Quick and Healthy Snack Bites

The Ball That Started It All …

~ These delicious no-bake Energy Balls are loaded with nutrition to keep you powered up and energized – filled with lots of whole grains, fiber and protein! They’re quick and easy to make, and freezable, too! A healthy snack your family will love, and you’ll feel absolutely terrific about giving them! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Freezable    Make Ahead    Vegetarian  

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Welcome to Two Healthy Kitchens and our very first post! We’re thrilled you stopped by!

We had to choose just one recipe to kick off our blog, so here is the story of how we found our yummy little hero:

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far-away, there were two beautiful princesses (sorry, got carried away there) … we were chatting about our kids’ hectic schedules, and we came to a realization. … The weak link in our families’ otherwise nutritious lives was the grab-and-go snack – hands down!

We had always tried to be really diligent about providing super-healthy meals, but somehow the wheels totally fell off at snack time.

Oh sure, we had the best intentions. But, as the kids came home from school and the whirlwind of homework and afternoon activities began, we often found ourselves reaching for those convenient (and maybe not-so-healthy) snacks.

We knew there had to be a better way!

We scoured cookbooks and the Internet looking for fun and healthy ideas. We tested, tasted, retested, retasted … you get the idea.

And finally we found a winner! (aaaaahhhhhhh – picture a choir of angels singing here)

Actually, we found lots of winners (some were even hiding in our own recipe collections!), and we can’t wait to tell you all about them!

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

This recipe, however, quickly found its way into our hearts (and our tummies, again … and again …)! We just knew that this HAD to be the first post – it’s so yummy, so nutritious, so quick, and so easy!

We adapted our recipe from Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots, and you can find her original recipe here.

While we absolutely loved her recipe, we wondered if we could amp up the nutrition without losing any of the flavor … ’cause that’s just how we roll.

We concocted about 8 or 10 different variations (yeah, we’ve been eating A LOT of these!) before finding the perfect balance. In our version, we swapped in wheat germ for some of the flax, which allowed us to keep a decent amount of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, while reducing the calories and total fat a bit, and increasing the Vitamin E and folic acid a smidge. We also reduced the chocolate chips (less sugar), and used crunchy peanut butter (for, well, some added crunch).

Taste-testers in our homes couldn’t tell the difference!

Our families are even content to have these tasty nuggets of joy for dessert!

You can feel good about handing these over to your kids (if you don’t eat them all yourself!) for a quick snack as you dash out the door. With all the whole grain, fiber and protein packed into these little gems, you can be sure this snack will stick to their ribs and give them the power they need!

So, without further ado, here is the delicious little ball that started it all – the superstar that helped us launch our Two Healthy Kitchens blog. We hope you enjoy our very first recipe as much as we do. And, we hope you’ll be back to THK again soon!

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Begin by adding all ingredients (hold off on the chocolate chips – for now) into a medium bowl.

See that open bottle of vanilla behind the bowl? Yeah … you’re gonna want to close that bad boy up right away. It spills. And it stains clean white countertops. Trust us on this one, friends. It happened seconds after this picture was taken.

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Remember those bottles of colored sand you used to make at carnivals? This totally reminded us of that … but this one tastes way better! Not that we ever tasted the sand … we’re just guessing …

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

See how it’s all mixed together? Now you can add in the chocolate chips and give it another quick stir.

Ideally, you would shape the mixture into little balls and then lovingly share them with your family. But seriously, who are we kidding? Just grab a spoon – we won’t judge!

THK Signature Gretchen & Shelley cropped

Over the Years, We’ve Created Even More Delicious Energy Ball Recipes …

Drop Us a Line … and Let’s Connect!

We’re thrilled that you stopped by our very first post, and we’d love to know more about you! We’re curious where you’re joining us from – what state or country do you call home? And, while snack times were our most challenging mealtimes, we’d love to know: What meal of the day is toughest for you?

