This is one of our base recipes. These easy no-bake energy bites are a great snack for any time of day. 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 Energy Bites Base Recipe
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. Additionally, using water as the binding agent keeps the calorie content of this recipe much lower than other oat ball recipes.
If the nut butter is too hard to mix in, microwave it for 30 seconds to make it easier to stir.
Don’t worry about overmixing the “dough”; it won’t affect the final texture!
If the mixture is too sticky, add more oats 2 Tablespoons at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add more hot water, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Got kids? This is a great kid-friendly recipe! 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!
- Spices: use any variety of sweet spices – apple pie spice, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.
- Vanilla Extract: feel free to substitute other flavor extracts to your liking – almond, lemon, coconut, etc.
- Oats: use old-fashioned or quick oats. Quick oats create a squishier texture and will be stickier when rolling. Do not use steel cut oats.
- Nut Butter: use any variety you like. Choose natural varieties whenever possible. Have a nut allergy? Use a seed butter such as sunflower butter to make these an allergy-friendly snack.
- Liquid Sweetener: use any variety you like. Want to make vegan energy balls? Use agave or maple syrup.
- Nuts or Seeds: use chopped almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Use toasted nuts for best flavor.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: use semi-sweet or dark if you can find them. You can substitute full size chocolate chips or chunks, and either leave them whole or chop them for more chocolate in each bite!
- Dried Fruit: use any variety you like. If using larger fruits such as prunes, apricots, or mangoes, chop before adding to the mixture.
- Fruit or Vegetable Puree: use pumpkin puree, mashed sweet potato, applesauce, or mashed banana.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste!
Feel free to add other mix-ins of your choosing: chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, etc.
Keep in mind that adding more ingredients will change the texture of the recipe, so you may have to add more liquid sweetener or nut butter to help the ingredients stick together.
Short on time or patience? You can turn this into a super quick energy bites recipe by skipping refrigerating the mixture. 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 these recipe variations for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors, ingredients, and textures!
Equipment Recommendations for Tasty Bites
Use these kitchen tools for this simple recipe!
Oatmeal Energy Bites are a Healthy Snack
A healthy, well-balanced snack should contain some form of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. The oats and nut butter are the key ingredients in this recipe that make it the perfect snack.
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.
Learn about the different types of oats here!
Nut butter – almond, cashew, peanut, or whatever variety you enjoy – contains plant-based protein and healthy fats. These nutrients help you feel satisfied until your next meal.
How to Store Homemade Energy Bites
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.
For optimal freshness, store the energy balls 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!
Energy Bites Base Recipe
- ½ cup hot water
- ¼-½ teaspoon spices
- ¼-½ teaspoon flavor extract
- Dash salt
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- ¼-½ cup nut or seed butter
- 2 Tablespoons natural sweetener (or to taste)
Mix-ins to YOUR taste
- ¼ cup finely chopped toasted nuts or seeds
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup dried fruit
- ¼ cup fruit or vegetable puree (pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.)
- 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- ¼ teaspoon citrus zest
- Mix hot water, flavor extract and/or spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Add oats to the mixture. Mix until all the water is absorbed.
- Add the nut butter, liquid sweetener, and mix-ins to your taste and stir until well incorporated.
- Cover and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes so they are easier to roll.
- Divide mixture into 1-inch balls (~2 Tablespoons) using a spoon or small portion scoop. Roll into balls.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!