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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls with Chocolate Chips


The popular duo of peanut butter and chocolate come together with whole grain oats, flax and chia seeds to make these no-bake, gluten-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls. Perfect for meal prepping, lunch packing, easy snacking and pre-workout fuel. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly.

This post was originally published as Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites on July 31, 2019 Updated on February 13th, 2021.

A weekend meal prep staple.

Energy bites and balls make for the perfect addition to weekend meal prep sessions. They’re easy to make, made with wholesome ingredients, and come with endless possibilities. Below we share a variety of different mix-in’s and swaps that you can use to change up these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls using what you have on hand. These energy packed bites make for a great grab-and-go snack, a tasty lunch box addition or really whenever you need just a little something to fill the gap between meals. Both kids and adults will enjoy these tasty peanut butter chocolate chip energy balls.

 

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Ingredient you’ll need to make Peanut Butter Energy Balls

  • Natural Creamy Peanut Butter – may sub any nut or seed butter of choice
  • Virgin coconut oil or butter – for vegan and dairy-free, use coconut oil.
  • Honey or maple syrup – for vegan use maple syrup
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Old-fashioned oatscertified gluten-free if needed
  • Ground flaxseed – may sub hemp hearts or flour of choice
  • Chia seeds
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Fine salt
  • Mini chocolate chips – use dairy-free for vegan and dairy-free, such as Enjoy Life Foods.
  • Protein protein powder of choice – optional for a boost of protein. For vegan, use a plant-based protein powder such as Sun Warrior. If you choose to add protein powder you may need to add 1-2 tablespoon of water.

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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls lined packed tightly in rows. Topped with flakes of sea salt.

How to make Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls

The recipe directions have been updated. While the ingredients are the same, the process of making the peanut butter energy balls has been updated to include less steps thus making the recipe easier to make. For the original Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites recipe, see the notes section below. 

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat combine coconut oil, peanut butter, honey (if using maple syrup – no need to heat), and vanilla. Stir until just melted then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. If you prefer to make the energy bites with a chunkier texture, skip to Step 3. This optional step helps to achieve a smoother texture in the energy bites. Add the oats to a food processor or blender. Pulse 10–15 times or until some of the oats are broken into very small pieces and others remain relatively intact. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, coconut flakes, ground flaxseed (or flour), and chia seeds.
  4. Add cooled peanut butter mixture, (maple syrup if using), and stir with wooden spoon or with clean hands. Mix in chocolate chips. Make sure dough is not warm otherwise chocolate chips may melt. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into 26-28 small round bites. If the dough doesn’t come together add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it starts sticking together. You may or may not need to add water. It will depend on the consistency of the peanut butter used.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls with chocolate chips studded in them and topped with flakes of sea salt.

How to store Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls

You can store the oatmeal balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If you choose to double or triple the recipe, you can also freeze them for longer storage.

How to freeze energy balls

We are all about stocking our freezers with ready-to-eat foods. Feel free to double or triple this recipe and enjoy some in the present moment then stash some away for the weeks or months to come. We like to store them in reusable zip-top bags. They will keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Are oats gluten-free

This is a question we get asked often. There is some confusion around oats on whether they are gluten-free or not, so we want to clear the confusion up. Rolled oats are naturally gluten-free however, they may come in contact with gluten-free containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye thus becoming contaminated with gluten. This can happen at the farms, in storage, in transportation or if processed in the same facilities and/or on the same equipment as gluten-containing grains. If you follow a gluten-free diet and want to be sure the oats you are consuming are gluten-free, we suggest purchasing Certified Gluten-free Oats.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls with chocolate chips on a plate topped with flakey sea salt.

Tasty mix-in’s and swaps for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

You can make this recipe your own with what you have on hand or what sounds best to you.

Here are some of our favorite mix-in’s and swaps:

  • Chopped nuts or seeds of any kind or variety.
  • Almond butter, cashew butter or pecan butter
  • Sunflower seed butter, tahini or pumpkin seed butter
  • Raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • Chopped dates
  • Diced dried apple or mango
  • Protein powder of choice
  • Cacao nibs
  • Hemp seeds

And probably so many more. Would love to hear what some of your favorite energy bite mix-ins are!

Peanut  Butter Oatmeal Balls piled on a platter.

Other no-bake healthy snacks to try:

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls

The popular duo of peanut butter and chocolate come together with whole grain oats, flax and chia seeds to make these no-bake, gluten-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls. Perfect for meal prepping, lunch packing, easy snacking and pre-workout fuel. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly.

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 28 energy bites 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: No-bake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter (drizzly consistency)
  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil (or butter for dairy-free and vegan)
  • 3 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free if needed)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup flaxseed meal (may sub hemp hearts or flour of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (use dairy-free for vegan and dairy-free, such as Enjoy Life Foods)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup protein powder or collagen (may need to add 1-2 Tbsp. water)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat combine coconut oil, peanut butter, honey (if using maple syrup – no need to heat), and vanilla. Stir until just melted then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. If you prefer to make the energy bites with a chunkier texture, skip to Step 3. This optional step helps to achieve a smoother texture in the energy bites. Add the oats to a food processor or blender. Pulse 10–15 times or until some of the oats are broken into very small pieces and others remain relatively intact. 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, coconut flakes, ground flaxseed (or flour), and chia seeds.
  4. Add cooled peanut butter mixture, (maple syrup if using) and stir with wooden spoon or with clean hands. Mix in chocolate chips. Make sure dough is not warm otherwise chocolate chips will melt. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into 26-28 small round bites. If the dough doesn’t come together add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it starts sticking together. You may or may not need to add water. It will depend on the consistency of the peanut butter used.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

Recipe update (1/14/21) – the recipe directions have been update to make the recipe even easier. If you are looking for the original directions, you can find them here:

  1. Mix 1 Tbsp. of chia seeds with 3 Tbsp. of water and set aside to form a gel. (Recipe update – see below in notes)
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat combine coconut oil, peanut butter, honey (if using maple syrup – no need to heat), and vanilla. Stir until just melted then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. If you prefer to make the energy bites with a chunkier texture, skip to Step 4. This optional step helps to achieve a smoother texture in the energy bites. Add the oats to a food processor or blender. Pulse 10–15 times or until some of the oats are broken into very small pieces and others remain relatively intact. 
  4. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flaxseed meal (or flour), coconut flakes, and remaining 1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds.
  5. Add cooled peanut butter mixture, (maple syrup if using), and chia gel to oat mixture and stir with wooden spoon, in a mixer or with hands (hands work best). Note: the dough needs to be mixed very well before to come together.
  6. Mix in chocolate chips. Make sure dough is not warm otherwise chocolate chips will melt.
  7. Roll dough into 26-28 small round bites. If the dough doesn’t come together add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it starts sticking together. You may or may not need to add water. It will depend on the consistency of the peanut butter used.
  8. Store in covered container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Bite (without protein)
  • Calories: 125
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g

Pin now, make later!


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.





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