~ Mmmmmmm … these Walnut Oatmeal Energy Balls are as if a delicious no-bake cookie met up with the best bowl of oatmeal you ever tasted! Plus, these super-yummy, grab-and-go snacks are loaded with complex carbs and protein – full of great nutrition for sustained energy! And just like all our Energy Balls, they’re so easy and freezable, too! (Originally published as No-Bake Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Snack Bites.) ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Freezable • Make Ahead • Vegetarian • Gluten Free •
Gather ′round, friends … it’s story time again at THK.
I’ve been dying to share a little tale about how energy balls helped me win a years-long battle with my Romeo. And today’s my day.
First, full disclosure: my husband has the metabolism of a snake. This troubles me endlessly. (Luckily, no reptilian-slit eyes. Ewwwww. That’d be weird.) Seriously though – he has an uncanny ability to go for hours and hours … and hours … without eating, and he always claimed to suffer absolutely no ill effects.
Troubling, yes. At least for me. As someone who’s passionate about healthful eating (and also gets really, really grumpy without regular feedings), I’d tried to set him straight on this.
I had failed. Repeatedly.
Mostly, I’d failed to convince him that he needs to eat breakfast (most important meal of the day and all …). Sometimes I could coerce him into grabbing a banana as he dashed out the door for the long commute.
Yet, he swore he felt worse all day if he ate breakfast.
I refused to believe him.
This went on for years (seriously). He got a break from my
nagging lovingly offered suggestions when we had our twins and I suddenly was far too worried about their tiny nutritional needs to pay much attention to whether he ate a banana or not. (Also, I was completely sleep deprived and usually hadn’t showered – I had bigger issues than bananas.)
Then, along came Snack Bites – my heroes! (Try really hard to hear a superhero sound track in your mind right here).
They won my battle for me!
My husband now swears by them.
Every morning, he grabs three or four of these little walnut oatmeal powerhouses from the freezer as he heads out the door (hint, hint – they freeze great). And he enthusiastically says he feels fantastic on days when he eats them, and has loads of energy. He is my poster child for the awesomeness of snack bites. (Again, cue that superhero music.)
Hmmmmmm … so not to be an ungraceful winner here, but let’s just quietly snicker to ourselves for a minute about who won the “should my husband eat breakfast” debate …
Ahem. I digress …
This is our seventh Energy Ball recipe! (Check out the rest here!) We actually created this one way back when we were launching THK, and photographed it almost a year ago. We were waiting for the right moment …
And autumn’s back-to-school time is definitely a perfect moment for these! They taste kinda like a no-bake cookie met up with the best bowl of walnut oatmeal ever, with just a hint of mapley goodness … mmmm …
Plus, my kids are now old enough to go straight on to their after-school sports and activities. There’s no little stop at home for a hug and a powered-up, nutritious snack.
I need to send something with them in the morning that they can munch on while they quickly pull on shin guards or running cleats before practice … something to get them through the afternoon activities … something small, portable, and packed with nutrition.
Yes indeedy! The perfect snack: Walnut Oatmeal Energy Balls!!
Loaded with complex carbs and protein – they’ve got the staying power kiddos need in a snack!
And honestly, they’ve got the staying power adults need, too. Perfect after a long run … or to sustain you through an epic afternoon of meetings and errands.
These yummy walnut oatmeal energy balls are perfect for snacking and can even stand in for breakfast. Just ask my husband!
I kid you not when I tell you that I generally make anywhere from 4-7 batches at a time. Do the math … that’s hundreds of tiny little balls of energy!
Make these … and all seven of our other yummilicious Energy Ball flavors, too!
Stockpile them … and send everyone out the door fueled up to conquer the world! Or the soccer field … or the math test … or the boardroom …
We’ve Got Lots of Other Kid-Approved Snacks to Keep ‘Em Powered Up!
- Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins with Caramel Swirl (With Make-Ahead and Mini Options!)
- No-Bake Fruit “Pizzas”
- Pineapple Orange Creamsicle Smoothies
- Ants on a Log 2.0
- “Veggie Faces” No-Bake Vegetable Pizzas and Wraps
Walnut Oatmeal Energy Balls
These energy bites are yummy grab-and-go snacks that are easy to make and freezable, too! Full of great nutrition for sustained energy from complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein.
• Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Freezable • Make Ahead • Vegetarian • Gluten Free •
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups quick oats
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) salt
- Place 1 cup walnuts in a mini food processor. Process, scraping sides occasionally, until the walnut butter is the consistency of natural peanut butter (about 2 minutes, depending on your processor). You should end up with approximately a scant 1/2 cup of walnut butter.
- Place walnut butter in a medium bowl and add all other ingredients (oats, flaxseed meal, dates, coconut, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, honey, vanilla, and salt). Stir very thoroughly to combine.
- Using your hands, press FIRMLY to form one-inch balls.
- Place in air-tight container and refrigerate until serving.
Freezing: These freeze well, so you may want to make extras. They will thaw in about 20 minutes.
Make-ahead tip: If you are making big double- or triple-batches (or more!), don't worry if you don't have time to shape all the balls right after you mix the ingredients together. Just cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate for several hours or even a few days, until you have more time to finish. You can also just grab little portions straight out of the mixing bowl for emergency snacking.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 servings Serving Size: 2 Snack Bites
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.
39 thoughts on “Walnut Oatmeal Energy Balls”
Thank you very much for the recipe Shelley. I have been struggling with eating healthy in my breakfast because I usually don’t have enough time to prepare anything. Will try and let you know the outcome.
I totally hear ya! My husband, in particular, absolutely relies on grab-and-go breakfasts to fuel his days, since he leaves early (and quickly) each morning. Snack Bites are an absolute go-to for him, and I normally make a triple- or quadruple-batch to keep stashed in the freezer for him. He says there’s just nothing that powers him through his mornings the way Snack Bites do! 😀 ~Shelley
Thank you for the recipe, Shelley, can’t wait to try it in next week, but can I use roasted walnuts to make the oatmeal?
I don’t see any issue with using roasted walnuts here! I’ve never actually tried it, but I imagine that, if anything, roasted walnuts would just give a heartier, fuller flavor to this recipe — sounds delicious to me! 🙂 ~Amy
These are delicious! Had a little bit of trouble trying to get them to stick together. I just added about a fourth cup of peanut butter. Worked perfectly!
Hi Lori! First off – I’m so happy you loved these as much as we do! I have to admit, with seven or eight different energy ball recipes on our site (https://twohealthykitchens.com/category/snack-bites/), I haven’t made this one in a while. (I normally like to keep our freezer stocked with a triple- or quadruple-batch of one of the various recipes.) Your comment just reminded me how much I love this one and how long it’s been since this one has made it through our energy ball rotation! I NEED to make these!!! 😉 And great suggestion to add a bit of peanut butter if there’s trouble getting them to stick together – thank you for sharing that tip, in case other readers might encounter the same problem. That’s truly helpful! Have a wonderful week! ~Shelley
Freeze then use. Do you thaw in the fridge overnight or do they thaw pretty quick??
Hi Jenn! You could do either. If you’re going to be needing quite a few one day, you could just take a bunch of frozen energy bites from the freezer and thaw them in the fridge overnight. But yes – they also thaw really quickly if you grab them directly from the freezer as you dash out the door. Snack Bites are my husband’s favorite busy-morning snack as he rushes off to work, and I keep them in the freezer (in separate little snack bags of three to four per baggie). We take them straight out of the freezer each morning and they thaw as he drives to work. I’d say they’re pretty well thawed in 15-20 minutes. (Although I know he starts munching long before that amount of time has elapsed 😉 – but of course you’d want to be sure you didn’t break a tooth munching too soon lol!) Hope that helps! Thanks for the great question! ~Shelley
A bit confused with the ingredients. Should the first item read ‘ 1 cup of
butter’ instead of ‘walnuts’ because there is no mention of butter in my
Hi, Pat! I’m so sorry for the confusion. No – the first item is correct as “1 cup walnuts” – you’re actually making your own nut butter (walnut butter) by processing the walnuts into a creamy consistency that is, as we state, similar to natural peanut butter. The next sentence mentions “walnut butter” specifically, but I can definitely see where the confusion would come in, and I really appreciate you letting us know – that’s so helpful for me to see how readers are understanding our recipe – and I’ve updated the recipe card now to mention WALNUT butter in the first instance, as well as the second. Thanks bunches for the great question! ~ Shelley