November 23, 2017

Granola Energy Balls

While I seriously considered posting pictures of my toddler and preschooler to demonstrate what I mean by energy balls, I resisted.

I discovered this recipe not long ago and have been wanting to make it ever since.  Our ten-year-old asked for some energy bars to eat before soccer practices and games and I promised I would whip him up some.  He didn’t think they would be any good.

Until he tasted them.

They are SO good!

And good for you, too.

And as a busy mom, nearing the third trimester of pregnancy, I definitely need the energy boost that these cute little treats can offer.  They’re much healthier than some of the store bought versions of granola bars, and so easy to make and keep in the fridge.

I love the chocolate granola bars we make, and the peanut butter kind, too.  But these little bites are even easier than those!  No melting of anything on the stove.  Simply mix, roll into balls, and eat!

Did I mention there’s chocolate in these?



  1. Yummy! I had to email this to a friend and Pin it!

  2. These look so yummy!! I think my pregnant belly might be able to eat these, I’m excited! Do you think they would be just as good without coconut?

    • Hey there. I’m not sure how much it might change the whole recipe if you leave out that much of an ingredient. You could try substituting something else?? Congrats on your pregnancy! When are you due?

      • Thanks! I think I’m due around July 5th, but we’re not sure. 🙂

        I just made these yesterday. I used 3 cups of oats and 1 cup of coconut. I don’t like a lot of coconut and it was just right. They are sooooo good! I will definitely be making them again.

    • It is just as good w/out coconut. I don’t like it so I took it out. It was a little stickier but other than that, just as good! 🙂

  3. Yummy! And I already have these ingredients! 🙂

  4. A friend of mine posted a link to this recipe on Facebook. It looked intriguing, and easy to convert into a gluten-free recipe for the 4 young celiacs in my house. I made it today after school, and my boys (even my picky youngest son) are really enjoying them! My 2 daughters are busy and haven’t tried them yet, but we’ll see…

    I substituted dried cranberries for the chocolate chips, and I really like the taste. I especially like that it uses honey as the main sweetener, not sugar!

  5. what did you have to do to make it gluten free? Aren’t oats gluten free naturally? Just curious as i just made some for taking up to a thanksgiving gathering and i was thinking they would be good for mom, who needs gluten free stuff!

    • Yes, I believe they are, but it’s tricky. Oats can be labeled as gluten free depending on how/where they’re processed.

      • did a little research…i’m sure “Tara” already knew this, but i guess oats are very commonly cross-contaminated, so it depends on how sensitive you are. i’ll have to find out from my mom if she specifically uses gluten-free oats. i’m still curious what Tara substituted, so let me know if you don’t mind!

  6. How long can you store them in the Fridge??

    • That’s a funny question….only because we never have them around longer than two or three days. 😉 Up to a week, though, I think they’d be just fine. 🙂

  7. These look great! Any idea about the nutritional information per ball?

  8. sue story says:


  9. These are delicious! But what do I do if the ingredients aren’t sticking very well together for rolling them into balls?

    • Mine were like that today, because I added a bit too much coconut and maybe a tiny bit too much oats….I was going to add a little more peanut butter, but I pressed them into balls with a little more grip than normal and then lightly rolled them, too. They worked. So yeah…I would say if rolling them tighter doesn’t work, add a bit more peanut butter. 🙂

  10. I make something very similar that I eat all. the. time.

    2 cups peanut butter
    2 cups oats
    2/3 – 1 cup honey
    1 cup powdered nonfat milk
    1 cup ground flaxseed
    1 cup semi-sweet (or special dark) chocolate chips

    I roll them in balls, put them on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour, then transfer them to a freezer bag. When I eat them, I just let them thaw for a couple minutes. They taste SO good! And quite high in protein too 😉

  11. I did crushed cheerios(honey nut or regular) instead of coconut flakes from another recipe and THEY WERE AWESOME: )

  12. I made this tonight, but changed it a bit (I don’t like coconut stuff and I only had so much flaxseed).

    I used
    3 cups oats
    1 cup plain cheerios (a little crunched-this was my kindergartener’s job)
    2 tbs wheat germ (what the heck…I have a bunch so I threw it in since I used it for the granola bars)
    3/4 cup ground flaxseed (it was ALL I had)

    everything else was the same. I let my kids roll some balls, but the majority I put in a glass pie plate and cut into squares after it “set” in the fridge. YUMMY! Thanks!

  13. oh these look delicious and appear to be gluten free! YUm!

  14. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am going to try it today, My hubby (who is a triathlete) buys the power bites which are super spendy.

    I am hoping that these would work, provide the same nutrition and be cheaper!

    You rock!

