If there’s one thing I learned about myself over the years, it’s that I absolutely must have snacks (like these peanut butter energy bites) available or I become an out-of-control raging hypoglycemia animal.
Think Tom Cruise mixed with a wolverine. Very scary stuff.
Ever since I’ve been little, my blood sugar has always been on a rigid 3-hour dive schedule. As in, I’m the type of person who has to have something to eat every few hours or I’ll crash. My mom says that when she brought me somewhere, she always had to make sure that she had food with her otherwise I’d ruin the day and throw a fit. Terrible, right?
Of course, when I’m working or hanging out with the kiddos at home it’s pretty easy to grab snacks, but I’ve (of course) been in situations where I was far from both home and food (especially when traveling). To avoid a meltdown into hunger oblivion, I started creating my own little energy bites and trail mixes for healthy snacking anywhere I went. Not only are they a lifesaver, but they’re SO delicious and more satisfying than any store-bought snacks I can find.
Ingredients in peanut butter energy bites
These wonderful no bake peanut butter energy balls are loaded with some of my favorite things. They take 5 minutes tops and you have yourself a nutritious, homemade snack with healthy fats, omega-3s, and over 5g protein per serving!
- Peanut butter: I recommend using an all natural drippy creamy peanut butter with only peanuts + salt as the ingredients. I’ve also made them with almond butter, and cashew butter works, too, but everyone knows peanut butter reigns king on Ambitious Kitchen.
- Oats: be sure to use old-fashioned rolled oats, and if you’re gluten free, be sure to use certified gluten free rolled oats.
- Sweetener: good news, you can use honey, coconut palm syrup or date syrup in these energy bites! If you want to make these vegan, use coconut palm syrup or date syrup. A little sweetener gives them that peanut butter cookie flavor.
- Flaxseed meal: this provides a boost of healthy fats, fiber, protein and vitamins. It’s also great for lactating mamas.
- Chia seeds: a boost of healthy fats and omegas to help keep you fuller, longer.
- Vanilla extract: the one and only. Feel free to skip if you don’t have it, or learn how to make your own here!
- Protein powder: I prefer to use unflavored collagen peptides or this vegan protein powder, but you can use whatever protein powder you prefer.
- Cinnamon: a dash of cinnamon helps these taste like Teddy Grahams, I swear.
- Mini chocolate chips: because who doesn’t love a little chocolate in their life? Feel free to use vegan/dairy free chocolate chips if you’d like.
- Optional: I personally love to add unsweetened shredded coconut because I’m a coconut addict, but it’s definitely not necessary.
Can I make them without protein powder?
Sure! These peanut butter protein balls should be just fine without protein powder. You may just need to add more oats if the mixture feels too wet.
Easily make them nut free
Feel free to swap the peanut butter and use sunflower seed butter instead! They’ll be great for lunch boxes for kiddos.
How to make no bake energy bites
- With a food processor: add in the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, protein powder, flaxseed meal, oats, cinnamon and chia seeds. Pulse together until well combined. Add in chocolate chips (and coconut if using) and pulse a few more times. Use a medium cookie scoop or your hands to grab dough and roll into 10 balls.
- Without a food processor: add wet ingredients to a medium bowl, mix to combine. Add in dry ingredients and mix together until combined. I usually have to use my hands to mix and work with the dough. At this point you should be able to form balls that stick together. You may need to add a bit more nut butter and/or sweetener to help them stick together.
Want to make bars instead?
Instead of rolling the mixture into balls, press the energy bite “dough” into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan before placing it in the refrigerator. Cut into bars and enjoy!
Watch me make the peanut butter energy bites
- To store: these peanut butter energy bites will last for 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
- To freeze: feel free to add them to a freezer-safe bag or container and store them for up to 1 month. I prefer these energy bites straight from the freezer, and I’d recommend letting them soften up for about 5-10 minutes in the fridge or at room temp before eating them.
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More no bake snacks you’ll love
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5-Minute Protein Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
No bake protein packed peanut butter energy bites that taste like peanut butter cookie dough with an amazing chewy texture. These healthy peanut butter energy bites are loaded with nutritious ingredients like flaxseed, chia and oats for the perfect no bake snack.
- 1/2 cup natural drippy peanut butter (or sub almond butter)
- 1/4 cup honey (or date syrup or coconut syrup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup protein powder of choice*
- 1/3 cup flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free, if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
In the bowl of a food processor, add in the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, protein powder, flaxseed meal, oats, cinnamon and chia seeds. Pulse together until well combined. Add in chocolate chips (and coconut if using) and pulse a few more times. Use a medium cookie scoop or your hands to grab dough and roll into 10 balls, place in an airtight container.
To make without food processor: add wet ingredients to a medium bowl, mix to combine. Add in dry ingredients and mix together until combined. I usually have to use my hands to mix and work with the dough. At this point you should be able to form balls that stick together. Because all peanut butter/nut butter consistencies are different and depending on what protein powder you use, you may need to add in more nut butter or sweetener to help the balls stick together.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 2 months. Enjoy!
To make nut free: use sunflower seed butter.
See the full post for easy ways to customize these energy bites and even how to make them into bars!
Servings: 10 balls
Serving size: 1 energy bite
Saturated fat: 1.2g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on February 17th, 2016, republished on December 30th, 2019, and republished on April 18th, 2023.