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No-Bake Oat & Nut Energy Bites

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Packed with oats and nuts, these energy bites are the type of wholesome treat you can feel good about giving your family.

oat and nut energy bites

Every once in a while, I go on a health kick and, in dramatic fashion, purge our kitchen of all processed junk food. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for healthy eating is not shared by my children, who come home from school starving, open the pantry, and yell, “Mom! There’s nothing to eat!” Enter these energy bites – they make a delicious on-the-go breakfast, lunch-box stuffer, or afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee. Made with oats, nuts and peanut butter, they’re the type of wholesome treat that you can feel good about giving your family. Though they’re no-bake, I toast the oats and nuts together in a skillet before mixing them with the other ingredients. This quick step takes the raw edge off the oats, giving them a golden-toasty flavor, and also enhances the taste of the nuts. Finely chopped dates lend a little natural sweetness and fiber, and their stickiness helps bind the balls together.

What you’ll need to make energy bites

how to make energy bites

How to make energy bites

To begin, place the oats and nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the oats turn slightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt.

how to make energy bites

Place the pan back on the stove over low heat. Add the peanut butter, dates, honey, vanilla, and water.

how to make energy bites

Stir until evenly combined (you’re not “cooking” the mixture; warming it just makes it easier to combine).

how to make energy bites

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the bowl with the oats/nuts.

how to make energy bites

Stir until evenly combined, then refrigerate the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.

how to make energy bites

Place the coconut in a shallow bowl. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls, then roll in the coconut to coat.

how to make energy bites

Place the balls in the refrigerator to set until cold, a few hours (or 45 minutes in the freezer). The bites will keep in a covered container for up to a week in the refrigerator.

how to make energy bites

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No-Bake Oat & Nut Energy Bites

Packed with oats and nuts, these energy bites are the type of wholesome treat you can feel good about giving your family.

Servings: About 40 bites
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes, plus time to chill in the fridge or freezer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats, pulsed briefly in a food processor or blender to break them up)
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ (okay to substitute more oats or nuts)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped pitted dried dates, from 6 to 8 large dates
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut, for rolling

Instructions

  1. Place the oats and nuts in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the oats turn slightly golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Place the pan back on the stove over low heat. Add the peanut butter, dates, honey, vanilla, and water. Stir until evenly combined (you're not "cooking" the mixture; warming it just makes it easier to combine). Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the bowl with the oats/nuts. Stir until evenly combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  3. Place the coconut in a shallow bowl. Roll the oat mixture into tablespoon-size balls, then roll in the coconut to coat. Place the balls in the refrigerator, uncovered, to set until cold, a few hours (or about 45 minutes in the freezer). The bites will keep in a covered container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The energy bites can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 bite
  • Calories: 87
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 31 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Made these exactly as recipe called for and they looked just like Jens. They were delicious! A great quick grab and go snack.. I haven’t been disappointed with any Once Upon a Chef recipes. Thank you so much

    • — KATHY on September 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great labor snacks!

    I made for the first time as a labor snack and they did not disappoint. I did freeze some so I’d not eat the whole thing before the birth and they still worked great!

    • — Bianca on September 9, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like them and hope you’re enjoying the new addition to your family! 💗

      • — Jenn on September 11, 2022
      • Reply
  • Love all of the recipes on this site! First discovered Once Upon A Chef when making the rice crispy treats with Golden Grahams, which is the best! For these energy bites, would it be ok to directly add the coconut to the mixture rather than rolling the balls in coconut? Thank you for sharing all your great recipes!

    • — SK on May 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend adding the coconut to the mixture as I think it will make the bites dry. Also, the outside of the bites will be pretty sticky without the coconut coating. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • Have you (or anyone) made these as bars? Wondering if I could press “dough” into a pyrex, sprinkle coconut on top, refrigerate and then cut into bars? Would save the step of rolling the balls… Thanks!!

    • — Melissa on February 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, I’ll let other readers weigh in too but although I’ve never made these as bars, I think you you could. I’d press them into an 8 x 8-inch pan and cut them into bars (although I can’t guarantee that they’ll hold together as well as the balls). I’d suggest lining the pan with parchment. I’d love to hear how they work out!

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • absolutely love it!!! soooo delish!! I add a drops of warm water as I was rolling ..just to find right sticky…..Thank You!!!!

    • — Margrettaesto on January 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Another good recipe! Easy to make and eat, delicious, and you can freeze it! My 20-month-old nephew also gave it his seal of approval. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Mary H. on December 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi!
    I am looking forward to trying this recipe but wanted to know if i could omit ground flaxeed and substitite additional oats and can i put all ingredients in food processor instead of mixing on stove top?
    Thank you
    Yvonne Thomas

    • — Yvonne Thomas on December 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Yvonne, it’s fine to use additional oats in place of the flaxseed but I wouldn’t recommend a food processor here. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • I love these Energy balls for a quick and healthy snack, it is an easy and forgiving recipe. My Energy balls don’t turn into the perfectly round and uniform coconut balls like Jenn’s but I am working on it and the misshapen sausage shapes I produce still taste wonderful. Don’t skip on browning the oats and nuts, I think this step really enhances the flavour. Another winner, thanks Jenn.

    • — Kathryn on September 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, can you add the metric measurements please? Many thanks, Claire.

    • — claire on April 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • I just added them. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 21, 2021
      • Reply
      • Oh these are good! Thanks Jenn, another winner.

        • — claire on May 22, 2021
        • Reply
  • I only have one problem with this recipe…I can’t stop eating these; they are absolutely delicious! I did not have flax seed or wheat germ, so used extra oats as you suggested, and I used a combination of pecans and walnuts. Thank you, thank you, for this recipe!

