I make these no bake energy balls just about every week. Nutty, sweet, and packed with good-for-you ingredients, they're the perfect healthy snack!
This no bake energy balls recipe resulted from a massive cookie flop. I was craving a cookie, but I didn’t have the exact ingredients for my oatmeal cookie recipe on hand. I messed around with it, swapping in what I did have, and I ended up with a sweet and nutty “dough” made from oats and almond butter. It was never going to bake into perfect oatmeal cookies, but it tasted so good that I immediately thought, “Energy bites!”
A few tests later, and these oatmeal energy balls have become my favorite healthy snack. They’re rich, nutty, and chewy, and they take minutes to make! And even though they taste like cookies, they’re far healthier, made with wholesome ingredients like oats, dates, and nut butter. As a result, they’re fair game for snack, dessert, and even breakfast!
Energy Balls Recipe Ingredients
These no bake energy bites are loaded with good-for-you ingredients:
- Whole rolled oats – Old fashioned oats give these no bake energy balls a perfect chewy texture, so I don’t recommend replacing them with instant oats. If you’re gluten-free, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats in this recipe.
- Flaxseed – It packs these balls with omega-3s and helps them bind together.
- Roasted almond butter – It fills the balls with healthy fats, protein, and an incredible toasty, nutty flavor. Roasted peanut butter would be great here too.
- Maple syrup and Medjool dates – They sweeten these healthy energy balls naturally. If your dates aren’t soft, soak them in warm water for 10-20 minutes before you make the balls.
- Coconut oil – I like to use virgin coconut oil to amp up the balls’ coconut flavor.
- Vanilla extract and cinnamon – They add delicious warm flavor.
- Sea salt – It makes the sweet, spiced, and nutty flavors in this energy balls recipe pop!
- Walnuts – They add healthy fats and a nice crunch!
- Shredded coconut – It fills these energy bites with rich, buttery flavor, and it adds to the chewy texture.
- Mini chocolate chips – Because chocolate is healthy, right? You really need mini chocolate chips here, as the energy balls won’t hold together with larger ones. If you don’t have mini chocolate chips on hand, a chopped dark chocolate bar will work in their place.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Energy Balls Variations
I love the walnuts and mini chocolate chips in this recipe, but feel free to get creative with your add-ins! Chopped almonds or pecans would be fantastic in place of the walnuts, and chopped dried fruit would be a great sub for the chocolate chips. Just make sure that you maintain the ratios in the original recipe and chop any mix-ins to a small size so that the balls still hold together.
No Bake Energy Bites Recipe Tips
- Toast the oats. These energy balls come together in no time in the food processor, but you’ll actually do the first step on the stove! Toast the oats over low heat until they’re just beginning to brown around the edges. This extra step takes no time at all – just 1 or 2 minutes – and it gives the balls a richer flavor and makes them easier to digest!
- Don’t cut the chilling time short. It’s tempting to eat the balls as soon as you roll them together, but I highly recommend waiting for a full 30 minutes to allow them to set up in the fridge. It gives the flavors a chance to meld and develop, and they’ll have a firmer, chewier texture.
- Store them in the fridge or freezer. Store the no bake energy bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze them for up to 2 months. If they’re frozen, allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before you eat.
More Favorite Healthy Snacks
If you love these energy balls, try one of these healthy snacks next:
- Homemade Granola Bars
- Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Healthy Banana Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins
- No Bake Cookies
- Homemade Granola
No Bake Energy Balls
- 1 cup whole rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons warm water
- ¼ cup roasted almond butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 soft Medjool dates, pitted (or 2 additional tablespoons of maple syrup)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- In a medium pan, toast the oats over low heat until just browned around the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and warm water and set aside to thicken for about 5 minutes. In a food processor, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add the flaxseed mixture and blend until smooth.
- Add the walnuts and pulse until combined. Add the oats and coconut and pulse until combined. Add the chocolate chips and pulse just until evenly incorporated.
- Roll the mixture into 12 balls and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes. If the dough is too sticky to work with, chill it for several minutes before rolling.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.