Oh, and if you loved reading this, be sure you don’t miss a single deliciously healthy moment! Make sure to …

  • Subscribe to our newsletter for bonus, insider info (there’s a handy box at the upper right corner of our page). As a thank-you, we’ll even send you a free ebook loaded with recipes! Yay!
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Quick and Healthy Snack Bites

Preparation 20 min. 2017-04-24T00:20:00+00:00 Cook Time 0 min. 2017-04-24T00:00:00+00:00
Serves About 3 dozen     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup natural, crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Add chocolate chips to mixture and stir again, just until combined.
  4. Using your hands, press firmly to form one-inch balls.
  5. Place in air-tight container and refrigerate as needed.

by

Recipe Notes

If your peanut butter is one of the natural brands that needs to be refrigerated, then so do your Snack Bites. Actually, regardless of the peanut butter you use, these will keep much better in the refrigerator. They can even be frozen (so you may want to make a triple batch!). When frozen, these Snack Bites will be thawed in about 20 minutes.

We'd love to see your photos of this recipe! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and tag @TwoHealthyKitchens!

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
Quick and Healthy Snack Bites Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}
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Comments

Quick and Healthy Snack Bites — 49 Comments

    • Hi Janet! Pop down to the comment just below yours (Ellen’s comment from 1/12/17) for a FULLLLL explanation about our nutrition info – it’s such a long explanation, I figured it was easier to just direct you there, rather than repeating it all again. And please know, we are actually, right now, in the process of doing some site updates that may finally allow me to offer nutrition info in a way that I feel is truly useful, responsible and helpful … stay tuned! And thanks for the great question! 🙂 ~Shelley

  1. I tried to read all of these comments but if I missed my answer I apologize. These Quick and Healthy Snack Bites sound great unfortunately nothing is healthy if you eat them all in 10 minutes. So my question is what is a serving and does anyone know the nutritional values in a serving? Thanks!

    • Hi there, Ellen! I had to smile – you’re sooooo right about eating them all in 10 minutes (which can be pretty tempting!). 😀 Let me (sort of) answer your questions …

      First off, I typically package these in little bags of three or four energy balls each when I stash them in the freezer. That seems to be a perfect amount for my husband on busy on-the-go mornings, and he swears that amount absolutely keeps him fueled up and energized straight through to lunch. Similarly, that amount seems to be the perfect serving to give my kids quick fuel to get through tough afternoon sports practices. But even just a couple of them is usually all I need to get me through an epically busy afternoon. It will all depend on how active you are (if, for example, you’re an athlete like my kiddos running mile after mile in the heat) and also on whether you’re just grabbing one or two as a little snack, or toting three or four with you for breakfast as you dash to your car on a busy morning. I hope that makes sense!

      Also, I wanted to offer a little explanation of why we have (at least thus far) opted not to include nutrition info with our recipes and how you might more accurately calculate your own. We’ve actually debated since the beginning of this blog whether or not we should supply nutrition info (and address it in our FAQ (http://twohealthykitchens.com/about/).

      Especially with Gretchen’s (my original business partner’s) master’s degree in nutrition, she could easily have calculated that manually – plus there are loads of online calculators to use. However, for a variety of reasons, we have decided over and over again not to do that. One big reason is that we generally don’t specify exact brands (although on some occasions we need to), so the final nutritional profile of a recipe can vary widely, depending on the purchasing decisions our readers make. In the end, it could almost be a bit misleading to quote nutritional info, if readers make significantly different purchasing choices than we did in testing. Although that problem wouldn’t be a big issue with this specific energy ball recipe (with the possible exception of the peanut butter you choose), it could be for a lot of other recipes on our site. For example, the final nutritional profile of our most popular recipe ever – our very simple 3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos – could vary tremendously (particularly, in this case, the sodium) depending on which taco seasoning and which salsa someone purchases.

      Also as I alluded to above, with recipes like this one, the serving size really might vary depending on how you’re using it – for this recipe, as a little snack or a whole breakfast, for example. As another example, other recipes on our site are suggested as both entire meals or (for smaller portioning) as appetizers. The serving size would obviously vary widely in those cases.

      My best suggestion would be to use your favorite online nutrition calculator, and plug in the exact brands you use to get the most accurate information, as well as making decisions about your own personal daily calorie goals/activity levels, and whether you’re just using these as a snack or maybe as a bit more of a meal. Do you subscribe to our newsletter? A few months ago, we sent out a whole list of different recipe calculators in our newsletter. Too long to publish here (this is already such long answer! 🙂 ), but shoot me an email if you’re interested, and I can send that along for you!

