~ 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”
Do you have any substitution ideas for the dates? I don’t have any in the house right now. 😉
Hi, Christine! To be honest, the dates are pretty integral to this recipe because of their caramel-y flavor. You can definitely try substituting another dried fruit, like maybe raisins or cranberries, but the flavor profile of these Energy Balls will be somewhat different if you try something besides the dates. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all – I love experimenting in the kitchen! And, we certainly use other dried fruits in some of our other Energy Ball recipes, like in our Granola Energy Balls. It just won’t have quite the same caramel-y, cookie-ish vibe without the dates. But this is a flexible recipe, and your swap will likely be delish in its own way! Let me know what you try … I’ll be excited to hear how it goes! ~Shelley
Can you smash into 8×8 glass pan to cut into lil bars.??. making balls hard is troublesome..added more syrup to hold together..walnuts didnt butter up well..dry but hubs loved…
Hi, Lyn! I haven’t tried making these energy balls into bars, but I’d love to hear how that goes if you give it a try. Also, from what you described, it sounds like you need to process your walnuts a little bit longer, until they do become more moist and “buttery”. If you’re still having trouble getting your food processor to achieve the desired walnut consistency to easily shape the energy balls, you could alternately cut back just slightly on some of the dry ingredients (the flax and/or oats). So glad your hubs loved the first batch, even though the texture wasn’t quite as sticky as you’d hoped – they really are a scrumptious little energy boost, aren’t they?!?! ~Shelley
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed them, Gia! Thanks for the feedback! ~Shelley
What kind of nuts can I substitute walnuts with? my kids have a walnut allergy
Hi, Rebecca! It will, of course, change the flavor profile somewhat, but there are lots of different nuts you can try substituting in these energy balls. For example, you could go with almonds (or almond butter) like we do in our Almond Joy Snack Bites, pecans like we do in our recipe for Cookie Dough Snack Bites, or with peanut butter as we do in our Peanut Butter Cup Snack Bites and our “original” Quick and Healthy Snack Bites. I hope that helps! Enjoy! ~Shelley