No-Bake Oat & Nut Energy Bites

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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

oat and nut energy bites

Every once in a while, I go 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.

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 to 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)
  • 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.

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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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi there – can you freeze these?

    • — SPatel on June 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Made this numerous times and always keep the ingredients on hand to keep them coming! Just yummy-licious…..

    • — Kari P. on May 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Make these little delights often, just love them!

    • — Kari P. on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn .
    Can Medjool dates be used for this recipe?

    • — Tahera on April 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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 on April 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve made lots of different energy balls but these are by far the very best ones. Simply amazing.

    • — Daniel G on January 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Kari P. on January 11, 2020
    • Reply
  • For those that dislike coconut, what do you recommend as a substitute?

    Thanks!

    • — S on January 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi S, You can just omit the coconut or roll the balls in finely chopped nuts. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • These little bites are absolutely delicious!! It’s hard to eat just one or two.

    • — Jillian Macmillan on January 9, 2020
    • 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?

    • — Donna Hecke on January 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Actually, Donna, it uses dried dates, so you’re in luck — hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • You are the best! Thanks so much!!

    • — Fati on January 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • You’re so welcome! 💓

      • — Jenn on January 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Erika on July 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • 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

    • — Mary Tierney on April 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Karen on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • 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?

    • — Aki on February 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Aki, so glad you like the recipes! I might suggest sunbutter over the tahini for these. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on February 12, 2019
      • Reply
  • 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 on January 28, 2019
    • 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.

      • — Tiffany on August 9, 2019
      • Reply
  • They are very good. It does take some time to make them. Hey, there is no baking, so that
    makes up for preparing them,

    • — Ans on December 16, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Danita on December 13, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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?

    • — Becky Taylor on November 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2018
      • Reply
  • extremely good, thank you for providing this recipe

    • — Ginette on October 30, 2018
    • Reply
  • 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
      • Jenn,
        Still loving your recipes. For some reason I cannot find unsweetened coconut in grocery stores here. Ok to use sweetened coconut? One other question any way to use chocolate chips in this recipe? Any info appreciated!

        • — Staci on April 4, 2020
        • Reply
        • Yes and yes. Just keep in mind that using sweetened coconut and chocolate chips will make them sweeter (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). Please LMK how they turn out if you try them with these tweaks!

          • — Jenn on April 5, 2020
          • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • These are great. It’s nice to have a healthy snack on hand. I think they really do give you energy too.

  • 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.).

    • Should be fine, Jen – although they won’t be quite as sweet. I’d love to know how they turn out. 🙂

      • I made them with natural peanut butter and they were delicious. FYI

        • I also just made them with all natural peanut butter and they are SO good!!

          • — Caitlin on December 1, 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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 !

  • 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.

  • Toasting the oats is brilliant! I’ve made these “unbaked “ many times and loved them. Toasting the oats adds an extra layer of YUMMY!

  • 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?

    • Hi Mary, Unfortunately, this recipe won’t work with steel cup oats. Sorry!

      • 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!

        • Hi Mary, The texture will different, but it should work. Glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

        • Hi Jenn,

          I’m a huge fan of yours as every recipe of yours I’ve tried is a success!

          A couple questions here: can you use chunky peanut butter? And, since I’m trying to cut out sugar (including honey), any suggestion for what to substitute? Stevia would be okay, maybe increasing the amount of chopped dates to get them to stick together?

          • — NinaMargo on January 9, 2020
          • Reply
          • Sure, I think you could use chunky peanut butter (but I’d stay away from the natural variety). And, yes, I suspect you could also use stevia and more dates to hold the balls together. (Please keep in mind that I haven’t tried them with these tweaks.) Hope you enjoy!

            • — Jenn on January 10, 2020
  • 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
    • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Easy to make and delicious! First visit to your website and love it! Great beginning and looking forward to many more great recipes.

  • 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.

  • These are GREAT! Thank you!

  • 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.

  • Would this work with crunchy peanut butter?

    • Sure Kat – that’ll be fine.

  • Made the energy bites using moist dried prunes…they are great!

  • I made these this weekend…they were AMAZING! I substituted the dates for raisons since I had everything on hand.

    • — Michelle Sanford
    • 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. 🙂

  • These are seriously good. But are they still considered healthy if you eat the whole batch at once? LOL

  • 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!

  • I loved these! Next time I’ll use almond butter and the full 1/2 of salt. THANKS!

  • LOVE these! So happy to have a healthy treat to pack in the kids’ lunch boxes.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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
    • 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?

      • I didn’t use flax seeds. We are eating them with a spoon. Good anyway

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

  • 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.

  • Hi, I don’t think we would get through all these in one week, can you freeze them?

    • Yes, definitely!

  • I have a nut/seed restriction (not allergy) so what would be a good substitute?

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

  • 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!

  • 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

    • Sure, any other nut butter will work.

  • Hi Jenn: Is there anything else I use instead of coconut? I am not a fan of it.

    Love your recipies.

    • Hi Noella, You can just very finely chopped nuts in place of the coconut. Enjoy!

  • 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.

    • Yes, definitely Shawn – any combination of nuts/seeds will work.

  • Hi,
    Can you use the smooth peanut butter you have to stir? These look great!

    • Sure, Rose – that’s fine.

  • 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!

    • Hi Karen, Yes that should be fine. Hope you enjoy them!

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • These look delicious! We’re not big fans of dates and coconut. Can you suggest some substitutions? Thanks!

    • 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.

  • I just made these today and they are FANTASTIC! I love having snacks like these around for my kids.

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