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Healthy Protein Balls with Oatmeal and Peanut Butter

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These healthy, easy to make, no bake protein balls with oatmeal and peanut butter taste like chocolate chip cookie dough, but are full of fiber, protein and healthy fats that will keep you feeling your best.

oatmeal protein balls

Over the years, I’ve made protein balls a lot, but at some point, I kind of forgot about them. But recently, my husband came home from a golf trip and requested I make some. The course he was playing had these amazing peanut butter energy bites that he ate every day. He loved them so much that he brought the box home so I could browse the ingredients and try to recreate them.

I personally did not eat them so I can’t attest to whether or not they’re the same, but they are delicious and after some tweaking, I landed on the perfect flavor combination using simple ingredients and techniques to make these extra delicious!

Now, I make these protein balls with oatmeal regularly as they’re the perfect healthy snack and full of fiber and protein to keep you full and satiated. My son absolutely loves them too, which always makes me happy to have snacks on hand that are filling and good for them.

They require no baking and are done in just a few minutes. Ready to make them?

What You Need to Make Protein Balls

oatmeal peanut butter energy bites

All you need are a few base ingredients, such as oatmeal, seeds, coconut, protein powder (if desired), nut butter, sweetener, and any additional mix-ins you desire. Let’s break down each component and explore the ways you can customize your protein balls to suit your taste preferences and what pantry staples you have on hand!

One of my favorite places to buy healthy, bulk whole ingredients at great prices is Thrive Market. You can read my full review here if you’re interested!

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are healthy and great for energy bites because they are filling, versatile, and give a chewy texture that mimics oatmeal cookie dough. Old-fashioned rolled oats also gluten free and full of fiber to help keep you full. This is my go-to brand for certified gluten-free oats.

You could also use oat flour, but may need to tweak the amount of liquid you use.

Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients like magnesium and iron, making them a great addition.

Pepitas

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are a healthy addition to these energy balls as they are packed with nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants that support heart health, digestion, and immune function.

They’re also high in iron, which is great, because I’m low in it. They’re great to throw on salads, add to homemade granola, chia seed bowls and oatmeal bowls.

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Unsweetened shredded coconut is rich in fiber, healthy fats, and minerals like iron and manganese, making it a nutritious addition to these peanut butter protein balls. It adds great flavor as well and compliments the coconut oil.

protein balls with oats

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and protein, and providing numerous health benefits such as improved heart health and digestion.

Flaxseed

Ground flax seeds are a good source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans, which have been shown to have various health benefits such as improved digestion, heart health, and reduced inflammation.

Dates

To think that I went so long in life without eating a date is crazy because we eat them daily now. Dates are not only a sweet and delicious natural sweetener, but they also offer numerous health benefits.

They are high in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron, making them a nutrient-dense addition to these energy bites. They’re also great in a smoothie too.

Peanut Butter

Not only does peanut butter taste delicious, it’s a good source of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium. It can help with weight management, heart health, and blood sugar control. Opt for unsweetened natural peanut butter to keep the sugar low.

If you don’t like creamy peanut butter, you can swap for another type of nut butter like almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter or pumpkin seed butter for anyone allergic to nuts or has a peanut allergy.

Maple Syrup or Raw Honey

My recipe uses 100% maple syrup as a natural sweetener because it also contains antioxidants and essential minerals like zinc and manganese, making it a healthier alternative to processed sugars. It also has a lower glycemic index compared to other sweeteners, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

You could also use real honey which has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy alternative sweetener in recipes like these peanut butter oats balls.

Dark Chocolate Chips

To be honest, the chocolate in here is mostly for flavor, but it’s worth mentioning that dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which can help improve heart health and lower blood pressure.

It also contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, making it a healthier alternative to milk chocolate. In a pinch, you can use whatever chocolate you have on hand! You can use regular or mini chocolate chips or white chocolate chips—seriously, whatever works! And, if you’re not into chocolate, try peanut butter chips!

healthy protein balls recipe

Coconut Oil

Lastly, coconut oil is known for its numerous health benefits, including its high content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can help improve brain function, boost energy levels, and support weight loss.

It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can promote overall health and well-being. It gives these protein balls a silky smooth consistency and makes them more filling as well!

