No-Bake Oat & Nut Energy Bites

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oat and nut energy bites

Every once in a while, I get on a health kick and purge our kitchen of all processed junk food in a dramatic blaze of glory. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for healthy eating is not shared by my family — especially the kids, who come home from school starving, open the pantry, and yell “Mom! We have nothing to eat!” Enter these energy bites. Made with oats and nuts, they are the type of wholesome treat that you can feel good about giving to your family, whether for an on-the-go breakfast, lunch box stuffer, or car snack. And they’re not just for kids: I find them quite addictive, particularly as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee.

Though these bites are 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.

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

My Recipe Videos

No-Bake Oat & Nut Energy Bites

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)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ (okay to substitute more oats or nuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pitted dates, from 6 to 8 large dates (make sure they are not dry/stale)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 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 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.

Reviews & Comments

  • Just made these for a potluck and I’ll bring the recipe so others can see what’s in them! I subbed maple syrup for the honey, and used almond butter instead of peanut butter as I was out of PB. But next time I will use peanut butter because I bet it gives it more flavor to the balls and I love peanut butter. I wet my hands after rolling about 7 balls, and that helped with the stickiness. I love that they’re healthy and can easily be made vegan (maple syrup sub). For fun, I put mini chocolate chips in a couple, and tried them and although I love chocolate, it tasted odd (very surprising, lol) Great recipe, not too sweet, thank you!

    • — Jen C on October 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’ve made these many times and love them! However, I’ll be giving birth any day and looking for a short cut as I prepare. Could these be pressed in a pan for small bars rather than rolling all the balls? If so, parchment paper? What size pan? Thanks so much!

    • — Tiffany on September 16, 2018
    • Reply
    • Glad you like them! I think you could press them into a pan and cut them into bars although I can’t guarantee that they’ll hold together as well as the balls. I’d suggest an 8 x 8-inch pan and lining it with parchment is a good idea. I’d love to hear how they work out (and best of luck with your upcoming addition)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • Love these and ladies over here for playing Majong also loved them and took the recipe. I used maple syrup instead of honey. Walnuts not almonds. Whole flax seeds. All else as per recipe.

    • — Lynn on April 27, 2018
    • Reply
  • I am always looking for healthy snacks for when the grands, 3 & 5, come to visit. This looks like it will fit the bill. We could make these together!
    We always have Craisins on hand. Could they be used instead of the dates?

    • — Del Bull on April 19, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure Del, I think crasins would work here (I do think the energy bites will turn out a bit more tart with them, but still good). Hope the grandkids enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2018
      • Reply
  • These are great. It’s nice to have a healthy snack on hand. I think they really do give you energy too.

    • — Laura Kargov on March 31, 2018
    • Reply
  • These sound wonderful. Would natural peanut butter work in this recipe? It’s the only type we ever buy as it doesn’t contain any extra unwanted ingredients (sugar, palm oil, etc.).

    • — JenK on March 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Should be fine, Jen – although they won’t be quite as sweet. I’d love to know how they turn out. 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2018
      • Reply
      • I made them with natural peanut butter and they were delicious. FYI

        • — Laura Kargov on March 31, 2018
        • Reply
  • These are AMAZING! Perfect for an on the go treat and greeat for at work snacking. I work a lot of crazy hours sitting behind a desk so sometimes snacking gets pretty unhealthy and thoughtless. These help me stay focused and only takes a couple to last me for a few hours.

    • — Jenny on March 7, 2018
    • Reply
  • These tasty little energy morsels have become a family favorite! I make up a batch & watch them disappear, knowing there’s nothing but healthy & sweetness in every bite. They were a perfect addition to a recent Snowshoeing trip up in Breckenridge. Everything from the ingredients list, recipe instructions & final taste test was a cooks delight! Highly recommend!

    • — Susan Covey on March 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious on-the-go snack! The recipe dirtied up a few more dishes than I’m used to when making energy bites/bars, because of processing the old fashioned oats and toasting/warming the other ingredients, but it was very good and I will definitely be making it many times in the future!

    • — Iralyn on March 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • I was anxious to make these as I thought they would be a perfect quick snack for my 14 year old son between school and hockey practice. He loves them! Beats the expensive store-bought options hands down! I have taken a big batch to the ice rink on tournament weekends and his teammates could not get enough. I have also included a batch of these with every meal I have taken to a friend in need. Great for new moms! I have varied the nuts based on what I have in the house (cashews are good too). I have only used flaxseed as I forget to buy wheat germ. No changes or substitutions. As with all Jen’s recipes I’ve tried, they come out looking exactly like her pictures. I am always confident when I try new things on this website that I won’t be wasting my time or expensive ingredients! Thank you, Jen

    • — Dana on March 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • Glad I stumbled upon this recipe and tried it by using what I had on hand. Sub pumpkin seeds for pecans. Added whole flax seeds to help with crunch. Healthy & quick! Goes great with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast !

