I consider myself a bit of an energy ball aficionado. These sweet, no bake treats take minutes to throw together, are filled with good-for-you ingredients, and make for quick, portable breakfasts and snacks. I have made dozens of batches of energy ball recipes over the years, and while I’m constantly looking for fun ways to vary them up, inevitably, they come back to one simple, foolproof formula. Today, I’m sharing that master recipe for Energy Balls, along with all sorts of tasty ways to use it to create different energy ball flavors.
Energy balls are the perfect healthy treat! No bake energy balls are gluten free and perfect for healthy snacks and breakfast on the go! This is the ONLY Energy Ball recipe you’ll ever need, plus I’ve created six easy no bake energy ball flavor ideas!
Types of Energy Balls
Energy balls go by a variety of different names; energy bites, protein balls, power balls, and vegan truffles being but a few. There are dozens of recipes for energy balls across the web, several of which can be found on a certain website that rhymes with “swell dated.”
As much as I love trying different energy ball recipes and techniques, today’s basic energy ball recipe is the little black dress of them all. It’s comprised of four basic ingredients.
Primary Ingredients in No Bake Energy Balls
- Oats. While you can use other flours, oatmeal is the champion. It’s filling, inexpensive, versatile, and gives me the sensation that I’m eating oatmeal cookie dough instead of a healthy snack. YES.
- Nut butter. Nut butter, like peanut butter or almond butter, helps bind the balls, adds healthy fats, and makes the energy balls sustaining. It’s also delicious.
- Sticky liquid sweetener (a.k.a. honey or pure maple syrup). I use honey the most, but maple syrup is a really nice option if you’d like vegan energy balls or are making a recipe like these Pumpkin Energy Balls where the maple syrup’s flavor complements the other ingredients.
- Mix-ins! This is where the tasty experimentation begins. I like to do a combination of superfood additions, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds, along with ingredients I love purely for their taste, like chocolate, chopped dried fruit, and did I mention chocolate?
Let’s start with the oats. One of the questions I receive most often from readers is how I can state that my oatmeal recipes are gluten free, when most oats on the market run the risk of being cross-contaminated with gluten, a real concern for those diagnosed with celiac.
My answer is to look for a brand that is labeled certified gluten free, such as Bob’s Red Mill.
Following the oats, we have the binding ingredients: nut butter and honey or maple syrup.
- I most often use honey and regular old peanut butter, but if you have a peanut allergy or just prefer a different kind of nut butter, any sort can be used.
- If you opt for the drippy “natural” refrigerated nut butter, your batter may be extra sticky. Simply add a few more tablespoons of oats to even it out, and you will be ready to roll.
Next, flaxseeds. Or chia seeds. Or whatever other superfood you bought a giant bag of at Costco on a whim and now need to use up.
You don’t need a food processor to make energy balls and no fancy equipment is needed. Pile everything into a bowl.
How to Make No Bake Energy Balls
Now that we have our base, we are ready for the good stuff: mix-ins!
While I’ve tried enough different mix-in combos to open an energy balls food truck, I most often find myself choosing chocolate chips and…whatever else I can find in my pantry.
Energy balls = legit excuse to eat chocolate at all times of day. I like this math.
If you aren’t a big chocolate fan, we can’t be friends fear not. I have non-chocolate options for you too!
While there are many other methods to make energy balls that range from soaking and blending dried fruit in the food processor to using assorted grains and nut flours instead of oatmeal, today’s master oatmeal energy ball recipe is the one I return to again and again.
It’s simple, I always have the ingredients I need to make it on hand, and I only need to wash one bowl at the end.
With the approach of back to school/life craziness at large, this easy energy ball recipe is also the one that I thought was most important to share with you today.
They take just 10 minutes to prep, can last 2 weeks in the refrigerator or in the freezer forever (or until you remember they are in there and immediately eat them), and are endlessly adaptable, so you’ll never tire of them.
More Stellar Healthy Energy Ball Recipes
- Ginger Cookie Healthy Energy Bites
- Pumpkin Energy Balls
- Cookie Dough No Bake Protein Balls
- Fig Almond No Bake Energy Bites
- Pistachio Truffles
- Salted Caramel Truffles
Recommended Tools to Make Energy Balls
I have a short video showing you the energy ball step-by-steps, as well as highlighting a few of my favorite combos. Once you’ve worked your way through those, be sure to check out the other energy ball recipes linked at the bottom of the post.
No Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls
ENERGY BALL BASE:
- 1 ¼ cups rolled oats you can also swap quick oats or a blend of half quick, half old fashioned
- 2 tablespoons “power mix-ins” chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, or additional rolled oats
- ½ cup nut butter of choice peanut butter is my go-to
- ⅓ cup sticky liquid sweetener of choice honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup mix-ins see below for flavor options
CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP:
- Any nut butter honey, ½ cup chocolate chips
- Peanut butter honey, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts, 2 tablespoons raisins
WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY:
- Almond butter or cashew butter, honey, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup white chocolate chips
- Replace ½ cup of the oatmeal with ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes almond butter, any sweetener, ¼ cup chocolate chips, ¼ cup chopped almonds
- Any nut butter any sweetener, ½ cup mini chocolate chips, ADD 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE:
- Almond butter or cashew butter, maple syrup, ½ cup raisins, ADD ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl: oats, power mix-ins, nut butter, sweetener, vanilla extract, salt, mix-ins, and any other spices you’d like to add. Stir to combine. If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit more oats. If it’s too dry, add a bit more nut butter. It should resemble a somewhat sticky dough that holds together when lightly squeezed. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set (this will make the balls easier to roll later on).
- Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and portion the dough into balls of desired size. (I use a cookie scoop to make mine approximately 1 inch in diameter). Enjoy!
- Store leftover energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
- For nut allergies: In place of the almond or peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter.
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