Extra: Protein Powder

This ingredient is totally up to you, but will add more protein. Personally, I don’t use it because there’s lots of protein from the other ingredients, but ‘ll leave it up to you.

Opt for clean protein powders that are made with minimal, natural ingredients and free from additives, artificial flavors, and sweeteners. Look for options like organic plant-based protein powders or collagen peptides (this is my go-to) for a cleaner protein powder choice. Chocolate protein powder or vanilla protein powder would both add extra flavor, but may change the consistency a bit.

How to Make No-Bake Protein Balls

protein balls with oatmeal

These protein bites are so easy to make, but I recommend you have one of these tools—a food processor or a high-speed blender. This will ensure you get the best texture. If you don’t have one, they’ll still work, but the texture might be a bit chunkier, which is totally fine! They still taste great.

Finely Blend Dry Ingredients

First, you’ll add all the dry ingredients to your food processor or blender, including the chopped dates. Then you’ll pulse it until it’s finely chopped, then run it for a minute or two until everything is very finely chopped, almost like a thicker flour consistency.

This is key to getting that smooth consistency that makes these protein balls with oatmeal taste and feel like cookie dough in your mouth.

Add Wet Ingredients

Next, you’ll add in the wet and sticky ingredients like your nut butter, syrup or honey, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract to your dry mixture. Turn on your food processor again and run until it forms a dough.

protein balls with oatmeal

Add Mix-Ins

Lastly, add in your chocolate chips and combine for 30 seconds or longer for more finely chopped and dispersed chocolate chips. Now you have your energy ball mixture!

Roll into Balls

Make sure you’re working with clean hands. Take a spoonful of the energy ball mixture and scoop out balls that are slightly smaller than golf balls. Roll into a smooth ball between your hands and place into a wide and flat container or onto a baking sheet.

Roll all of the dough into balls and place them in without touching each other (if possible!), or use a cookie scoop for a more exact measurement.

Chill in the Fridge

Technically, you can eat these protein energy bites immediately if you want, but with the melted coconut oil mixed in, they’ll be a little sticky at this point.

Simply pop them covered in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set before enjoying.

Healthy Protein Balls with Oatmeal and Peanut Butter

A delicious no bake recipe for protein balls that tase like cookie dough, but are healthy !
Prep Time 20 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 20 balls
Calories 125 kcal

Equipment

  • food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes unsweetened
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 8 dates pitted & chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients through dates in the food processor. Pulse a few times and then run for a minute or two until everything is super finely chopped.
  • Add remaining ingredients and run until everything is combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Scoop and roll them into balls about a ping pong or golf ball size.
  • Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. Wait at least 30 minutes for the coconut oil to set and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.002gSodium: 15mgPotassium: 92mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 14IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword healthy snack, protein ball, snack
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to Store Energy Bites

They can be left at room temperature, but I keep them in the fridge to last longer and keep them harder. If it’s too warm, the coconut oil can melt.

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week—if they last that long! They can also be frozen. If you freeze them, just take out the amount you want to eat and let them sit on the counter at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before eating.

FAQs

no-bake energy balls

Can You Freeze Energy Bites?

Absolutely! These protein balls with oatmeal and peanut butter will last longer in the freezer if you’re not going through a whole batch within a week. Simply store in an airtight container or freezer zip bag. To serve, pull them out about 15-20 minutes before you want to eat so they can come up to room temperature.

How Much Protein is in these Energy Balls?

It depends on whether or not you decide to add protein powder, I personally don’t, so in the non-protein powder balls, there is about 3g protein per ball. If you want more protein, add protein powder, or eat more balls per serving! They do have lots of healthy fats, so be mindful of that when portioning.

Can I Make These Energy Balls Nut Free?

Most definitely! To make these protein balls nut free, simply swap peanut butter for sunflower seed butter and swap the coconut flakes for oatmeal, or a few extra tablespoons of chia or flaxseed.

Can I Make these Protein Balls Vegan?

These are actually vegan to begin with. The only thing that would make them not vegan is adding protein powder from an animal source, or using honey.

I hope you love these no-bake peanut butter oatmeal balls. They’re the perfect meal prep snack and are so great to have on hand for hungry kids and grown-ups. The take very little prep time and are ready to go quickly. I hope you enjoy these oatmeal energy bites as much as my family does!

BTW, the best healthy granola recipe, and 4-ingredient chia seed pudding.

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