    • — Emily on March 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • These are easy to make and a great go-to snack when I want something a little sweet. These would be a great snack for kids. I didn’t have some of the ingredients called for in the recipe so I used Chia seeds (instead of flax) and golden raisins (instead of dates). They were delicious, and the slight crunch of the nuts makes for a satisfying treat. The raisins made them a little too sweet for me so next time I am going to use dates as the recipe states and compare. I make them small, a one to two bite-size and store them in the refrigerator. They last for weeks.

    • — Cindy B on March 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • Toasting the oats is brilliant! I’ve made these “unbaked “ many times and loved them. Toasting the oats adds an extra layer of YUMMY!

    • — Kim on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This looks amazing and I am ready to try them but is there a way to make this with steel cut oats? How would you prepare them?

    • — Mary D on February 23, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, Unfortunately, this recipe won’t work with steel cup oats. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 26, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thanks, Jenn! Could I simply eliminate the oats and up the nut quantity?

        And FYI, I love all your recipes that I’ve tried and am so looking forward to the release of your new book. Keep ’em coming!

        • — Mary D on March 3, 2018
        • Reply
        • Hi Mary, The texture will different, but it should work. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

          • — Jenn on March 4, 2018
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I’m a big fan and have made many of your recipes… I’m never disappointed and they are a working woman’s godsend!
    Can you substitute agave for the honey? And can they be made into bars as well?

    Thanks

    Diane

    • — Diane Rahne Truhan on February 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • That is so nice to read, Diane – glad you are enjoying the recipes! I’ve made these with maple syrup so I think agave would work too. And you can definitely make them into bars but they might not hold together as well. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • WOW!! the best I’ve eaten!!! I did make some minor adjustments: left out the pecans (because of allergy)..used only 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds for the nut addition. added 2 Tbsp chia seeds too. This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Denise on February 21, 2018
    • Reply
  • These are just delicious, Jenn, and healthy to boot! What could be better? I’ve even made them without first toasting the oats & nuts, and we like them just as well! I’ll always keep a batch in my freezer!

    • — Amy on February 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • Best energy bites to date! The kids enjoyed these so much. I attempted to make these awhile back (different website) and completely failed. I couldn’t get the ingredients to combine well enough to form into balls. Heating up the peanut butter, dates, honey, vanilla, and water definitely made it a lot easier. Thank you for such a great and easy recipe!

    • — Paola on February 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen!
    I made these two times already and they are delicious. Thank you for posting the recepe. I would like to add some chocolate flavor next time (without adding the calories). How much cocoa powder do you think I should add?

    • — Alla on February 5, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Alla, Glad you enjoyed them – what about just rolling them in cocoa powder instead of coconut? They’ll look like truffles. Otherwise, I’d add no more than a few tablespoons, as cocoa powder is pretty strong.

      • — Jenn on February 5, 2018
      • Reply
  • We have almost finished our first batch and I am ready to make another. We all loved these! I think the step of roasting the oats really helps the flavor and gets rid of the raw taste of the oats. We are always trying to think of ways to get some protein into my elderly mom and these seem to fit the bill. She likes them and will eat them, which is hard to find.

    • — Patty Davis on February 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • These energy bites are now in my freezer-I’ve sampled a few of them and I think they taste great and give a good energy boost, especially when I don’t have time for lunch. I think I kept them in the frig too long, and therefore, had a little trouble getting the coconut to stick. Nice change from granola bars!

    • — Carol Lamond on February 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these No-Bake Oat and Nut Energy bites for my husband to have with his morning coffee, and he really enjoys them. I enjoy them as well. One of the things I like best is that with the exception of dates, I have all of the ingredients in my kitchen on a regular basis. I notice one of the comments stated the use of raisins instead of dates, and I will try that. Thank you for a great recipe.

    • — Velma Johnson on February 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • Easy to make and delicious! First visit to your website and love it! Great beginning and looking forward to many more great recipes.

    • — Carol Fisher on February 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • My daughter-in-law is pregnant and wanted snacks to take to work. These have healthy ingredients and are easy to store and transport. The only changes I made because of allergies were subbing almond butter and skipping the coconut. Still delicious.

    • — Tami Kaminsen on February 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • These are GREAT! Thank you!

    • — Alicia Feick on January 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • These little gems are amazing. I didn’t have coconut so left it out and they were perfect. No more granola bars in this house. I’m cutting out processed foods.
    Thanks for the great recipe.

    • — Wendy on January 24, 2018
    • Reply
  • Would this work with crunchy peanut butter?

    • — KatP on January 22, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure Kat – that’ll be fine.

      • — Jenn on January 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • Made the energy bites using moist dried prunes…they are great!

    • — Sara on January 18, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made these this weekend…they were AMAZING! I substituted the dates for raisons since I had everything on hand.

    • — Michelle Sanford on January 18, 2018
    • Reply
  • These Bites are delicious. Just made them today. Do you know how many calories are for each?

