These Peanut Butter Energy Balls are easy to make with only 5 ingredients. Packed with rolled oats, nut butter and naturally sweetened with maple syrup for the perfect healthy snack on the go! Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar free with grain-free, paleo, low carb and keto options!
Updated July 2021
Easy Peanut Butter Energy Balls recipe
Looking for an easy and healthy snack for on the go? These Peanut Butter Energy Balls come together with just 5 ingredients in just one bowl and under 10 minutes. They make the perfect little pick-me-up before or after a workout. The best part is, you can easily make them ahead of time and pack them for on the go.
Store them in the fridge for whenever that 3pm snack craving hits or any time you need a healthy treat! These little bites contain NO refined sugar but are still decadent enough to satisfy any sweet tooth cravings Plus they’re also gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and loaded with protein and fiber!
What Are Peanut Butter Energy Bites?
No bake energy bites or peanut butter protein balls are portable, delicious bite-sized snacks that you roll into balls. Peanut butter energy balls are usually made with oats, nut or seed butter, sweetener, sometimes protein powder, plus any add-ins of your choice. Not only do they taste like dessert, but I love that you can customize them with the ingredients you have on hand.
The great thing about these healthy energy bites is that can make a double batch on your meal prep Sunday, store in your freezer to last you throughout the week.
Are Peanut Butter Energy Balls Healthy?
Our no bake peanut butter energy balls are a great healthier treat option when enjoyed in moderation on a balanced diet. They’re made with wholesome ingredients and packed with fiber and protein, but sweet enough to satisfy that dessert craving.
They are refined sugar free, vegan and gluten-free and naturally sweetened and can easily be made grain-free, paleo or with low carb or keto sweeteners.
What You’ll Need
One thing I really like about these no bake peanut butter energy balls? They’re made with just 5 simple pantry ingredients that you can swap out according to what you’ve got.
- Rolled Oats: Be sure to use certified gluten-free old fashioned oats or rolled oats as needed. To keep this energy bite recipe grain-free, simply swap the oats for an equal amount of these square-shaped coconut flakes from Bob’s Red Mill and sliced almonds, both roughly chopped.
- Sticky Natural Sweetener: Such as maple syrup, coconut flower nectar syrup, organic agave syrup, date syrup or yacon syrup to keep these protein bites vegan. You can also sub with honey (if not vegan) or a low carb sweetener such as Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup or a couple drops of pure liquid monk fruit to keep them lower in sugar.
- Natural peanut butter: We like to use an all natural no sugar-added peanut butter with just peanuts. But you can also use any nut butter or seed butter you like. Peanut butter works best in this recipe but cashew butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter would be great options as well!
- Shredded coconut: We like to use unsweetened shredded coconut for added sweetness, flavor and helps holds these little bites together. If you’re not a fan of coconut or have a coconut allergy, ground flax seeds, oat flour, superfine almond flour or your favorite protein powder work as well.
- Chocolate chips: We like to use dark dairy-free chocolate chips from Hu’s Kitchen, Lily’s Sweets or Pascha’s Organic (for sugar-free) but you can use chopped chocolate or any chocolate chips you like.
Optional add-ins / mix-ins of your choice:
- Vanilla extract – adds flavor and balances out the sweetness. Highly recommended.
- Pinch of fine sea salt – helps balance the sweetness and brings out the flavor of the peanut butter
- Dried raisins or cranberries – if you’re not a fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combo, you can swap out the chocolate chips for dried fruit instead.
- Chopped nuts and seeds – fold in some chopped pecans, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds or ground flax seeds for extra protein and fiber.
How to make Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- Mix the wet ingredients: Start by whisking together the peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla (if using) in a large mixing bowl. Mix until creamy and smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients: Add the oats, shredded coconut and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture resembles cookie dough and has a sticky texture.
- Stir in chocolate chips: Add the chocolate chips and fold them into the dough until combined.
- Form Balls: Use a spoon or cookie scoop and roll into balls of (1-2 tbsp) sized dough balls and place them in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.
- Chill & Serve: Store the airtight container of energy bites in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy them. Chilling is optional but recommended.
