Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

~ Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls that taste like edible, no-bake cookie dough! Ridiculously good, and so quick and easy! Filled with nuts, flax and oats for sustained energy. Like all our energy bites, these freeze really well and are a great make-ahead to keep in the freezer for emergency snack attacks! (Originally published as Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Snack Bites) ~

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

Healthy Cookie Dough?

You gotta be kidding me! Really? Cookie dough that’s healthy???

Oh, yeah!

Closeup of a few balls in a clear glass parfait cup, with light tan and pink polka dots in the background.

When we chose the Quick and Healthy Snack Bites to be our first recipe, we didn’t realize what a major hit they would be – both in our own homes and with lots of our THK readers!

They’re incredibly easy to make, freeze great, and are super portable for ultimate grab-and-go convenience. We especially love that these tasty little nuggets are loaded with whole grains, protein and other goodies that keep your energy levels sky high even when life gets really busy!

We’ve made so many Energy Balls for our families that our poor little fingers are tired and sore! We’re kinda wondering if we should focus our attention on patenting a machine to mass produce these babies. Nah … we’re having too much fun playing in the kitchen! 

Honestly, once we all got hooked on this awesome concept – a fantastic alternative to store-bought, pre-packaged snacks – we were just so excited to test more yummy flavor combinations.

These Cookie Dough Snack Bites are another of the top picks among THK taste-testers (who are … ummm … well … of course, our families!).

These remind us a little bit of Derby Pie (and our Kentucky Derby Chocolate-Pecan Cookie Bars), or maybe oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie dough (hence the name!). Either way, they’re delicious enough to be called dessert, but healthy enough to be an energy-rich snack.

When it comes to our taste-testers, these rank right up there with our original Quick and Healthy Snack Bites and our Tropical Snack Bites with Almonds and Chia. Really – our families can’t pick a favorite!

We’d love to know which one you love best, so head for the kitchen to give this new version a try!

How to Make Our Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

Step 1

To get started, place a cup of pecans in a mini food processor (we like to use the smallest, “mini” container in our Ninja processor set).

Closeup of the pecans in a mini food processor before being processed to form the pecan butter.

Whir them up for just a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice. You want to get your pecans to the consistency and texture of natural peanut butter. You’ll end up with about ½ cup of pecan butter from the 1 cup of pecans.

Closeup of a red scraper that's been dipped down into the bowl of processed pecan butter.

Step 2

Transfer the pecan butter to a medium-sized bowl and add the oats, flax, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and sea salt. Give it all a good mix and then add your chocolate chips and the coconut (if you’re using it). One more good mix, and then …

Step 3

You just shape this delicious concoction into one-inch balls. (Or, just grab a spoon and enjoy! We’d be lying if we said we’d never done it!)

Make-Ahead and Freezable!

Like our other Snack Bites, these chocolate chip energy bites are no bakes and freeze beautifully, so it’s a great, easy, idea to make a double- or triple-batch all at once and stock up for those hectic moments.

Don’t worry if you don’t have time to stand around forming a double- or triple-size batch of tiny balls … just shape as many Energy Bites as you need right at the moment, and then stash the bowl in the fridge until you have some extra time on your hands! (Hint: We usually find that time once the kids are in bed!)

What’s Your Pick?

We weren’t kidding when we said that our families can’t choose a favorite from among all our Energy Ball recipes. (We may have to look for better, more decisive taste-testers!) So, we’re throwing this one to you, friends … which of our energy bites reign supreme at your house? Is it our:

Hmmmmm … decisions, decisions … We can’t wait to hear your picks!

And, while you’re at it – feel free to chime in with any ideas you have for new, yummy flavors! Just head down to our comments box and weigh in …

Closeup of a few of the finished energy balls in a glass parfait cup, with a polka-dot background lightly visible behind.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

These healthy cookie dough energy balls are ridiculously good, and so quick and easy (no baking)! They're full of nuts, flax and oats for sustained energy. And, like all our Snack Bites recipes, they freeze great!

  Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Freezable  •  Make Ahead    Vegetarian    Gluten Free  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) sea salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut, optional

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup pecans in a mini food processor (we like to use the smallest, “mini” container in our Ninja processor set). Process, scraping sides occasionally, until the butter is the consistency of natural peanut butter. You should end up with approximately 1/2 cup of pecan butter.
  2. Place pecan butter in a medium bowl and add oats, flax, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add chocolate chips and coconut (if using). Stir again, just until chips and coconut are evenly distributed.
  4. Using your hands, press firmly to form one-inch balls.
  5. Place in air-tight container and refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Freezing: These freeze well, and will thaw in about 20 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 servings Serving Size: 2 balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

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.

