This is my go-to Basic Energy Ball recipe! These babies pack a punch of energy with peanut butter, honey, oats, coconut, chocolate, flax seed, almonds and cinnamon. No Baking required! One energy ball is the perfect pick me up when you need a lift. This highly adaptable recipe is gluten free and can be made vegan with a couple of simple swaps!
Energy, it's one of those resources we all seem to be constantly running low on. While it's not a complete solve, a recipe for Basic Energy Balls can be just the boost needed to carry you through the slog of the day.
This recipe was one of the first, if not the first, I ever posted on bakingthegoods.com. I have been making these energy boosting balls for over 15 years and they are still in heavy rotation in this household. In fact, it was this easy energy ball recipe that kickstarted me into starting a food and baking blog way back in 2010-ish!
More Energy Ball Recipes
Nutritious ingredients fuel these Easy Energy Balls
I originally started making energy bites when my husband was running a relay race in Oregon called Hood to Coast. These powerful balls fueled him and his entire team through the 2 day race that spans 200 miles. That right there proves the power of some healthy fats, wholesome oats, nutritious nuts and seeds and a dash of sweetness.
Basic Energy Balls: a choose your own adventure base recipe
This is my go-to base for proportions and texture. However, think of this no-bake energy bite recipe as a base that can be riffed on indefinitely. Since there is no baking chemistry involved, you don't run the risk of a baking flop here. You can even repair this recipe if your nut butter is too runny or you added too many oats. Just add a little bit of this or that until you have a scoop-able texture that holds together.
Basic ingredients with big benefits
Use any nut butter in these energy balls
Nut butters are the binder that holds the energy balls together. The sticky business helps the rest of the ingredients cling together when shaping the energy balls. And, nuts are full of essential nutrients and health benefits like vitamins, healthy fats and protein power!
Whatever nut butter works best for you is the nut butter you should use here. I normally switch between peanut butter and almond butter when making these basic energy balls. Because I often have one or both of those in my pantry. But, there are many alternatives you can swap in. Everything from cashew or hazelnut butter to mixed nut butters. You can even use sunflower butter if you have nut allergies. Go nuts!
Sticky sweetness adds flavor and binds the balls together
Much like the nut butter, honey adds some sticky sweet binding power to these energy balls. Additionally, honey adds natural, simple sweetness to the mix. Again, you can swap in alternatives at this stage. Maple syrup is a great and flavorful substitute. Date syrup adds natural sweetness that is low on the Glycemic Index, keeping those sugar spikes at bay. If you are looking to make vegan energy balls, use Agave syrup in place of honey.
Rolled Oats add texture and a chewy bite
Oats are a healthy and nutritious ingredient. They are a great source of dietary fiber and naturally low in saturated fat. Additionally, oats have that ability to make you feel fuller longer. So adding oats to this easy energy ball recipe not only boosts your energy but keeps you sustained until your next meal.
I personally prefer an extra thick rolled oat from Bob's Red Mill because they add an ultimate chewy texture and a hearty bite to the energy balls. But any old fashioned rolled out works. However, instant oats aren't ideal, look for a thick rolled oat instead. You can even toast the oats if you want to add some toasty flavor notes!
Oats are naturally gluten free
If cross contamination is a concern, look for oats marked as gluten free. GF oats are processed in facilities free of gluten so there is no danger of cross contamination. So, you can use either regular or GF oats depending on your personal gluten tolerance levels.
Nutritious nuts & seeds
In my go-to energy ball recipe I like to give the balls some nutty seedy super powers. Sliced almonds add a delicate flake of crunch to each bite. Rolling the balls in almond meal at the end coats the exterior, soaking up any greasy or sticky qualities on the inside. Plus, almonds add some welcome protein power.
Flaxseeds hit you with those good fats again. These tiny wonders are rich in nutrients, fiber and they are good for the health of the heart. Alternatively, you can replace the seeds with flaxseed meal.
Just because we are using nutrient dense, healthy ingredients here doesn't mean we are gonna mix in some fun flavor boosters. Shredded coconut adds natural sweetness and a loveable chewy texture. Dark chocolate, because we can. It plays so well with the other flavors and textures happening in these easy energy balls. And, adding a bit of chocolate allows for a bite of indulgence. You can certainly skip the chocolate or swap it for cocao nibs if need be.
Cinnamon brings the warming spicy note that those oats are just begging for! And a bit of salt gently gathers all of the flavors together.
Store these Basic Energy Balls in an air tight container for up to 1 week. I personally store my energy balls in the refrigerator because I prefer them chilled but it isn't necessary.
What I love most about these homemade energy balls are the hearty and the mostly healthy-ish ingredients inside. I've always loved granola bars but often they are too loaded down with sugary sweetness and unrecognizable ingredients. When I make myself a batch of these Super Power Energy Balls, I know exactly what is going into them.
Speaking from experience, having a batch or energy balls around at all times really does help in making healthier snacking choices. This recipe has propelled me through countless runs, hikes, yoga sessions and endless late night work sessions. They truly fuel your body and brain right when you need it most.