I resisted trying an energy bites recipe for a long time.
I’m not one for jumping on bandwagons. I like to go against the flow. If I do join a bandwagon, I’m always approximately 1,428 years late to the party, but I am then wholly devoted to the cause.
And so it has been with energy bites. I didn’t want to try them. I didn’t want to like them. And I didn’t have any of the seeds or nut butters or weird powders that they all seemed to call for.
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Why I caved
But then I needed road trip snacks, and I’m morally against spending $30 on snacks every time you go on a road trip. I’m also morally against overloading on prepackaged junk food. So I decided to give energy bites a try.
I found a recipe that had mostly normal ingredients. Things I had in my pantry already. Things I think you probably have on hand too. And we’ve been hooked ever since. Except, true to my rebel spirit, I call the peanut butter balls, not energy bites. And I don’t overlook the fact that they’re not that healthy. Better for you than a cookie? Probably. Healthier than an apple? Absolutely not. So just keep that in mind.
But we use them for everything.
Road trip? Peanut butter balls.
Sweet tooth? Peanut butter balls.
Morning sickness and have to eat every two hours? Peanut butter balls.
Kids’ snack at playgroup? Peanut butter balls. (Unless of course, someone has a peanut allergy)
Treat for church youth group? Peanut butter balls. (Revisit peanut allergy concern.)
The great thing, though, is that you can easily cater these to different allergies. Use gluten-free oats. Replace the nut butter with sunflower butter. Use dairy-free chocolate chips, or put in dried fruit instead. The options are endless. As long as you stay around 3 parts dry ingredients to 1 part wet ingredients, you’ll be set.
How to make Peanut Butter Balls (energy bites)
I’ve done a lot of trial and error with these bad boys, and I love our final product. It’s probably a little different from the methods you’ve seen out there, but they are so good this way.
Start by putting your peanut butter and honey in the bowl of your stand mixer (or just a regular bowl if you don’t want to deal with/don’t have the mixer) and mix them well.
Next add your oats and your add-ins (coconut, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.), except chocolate chips. Those go in very last. Our favorite combination is ⅓ cup each of coconut, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips. You could mix those first in a separate bowl and then dump them in, but if you’re lazy like me you can just dump them all on top of your honey/PB mixture.
Mix everything until it’s fairly evenly mixed, and add the chocolate chips.
The finishing touch
Next, make the balls. You can use your hands or even a tablespoon to scoop out even chunks. But I like to use my cookie baller for this. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend purchasing one. I use mine several times a week. You can find one here: Cookie Scoop.
Load them up onto a cookie sheet. You don’t need to put much space between them, just cram them all in there.
From there, I stick mine in the oven. This is an optional step, and I know most recipes don’t include this one. But I’ve found that it makes them hold together better and it softens the oats just a bit. And if you eat one fresh out of the oven, it is a gooey, melted chocolate chip piece of heaven. I highly recommend it.
So I put it in the oven and turn the oven on to 300 (with the balls already in there). When the oven reaches temperature, I pull them out. They’ll only be in there for about 5-10 minutes, and they’ll barely be warmed up, but it’s the perfect amount of time. Trust me. Try it. You’ll be hooked.
Peanut Butter Balls (energy bites)
- ¾ c peanut butter
- ⅓ c honey
- 1 ½ c rolled oats
- 1 ½ c total add ins chocolate chips, shredded coconut, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, etc
- Add peanut butter and honey to the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Add oats and add-ins, except chocolate chips, and mix until ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Add chocolate chips if using and mix one more time.
- Form balls (I like to use a cookie baller for this step) and place on cookie sheet.
- Optional step: Place in oven and turn oven on to 300. Remove from oven as soon as it reaches temperature.
- Store in an airtight container.