No Bake Energy Bites

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Last week, my daughter was home on vacation from culinary school. It was delightful to have her around again, with the added bonus that I didn’t have to cook dinner for an entire week.

The second day she was home she headed to the grocery store with her dad and they proceeded to buy everything in sight. Luckily, Dave came to his senses and put his foot down over the $130.00 side of beef, or we’d be in big trouble with the bank. Our fridge was packed full to bursting with fresh treats.

We dined on veal Marsala, chicken in cream sauce, rice with cinnamon-spiced pecans, beef shanks braised in beer, and raspberry Bavarian. Don’t judge me when I tell you I ate an entire tray of baklava; it was just a small tray…

Alas, she’s gone back to class now, the fridge is nearly empty, and nary a crumb of baklava can be found. Until payday rolls around again, we’re dining from the cupboards and freezer and using what we have. And I have to be honest, we’ve had some pretty tasty snacks along the way.

Case in point, these No Bake Energy Bites. With just a few pantry staples and some fun add-ins, you can make dozens of these round little beauties, perfect for breakfast on the go, after-school munching, and post-workout energy boosts.

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To start your mixture you’ll need a nut butter for binding, honey for sweetness, rolled oats for structure, and dry milk for protein. Here are the measurements I used:

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup dried whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

As you can see, I knew I wanted coconut in this batch so I added it early. More on this in a minute.

Blend everything together until it well combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky.

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For mix-ins, you’ll want to use about 2 cups total. I already stirred in 1/2 cup toasted coconut, so I still had 1 1/2 cups to add. I put in 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon chia seeds*. You can see on the left that I added 1/4 cup coconut milk powder too, a last-minute inspiration.

*Chia seeds are wonderful additions to no-bake bars and bites, but they can cause stomach issues if you eat too many at once. Stick to 1 tablespoon total for this recipe.

For add-ins, you have a plethora of choices:
unsweetened coconut, toasted or not; chopped dried fruit; nuts; seeds; wheat germ; oat bran; mini chocolate chips; Jammy Bits, or whatever floats your boat on that particular day.

I saved my last 7 tablespoons for a bit later. I happen to like our Jammy Bits but they aren’t a family favorite, so I’ll make some with and some without.

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Best way to mix this all together? Your clean hands. Dig right in there and moosh and squoosh until you have a nice, moist blend.

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Use your hands, two spoons, or a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to make ping-pong sized balls. You can roll them between your palms to smooth them out, or leave them rustic. No judgy pants here.

Above you see the plain bites on the left, and the Jammy Bit bites on the right.

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Who could resist a couple of these little lovelies for breakfast? “Hey kids, want to see Dad juggle his breakfast?”

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Dang it! I wish I had thought to bring a few of these to work today. Do you know how hard it is to look at these photos and not have one to nibble on?!

Oh, wait, you do. Sorry. I guess we can both be in the same boat until we get home, right?

I hope you’ve been having fun cooking and baking with your family, too. I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to in your kitchen.

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for No-Bake Energy Bites.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Nancy

    Oooh, these look terrific! While I’m not a fan of dried fruit, the jammy bits sound like fun (and fun to say) and you can’t beat the classic PB&J combo. How lucky are you to have a daughter to come home and spoil you with delicious meals! Happy Spring – hopefully it will actually arrive here in northern New England soon :-)

    Reply
  2. Lela

    The recipe link isn’t working :( I want to make these – great project for little hands! With room for much creativity!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      All the links should be up and working now. Enjoy working with your little ones Lela! ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      These will be sticky when warm. Coating them in cocoa sounds like a wonderful idea. You might also consider sesame seeds.~Jaydl@KAF

    2. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Once everything is blended, they are only slightly sticky to the touch. Think energy bar, or dried fruit bar. ~ MJ

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Thanks Gina,
      All the links should be up and working now. Enjoy! ~ MJ

  3. Kim

    Just thought I’d mention that I’ve been making ones like these for over a year and had a couple of tips. It’s best to combine the peanut butter and honey first and then add the other ingredients. Also, if you wet your hands before, it helps with the stickiness problem. Mine include ground flax seed, wheat germ, and shredded coconut.

    I’m enjoying your blog! Thanks for having it!!!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Thanks for the tips Kim. You are SO right about the wet hands! ~ MJ

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Brooke,
      Store these airtight in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. ~ MJ

  4. Barbara

    I believe I can make these sugar free for my diabetic Hubs. I do make our own sugar free peanut butter, and I have a sugar free honey substitute, can add maybe a FEW chocolate chips, but dang, I wish they’d make a sugar free version! The cocoa option sounds better, though. All the rest is easy peasy. I have sesame seeds and nuts, and dried fruit – 2 kinds. I even have Chia seeds and I’m anxious to use them up without having to cook them because they are really nasty that way. Sounds good!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Barbara,
      It sounds like you are rockin’ this recipe in a super sugar-free way. Kudos! I remember we used to sell sugar free chocolate chips in the past, so hopefully you can find them out there someday. ~ MJ

    2. Connie

      Hershey makes a sugar-free chocolate chip. They can be found at Super Walmarts or you can go on-line.

