With just 5 simple and nutritious ingredients, these No-Bake Energy Bites are super easy to make and eat. They store so well in the fridge for weeks and are a perfect snack to share with the kids (and eat yourself.)

no-bake energy bites with mom and kids hand

No-Bake Energy Bites

There are many times during the week when I need a quick snack for my kids and myself, so I love to have a batch of these quick energy balls in the fridge ready and waiting. The beauty of this recipe is that the finished snack stores so well. And each one is sweet enough to taste like a treat—without any added sweetener—while also providing a nice dose of energy.

These taste like a homemade version of a Larabar, which are one of our favorite snacks to buy. Their mini bars have become so hard to find in flavors other than chocolate, so this is an easy way to recreate them at home, with the flavors of the fruit shining through.

I love to make these with dried cherries, but it also works with apricot and apple. And I especially love that these happen to be dairy-free and vegan so more families can enjoy them.

These store so well as balls or you can even cut them into squares.

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Ingredients You Need

To make these energy bites, you’ll need the following ingredients so you know what to pick up at the store. (You don’t need honey or nut butter, since we use dried fruit to hold them together.)

ingredients in energy bites on counter.
  • Pitted dates: You’ll want to buy pitted whole dates labeled either Medjool or Deglet Noor. They are readily available in the dried fruit aisle in regular grocery stores.
  • Almonds or cashews (raw or roasted): Either of these work, just be sure to pick unsalted ones.
  • Dried fruit such as cranberries, apricots, apples, or cherries: Choose one or use a mix to make your own variation.
  • Rolled oats: A small amount of old-fashioned oats gives this recipe structure so they hold together without being too sticky.
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut: The shredded coconut works in combination with the oats to help the balls have structure so you can roll into bites or even cut into bars.

You could vary the recipe more by adding a small amount of chia seeds, protein powder, cocoa powder, sea salt, cinnamon, or flax seed.

how to make energy balls in grid of 4 images.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making these energy balls so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full amounts and timing.

  1. Place the nuts into a bowl and soak in hot water. This softens them so they are easy to blend.
  2. Drain and add to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Grind until the mixture is finely ground and starts to clump together. It should easily hold together between your fingers.
  4. Roll into balls and coat with coconut, if desired.

TIP: You can eat these at room temperature or chilled, according to your preference.

energy bites in storage container

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze energy bites?

Sure, you can place them into a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.

Are energy balls safe for kids?

It can be tricky to serve little kids nuts safely since whole nuts can be a choking hazard, but these energy balls are a great option. The nuts soften nicely and blend into a soft and easy to chew texture. You can make the size of the balls as small or large as you like and dice them into smaller pieces to ensure they are easy to chew. Always serve with a drink.

Are energy bites good for you?

This no-bake energy bites recipe has dried fruit, nuts, coconut, and oatmeal, so it’s a nourishing snack option. The sweetness comes from the dried fruit and you also get a lot of fiber and protein from the nuts. A win in my book.

energy bite recipe cut into bars and wrapped in plastic wrap.

Energy Bar Recipe

I love how versatile this recipe is and that it works cut it into bars, too. Which is great if your kids may prefer it that way! Simply press into an even layer in an 8×8-inch baking pan or use a silicone mold. (I used my Souper Cubes.) Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up, then slice into any size bar you like.

I wrap mine in plastic wrap so they are easy to take on the go, but it also works to just put directly into a lunchbox or snack container.

You could even press in some mini chocolate chips, if you’d like.

toddler-eating-energy-bites

How to Store

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Best Tips for Success

  • Soak the almonds or cashews to soften them up a little. This will make them easier to grind in the food processor.
  • When you start the mixture in the food processor, it will seem like it’s not going to work. Let the machine keep running as it can take about a minute and the mixture will start to naturally hold together like cookie dough.
  • Make smaller balls, if desired. A mini cookie scoop can help with this.
  • Press into an 8×8-inch pan or silicone mold and cut into bars. Pop into the fridge to allow to firm up before slicing to make this easy.
  • If the mixture is sticky when you try to roll it into balls, wash your hands after every few or chill the dough for a few minutes. (I’ve never had an issue, but some fruit is stickier than others!)
  • To make these gluten-free, use certified gluten-free rolled oats.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!

no-bake-energy-bites-in-container-with-hands

No-Bake Energy Bites

With just 3 simple and nutritious ingredients, these No-Bake Energy Bites are super easy to make and eat. They store so well in the fridge for weeks and are a perfect snack to share with the kids (and eat yourself).
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Calories 150kcal
Servings 12 (Makes about 2 dozen bites)

Ingredients

  • cup cashews or almonds (raw or roasted and unsalted)
  • ½ cup pitted dates (Medjool or Deglet Noir)
  • ½ cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries, apples, apricots, raisins, or prunes)
  • 3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • additional shredded unsweetened coconut (for rolling, optional)

Instructions

  • Place the cashews into a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for at least 10 and up to 30 minutes. Drain. (This helps the nuts soften enough to grind into the batter.)
  • Add the drained nuts to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Grind into a batter, starting on low and working up to high. (You will likely need to let the machine run for about a minute until the batter starts to hold together like cookie dough.) Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed to help the mixture move thoroughly.
  • Use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to portion out balls. (Or press into a silicone mold or an 8×8-inch baking pan, refrigerate briefly, and slice into bars.)
  • Roll in shredded unsweetened coconut, if desired.

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
  • When you start the mixture in the food processor, it will seem like it’s not going to work. Let the machine keep running as it can take about a minute and the mixture will start to naturally hold together like cookie dough.
  • Make smaller balls, if desired.
  • If the mixture is sticky when you try to roll it into balls, wash your hands after every few or chill the dough for a few minutes. (I’ve never had an issue, but some fruit is stickier than others!)
  • Use all coconut or all oatmeal, as you like.

Nutrition

Serving: 2bites, Calories: 150kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 153mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 180IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published June 2016.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these in bar form and really liked how they turned out. I like that they are less sweet than Larabars and have a firmer texture too from the higher cashew content. I soaked my dates with the cashews so they weren’t too dry.

  2. I personally don’t like the taste of coconut, but I’m guessing these would be too wet/sticky without it. Do you think I could just add in more oats instead?

  3. Can I use a different type of nuts in this? I have a bag of walnuts that need to be used up, but I’m not sure if they would work the same as cashews/almonds.

    1. I haven’t tried this recipe with walnuts and I am not certain it would work the same but it might. Let me know if you try it!

  4. Thanks Amy! Have you tried this with sunflower seeds or another alternative to tree nuts? My daughter is allergic.

    1. You can, though it will be easiest if your blender has a stick with it to help the mixture move around a bit.

    1. I don’t think there’s a hard and fast answer to that, but I would typically offer 1 or 2 as a snack, either on its own or paired with milk or a cheese stick.

  5. Would another fried fruit (such as mango) work ok in these? I have a whole package that my kid is uninterested in, but he might like it in these.

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I do think that dried mangos would work well in this and be really yummy!

  6. Where do you like to get your dates? Whenever I buy them, even if I soak them, they are still too dry to make bars or energy bites!