I know I’m in my nutritional groove when I have two items prepped and ready to be eaten: my no bake energy bites and my pre-made smoothie packs. There are few foods that ALL three of my kids love, but one of them are these no bake energy bites. They actually love them as much as their favorite high-priced energy bars, and I personally love how they curb my hunger for hours.
This is a recipe that kids will love helping you make. My 2.5 year old likes to help me remove the pits from the dates, my 4.5 year old helps me measure the ingredients, and my 7 year old can help me chop the dates or use the food processor. Allowing them to help in the kitchen (when I’ve got the patience for it) offers them basic kitchen know-how and equips them with an important life-long skill. Plus, it’s an opportunity for connection and increases the likelihood they will try new foods when they had a hand in the making!
The basic recipe for any of our no bake energy bites include these 3 ingredients: ½ cup chopped dates, ½ cup peanut butter, and ¼ cup rolled oats.
To make the bites, you mix the ingredients, roll into balls, and that is it – no cooking necessary. Dates are so sweet, so we call them nature’s candy, and they are super sticky, so they act like glue holding the energy bites together.
1/2 c. peanut – or other nut butter
1/2 c. finely chopped pitted dates, about 6 or 8 dates
Easiest way to finely chop is to pulse in a food processor
1/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats (can toast for nuttier flavor)
2 T. hemp seeds
2 T. protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ T. coconut oil
In a bowl, stir together all ingredients until well-mixed.
Using a mini ice cream scoop or small spoon, scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls using your palms
Refrigerate bites that don’t get eaten!
In this recipe, I upped the protein power with some powder, added a touch of chocolate and coconut flavor through unsweetened cocoa powder and coconut oil. I actually will use this recipe to use up leftover ingredients in my pantry. For example, I’ve added:
Dried fruits: apricots, cherries, apples
Seeds: pumpkin, flax, chip
Grains: graham crackers, oatmeal cookies, granola
Anything can go as long as you get a consistency that you can easily form into a ball. It helps to stick them in the fridge for a few minutes before you enjoy.
We used peanut butter in the recipe, but for anyone with a nut allergy, you can use sunflower seed butter.
Instant rolled oats work best in this recipe since the oats aren’t cooked.
Store in the fridge and they will keep for a week!
Keywords: no bake energy bites
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons.
If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.