  15. Charlotte says:

    wow, so good! I subbed almond butter for peanut butter since I had a bunch noone was eating and the PB flies out of the house, subbed puffed rice (no sugar or anything JUST puffed brown rice) for the coconut because I don’t like shredded coconut, and I ran out of dark chocolate chips so I did a half cup of those with half cup of dried cranberries, and then did everything else as recipe calls for and it was DELISH. So this recipe is the best kind you can play with ingredients if you are out of something or dislike something but still holds up! Thanks!

  16. These bars sound like a winner. I will be getting some flaxseed soon, but in the meantime… Someone mentioned wheat germ. Would that be an acceptable subsitute? Came across your blog at moneysavingmom. I am enjoying the advise & encouragement that I’ve already come across. Thanks!

  17. Heather T says:

    My sons and I made these the other day, and I think we lost about 15 balls since they kept eating them instead of making balls, they are so easy and yummy, we did add wheat germ since I had it on hand. Very good, I had a similar recipe but you had to melt some of the stuff, this was way easier, they boys dumped the stuff into my Kitchenaid and then we rolled into balls and stuck them into the fridge. Thanks for the good (healthy) recipe.

  18. It took me so long to make. The mixture is still dry and crumbly even though I added extra honey, tahini, molasses – I tried everything! They do taste good, I will use far less oats next time. I only used 1C of coconut. The taste is worth it – and next time I will have more of an idea to use less of the dry ingredients, personally. Thank you for the recipe though : )

  19. I have been looking for a recipe like this. I need something for my kids to have for a “treat” that I still approve of! Thank you!

  20. I just made these and they are great! I don’t think they will last long in our house with hungry 3 and 5 year old boys, plus pregnant me!

    What kind of oats did you use? I only had regular rolled oats and so far they great!

  21. I am going to try these, bet the kids will love them. Any suggestions for me for a husband who does not like peanut butter.

  22. I am making these for the 2nd time! My swimmer son is 14 loves them! What is the nutritional break down? Calories, fat, sodiummetc?

  23. Danyiel Johnson says:

    Yum! Seriously yummy. I made these tonight I made a few changes gluten free whole oats. I wasn’t sure what kind of coconut you used so I used 1 cup of Angel coconut and 1 cup of unsweetened flakes, carob chips and 1/2c honey and 1/2c agave. Super yummy, from reading the comments and knowing what I did it looks like it handles substitutions. I thought about adding some lightly toasted pecans, maybe next time.

    This week we also made the Winter Granola…OMG, that is the best! It didn’t last long at all.

  24. I love these, and so does my husband! My last batch, I put the dry ingredients into 1/2-Quart Ziploc bags, times two. I added the honey, PB, and vanilla to one bag and kneed it like bread dough to save on some of the clean-up, and I have another bag of dry ingredients ready to go for next time. The whole batch lasts about a week. My 18-month old begs me for a bite, but she’s one of the reasons I need it, so no extra energy for her! My two-month-old gets hers a few hours later 😉

    • Oops, half-gallon. There’s about 7 cups of ingredients, and a half gallon is 8 cups. (I can also fit two balls into a snack size Ziploc to send to work in my husband’s lunch box.)

  25. what kind of peanut butter do you use for these? i can’t keep them from falling apart.

    • I use different kinds, depending on what I have, but all natural, no sugar added, and organic when possible. 🙂 Are you storing in fridge? 🙂

  26. Jennifer Kinney says:

    Just made these tonight with almond butter (peanut allergy) and agave nectar (didn’t have enough honey) and they are awesome. I probably rolled 35-40 balls (some large and some small for my 23 month olds). I am going to try to freeze a batch as it has yielded so many.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  27. These sound great! My son can’t have flax or wheatgerm… what would you suggest for a substitute (no gluten or dairy)?

    • You can just leave out the wheat germ without subbing anything….And for the flax….do you think you could use a brown rice (crisp) cereal? I think someone said they did that and it worked….Sorry I am not more help.

  28. Do you know the caloric intake for this receipe?

  29. I made these last week and they didn’t last very long. But I was wondering why they needed to be stored in the fridge. When I put them in the fridge they were so hard they hurt my teeth to eat them.

    • Suzy, it’s a preference thing….Sometimes they tend to be a little soft, but it’s up to you how to store them. 🙂

  30. Hi. These look yummy! What kind of oats did you use?

  31. I just made these. They are delish!

  32. What does the flax seed do for you in your diet? And does it have much flavor? I’m going to make these this weekend…they look yummy.

    • Flax seed is rich in omega 3’s. It does have some flavor, but subtle, depending on what you are adding it to. I love these energy balls. 🙂

  33. This recipe is delicious! Thanks for your recipes and your blog. It is so inspiring. I changed the recipe a little because I have celiac.

