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Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Peanut Butter Energy Bites

These peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. Homemade, they cost about 20¢ each—and might cost you about $1.79 each to buy (no joke).

If your family is always hungry, like mine seems to be, these bites are the perfect snack to have around. They’re even great for breakfast on the go.

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. And they're naturally gluten free, too!

A simple recipe we cherish

I’d been making these peanut butter energy bites for months and months (and bringing them everywhere with me) before I even thought about sharing the recipe with anyone.  They’re so dead simple that when people asked for the recipe, I just recited it from memory as best I could.

I mostly make them using hemp seeds, which are so protein-packed it’s ridiculous. But since when I first started making them, no one could reasonably be expected to find hemp seeds, I figured the recipe wasn’t really worth sharing.

But then, as often happens, I spied with my little eye a package of hulled hemp seeds at my local Trader Joe’s. And just like that, it was time to share! 

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. And they're naturally gluten free, too!

What’s special about this snack?

I’m not exaggerating them I tell you that I make these energy bites every month of the year. The large glass jar you see in the photo above (and in the video) is one that I keep stocked with snacks (okay, sometimes cookies) as often as I can. And my whole family really misses these energy bites when the last one in the jar is eaten!

There really aren’t many ingredients in these bites, but even though they do have sugar (honey is sugar, after all), the oats, coconut, and seeds are pure health food. Just one bite is super satisfying, enough to get me through the afternoon slump. 

For my kids, who are still hitting growth spurts that empty out the cupboards regularly, 3 bites are usually enough to tide them over. And they beat a handful of GF Oreos any day!

As an alternative to the bite-sized energy snack situation, I also have the perfect recipe for homemade protein bars. They’re made with oats and protein powder, and there are lots of different flavor variations. Somehow, they have the texture of a brownie.

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. And they're naturally gluten free, too!

This recipe is no-bake (if you want it to be)

This really is a no-bake recipe when you make it as written. But I cannot tell a lie: I almost always toast the oats, coconut, and seeds in a 300°F oven for about 15 minutes at the start.

You may not want to put on the oven for something that should be no-bake. But I have my oven on every single day of the year (occupational hazard) anyway, summertime included.

Toasting the oats, coconut, and seeds really does intensify and deepen the flavors. But if the oven simply isn’t an option, you could also try toasting them on the stovetop in a cast-iron skillet just until they smell fragrant.

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. And they're naturally gluten free, too!

How to make these peanut butter energy bites

Whether you choose to toast the bulky ingredients (oats, coconut, seeds) or not, all this recipe requires is that you place those ingredients, along with some salt and oat flour (just oats ground in a food processor or blender—I never buy oat flour!) in a large bowl. Then, add the peanut butter and honey, and mix.

The mixture will be quite thick. Just keep mixing and pressing down the mixture with the back of a spoon to moisten the bulky ingredients with the peanut butter and honey. You want everything to be thick and not soft so that the energy bites hold together well and hold their shape after you portion and roll them tightly. 

Then, allow everything to cool down to room temperature (especially if you’ve toasted the oats, etc. first) before adding the few miniature chocolate chips. Otherwise, the chips will melt right into the bites when you mix them in, and won’t hold their shape.

I like using miniature chocolate chips, since just a few ounces of them go a long, long way. Every single bite will have plenty of chips, but not too many that we took something healthy and made it into candy.

Then, portion them with an ice cream scoop or your fingers, and roll tightly between your palms. Place them in the refrigerator to chill, then pile them into a container with a lid. They’re ready whenever you or your always hungry family is!

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. And they're naturally gluten free, too!

Ingredients and substitutions

Peanut butter: If you can’t have peanut butter, most any other nut butter will do. Almond butter is the perfect substitute, and cashew butter will make a more neutral-flavored energy bite.

The drippy, natural kind is really too soft and won’t hold the bites together very well. Go for the “no stir” kind, in which the oil doesn’t separate at room temperature. 

Honey: If you want to make these vegan or just don’t like honey, you can use a combination of half maple syrup, half unsulphured molasses (like Grandma’s brand). Maple syrup alone is too thin and not sticky enough to replace honey. 

Oats: I also have a grain-free version, if the oats are a no-no for you. They’re full of protein, too, just without the grains. 

Certified gluten free oats are appropriate on a gluten free diet in the United States. If you’d prefer to make this recipe and would like to replace the oats because you can’t have them or don’t feel comfortable eating them, try replacing the old fashioned rolled oats with beaten rice and the oat flour with quinoa flakes.

We’ve already had a complete discussion of substitutions for oats in baking. Have a look if you’re curious!

Seeds: I buy shelled hemp seeds at my local Trader Joe’s market. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s or just don’t shop there and you can’t find hemp seeds, try chia seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, flax seeds, or pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are much larger, so they’d need to be chopped before adding them to the mixture. Flax seeds do tend to have a very strong flavor, so make sure your family is on board before using them in this recipe. There are plenty of other possibilities. 