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Sarah,
      You can leave out the dried milk completely, or you can use a powdered soy milk instead. ~ MJ

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Tom,
      You can use any nut butter, such as almond or sunflower. ~ MJ

    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Alexandra,
      Maple syrup should work out just fine, you may need a little extra “dry” ingredient of your choice if the mixture doesn’t want to hold together. ~ MJ

  5. Mary McCreadieH

    These look a lot like tge Honey Milk Balls from the More-with-less cookbook published in 1976, but the proportins are quite different: 1/2 c. each honey and peanut butter, 1 c. dry milk solids, 1 c.
    rolled oats. If they turn out sticky, I grind a few oats and roll them in that. Great snack – I store mine at room temp for a couple of weeks.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      What a super simple recipe, no wonder it has lasted the test of time. I’m ready for a few myself with a cup of tea this afternoon. ~ MJ

  6. cr8zyamy

    I need to make these. I remember making something like this as a child with honey, peanut butter and wheatgerm.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Yes, those were popular when I was in my tweens too. We just won’t say when that was, will we? ;) ~ MJ

  7. denisedentremont

    What are jammie bits & does KAF carry them? Thx. I made another recipe of this & left them in the batter bowl & roll or spooned as I went. Is that lazy or what? No sticky hands…… I’m the only one eating them & they are addicting.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can try a soy milk powder, or leave the milk powder out entirely. Jon@KAF

  8. Carel

    Is there sunflower butter? There is a no nuts policy at my grandkids school. Could sunflower be substituted for peanut butter in a “no bake” cookie? I am trying to find a replacement for the peanut butter that is not a “nut butter”.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Yes Carel, there is sunflower butter, and it’s totally yummy. I think it would work quite well. Check for it in larger grocery stores near the peanut butter, or in the organic/specialty goods aisle. ~ MJ

    2. Nancy O

      Whole Foods has Sun butter. I have a niece who is allergic to peanuts and have made peanut butter cookies with it and it works just like peanut butter.

  9. Melissa

    I want to make these with my kids this afternoon, but I don’t have any dry milk. Do you think whey protein powder would make a good substitute?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Melissa,
      I’d say use half as much whey powder as dry milk the first time, and then adjust to taste. Enjoy! ~ MJ

  10. Allison Page

    I can only find nonfat dry milk. So, until I can order some whole dry milk from KAF, will the nonfat mae a big difference? I wondered if it might affect the mouth feel. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We invite you to use your favorite web based program – this one may be helpful: Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  11. iris

    I used to make a very similar treat for our children, except I used carob powder. We would leave out the carob when they wanted what they called “Ants on a Log”: celery stalks lined with the yummy mixture, then they would put either raisins or currants along the length of the celery (sometimes used apple slices, but celery was their favorite). Of course, the dried fruit were the “ants”. Their friends were intrigued with the “treats” that were made and served at our house :-) You can substitute the nut butter with cream cheese, resulting in another neat snack.
    Give it a try — you just may have another way to get a veggie onto your children’s (and your) snack.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      HI Iris,
      I never thought to use this in the “logs”. I’ve only seen it done with straight peanut butter, but this would be delicious! Thanks for sharing. ~ MJ

  12. Auntiepatch

    Since you asked; yesterday we had a planning meeting for our 4th of July Block Party so I baked Cream Puffs, Chocolate Coconut Macaroons, & Lemon Glazed Lemon Muffins. That’s what I’ve been baking…….

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Now, that sounds perfectly wonderful! What a nice assortment. And even better – planning the 4th of July already. That warms my heart (and my feet, hands, ears, and every other part of me that’s still shivering in this “lovely” spring weather!) :) PJH

  13. Amanda

    I made these and they are awesome! I used a combo of peanut and almond butter, and honey and maple syrup. I had regular chocolate chips and I think next time I’ll get the mini’s.

    Reply
  14. Nell

    “Luckily, Dave came to his senses and put his food down over the $130.00 side of beef, or we’d be in big trouble with the bank.”

    Well, in context, I guess ‘put his food down’ kinda works: somebody had to stop filling the shopping cart. :)

    Reply
  15. Josh

    Hi,

    I’m not opposed to using the dry milk…my problem is that my wife and I wouldn’t use it for anything else, so it seems like a waste for us to buy it. That said, we do have a large tub of rice protein powder (for protein shakes). Would this make a suitable replacement for the dry milk? And if so, would it be a 1:1 ratio for the recipe? Using 1/3 cup of protein powder seems a bit high.

    Can’t wait to try these!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      Hi Josh,
      I must say I have no experience with protein powder, but I think it would make a fine sub for the dry milk. The amounts in the recipe can easily be played with, so start with what you feel would be a reasonable amount for the rice protein, and go from there. I’d love to hear back once you have a ratio you feel works well. ~ MJ

    2. Josh

      Hi MJ.

      I just made these the other day using the vanilla rice protein powder. Amazing.
      Instead of 1/3 cup, I probably used about 1/4 cup of the protein powder.

      I used the rest of the ingredients in your base, then added the following:

      About 3/4 cup coconut flakes
      About 3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
      About 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

      Then rolled them in a light coating of unsweetened cocoa powder.

      Heaven.

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