These peanut butter balls (aka energy bites) made with oats are a game-changer, especially if your kids have a sweet tooth! They make the perfect nutrient dense snack and addition to breakfast or lunch.
I often triple the recipe (no joke!) so I can store some in the freezer. All you need to do is mix 5 simple ingredients together, roll them into balls and you're set!
First, I've got to say that I never know what to call these, lol. I refer to them as peanut butter balls with my youngest and as energy bites with my teenagers. I won't go into 'the whys', but I think you can figure it out 🙂
This recipe is hands down one of my favorites that I've made a gazillion times. We eat them at home, while traveling, and packed in lunches.
If you find yourself in a pinch in the mornings when school resumes, energy bites can also make a nice addition to breakfast. They pair very well with
coffee milk! And have no doubt that I enjoy them just as much as my kids do!
Now that sports are resuming, my kids are incredibly hungry! So, I make sure I always have these on hand.
My Favorite Things About This Recipe
- 5 simple ingredients that you can find in your pantry.
- 5 minutes to make.
- No-bake recipe.
- Quick and easy bite-sized snack.
- Oats Rolled oats work best for this recipe. Whole oats are a whole grain. They provide a source of soluble fiber, which is good for the heart and will help your kids feel full longer. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that at least half of your grains come from whole grains.
- Peanut Butter At room temperature. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and minerals. Use smooth natural peanut butter (the kind that is made with just peanuts and salt) for this recipe because the consistency really works best for mixing.
- Honey Adds just enough sweetness to these energy bites. It also adds moisture, which is needed to soften the oats. I use raw local honey because of its many potential health benefits. But that's just me. Use what you have!
- Flax Meal Flax meal is made by grinding up flaxseeds. They are high in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals.
- Chocolate Chips Because kids love them! Use standard or mini-sized, semi-sweet or dark chocolate. Use dairy-free chocolate chips to make this a completely dairy-free recipe if your child has a milk allergy.
How to Make Peanut Butter Balls
Here’s a quick overview of the steps to make these bliss balls. For the full list of ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.
- Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix all ingredients together using a spoon or fork. Mix well, to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Use the back side of the fork or spoon to smooth out the mixture so that it mixes together well.
- Use your hands or fingers to roll them into one-inch sized balls.
- Place them in an airtight food-safe container and refrigerate or store in the freezer.
Please use caution if you have a child under the age of one in the house due to the risk of infant botulism associated with honey. I've seen too many cases of infant botulism in the hospital not to help raise awareness.
- There is no need to buy gluten-free oats unless you are guided to do so by a credentialed health care professional.
- If you store peanut butter in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before making this recipe - it will make mixing a whole lot easier!
- Use flax meal as opposed to flax seeds to improve its digestibility and for optimal texture. Flax meal blends right in with the rest of the ingredients.
- Having your hands slightly wet will help make rolling these into balls easier.
- Make them on the smaller side because kids always want more than one!
- Just enough chocolate chips are added so that each energy bite contains at least one chocolate chip. It doesn't sound like much but, trust me, it's enough!
- This recipe is easily doubled and tripled. I often do this. Yes, we go through that many of them!
- This recipe is easily modifiable, so feel free to play around with ingredients. Example: chia seeds can be used in place of flax meal.
Photo Credit: amazon.com
Any other nut or seed butter will work in place of peanut butter. I have made these using crunchy and smooth almond butter as well as a mixture of nut butters. They are always a hit!
You can easily substitute wheat germ, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, or chia seeds in place of flax meal. Or, you can just add an additional tablespoon of rolled oats.
Just a note on chia seeds - my kids do not like chia seeds in energy bites because the seeds end up getting stuck in their teeth. If that won't bother your kids, then sprinkle some in!
Yes! These freeze very well. They can be enjoyed from frozen or placed in the refrigerator to soften.
Be sure to comment below to share your feedback, and don't forget to snap a pic of these easy and delicious bliss balls and tag @carrots.and.cookies on Instagram. Enjoy!
Other Snack Recipes Your Kids Will Love
Peanut Butter Balls with Oats
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter preferably at room temperature
- 3 tablespoon honey raw local honey, if possible
- 1 teaspoon honey in addition to the 3 tablespoons of honey
- 1 tablespoon flax meal
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Mix well. Stir the mixture until the peanut butter and honey are evenly distributed and all ingredients are blended together.
- Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls about one inch in diameter.
- Place in the refrigerator to set.