    • Glad you like them, Leslie. The nutritional data can be found underneath the recipe. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • These are seriously good. But are they still considered healthy if you eat the whole batch at once? LOL

    • — John on January 13, 2018
    • Reply
  • I have been searching for a healthy simple snack with fiber and protein that didn’t taste blah. I’m so glad I found this recipe!! My husband and I absolutely love them and even my 3 year approved! Make a double batch because they won’t last long!

    • — Brandess on January 12, 2018
    • Reply
  • I loved these! Next time I’ll use almond butter and the full 1/2 of salt. THANKS!

    • — Sally on January 12, 2018
    • Reply
  • LOVE these! So happy to have a healthy treat to pack in the kids’ lunch boxes.

    • — Stephanie on January 12, 2018
    • Reply
  • I just made these and they are delicious. My dates were a bit dry so I chopped them and then soaked them in boiling water for about 6 minutes while I worked on the rest of the recipe. I also used about half almond butter. I used my food processor for doing the oatmeal and nuts. I like these better than other similar ones I have made. Thanks!

    • — Susan on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much. Just what I needed as I have the exact scenario in my household! there are few granola bars out there without tons of sugar making these perfect.

    • — Christine on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • These tasted great but mine would not stick together. I think my dates were too small. They were about an inch or a little longer. Was this what you used?

    • — Kathy Castleberry on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, Sorry you had trouble getting these to stick together. I’ve not had that issue as the dates and added water make the “dough” quite sticky. I don’t think the size of the dates would make a big difference. Did you by any chance make any substitutions?

      • — Jenn on January 12, 2018
      • Reply
      • I didn’t use flax seeds. We are eating them with a spoon. Good anyway

        • — Kathy castleberry on January 12, 2018
        • Reply
        • Well, I’m glad you enjoyed them even if you ate them in a different “form”! 🙂

          • — Jenn on January 12, 2018
          • Reply
  • Just made these and as I didn’t have dates, I used moist “dried” prunes…..worked fine!

    I’d like to try with soaked dried cranberries for the sweet-tart taste.

    • — Sara on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi, I don’t think we would get through all these in one week, can you freeze them?

    • — KatP on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, definitely!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • I have a nut/seed restriction (not allergy) so what would be a good substitute?

    • — PAW on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi PAW, You could use crisp rice cereal in place of the nuts (I wouldn’t toast it though).

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Thanks for this recipe! I’ve been slowly cutting out processed foods in favor of snacks that balance healthy fats and carbs that are slower to digest. Of course I’m dragging my kids along in this journey and these look perfect!

    • — Anne on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I love the recipe but my only problem is that my child is allergic to peanuts. Is there any substitute for peanut butter?

    Thanks!
    SK

    • — Sk on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, any other nut butter will work.

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
      • Thanks!

        • — SK on January 11, 2018
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn: Is there anything else I use instead of coconut? I am not a fan of it.

    Love your recipies.

    • — noella johnson on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Noella, You can just very finely chopped nuts in place of the coconut. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • These sound delicious. Do you think they would be ok with just peanuts? My husband has a tree nut allergy so I wouldn’t be able to follow the recipe exactly.

    • — SHAWN NEVINS on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes, definitely Shawn – any combination of nuts/seeds will work.

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Hi,
    Can you use the smooth peanut butter you have to stir? These look great!

    • — Rose on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Rose – that’s fine.

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • I would like to take these as snacks while traveling. Would they keep without being refrigerated? The only ingredient that seems to need refrigeration is the flax. So would it work if I leave it out? Thanks!

    • — Karen on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, Yes that should be fine. Hope you enjoy them!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Good Morning! Thank you for this great healthy snack idea. I was admiring the pan in the pictures, which made me want to ask, do you have a preferred cookware ? I am in need of updating my pots and pans, but I don’t have the budget for All-Clad and I would prefer “healthy” non-stick type pans rather than all stainless steel. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!
    Have a great day –
    Angie

    • — Angie Freeman on January 11, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Angie, I use mostly stainless steel cookware, as well as a few nonstick skillets like the one in the photos. OXO Good Grips supposedly makes affordable and good quality nonstick cookware but they actually aren’t that much less expensive than the AllClad pans I have. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2018
      • Reply
  • Do you see any problem with substuting chia seeds or are you using flax for the nutty element? Just asking because that’s what I have on hand.

    • — Dan on January 10, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Dan, I think you can definitely use chia seeds in place of the flax – this recipe is super flexible so long as you keep the ratios the same. Hope you enjoy them!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2018
      • Reply
  • These look delicious! We’re not big fans of dates and coconut. Can you suggest some substitutions? Thanks!

    • — Alice on January 10, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Alice, I think you could use dried apricots (or really any other dried fruit) in place of the dates. And very finely chopped nuts would be a good replacement for the shredded coconut. I’d love to know how they turn out if you try it.

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2018
      • Reply
  • I just made these today and they are FANTASTIC! I love having snacks like these around for my kids.

    • — Carrie on January 10, 2018
    • Reply

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