      Also … having said all of this … I want you to know that we get questions like this from other readers from time to time, too. As a result, we are always re-evaluating this very good question and exploring how we may be able to offer nutrition information in a way that we can feel good about – a way that’s helpful and not potentially misleading. So stay tuned …

      Thanks so much for reaching out to us! I hope these explanations help you out at least a little!

      Have a wonderful weekend! ~Shelley

  2. These are amazing! My 2 yo son devours them, as do I! Only thing is I had to use twice as much peanut butter to get them to bind together!

    • Thanks so much for taking a moment to leave such a great comment, Sasha! I’m thrilled your son loves these so much! And thanks for the great tip on adding more peanut butter, in case other readers are having a similar problem – that’s helpful advice! I’ve never had trouble with them binding together, but I’m sure different brands of peanut butter might be more or less sticky – so this is a super-helpful suggestion for anyone else encountering the same problem! Thanks bunches!! Oh – and your little guy might also like some of our other Snack Bite flavors – you can check them out at http://twohealthykitchens.com/recipes/index/snack-bites/ (and psssssst … we’re even posting a new twist next week – perfect timing!). 🙂 ~Shelley

    • Hi Kellie! Thanks for the great question! It’s a tough one, though. The oats are really a main ingredient here and are pretty integral to this recipe – both because of the texture and structure they provide and because of the fiber, complex carbs and other nutrients they contain. There are lots of other flaked grains you could try to substitute, although many of them – even, for example, quinoa flakes – may still have more carbs than you’re happy with (again – you’re generally going to be looking at high-quality, complex carbs, though, if you’re dealing with whole grains). So, you may choose to cut the grains out all together, but you will be losing the combination here of protein, healthy fats and complex carbs/fiber which are key in a keep-you-full-snack. If you do want to try cutting out the oatmeal – and not replacing it with a similar cereal grain – one idea you could try is to add finely chopped nuts instead. They would provide some of the texture and bulk that the oats do, although they will also be much crunchier, of course (and you’ll have quite a lot of nut protein and fats from the double-hit of peanut butter and also so many chopped nuts). I’ve never tried subbing nuts for the oats, but it could be worth a shot, and I’d love to hear how it works for you! I hope this helps a bit! Thanks so much for the question! ~Shelley

  3. Pingback: 25 Healthy Snacks #giveaway #EatHealthy16 - theBitterSideofSweet

    • Haha! Thanks Karen! So fun seeing everyone’s first post! 🙂 And yep – this was the ball that started it all here at THK! (We STILL make this all the time!! It’s a family favorite at our homes – we make multiple batches at a time!!) ~G&S

  4. I have an adult son in Texas who is suffering terribly from gout. He will have surgery soon to clean it out of the ball of his foot at the base of his big toe – it’s that bad. He will probably have to become a vegetarian to avoid other flare-ups in the future, but he still needs to have plenty of protein. I have copied all the recipes of your snack bites for him, and I thank you for sharing these recipes! Senior citizens also get too little protein in their diet sometimes and these will be a welcome snack at our house and those of our friends and neighbors here at the home! (That’s what I call our retirement community!)

    • Hi Barbara! Hope your son’s surgery went well!

      That’s an excellent point about vegetarians needing plenty of protein! The typical American diet contains plenty – we are so accustomed to having larger portions at each meal! Often, though, when someone becomes a vegetarian, they aren’t sure where to find great sources of protein. Beans and other legumes, nuts and nut butters are all great ways to add some in! Additionally, grains such as quinoa, freekeh, and even farro can add protein to any meal as well!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and letting us know that you’re enjoying the recipes! Have a wonderful day! ~Gretchen

  5. We are finally going to do it! We have made dozens of your other recipes but haven’t done this one yet. After our sample last week, Aaron loved them so much that he decided we need to make them today. Going to make extras for the freezer like you suggested 🙂
    Thanks for the healthy snack ideas!

