No Bake Energy Balls

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!

No Bake Energy Balls

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Almond butter, oats, and flaxseed in a food processor

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.

Energy bites recipe dough in a mixing bowl

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.

No Bake Energy Balls

More Favorite Healthy Snacks

If you love these energy balls, try one of these healthy snacks next:


4.9 from 18 reviews

No Bake Energy Balls

 
Prep time
Total time
 
These no bake energy bites are the BEST healthy snack! They're naturally sweetened, vegan, gluten-free, and totally delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 12 bites
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Notes
I used these vegan mini chocolate chips. A chopped dark chocolate bar also works great here.

If you're gluten free be sure to use certified gluten free oats.

I used freshly ground roasted almond butter from the bulk section at Whole Foods.

 

55 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Sam
    07.14.2021

    These are delicious and I make them often, do you think they would freeze well?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.14.2021

      yep, they freeze great!

  2. Janet
    07.08.2021

    would this recipe work with steel cut oats?
    thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.08.2021

      Hi Janet, no steel cut oats won’t be come tender enough to enjoy this way.

      • Janet
        07.08.2021

        Thanks! I’ve made them with the rolled oats and they came out great.

  3. Christie
    06.30.2021

    I have made this recipe several times and tweak it slightly each time. I have made it without the oats (because I was out of rolled oats and omitted the coconut oil and coconut flakes. But I have also tried it exactly as the recipe calls for but each time I have added 2 tbls of chia seed and I have also added hemp hearts. The other substitution is that I use soaked and dethydrated almonds instead of the walnuts. Anyway you do it they are delicious. My 21 year old daughter is avoiding sugar and dairy due to chronic pain and inflamation so she loves these in place of the candy and sugar she splurged on.

  4. Lisa
    06.19.2021

    So delicious! I also topped with some pieces of basil. It mixed so well with the chocolate and added a hint of color.

  5. Oona
    06.13.2021

    Delicious, and nutritious!! So good for an easy grab-and-go snack, or even breakfast!! I leave out the coconut, and they still come out great! SOOO YUMMY!!!

  6. Chel-Sea
    05.23.2021

    OMG. So I made a lazy lazy version of this because I had one of those mornings where my fridge was literally empty and I came across your recipe last night. I threw what I had on hand from pantry: 1/2 c oats toasted, few almonds, coconut flakes, 1/2T each of butters (almond, PB, and cookie), 1/2 T of maple syrup and honey. Few drops of water
    Mixed wet ingredients, then added dry. Smushed it on bottom of a flat mug/small bowl. Left in freezer for 2 min. And boom. Tasty instant-no bake energy ball inspired breakfast bites LOL. Thanks for the inspo! I need to make a batch to keep in fridge weekly so easy and healthier than store bought granola bars. I’ll need to try the real recipe sometime too!

  7. Laura
    01.05.2021

    Can I use something in place of the flax? It’s the one ingredient I am missing

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.06.2021

      Hi Laura, you could try using an extra date and maybe a little water if the mixture is too thick.

  8. Elisa Stewart
    08.19.2020

    I’m allergic to coconut and wondering how to replace the coconut oil in these? Perhaps sunflower oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.20.2020

      Hi Elisa, I’m not sure because coconut oil firms up (unlike other oils) and helps hold these together. I might try these granola bars instead – you can roll them into balls if you’d like.

  9. Leanne
    08.03.2020

    Delicious and easy to make. I enjoyed them yesterday with my afternoon tea. Will happily be making more.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.30.2020

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  10. annika
    03.24.2020

    Very delicious and super easy to make!!

  11. Jess
    11.21.2019

    Is there another oil or ingredient you could use instead of coconut oil??

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.21.2019

      Hi Jess, this recipe requires coconut oil. If you don’t want a coconut-y taste, seek out refined coconut oil (next to the unrefined coconut oil). I hope that helps!

  12. Carol Jensen
    08.18.2019

    These are delicious! I wanted a sweet healthy snack, and happened to have all the ingredients on hand (including a chocolate bar). I think I’ll make these with my granddaughter. It will be fun and rewarding!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.18.2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!!

  13. Laura
    03.23.2019

    I made these on the spur of the moment looking for a healthy non-processed snack. I didn’t have all the ingredients in the house so I substituted 1/2 of a very ripe banana for the dates, and almonds for the walnuts. I’m really trying to watch my fat intake so I substituted 2 tablespoons of goat yogurt for the coconut oil. They came out beautifully!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2019

      Hi Laura, I’m so glad you loved them!

  14. Deana
    03.08.2018

    These are so perfect! Thanks for the awesome recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.14.2018

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  15. Mary
    05.30.2017

    How many calories in each ball?

  16. J
    04.29.2017

    I made these with figs instead of dates and it was really good! My bites turned out actually much smaller, so got ~20 balls out of the batch instead of 12, so they were truly bite size, and let them stiffen up on a baking sheet in the fridge, then put them into a container for storage. They kept they shape, and did not stick to eachother. Its a great snack to offer to kids when you see them lurking around, eyeing the pantry. I make double batches now! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Kristine
    10.01.2016

    My husband is not a fan of coconut. What should I subsistute?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.02.2016

      Hi Kristine, you can add extra walnuts, or just leave the shredded coconut out. Also, you might want to use refined coconut oil since it has less of a coconut flavor than unrefined.

  18. megan
    09.22.2016

    mmm! these remind me of the no-bake cookies we would get in the grade school cafeteria. Accidentally added the chocolate chips while the oats were still hot – made them deliciously chocolatey. thanks for the recipe : )

  19. Elizabeth A
    09.09.2016

    Do you have any suggestions for these if you have nut allergies? Wondering if sunflower seed butter would work?

  20. Kimberly Fowler
    08.08.2016

    Love these and so does my family! I add a half cup more oats and dried Montgomery tart cherries instead of the coconut. I’m making several batches a week.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.