    I used GF oats from Trader Joe’s, coconut, peanut butter, almond meal from Trader Joe’s instead of the flax meal and omitted the cinnamon. I also pulsed the oats and coconut in the food processor to make the bits smaller so my little one can chew them more easily. And I also used mini chocolate chips. They turned out great!

  34. Jennifer Duke says:

    I just made a batch of these and they are so tasty!! I am trying to loose weight so I figured the calorie content of the entire batch with the ingredients that I used for a total of 5264 calories. I rolled mine into 22 balls so that equals 240 calories per serving. Think next time I will roll mine out into 35 balls so I get about 150 calories per serving.

  35. Angeline Reeve says:

    Do you have to store these in the fridge? My husband is deployed and these sound like a wonderful treat to make and send to him. Thank you.

  36. These are awesome and a total hit in my house, however; I DO NOT reccomend letting your 2 year old little boy eat these before church on Sunday morning! HA!

  37. I tried making these today and used less coconut because I ran out. I also added some chopped nuts. Since we have a peanut allergy I tried using Sunbutter. I’m very sad because they really didn’t stick together and I had to use up almost the whole jar of Sunbutter (quite expensive). Any suggestions?

    • Okay so I’m not sure what happened with my measurements. Maybe Sunbutter just isn’t as sticky as peanut butter but they do taste great. I used the whole jar up but made about 3 dozen energy balls, with some very healthy granola left over. I’ll try again next time maybe using a soy nut butter or something.

    • It has to be that the sunbutter is just different than the peanut butter. And maybe the nuts changed the consistency, too. Do you think adding a bit more honey might help?

  38. I have made something very similar to this before. I also added wheatgerm and walnuts. My four year old and my husband loved them, I had to hide a few for myself hehe. I love to keep them in the fridge and let them sit at room temp for about 5-10 minutes before eating. It makes me feel like I am eating fudge 🙂

  39. These granola balls are soooo good. I’m about to make my third batch in two weeks!

  40. My 10-year-old son and I made these today, Brandy, and they are FANTASTIC!!!!
    Yummy. We love them and I am sure they won’t last long. Have plenty of ingredients left to make another batch!

  41. I made these a few days ago. They are awesome! Also, I love that they don’t need coconut oil or butter. I will definitely be making lots more of these. Love, love, love them.

  42. Is this quick oatmeal or old fashion?

  43. Made these tonight and wow are they so good and easy to make!

  44. Made these tonight and WOW! Easy to prepare and so delicious! You’d be crazy not to try these out for yourselves.

  45. I just made these, was too lazy to roll into balls so i just stuck it all (i did a half batch) into a clip lock box in the fridge and just scooped some out with a spoon into little bowls for myself and my daughter. Tastes yummy!

    It’s the first time i’ve used flaxseed, what’s the health benefits?

  46. Jen Emmons says:

    Just made a 1/2 batch in case we didn’t like them. My food processor would not grind the flaxseed, so I just put them in whole. I like the crunch that way, but not sure if I get the nutrients or not.
    Anyone tell me how you grind your flaxseed?
    And, I am also pregnant and love just about anything with oats. THESE ARE AWESOME! I made mini balls b/c they are fun and just ate about 10 of them while reading the reviews.
    Thanks so much!

  47. Your granola bars, energy bars and smoothies look really good and relatively healthy. I’m curious about the idea of no desserts when these things look what I’d eat for dessert. Is it an issue of when they are eaten?

    • I think we know when something is a dessert or not. For me, a chocolate granola bar WOULD be a dessert. A granola energy ball with dried berries instead of chocolate chips would NOT. It depends on you, the craving, and what you normally would consider a dessert. And again…if you know you’re having a sugar craving, and you’re trying to avoid eating desserts, then there’s your first clue, right? My best advice when trying to avoid sugar completely, and I’m assuming you’re doing the 42 Days to Fit challenge right now, is to eat some protein when you’re struggling with wanting some sugar. It usually helps me a lot! 🙂

  48. I am so excited to try these! I am always looking for easy and healthy little treats to pack for long days at school/work. Thanks so much for sharing! I found you because of Afternoon Popcorn Snack 🙂

  49. Hi!
    I made these for the first time today, and although I love the taste, I was disappointed. The mixture was too dry and crumbly, and I couldn’t get it to roll together into balls. I added more peanut butter (100% peanuts, all natural) and some more honey, but it didn’t change anything. Is there something I’m doing wrong? I even chilled the mixture before trying to roll it, and it didn’t help.
    Please help! I love this idea, and want to make it work!! (I’m taken my mixture and pressed it into a cookie sheet – I’ll chill/freeze it and make it into bars, unless someone posts a fix for me!)

