This is a variation of our energy bites base recipe. These easy cranberry almond energy bites are a great snack for any time of day and are an especially festive treat during the winter months. Pack a few in your backpack, diaper bag, or gym bag so that you can have a delicious, nutritious snack wherever you go!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Almond Cranberry Energy Bites
Soaking the oats in hot water first makes each energy ball taste like a little bite of oatmeal. This also creates a different taste and texture than other energy bite recipes that use nut butter as the primary binding agent. Using water as the binding agent also makes this a lower calorie oat ball recipe compared to other recipes.
Almond butter too hard to mix in? Microwave for 30 seconds to make it easier to stir.
If the mixture is too sticky, add more oats 1/4 cup at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add more hot water, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Don’t worry about overmixing the “dough”; it won’t affect the final texture!
Got kids? No-bake cranberry energy bites are very kid-friendly! Have them help you measure, mix, and roll. The ingredients in this recipe can be eaten while cooking (because we all know that kids love to “taste test”), rolling is a great way to practice fine motor skills, and kids love getting their hands dirty!
- Orange Zest: substitute clementine or tangerine zest.
- Pumpkin Spice: substitute cinnamon or apple pie spice.
- Vanilla Extract: substitute almond extract.
- Oats: use old-fashioned or instant oats. Instant oats create a squishier texture and will be stickier when rolling. Do not use steel cut oats.
- Almond Butter: substitute any nut butter. Choose natural varieties whenever possible. Got a nut allergy? Use a seed butter such as sunflower butter.
- Maple Syrup: substitute agave nectar or honey.
- Dried Cranberries: substitute all or some for dried cherries, raisins, or chopped dates for cranberry date energy balls.
Feel free to add other mix-ins of your choosing: chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut flakes, etc. Adding more ingredients will change the texture of the recipe, so you may have to add more water or nut butter to help the ingredients stick together.
Make cranberry chocolate chip energy balls by adding ¼ cup mini dark chocolate chips in with the cranberries.
Short on time or patience? Turn this into a super quick energy bites recipe by skipping refrigeration. It will be slightly stickier, so be prepared to wash your hands a few more times. You can also skip the step of rolling the energy balls in chopped nuts. Just toss them into the mixture and roll as normal.
Need some energy bites recipe inspiration?
Use our base recipe as a guide to make it your own, or check out some of our favorite energy ball variations!
Equipment Recommendations for Tasty Bites
Use these kitchen tools for this simple recipe!
Cranberry Energy Bites are an Easy, Healthy Snack
A healthy, well-balanced snack should contain some form of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. The oats, almond butter, and dried cranberries are the key ingredients that make these oat and cranberry balls the perfect snack.
Whole grains such as oats are rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Oats of any variety are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Carbohydrates are important for energy and focus.
Almond butter contains plant-based protein and healthy monounsaturated fats which are good for heart health. These nutrients help you feel satisfied until your next meal.
Cranberries are rich in polyphenols that help prevent cancer and reduce inflammation in our bodies. (1) Cranberries may also provide heart benefits and are linked to reduction in urinary tract infections. (2, 3)
Cranberry almond energy bites are great any time of day – breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert! Pair with a healthy smoothie for an easy on-the-go breakfast, or eat a few after a workout to help refuel your muscles.
How to Store Cranberry Almond Energy Balls
Oatmeal energy bites are a great on-the-go snack because they do not have to be cold to eat. However, for food safety reasons, avoid leaving them in your bag or purse all day (4 hours hours max).
For optimal freshness, store vanilla cranberry energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Do you love oats as much as we do?
Check out these other delicious oat recipes!
These easy cranberry almond energy bites are a great snack for any time of day and are an especially festive treat during the winter months.
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup natural almond butter
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup finely chopped, toasted almonds
Mix hot water, orange zest, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add oats to the mixture. Mix until all the water is absorbed.
Add almond butter, maple syrup, and cranberries. Mix until incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.
Roll into one-inch balls and place on a sheet of wax paper.
Roll balls in chopped almonds until well coated. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!
If the mixture is too sticky, add more oats ¼ cup at a time.
If your almond butter is too hard to mix in, microwave for 30 seconds to soften.