    • Yay – I’m so excited for you to make these! Really great to make extras and pop them in the freezer, too – you’ll be so glad to have them! I usually make a quadruple batch (no kidding!) and keep them in the freezer – they’ve saved the day time and again! And you know, my hubby takes four Snack Bites as his breakfast each morning as he dashes out the door, and he absolutely swears he feels so energized and doesn’t get hungry clear through his long mornings. He says he can absolutely tell the difference on mornings when we’ve run out of Snack Bites and he has to make do with something else for breakfast! (I think he might be President of the Snack Bites Fan Club! 🙂 ) Anyway, you’re so sweet to leave such a nice comment – it means the world to Gretchen and me that you took the time! Enjoy that well-stocked freezer! 😀 ~S

  6. Our Girl Scout Troop really enjoyed making and trying these when you brought them to our meeting. The leader and I don’t like coconut very much but we both agree we really like these snack bites!

    • We had so much fun with the girls and were just thrilled for the opportunity to talk to them about nutrition and to introduce them to some new veggies and new, healthy snacks like these Snack Bites! Thanks so much for inviting us to hang out with your troop! And you know, it’s funny about the coconut – we’ve had a truly notable number of other people say the exact same thing – that they don’t typically like coconut but still really, really liked these! Go figure!?!? Thanks so much, Marrie! 😀 ~G&S

  7. My family loved these! My husband is usually averse to anything healthy, but he even asked me to make more! Thanks for the yummy treat idea!

    • Great, Melissa! We are just so thrilled you guys loved these, especially your husband! Our whole goal in starting our blog was to help people find truly delicious, quick recipes that were also healthy – so it makes us especially happy to hear that we helped someone who’s skeptical of “healthy” foods find a new way to love eating well! Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us about your success! Oh – and if you guys liked these, be sure to check out our Tropical Snack Bites with Almonds and Chia – so yummy! ~G&S

  8. These have become my kiddos go to snack!!! Thanks girls! We just LOVE them… I have been using a flax/chia ground mix sometimes instead of just flax and have also added some almond meal too to change it up a little. SO YUMMY!!! Thanks again!

  9. Shelley,
    You’ve made my Friday today and you didn’t even know it! I was privelaged enough to try these delicious treats and they were amazing! This is surely a way to get someone, like myself, to eat healthy without asking what the ingredients are! I will definitely be trying these at home along with White Chocolate Blueberry muffins for a party I have coming up. I will be a wife soon and am trying to make health conscious decisions with food I’m cooking and buying so I am very excited to follow your blog! Thanks again for your creative ideas that helps people like me enjoy healthy eating!
    -Madison DeWeerd

    • Hi, Madison! Well, now you have totally made OUR Friday, so I guess we’re even! Thanks for the awesome compliments – we’re thrilled that you liked the Snack Bites so much, and even more thrilled that our recipes are helping to inspire you to eat healthy! That’s exactly what we hoped to do when we started this blog! We can’t wait to hear how your friends and soon-to-be hubby like your creations – keep us posted! Oh – and good luck with the wedding plans – so exciting!!! ~G&S

  10. Hi Shelley or Gretchen,
    I was wondering if you would be able to provide calories and nutrition facts for
    Your recipes?

    • Shanna, that is a really, really good question! It’s a discussion we continually have between us, and the short answer to your question is that we are still considering the pros and cons of providing nutrition information. Certainly, with her degree in nutrition, Gretchen can do those computations, and there are also great, free online programs that handle can handle it, too. So, what’s the problem, you ask? Well, there are several issues, but the primary one is that we have hesitated to specify exact brands and there are just too many variables. The variations between brands can have a huge impact on the final nutrition profile of a recipe. For example, if we write a recipe that suggests that you use a jar of your favorite pasta sauce – well, there can be tremendous differences in sodium, sugar and even fat, depending upon which brand you prefer. So, yes – we may still decide to add nutrition info in the future. Until then, though, we suggest that any time you are curious about the nutritional profile of a recipe (ours or someone else’s), you try some of those online tools we mentioned. Actually, we’d love your feedback on how well they work for you! Some to consider can be found at: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp or http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator or http://nutritiondata.self.com/mynd/myrecipes/welcome?returnto=/mynd/myrecipes. Hope that helps! ~G&S

      • Shelley and Gretchen,
        I wanted to say that my family doesn’t normally like coconut however, we all LOVE the snack bites. Thank you for the recipe. I will be making these again.

