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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, I 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.

“Wow, these are delicious! Not to mention a great way for me to get a healthy protein energy boost during the day.”

Cynthia

What You’ll Need To Make Energy Bites

Energy bite ingredients including oats, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  • Quick-cooking oats: Provide a hearty base and texture to the bites.
  • Finely chopped pecans, walnuts, and/or almonds: Offer nutty flavor, crunch, and added protein.
  • Ground flaxseed or wheat germ: Boost nutritional value with fiber and healthy fats.
  • Ground cinnamon: Infuses the bites with a bit of warmth.
  • Creamy peanut butter: Acts as a binding agent while adding richness and protein.
  • Chopped dried dates: Bring natural sweetness and chewiness.
  • Honey: Adds sweetness and helps bind the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances flavor and adds depth.
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut: Provides texture, flavor, and a pretty coating for the bites.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

Oats and nuts in a skillet.

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

Peanut butter, dates, and other ingredients in a skillet.

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

Spatula stirring a peanut butter mixture in a skillet.

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

Peanut butter mixture in a bowl with oats and nuts.

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

Energy bite dough in a bowl.

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

Balls of energy bite dough being rolled in coconut.

Place the balls in the refrigerator to set until cold, a few hours (or 45 minutes in the freezer).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can energy bites be made ahead?

Yes, you can definitely make these ahead of time. They store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Can you freeze energy bites?

Absolutely! They freeze nicely for up to 3 months. After they are completely cool, store in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let come to room temperature.

I have a tree nut allergy. What can I replace the nuts with?

You can easily replace the nuts in the energy bites with seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Another option is crisp rice cereal (it doesn’t need to be toasted). Also, if you’re making these for someone with a peanut allergy, feel free to substitute a different nut or seed butter for the peanut butter.

Energy bites on a lined baking sheet.

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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.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Family favorite!

    We recently removed peanut butter from our diet. Any recommendations for a peanut butter substitute?

    • — Jaime Long on March 8, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jaime, Glad you like these! Almond butter should also work nicely here.

      • — Jenn on March 8, 2024
      • Reply
  • These are fantastic! I used maple syrup instead of honey because I’m not a fan. of honey & rolled them in my homemade granola, which I’d pulsed in the food processor. Delicious! & a great hiking snack. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

    • — NHHiker on January 23, 2024
    • Reply
  • Is there any way to incorporate cocoa powder? I think I could convince my kids to try these if there was chocolate involved 🤣

    • — Melissa on January 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, You could roll them in cocoa powder instead coconut. They’ll look like truffles that way. Or I’d add up to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the peanut butter mixture. (I wouldn’t do more than that cocoa powder is pretty strong.) I’d love to hear what you/your kids think!

      • — Jenn on January 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • I’d like to make these and send to my marathoner son. Do you think these will survive, packed well, shipped priority mail- should take 2-3 days to reach him?

    • — Amy D on December 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Amy, I wouldn’t recommend it as they really should be refrigerated — sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2023
      • Reply
    • Fun to make and delicious. I wish I could attach a photo! They’re so pretty too!

      • — Sharon Hinton on January 21, 2024
      • Reply
  • These are a hit in our house! I rolled some in ground almond (as my daughter is not a big fan of coconut) and they we just as tasty.

    • — Teresa on October 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • These are delicious snacks to bring on a hike, way better than store bought granola bars.

    • — Valerie on August 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • Wow these are delicious and definitely a keeper! Not to mention a great way for me to get a healthy protein energy boost during the day. Thanks Jenn.

    • — Cynthia Garofalo on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made these a few times for my family and as a postpartum gift for friends with great feedback! Ground up graham cracker works really well as a coating for anyone who is not a fan of coconut and looking for an alternate 🙂

    • — Sarah on April 30, 2023
    • Reply
  • 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
      • Hi Jenn,
        I looove your recipes. I am hoping this question hasn’t been asked so that you are not repeating yourself!! Is it possible to make this in a food processor? Just maybe altering the fluids a bit so that I’m able to shape the balls?

        • — Sarah on October 6, 2023
        • Reply
        • So glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend using a food processor here — sorry!

          • — Jenn on October 6, 2023
          • 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
    • I added the coconut to the mixture and it worked fine. Outsides were not sticky.

      • — Marvin on November 9, 2023
      • 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!!

    • 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!

  • absolutely love it!!! soooo delish!! I add a drops of warm water as I was rolling ..just to find right sticky…..Thank You!!!!

    • Can you omit the dates… allergic

      • — Bob on December 5, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Bob, I wouldn’t omit them, but you could use any dried fruit (like prunes, apricots, or raisins) in place of the dates. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on December 5, 2023
        • 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!

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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.

  • Hello Jenn, can you add the metric measurements please? Many thanks, Claire.

    • I just added them. Hope you enjoy!

      • Oh these are good! Thanks Jenn, another winner.

  • 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!

  • Hi! I currently only have rolled oats on hand. Do you think that would work?

    • Sure, Kristen; just pulse them briefly in a food processor or blender to break them up. Hope you enjoy!

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

      • For sure! Thanks so much Jenn! I really appreciate it. 🙂

  • 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!

  • So much better than the store bought variety out there! Very tasty and easy to put together. Thanks again Jen for another winner!

  • Yummy! I used chia seeds instead of flaxseed.

  • 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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