Just five ingredients are all you need for these fun, snack-friendly Oatmeal Cookie Dough Energy Bites that are one part treat and one part protein-packed snack.
Spoiler alert - these energy bites were inspired by a recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars that I’m going to share later this month. But in the interest of keeping our early January plans more balanced, these energy bites felt like a more appropriate Friday recipe.
Energy bites have become a staple at our house with three kids ages 6 and under. Most days there is a dicey moment when someone needs a little something to nibble on just to make until the next meal is ready. And if I’m being honest, it’s not just the kids who need it. Sometimes Frank or I need something we can grab that will hold us over before a real meal. Adding mini M&Ms to these energy bites makes them a bit more dessert-ish than or go-to Dark Chocolate Almond Energy Bites but they’re otherwise just protein-packed balls with no added sweeteners.
- Raw Cashews - Raw cashews have a mild flavor and creamy texture that give these energy bites that cookie dough “flavor”. I haven’t tested this recipe with another type of nut as the base, but it should work with almost any variety of nuts.
- Dates - These will work with just about any type of dates. I’ve made them both with Medjool dates and with the grocery store variety of dates that come in vacuum-sealed bags near the other dried fruit. No matter what type of date you buy, they vary quite a bit in the amount of moisture they contain, so be sure to see the note in the recipe below and adjust as needed.
- Peanut Butter Powder - Peanut Butter Powder is made from dried ground peanuts. The result is a powder (not a paste) with concentrated peanut butter flavor and none of the oil (or calories) of regular peanut butter. I use this ingredient to add natural protein to brownies and smoothies as well as energy bites. Find it at most grocery stores or on Amazon or at Trader Joe’s near the oats and cereal.
- Oats - Oats work to bind the mixture together and add some great nutrition.
- Natural Almond Butter - This recipe was tested with natural almond butter - the kind that has to be stirred to reconstitute. It should work fine with just about any nut or seed butter.
- M&Ms - These are just for fun! See below for some other ideas.
How to Store Energy Bites
Oatmeal Cookie Dough Energy Bites keep best if stored in the fridge and can be stored that way for 2 weeks before they will start drying out.
They are good cold but are more soft and tender if allowed to come to room temperature first. (This makes them great for packing in lunches!)
- Substitute for mini M&Ms - The M&Ms are fun, but mini chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate would work great. For a low sugar option these can also be made with cacao nibs that have the chocolate flavor and a great crunchy texture without the added sugar.
- Use another nut or seed butter - Instead of almond butter, try natural peanut butter or cashew butter. Any other seed butter would work too. Just adjust the amount you use depending on how wet or dry the butter you use is.
More Healthy-ish Snacks
- Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Roast Cashews
- Oat, Cashew, and Chocolate Granola Bars
- Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Snack Mix
- Sweet and Salty Snack Mix
- Nutella Granola
Oatmeal Cookie Dough Energy Bites
- Food Processor
- Mixing Bowl
- 1 cup Raw Cashews
- 8 oz Dates (see note)
- ¼ cup Rolled / “Old Fashioned” Oats
- 3 tablespoon Peanut Butter Powder (see note)
- 4-8 tablespoon Natural Almond Butter (sub natural peanut butter or cashew butter)
- ½ cup Mini M&Ms (sub mini chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate)
- Combine cashews and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely ground.
- Add oats and peanut butter powder and pulse until everything is crumbly and evenly mixed.
- Add almond butter (start at the low end of the range) and pulse / blend continuously to incorporate. The mixture should stick together when you press it between your fingers and should feel like it could easily be rolled or pressed into balls. If it seems dry or crumbly, add more almond butter a bit at a time until it comes together. (This is the step where you have to be somewhat flexible since the natural moisture in the dates can affect the stickiness of the mixture.)
- Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in M&Ms.
- Scoop out heaping 1 Tablespoon portions of dough and roll it into balls.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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