    • Hi there Jo! I would definitely roll them into balls before chilling. Try that and see if it helps. It just sounds like maybe your nut butter wasn’t as moist, which happens sometimes. Give ’em another try. 🙂

      • Hi Brandy!
        Thanks for the response. I originally tried rolling them without chilling the, and it was hopeless… Even if I really smashed them together with force, the always just crumbled. I chilled the dough out of desperation when my first rolling attempts didn’t work. I pressed it into a cookie sheet to make bars, but even those are too crumbly to be of any use. I think I am going to re-crumble the mixture and add more peanut butter tomorrow and see if I can salvage these. I really hope that it works!
        Thanks again! I’ll let you know if I manage to fix them!

        • Oh goodness! So sorry. Yes, it must be the moisture of the peanut butter. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Hope you can get them to roll… Otherwise, I’d eat that batch with a spoon… 😉 Have a great day!

          • Hi Brandy!
            Just a quick update – I ended up adding a TON more peanut butter to that batch, and eventually I got them to stick together. I think I more than doubled what the original recipe called for before they would stick. Not too sure what happened, but I’m wondering if I measured something wrong!
            I’m enjoying these, now that they are rolled. I froze them on a cookie sheet, and then once frozen, I put them all in a larger container. Now I can grab one or two whenever I need a boost, and they thaw out really quickly at room temperature!
            Not a huge fan of the ground flax, as I find that it sticks to the roof of my mouth a bit, but I think I’ll get used to it!
            Thanks again for the recipe, I’m going to try customizing it a little bit next time around!

  50. I was wondering, would the recipe still work if I decided to bake them instead of just placing them in the fridge? My boyfriend is currently in Afghanistan and I’m trying to send healthy snacks mixed in with all the sweets that he likes. Any suggestions? I make homemade granola, but I’m not sure if these would cook properly if I followed the same steps. Thank you, Brandy!!

    • Hey Erika, I’ve never baked them, so I sure don’t know. Hmmmm…..If you experiment, let me know how they turn out. 🙂

  51. These are awesome! This question was probably already asked but any suggestions for peanut free version? School is nut free so almond butter is out!
    Going to make the regular version right now though!

    • I am not sure if these are even possible without a nut butter of some sort to hold them together….Anyone have any ideas???

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi! I am making these for my kids for school. My daughter is allergic to both peanuts and nuts, so we are using her favorite- sunflower seed butter! She actually likes it now better than she used to like peanut butter. Since it’s a SEED and not a NUT, you should be fine! It’s in the coconut family, so considering these have coconut in them, there shouldn’t be an issue 🙂

  52. Healthy Foodie says:

    I made these tonight with almond butter and they are delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  53. These look unreal and can’t wait to make them – do you use real peanut butter or skippy stuff?

  54. Do you bake these?

  55. Can I use whole flax seeds instead of ground?

    • Hi Donna. Flax seeds don’t really digest well, so it’s recommended to eat them ground to maximize their nutritional benefit. 🙂

  56. Do you think these would freeze ok?

    • These freeze SO great! I put several in llittle Meijer baggies and then put those into a larger ziploc freezer bag. That way i can just take out a small baggie whenever I want to and throw it in the fridge.
      Our whole family LOVE these, including my husband. They are so great. I make smaller balls with mine and sometimes even mini’s for my very messy 2 year old.
      I can’t tell you how much I I love these!

  57. Debi Driver says:

    I love these recipes. They contain pretty much everything that you have in your kitchen cupboard. My question is, do you know where I can find the nutrition information on these recipes?

  58. Not sure if someone already asked this, but what kind of oats did you use? Instant or whole/old fashioned?


  59. Just wondering…how many calories in these delicious treats?

  60. Cindy Holloway says:

    Do you have any ideas that I could substitute the coconut with? My family despises it. The only thing we can handle is coconut oil.

  61. What type of oats do you use?

  62. Can you use soaked oats instead? Do you think it would be to wet?

  63. Thank you for posting this recipe! I have been making these for a couple years now. I have adjusted a bit for my taste preferences- this recipe is quick versitile! Just wanted you to know it is a hit in NorCal/Silicon Valley! All my friends and colleagues love these! And they are easy for kids to make themselves 🙂 Thank you again!

  64. Melissa Fite says:

    I made these exactly like the recipe calls for…love them. I was wondering if you know how many calories, carbs, and such that these granola protein balls have????

  65. Tiffany Skaggs says:

    Hi these sound great. Can you have them on the cleanse phase?


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