Looking for a quick, healthy snack that’s portable? Look no further! These peanut butter energy balls are just what you need!
Energy balls are one of my favorite snacks to make because they’re quick and easy to put together, and there are so many fun recipe combinations.
These energy balls have a tasty combination of peanut butter and chocolate and are sweetened naturally with dates. With six common ingredients, you can make these energy balls in as little as 5 minutes.
Portable Healthy Snack
It so often feels like the only portable grab-and-go snacks are the ones that come in a plastic wrapper. However, that’s no longer true thanks to these healthy peanut butter energy balls!
Firstly, these energy bites are filled with healthy fats, fiber, and carbohydrates, which is the magic combination to keep you energized and full.
Secondly, they taste pretty incredible – almost like chocolate chip cookie dough. So, your kids will definitely not complain about snacking on these!
I have tried plenty of other homemade snacks, but I keep coming back to these energy balls (or energy bites, whichever you prefer to call them), over and over. Trust me, these are hard to top!
Simple and Customizable Peanut Butter Energy Balls
One of the awesome things about these energy balls is that it’s pretty hard to mess them up too. They almost always taste good. Plus, sometimes you can find a new recipe by “messing up” an old recipe.
Peanut butter energy balls are so simple, that my children make them often. Even my 8-year-old! He begs to make this recipe (I think it’s purely because he likes to put a lot more chocolate chips in then I do.)
Naturally Gluten-Free (Plus Dairy-Free Option)
Another great thing about this energy balls recipe is that it’s naturally gluten-free and you can easily make it dairy-free by using dairy-free chocolate chips.
This is a great easy homemade snack for families with food sensitivities, like mine.
But what about if your family doesn’t have food sensitivities? Still make these! You won’t miss the gluten, trust me.
How to Make Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Like I said, making these peanut butter energy balls is so simple! This is a great recipe to make in the kitchen with your kids. They’ll have a blast helping drop in the ingredients and snacking afterward.
- pitted dates*
- natural peanut butter**
- oats rolled or quick-cooking (use gluten-free oats if needed)
- vanilla extract
- chia seeds
- mini chocolate chips (use this dairy-free version if needed)
- a food processor or mixer (I recommend a food processor for the fastest, best mixing)
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
*Softened dates blend best for this recipe. If your dates are hard, you can soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes first, then drain.
**I get the best flavor using peanut butter for this recipe. However, you can try almond or other kinds of nut butter. Even SunButter should work well if you need a nut-free recipe.
Choose natural peanut butter with no added sugar for a less sweet energy bite. Trust me, the dates add plenty of sweetness!
How to Make the Energy Balls
Process the dates in your food processor until they are chopped into small pieces.
Next, add the peanut butter, oats, vanilla extract, and chia seeds.
Then mix again.
The mixture should be thick enough to form into balls without being too sticky. And let’s be honest, it’s not always easy to measure out peanut butter perfectly (I tend to eyeball it on a spoon myself), so if your energy ball mixture isn’t the right consistency, try one of these two things:
- If it’s too sticky, add more oats.
- If it’s too dry, add more peanut butter.
Lastly, add the mini chocolate chips to the energy ball mixture. You can pulse quickly (which is what I usually do) or use a spoon to stir it in.
Next, it’s time to form them. Roll into small balls. You’ll get approximately 12-15 energy balls, depending on the size and how much you or the kids eat before rolling it!
How to Store the Energy Balls
You can enjoy your peanut butter energy balls right away. If you happen to have some leftover, or want to make a larger batch ahead of time you have a few options.
First, you can store extra energy bites in the refrigerator in a sealed container. They will keep about a week.
Secondly, you can freeze them. I’ll sometimes do this if I get a massive bag of dates and need to quadruple the batch. In the freezer, they will last for several months.
Check out these Energy Ball recipes:
- 5-Minute Peanut Butter Snack Balls
- Chocolate Protein Balls
- 5-Minute Blueberry Snack Balls
- Chocolate Mint Balls
- 5-Minute Banana Snack Balls
- Matcha Green Tea Energy Bites
Peanut Butter Date Energy Balls
With 6 simple ingredients, Peanut Butter Date Energy Balls are just as delicious as they are easy to make.
- Prep Time: 5 min
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 12-15 energy balls 1x
- Category: snacks
- Method: food processor
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup oats, quick-cooking or rolled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, dairy-free if needed
Mix the dates in a food processor until chopped into small pieces. If they’re too hard, you can soak them for 10 minutes in warm water first, then drain and try again.
Add the peanut butter, oats, vanilla extract, and chia seeds. Mix again.
The mixture should be thick enough to form into balls without being too sticky. If it’s too sticky, add 1-2 more tbsp oats. If it’s too dry, add 1-2 more tbsp peanut butter.
Lastly, add the mini dairy-free chocolate chips and mix gently.
Roll into small balls. Enjoy right away.
Store in the refrigerator.
Keywords: energy balls, peanut butter snack, snack balls, dates, dairy-free, gluten-free snack
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I seriously just made something similar for card night last Friday – I forgot them in my fridge and ate every last one in 5 days – I only used a cup of pecans – and I made that into a butter in the food processor. I used a little honey, molasses and some coconut flour as well as fresh oats and chocolate chips. They were almost like Reeses pb cups – if you have a really good imagination. lol. They were yummy. And I knew they were good for me – so that helped.
I just tried this recipe tonight, and I totally loved these! They’re a perfect sweetness amount (not too much, not too little), and they’re a good moistness, too (which might sound weird, but sometimes I try energy ball recipes that end up being too dry for my liking). And the peanut butter flavor was what I was hoping for. I really have been craving the unhealthy peanut butter balls made with peanut butter and powdered sugar…..but I’m trying really hard to eat more whole/unprocessed foods, and less sugar. So I gave these a go and I’m really glad I did! I did end up substituting hemp heart seeds in place of chia seeds, but other than that I made this recipe as written. Will make again!
I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sharice. 🙂
These are AMAZING ! I absolutely loved them!
I didn’t have oats, so I substituted them for coconut and it worked perfectly fine. I also made a batch without the chocolate chips, and it was still equally delicious!
Gloria Rubac says
Do you know how many carbs are in these balls?
Yes, we just updated the nutritional info for this recipe. Thanks for the reminder, Gloria!
Great recipe – lots of wiggle room. They were a huge hit the first time. The 2nd time, I forgot to add the oats… and they were even better!?!? YUM.
How do you think these would do frozen if I made a huge batch at one time and froze the extra for later 🤔
You can definitely freeze them for later! I recommend placing them on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and freezing for about 1 hour before transferring to a ziploc bag or plastic container for longer freezing. (That helps to keep them from sticking together and turning into a huge frozen blob.)
Christina M says
Love these! These balls are becoming a staple in our house!
I’m so glad you love them!
I don’t have a food processor, how can I make this?
Use pre-chopped dates then mix with a regular mixer or even a good old spoon and bowl. Or you can chop the dates by hand with a knife, then mix.