 

These no bake peanut butter energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. And they're naturally gluten free, too! #glutenfree #snacks #energy #oats #peanutbutter

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 36 bites

Ingredients

2 cups (200 g) (certified gluten free) old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups (80 g) unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup (160 g) hulled raw hemp seeds (can substitute chia seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, flax seeds or pumpkin seeds)

1/2 cup (60 g) (certified gluten free) oat flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups (384 g) smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup (168 g) honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or your favorite flavoring (we really like McCormick brand butter flavoring)

4 ounces miniature chocolate chips

Directions

  • Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. In a large bowl, place the oats, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, oat flour, and salt, and mix to combine well. Set the bowl aside. If you would like to intensify the flavor of the whole oats, coconut, and seeds, place them all together on a lined baking sheet in a single layer and toast them in a 300°F oven (or toaster oven, in batches) for about 15 minutes, stirring once. Then, transfer them to a large bowl, add the salt, and proceed with the recipe as written.

  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract or other flavoring, and mix until well-combined. Allow the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes, and then add the miniature chocolate chips. Mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout. If you add the chips when the mixture is hot, the chips will all melt.

  • Scoop the mixture by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet (a #50 ice cream scoop works perfectly). You should have about 36 portions. Roll each portion tightly into a ball between your palms. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill until firm. Serve chilled. They will hold their shape at room temperature, but I prefer them chilled. Transfer the bites to a large container with a lid, and store in the refrigerator for anytime snacking.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2015. Some photos, video, and some text new. Recipe mostly the same (oat flour added).

Love,
Nicole

 

Comments are closed.

  • Erin
    July 24, 2019 at 6:11 PM

    This is a new favorite! I make energy bites routinely but this recipe is better than the others. Toasting the oats, coconut and seeds really does deepen the flavor- yum!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 25, 2019 at 6:44 PM

      I’m so glad, Erin! These are a tried and true family favorite in my house.

  • Milvi
    July 23, 2019 at 1:29 PM

    As usual, ran to the kitchen to try this new recipe. I wasn’t to keen on the crunch of the hemp seeds but thankfully I didn’t have enough on hand and topped up with a mix of flax and chia seeds. I love it when a ‘treat’ is so healthy! Wonder what it would be like dipped in chocolate…?

  • Miriam Vasseur
    July 22, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    You always have such great ideas. Thank you and your tale blessing of your talents are appreciated by many I’m sure,especially me since I have a granddaughter who has many allergies. I was wondering , since she can not have nuts, can sunflower seed butter be substituted? The consistency is not the same as nut butter. And would I have to increase the flour maybe to add some firmness?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 22, 2019 at 10:41 AM

      Hi, Miriam, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m happy to have been able to help. Sunflower seed butter is tough, since as you mentioned it really has a much different consistency. I might try using less of it, and more honey, since honey is really thick. A bit more oat flour might work, too. If she can have soy, you might try “Wow Butter,” since it seems to have a thicker consistency. I haven’t ever tried it, though, so I can’t vouch for taste!

  • Elena
    July 21, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    Any substitute for the coconut? I love most of your recipes but usually don’t do the ones that involve coconut. I often sub coco oil for butter or veg oil which works fine, but I can’t think of something to replace the flakes for the texture that it give.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 21, 2019 at 4:41 PM

      Try just using more oats or seeds, Elena! It won’t be exactly the same, but it will add bulk. You could also try using some crisp rice cereal, too!

  • Tamara
    July 21, 2019 at 12:14 PM

    I’m allergic to processed coconut. Do you have any suggestions for a substitute? Otherwise, this recipe sounds great. I’m always looking for healthy snacks for me and my daughter. I’ve found so many great gf recipes on this site. You really helped me 9 years ago when I was diagnosed and continue to.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 21, 2019 at 1:32 PM

      Just use more oats or more seeds, Tamara!

  • Greta Johnson
    July 21, 2019 at 8:58 AM

    Hi Nichole,
    You and others may be interested in trying toasted buckwheat groats instead of the other seeds mentioned. They also have a high protein content, taste yummy and have a delightful delicate crunch! I buy them at our local co-op grocery and have been using them for years in homemade granola which gets rave reviews!

  • Kelly Gallagher
    July 19, 2019 at 6:03 PM

    I’ve noticed the last couple of days that the share button isn’t working. Is it just on my end? Thanks! Ps-Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 20, 2019 at 10:08 AM

      It isn’t, Kelly? Thank you so much for mentioning that, I will definitely check into it. I apologize for the trouble!

  • GF Mum
    July 19, 2019 at 3:38 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    When do you add the oat flour?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 19, 2019 at 4:34 PM

      So sorry for the omission, GF Mum! You add the oat flour with the other dry ingredients. It’s fixed now! The video explains it well, if you’re still stuck.

  • Donia Robinson
    July 1, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Costco has big bags of hemp, off and on (as is Costco’s way). Am I the only one who feels just a little wrong when I buy hemp?

  • Brandy
    June 27, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    Thank you! I will give it a try!

  • Jennifer S.
    June 26, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Nicole – much like you I’m sure, I live for the day when everyone will appreciate the lovely recipe you have posted and not ask for a substitution. Maybe I’m delusional but I will still hope.
    I think this one looks awesome as written! :)

    • Anneke
      June 26, 2015 at 4:53 PM

      I totally thought the same thing, Jennifer! This one will get made as is in my house, for sure!

      • June 27, 2015 at 9:11 AM

        You guys are funny. I’m okay with the substitution questions. I just often don’t know the answers! :)

    • Angela Stone
      June 29, 2015 at 8:17 PM

      I totally understand what you’re saying. Sadly we have a whole bunch of food issues and when you’re inexperienced with substitutions it helps to ask just in case someone knows how to sub different liquids or solids. Once upon a time….we didn’t need to either!

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