Get 5 recipes for healthy energy bites. From nut free energy balls to almond butter protein balls, the perfect make ahead gluten free snack!
Have you tried making energy bites? I've really grown to love them over the past few years – both for my two boys and for myself!
What do I love about them?
First of all, energy bites are MADE for meal prep. Make a big batch and store them in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week, or in the freezer for the next few months. (Make sure to check out my tips on how to freeze energy bites below!)
Second, energy bites, or energy balls, make a super filling snack, breakfast or even dessert! Packed with protein and healthy fats, these will not leave you hungry an hour later.
Finally, they're just so flexible. I'm sharing 5 of my favorite energy bite recipes below (plus a bonus low carb option!) but once you get in the habit of making them, you'll quickly realize how easy it is to mix up the toppings. Sub your favorite nuts and dried fruit for an energy bite your family will love!
5 Recipes for Healthy Energy Bites
Without further ado, here are 5 of my favorite recipes for healthy energy bites! Once you begin to experiment with these, you'll likely find your own favorite mix-ins. I would love to hear what you come up with! Please share with me on Facebook or on Instagram @ prepdish.
Sweetened with dates, my cranberry almond energy bites have plenty of protein from the almonds and almond butter, a bit of spice from the cinnamon and little touches of sweetness from the dried cranberries. These are excellent energy balls for kids and adults alike!
For all of you looking for a nut free energy bite, my sunbutter version is perfect! These make great nut free school snacks and they also work well as a healthy dessert. If you want to make these tasty bites less like a dessert, leave out the mini chocolate chips and add some sunflower seeds if you like.
For anyone who doesn't want to deal with dates, my almond butter high protein energy bites are sweetened with pure maple syrup. This is a great one for anyone who doesn't have a high power blender or food processor. Almond butter and almond flour combine here for a high protein snack while coconut oil adds a dose of healthy fats.
If you love carrot cake, these are a must try! These also have a touch of freshly grated ginger and unsweetened coconut, providing a deliciously complex flavor. This healthy energy balls recipe is an excellent way to sneak in some extra veggies in the form of a tasty snack or light dessert!
These chocolate energy balls get all of their sweetness from dates! If you're like me and love to include a bit of chocolate in your day, these are such a healthy way to satisfy that craving. You'll see the recipe includes peppermint extract. Chocolate and peppermint is a classic combo for a reason but if you're not in the mood, sub almond or vanilla extract, or simply omit!
Bonus – A Low Carb Energy Bite
This recipe is totally different but I had to include it for all of the low carb eaters out there!
Sweetened with stevia, these little bites have a base of cream cheese and almond flour. This results in a delicious snack or dessert that's full of fats with a touch of protein. These are perfect for anyone following keto, trying to eat low carb or simply looking to incorporate lower carb snacks.
I included a bunch of variations in this recipe, including strawberry cheesecake bites and mocha cheesecake bites – so good!
Tips for Making the Best Energy Balls
Once you get the hang of it, energy balls are easy to whip up. If you're new to the concept though, keep these tips in mind so you wind up with the BEST energy balls!
- Measuring Dates: Many of my energy ball recipes include dates. To measure, first remove the pits from your dates if needed. Then loosely pack into a measuring cup.
- Storing: Make sure to store these in the fridge or freezer (see below!) to make sure your energy bites stay together. The nut butter / coconut oil needs to stay cold or your energy balls will start to crumble. That said, you can certainly bring a couple in your purse as a snack or pack in a lunch box with an ice pack.
- Troubleshooting: If you find your energy balls are too sticky when you're rolling into balls, add a little more oats or shredded coconut, 1 tablespoon at a time. OR, try refrigerating your “dough” for a few minutes before rolling into balls. On the flip side, if your “dough” is too crumbly and won't stay in balls, try adding a bit more “liquid”. This could be nut butter, melted coconut oil or honey/maple syrup. Nut butters vary a lot in consistency so you sometimes have to play around with these a bit to get the perfect texture!
- Skip the Balls: Admittedly, there's something fun about energy balls but if you're short on time, make bars instead! Instead of rolling into balls, press your mixture into an 8×8 pan. Press down until relatively smooth, refrigerate and then slice!
Can you freeze energy balls?
Yes! I actually love storing energy balls in the freezer for a couple of reasons.
First, frozen energy balls work great for an on-the-go snack. If I grab a couple of energy bites from my freezer and pack them for a park play date, they are plenty thawed by the time my kids are ready to enjoy.
Second, it's quite easy to double any of these energy bite recipes. I like to double and store half in the fridge for the week, the other half in the freezer for future snacks.
The secret to successfully freezing energy bites? Flash freeze!
Lay your energy balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for up to 24 hours. Then transfer to a freezer bag or freezer container. Flash freezing helps prevent your energy balls from sticking together when you freeze them.
More Gluten Free Kid Snacks
First of all, I want to clarify that there's no reason these “gluten free kid snacks” need to be only for kids. Snacks just make me think of kids because they seem to be hungry all day long sometimes! I know I also feel better though if there's a healthy snack ready for me in the fridge when I get hungry.
Here are a few of my favorite gluten free kid snacks – perfect for adults too!
For even more healthy snack options, check out my roundup of 13 simple gluten free snack ideas!