    • — Shellie on April 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi! I currently only have rolled oats on hand. Do you think that would work?

    • — Kristen on March 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Kristen; just pulse them briefly in a food processor or blender to break them up. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 15, 2021
      • Reply
  • I just made these last night, and they’re outstanding! The only thing I did differently was leave out the pecans and just use almonds and walnuts. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    • — Marilee on February 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Looks great! If I leave the dates out (not a huge fan) do I need to substitute them for something else…maybe a few chocolate chips? Thanks Jen!

    • — Elisha on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Elisha, I wouldn’t use chocolate chips (you need something a little stickier), but you could use any dried fruit (like prunes, apricots, or raisins) in place of the dates. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 2, 2021
      • Reply
      • For sure! Thanks so much Jenn! I really appreciate it. 🙂

        • — Elisha on February 2, 2021
        • Reply
  • These are my go-to snack! They are so good I have to limit myself in how many I eat at one time. Not only are they a great boost of protein and flavor in the much needed afternoon lull of work, but they keep so well in the fridge and are fought over by my entire family. Thank you for such a healthy and perfect recipe!

    • — Laura on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • So much better than the store bought variety out there! Very tasty and easy to put together. Thanks again Jen for another winner!

    • — Lisa on December 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Yummy! I used chia seeds instead of flaxseed.

    • — Jenna on December 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • These are so easy to make and so addicting. Thanks for a healthy treat.

  • I have made the recipe at least 10 times now, everyone enjoys them.

  • Hi there – can you freeze these?

    • Yep 🙂

    • These are a lifesaver. So tasty and easy to make. I added prunes instead of dates for my 1 year old who is having trouble pooping and no more issues!!!

      • — Eileen novelli
      • Reply
      • LOL — been there!

  • Made this numerous times and always keep the ingredients on hand to keep them coming! Just yummy-licious…..

  • Make these little delights often, just love them!

  • Hi Jenn .
    Can Medjool dates be used for this recipe?

    • Yep – hope you enjoy!

  • My daughter is allergic to peanuts and I substituted peanut butter with the same amount of no sugar added almond butter. Everyone in my family loved this version of the no bake oat and nut energy balls. Will definitely make them again.

    • — Tanya Chrosniak
    • Reply
    • I made these last night using almond butter. Yum! My balls are a little bigger bcuz I used a mini ice cream scoop. Next time I’m going to put some cocoa powder in the mix to see what happens. I really like the fact that they’re not too sweet. Thank you!

  • I’ve made lots of different energy balls but these are by far the very best ones. Simply amazing.

  • OMG….these are such tasty delights! Not too sweet, just right. Can’t stop at just one. I don’t think Jenn has a bad recipe. I doubled this recipe and so glad I did. I plan on keeping these ingredients on hand to make regularly. Just yummy!

  • For those that dislike coconut, what do you recommend as a substitute?

    Thanks!

    • Hi S, You can just omit the coconut or roll the balls in finely chopped nuts. Hope you enjoy!

  • These little bites are absolutely delicious!! It’s hard to eat just one or two.

    • — Jillian Macmillan
    • Reply
  • I really want to make these but can’t seem to find fresh dates. (I assume that’s what the recipe intended). Can I used dried dates?

    • Actually, Donna, it uses dried dates, so you’re in luck — hope you enjoy!

  • You are the best! Thanks so much!!

    • You’re so welcome! 💓

  • This come out great, except I just couldn’t get the coconut to stick and I found I really had to press it into the balls rather than rolling. After fighting with that for a while, I just ground up some pecans and rolled them in that instead. It worked much better and was still tasty.

  • This takes awhile, but it’s worth it. Totally forgiving recipe. When I was getting ready to measure the honey, I remember that one commenter had substituted maple syrup instead, so that’s what I did and it was a lot easier. Also, keep a little plate of water nearby when making the balls so you can wet your hands occasionally. It makes the coconut stick better. Great recipe and kids love them

  • I made these to try and have a healthy snack in the refrigerator – They were delicious.
    I used almond butter because I don’t eat peanut butter and they were just as good.

  • Hi Jenn!
    I’ve been a fan of your site for a long time!
    This looks amazing, perfect for school snack too! But our children’s school doesn’t allow nuts…so I’m thinking of substituting the nuts with seeds. For Peanut Butter, do you think Tahini would work? Any suggestions?

    • Hi Aki, so glad you like the recipes! I might suggest sunbutter over the tahini for these. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • Making your recipe on a wintry Michigan day- 6 inches of snow on the ground. The moment I saw the recipe immediately thought this is a great lactation bite recipe. It’s chock full of galactagogues!

    I’m adding 1.5 T brewers yeast and some mini chocolate chips ! Here’s to happy and healthy milk making.

    PS, this would be a great recipe to make as a gift for a new mama.

    • — Juliane McDavid
    • Reply
    • How did these turn out with the brewers yeast? Tempted to try that for myself. Thanks for any tips! I love these as is, but needing a lactation bite, as well.

  • They are very good. It does take some time to make them. Hey, there is no baking, so that
    makes up for preparing them,

  • These turned out delicious. I made them to put in party favor bags for a girls crafting party. I used a mix of hemp, chia, flax seed vs plain flax as I keep that on hand for smoothies and oatmeal topping. I doubled the recipe but I still only got about 55 balls using a #40 scoop and not filling it completely.

  • These look great. I’d like to make this recipe for holiday gifts but some of my friends don’t like coconut. Would it be okay to roll them in confectioners sugar or cocoa instead of coconut in the last step?

    • Sure, Becky, although confectioners sugar may “melt” into the balls and kind of disappear. (Finely chopped nuts would also work nicely here.) Hope your friends enjoy!

  • extremely good, thank you for providing this recipe

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