We make a few batches of Energy Bites every week and a few of our favorites include:
- Almond Joy Energy Bites
- Apple Cinnamon Energy Bites
- Banana Energy Bites
- Carrot Cake Energy Bites
- Coconut Energy Bites
- Cranberry Energy Bites
- Lemon Energy Bites
- Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites
- Pumpkin Energy Bites
Tips for Success
Want some extra advice for making no-bake peanut butter energy bites? I’ve got you covered with this list of tips and tricks.
- Heat Nut Butter: Your nut butter should be heated with 2 teaspoons of avocado or coconut oil to make it more liquidy – this is especially necessary if you’re using nut butter near the bottom of the jar. Different brands of nut butters yield slightly different consistencies and results, so adjust as needed. I like to go for organic and/or natural nut or seed butters.
- Pack & Roll: After you scoop out the dough, roll your vegan energy balls tightly into 1 to 1.5-inch balls. This is about 1 to 2 tablespoons of dough.
- Dough Not Sticking? If your dough is too dry, simply add more liquid ingredients (nut butter, sweetener, oil), a little bit at a time. If it’s still having trouble sticking to itself, chill it for about 20 minutes prior to forming the balls. This should help bring it to the proper texture. You can also slightly wet your hands while rolling to help it stick, if needed.
Wondering what works well as ingredient substitutions? Once again, I’ve got you covered!
- Instead of Shredded Coconut: You can use ground flaxseeds, almond meal, oat flour, protein powder, hemp seeds or chia seeds instead for that extra boost.
- In Place of Liquid Sweeteners: Pulse softened dried dates, prunes or apricots with some water.
- Can’t have Rolled oats: Sub with equal amounts of these square-shaped coconut flakes from Bob’s Red Mill and sliced almonds, both roughly chopped.
How to Store:
You don’t actually have to store these no bake peanut butter energy balls in the refrigerator, but I think they are even more delicious when they’re chilled, so I highly recommend it! Keeping them in the fridge also prevents them from getting too soft or mushy.
Store these vegan peanut butter energy bites in an airtight container in one layer (or use parchment paper to separate layers).
They’ll stay good for 3 days on the counter at room temperature or up to a week in the refrigerator. Keeping them in the fridge prevents them from getting too soft or mushy.
Can I Freeze No Bake Energy Bites?
Absolutely. These healthy energy balls are the perfect make-ahead recipe!
How to freeze:
Place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes to flash-freeze. Transfer the balls to freezer-friendly bags, squeeze out all the air and seal.
Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the fridge or for about 5-10 minutes at room temperature before enjoying.
More healthy no bake snack recipes:
These Peanut Butter Energy Bites are easy to make with only 5 ingredients. Packed with rolled oats, nut butter and naturally sweetened with maple syrup for the perfect healthy snack on the go! Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar free with grain-free, paleo, low carb and keto options!
- 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter , almond, cashew butter OR sunflower / pumpkin seed butter work as well (heated slightly until liquid-y)
- 1/4 cup coconut flower nectar syrup , can also sub with pure maple syrup, organic agave syrup, date syrup or honey (if not vegan). For low carb, you can sub with Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup or a 2-3 drops of pure liquid monk fruit.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract , optional but highly recommended for balancing the sweetness
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats , or grain-free, you can try subbing with 1 cup of these square-shaped coconut flakes and 1 cup of sliced almonds, both roughly chopped.
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut , swap with ground flax seed, oat flour or protein powder instead if you are not a fan of coconut - you might have to adjust the amount of sweetener to your taste
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt , optional but highly recommended for balancing the sweetness
- 1/3 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks* , plus more for studding, if desired. We like Lily's Sweets, Pascha's or Enjoy Life
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- *raisins or dried fruit cranberries instead of or half with chocolate chips
In a large bowl, mix together heated nut butter, liquid sweetener and vanilla (if using) until smooth.
Stir in shredded coconut, oats, and salt and mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Add any optional add-ins if desired.
Wet hands slightly and form dough tightly into 1" - 1.5" balls. If the dough doesn't stick together add 1-2 teaspoons (or melted coconut oil) at a time until dough comes together or place dough in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to forming dough balls so it's easier to handle. Press additional chocolate chips evenly around the dough, if desired.
- Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer until ready to enjoy.
**Form into bars instead
You can form these into cookies or granola bars by flattening the dough in an 8x8 square pan if you prefer not to roll them out.
How to store and freeze:
Store in an airtight container for up to one week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
To thaw: Allow to sit out for about 5-10 minutes at room temperature before serving.