Microwaving the oats is not necessary, but it helps to bring out the natural nutty flavor.
  • Add more peanut butter or honey if the mixture is not sticking. I recommend adding additional peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon, at a time until you can easily squeeze the mixture between your fingers and it sticks together. Alternatively, add more honey for sweeter energy balls.
  • For flat energy bars as opposed to round balls, simply press the mixture into an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper (the 8-inch pan will make thicker bars), chill for 1-2 hours, remove the bars and the parchment paper from the pan, and slice into 20 squares with a sharp knife or pizza wheel. Store as instructed above.
  • Refrigerate until the mixture is chilled. This will make the peanut butter oat mixture easier to work with. For added insurance, use a small ice cream scoop for shaping and rolling.
  • To speed up the chilling, spread the mixture out on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 20 minutes until chill.
  • Store these energy balls in the fridge (or freezer). They will lose their shape if left on the kitchen counter.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy protein balls, no bake energy balls, no bake energy bites
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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