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29 thoughts on “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls”

  1. Hello! Do you have any suggestions for a substitute for the ground flaxseed meal? Would another type of flour work, like almond flour? Or does the recipe work without it? I’m hoping to make these with my students (virtually!) and I don’t think many will have flaxseed meal. I’m excited to try these out! Thanks, Katie

    Reply
    • Hi, Katie! I’m so excited that you’re making these energy balls virtually with your students – that makes me really happy! My own kids are high school seniors, and one of my daughter’s teachers has reached out to the students with weekly cooking projects just to stay connected these last few weeks. It’s been a real highlight of my our “stay at home” time! I’m sure all your “virtual” kiddos love cooking with you, too!:D At any rate, completely leaving out the 1/2 cup of flax will change the texture/consistency a lot (although I do think they’ll still be delicious)! Other ideas would be to increase the oats a bit (maybe by an extra 1/4 cup), possibly along with a couple extra tablespoons of coconut – just to get a firmer texture. Or you could try subbing wheat germ for the flaxseed (we use a blend of flax and wheat germ in our recipe for Quick and Healthy Snack Bites), or maybe even adding a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (like we do in our Tropical Snack Bites). Bottom line: the flavor will still be great, but you may have to play with the texture a bit, maybe adjusting other ingredients if you don’t have substitutions like wheat germ available. But don’t worry – this is a VERY forgiving recipe, and depending on the age of your students, it could also give them an opportunity to be a little creative in addressing the real-world situation of not having the exact ingredients needed to make a recipe! I hope this turns out to be a great project for all of you – I’m truly honored you’re using one of our recipes to enhance connectedness among your class during this time! If you have a moment, please pop back to let me know how it all turns out – I’ll be so excited to hear! Good luck, and stay well! 😀 ~Shelley

      Reply
  2. Love them! Do these have to be refrigerated? I want to make a batch, freeze, then ship to my son in law . Would pack in a box with a cold pack, but will take a few days to arrive. Safe?

    Reply
    • Hi, Maggie! First of all, this is such a sweet and thoughtful idea from you. 🙂 I’m sure your son-in-law will be touched!

      To answer your question, these don’t really have to be refrigerated — and definitely not all the time. They don’t have any quickly perishable ingredients. We like to refrigerate (or even freeze) them because it helps some of the ingredients, like the nuts, last longer — plus, as with many handled and prepared foods, it’s safer to store them at cold temperatures to reduce the chance of bacteria growth. But we often leave these sitting out for several days, especially when we’re traveling and need “car snacks!” There’s really no big risk to having these at room temperature for a few days — so probably no need to even include a cold pack in the box. You might want to suggest to your son-in-law that he refrigerate them once he receives them — again, just to increase their shelf life and for a little extra safety. But it should be totally safe to ship them for a few days! Hope that helps. 🙂 Again, it’s such a sweet idea — I hope he enjoys!
      ~Amy

      Reply
      • Thank you for your fast response. I know my son in law will love the bites, because he already does. He and my daughter are brand new parents who live six and a half hours away. I was with them to help with our beautiful new baby and brought a batch of bites with me. They were a hit! I’d like to surprise the kids with a batch-in-the-mail — and now I can. Thank you.

  3. When I made these I used mammoth pecans. When I processed them they didn’t have the peanut butter texture. So I added peanut butter for a better consistency and for the protein. Great snack!!!!

    Reply
    • Wow Malaika! That’s a great question, and got both of us thinking! And it sent me into the kitchen!! I happened to have some of these in my freezer, so I thawed a couple and baked them for 8-12 min at 350. We found that they tasted the same, but were slightly drier. (My husband didn’t seem to mind!) Texturally speaking, they weren’t too bad – just a tad crumbly.
      Truly, the thing we love most about these are the fact that they are a no-bake cookie! In 15 minutes you can have a whole batch made up from start to finish!
      So, the good news is that yes, you can bake them! But, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really find any advantage to baking them. They won’t be more cookie like, since there is no gluten (from a wheat flour), binder (such as an egg), and aren’t leavened (baking soda or baking powder) … but they will still be totally delicious!
      If you’d like to try baking them, I suggest making a batch and baking just a few. See which you like best – and let us know what you prefer! ~Gretchen

      Reply

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Published on
Updated on August 2, 2021
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