Recipes > Snack > Energy Bites Base Recipe

Energy Bites Base Recipe

This easy energy bites recipe is one of our base recipes. Oats, water, and nut butter make the base that you can build from to create your own variations!
Easy Energy Bites Ingredients

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:

Measure Weight vs. Volume
Measure Wet vs. Dry Ingredients
Toast Nuts in the Oven

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!

Ingredient Substitutions 

  • Spices: use any variety of sweet spices – apple pie spice, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice.
  • Flavor Extract: use vanilla, almond, lemon, or coconut extract. Start with a smaller amount for all extracts except vanilla.
  • 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 honey, maple syrup, agave, or date syrup. To make vegan energy ball, use anything except honey.
  • Mix-ins to YOUR Taste:
    • 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 dates, chop before adding to the mixture.
    • Fruit or Vegetable Puree: use pumpkin puree, mashed sweet potato, applesauce, or mashed banana.

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!

Blueberry Vanilla Energy Bites

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

Pumpkin Energy Bites

Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites with Walnuts

Peanut Butter Energy Bites with Raisins

Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bites

Almond Energy Bites with Cherries

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

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!

Homemade Granola Base Recipe

Overnight Oats Base Recipe

Baked Oatmeal Cups Base Recipe

Stovetop Oatmeal Base Recipe

Easy Energy Bites Ingredients

Energy Bites Base Recipe

This is one of our base recipes. Oats, water, and nut butter make the foundation that you can build from to create your own variations!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 20 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!


If using all of the mix-ins, you may have to use up to 1/2 cup nut butter so the ingredients stick together better.
If your nut butter is too hard to mix in, microwave it for 30 seconds to make it easier to stir.
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.
For a fun presentation, roll the bites in chopped nuts or seeds instead of mixing them in.
Check out these recipes for flavor inspiration!
Blueberry Vanilla
Cranberry Almond
Chocolate Cherry
Peanut Butter Raisin
Chocolate Hazelnut
Almond Cherry
Keyword Easy energy bites

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Kelli


  2. Sara Lott

    We love these energy oat treats! My kids can help make them and they are the best after school snack or pre-soccer game boost. Our favorite is peanut butter with chocolate chips but the kids enjoy almond butter as well if we need to swap it out. So easy to make and store!

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