        • Oh, Shanna, that is so awesome! You know, it’s funny, but you are not the only person we’ve heard from who said that someone who THOUGHT they didn’t like coconut actually really liked these Snack Bites. Don’t know what it is about them – but, hey – we love that! These are great little balls-o-energy for whenever you and your family are in a big rush but need good, quality fuel. Those whole grains and protein really help you power through! ~G&S

  11. Thanks for the recipe! They were a huge hit at our Family Bike Outing. Everyone there asked me for the recipe. Of course I told them to check out your blog! Looking forward to more healthy and fast recipes!

    • Janette – We’re thrilled you and your family loved the Snack Bites! They really help us power through our busy days as well! We’re excited to have you here – and can’t wait to share more recipes! ~G&S

  12. You are two beautiful princesses!!! And now with a beautiful blog! No children at home anymore, but Mom and Dad are in need of healthy snacks as well. Best wishes on your new adventure!

    • Sue – Thank you so much for your sweet words! We’re sure you’ll love these Snack Bites – they are a favorite among the adults in our homes, too! We hope you’ll stop back again – we’ve got more delicious recipes we’re sure you’ll love! ~G&S

  13. Glad to learn of your site from my friend, Judy H. It will a good source for me as a first time grandma and for my very health conscious daughter-in-law in MT. Thanks so much!

    • Welcome, Kate! And, congratulations on being a first time grandma – that’s so exciting! We hope our recipes will win you “Grandma of the Year” awards and a big thumbs-up from your health-conscious daughter-in-law! ~G&S

  14. Nice job! What a great concept and great looking website. Will try this recipe as we always have those ingrediants on hand. Cant wait to see what else you have in your recipe box!

    • Thanks, Stacey! Can’t wait to hear how you guys like the Snack Bites, and don’t forget that these freeze beautifully, so you can make a double- or triple-batch and then just pull a few out of the freezer to keep your kids powered up with really good quality fuel for all those busy nights full of athletics and evening activities! ~G&S

  15. I’ll have to try these. Such a cute website! I can’t wait to see what other recipes you put on here. Hope everything is well! 🙂
    -KC

  16. Best wishes to you ladies on your new launch. I’m friends with your aunt and uncle, Tom and Pat Bishop! I’m always looking for healthy recipes, this looks like a great one! Love the ziplist recipe clipper, I’ve not seen that anywhere!!! I wish you had a “grab button” I would include it on my website.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words and support! Glad you like the ZipList feature! So handy, huh? Creating a “grab button” is a great idea – and now it’s one of the very next items on our to-do list! Hope you stop back soon! ~ G&S

  17. Congratulations, Shelley and Gretchen, on your launch! I can’t wait to make your first recipe and have my girls try them out. You asked readers what meal we find most troubling, and, for me, it’s lunch. We can only eat so many grilled cheese sandwiches and peanut butter (which my 7 year old won’t even touch)! I’d love school lunch ideas and suggestions for weekend (and soon summer)lunches.

    Best wishes!

    Sue

      • The verdict is in: The balls are a hit! Everyone at the bus stop loved them, kids and adults alike. I used the creamy peanut butter and large chocolate chips that I had on hand, but will pick up crunchy peanut butter and mini chocolate chips a.s.a.p. Thanks for the easy and yummy recipe!

        • Hi, Sue! Wow – you’re speedy! We are so glad that everyone at your bus stop loved the Snack Bites! In our homes, we also find that the adults love them at least as much as the kids – and the adults are really almost more likely to grab them for snacks-on-the-run! Our husbands are always bummed if we don’t have any waiting in the fridge! ~G&S

  18. Ladies, I love the concept of quick but healthy cooking, baking and snacks. As a super busy mom with a medically fragile child, nutrition is the key. I love how easy the recipes are to access and I cannot wait to see more; especially dinner ideas because that is my most challenging meal time. Crockpot meals are especially helpful to know. I will be tuning in frequently!!!

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