Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls

~ PB&J just got less messy – and totally portable! These yummy Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls are a simple, fast, wholesome, no-bake energy snack … that tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yum! So perfect for kids (and adults, too)! ~

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

A New (Delicious) Take on a Classic

We all grew up on it – and some of us still swear by it, even as adults (no shame there). It’s our old friend … PB&J!

It’s the quintessential lunch, and somehow it just never gets old.

Closeup of one ball on a white paper square on a brown paper backdrop with more energy balls piled in a bowl behind.

But, what if I told you that I figured out a way to harness all that fan-favorite PB&J flavor … in a less messy, more portable, nutrient-dense, eat-it-on-the-go snack???

Because … well … I did exactly that! (Cue cheering crowd noises.)

These delicious little Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls channel all those beloved PB&J vibes, with:

  • Creamy, all-natural peanut butter
  • Pure-fruit strawberry jelly
  • Dried cranberries for extra fruitiness and (surprise!) shredded coconut for chewy texture and extra depth of flavor (Trust me on the coconut here, friends – it’s a terrific little flavor boost we employ in our Strawberry-Peanut Butter Quesadillas, too. Super good!)
  • And just a hint of cinnamon

… and it all combines to make the most wonderful, kid-friendly (and adult-friendly!) snack.

Seriously, everyone will love these!

Plus, they’re nutrient-rich, so you can truly feel terrific about making them for your family. Here’s what I mean …

Peanut Butter and Jelly Snacks Loaded with Nutrition

These are so much more than just a regular snack. They’ll knock the socks off a processed granola bar from the vending machine or a snack-size bag of chips – every.single.time.

Overhead of 3 peanut butter balls on white paper squares, with milk in an old-fashioned bottle and a bowl of extra balls.

And they even make a perfect breakfast when you’re in a hurry. They’ll absolutely keep you fueled up all morning long.

For real – our Energy Balls will give you the fuel you need to power through whatever the day throws your way!

They’re packed with:

  • Antioxidants for fending off free radicals (which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases).
  • Whole Grains, which are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber and B vitamins.
  • Complex Carbs to give you that much-needed boost of energy (without the quick crash you get from simple carbs).
  • Protein, which will keep you feeling satisfied while boosting you to a constant energy level.
  • Fiber to help keep your hunger levels, blood sugar, and digestion in check.
Two Energy Bites on a red napkin with several more balls piled in a white bowl behind.

Bottom Line: They’re great early-morning, after-school, pre-soccer-game, post-workout, hectic-afternoon, and quick-on-the-way-to-work snacks. (Ummm … so, really anytime snacks.)

Wanna make some? It’s super easy, I promise. Here’s all you have to do …

How to Make These EASY Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls

Making a batch of these is truly so simple. You basically just need to grab a few ingredients that you probably already have hanging around your pantry, plus a mixing bowl and spoon.

Step #1 – Start by combining the ingredients (except for the dried cranberries).

All the Energy Ball ingredients in separate little areas in a white bowl, with a wooden spoon alongside.

Give it all a good stir to make sure everything is evenly incorporated, so you don’t end up with pockets of peanut butter here … and jelly there. Get it all mixed in together!

Step #2 – Then, add your cranberries and stir it around again, to distribute the berries throughout. 

REcipe ingredients mixed together with a wooden spoon, ready to be shaped into Energy Balls.

Step #3 – Using your hands, press your yummy mixture firmly into one-inch balls. (Here’s the tough part: try not to eat tooooooo much along the way. I mean, some “taste testing” is obviously mandatory, but try to end up with at least a few Energy Balls for later. It’s hard, but I have faith in you!)

Step #4 – Pop your Energy Bites (however many made it through your “taste-testing”!) into an air-tight container and stash ’em in the fridge. (Or in the freezer … more details on that in a moment …)

Done! How easy was that?!?

No baking.

Almost no dirty dishes.

And you’re all set with some healthy snacks you’ll absolutely love (and feel great enjoying). Pat yourself on the back!

But wait … it gets even better …

Energy Balls Freeze Great, Too!

Have a couple extra minutes? Whip up a double batch (or … hey hey … even a triple batch). Make ’em, freeze ’em, pull ’em out when you need ’em.

I speak from experience … one batch doesn’t last long around my house, and the whole fam feels kinda sad when I don’t have a supply of Energy Balls ready and waiting.

Three Energy Balls, each on a square of white paper, with festive straws in the background.

So, do yourself a favor and make extra. You’ll be glad you did!

Pro Tip: Two Ways to Freeze These

Option #1 – What I usually do is portion sets of 2 or 3 balls into individual snack bags, ready for grab-and-go munching. Put all of the individual snack bags into a big gallon freezer bag – so the little baggies don’t wander around your freezer and get lost somewhere underneath frozen peas and last summer’s popsicles {*sad*}.

Option #2 – You also can store your Energy Bites all together in one big freezer bag, so you can grab out just one at time. If you want to do that, I recommend opening the freezer every so often during the first hour or two, to jiggle the bag around a little and help prevent the balls from sticking together. (But never fear … if they do happen to stick together, it’s really not that hard to break them apart. It’s not a high-stakes problem!)

Oh – and don’t worry about them going bad. These Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls really do freeze beautifully, and they’ll keep well for at least 3 months.

Just thaw for a few minutes, and enjoy!

Ready to get going? I am! Scroll down to the recipe card to get started.

Or maybe you’ve got a few more questions first? I can help …

FAQs At-a-Glance

Can I Use Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats, Instead of Quick Oats?

As we explain in the post for Easy Blueberry Overnight Oats, quick oats are rolled thinner than old-fashioned oats. In a no-bake recipe like this, old-fashioned oats can be a bit too thick and chewy for some people’s liking. In a pinch, you can try using old-fashioned oats. But in general, I really recommend sticking with the thinner, less dense quick oats to get the best texture in this recipe.

What About Steel Cut Oats?

Definitely don’t use steel cut oats – they’re far too hard and crunchy to work well in Energy Balls.

Can I Use Crunchy Peanut Butter?

Sure! I usually go with creamy in this particular Energy Ball recipe, but some of our others (like our “original” Peanut Butter Energy Balls) call for crunchy to get that extra texture goin’ on. Just be aware that those bits of peanuts can make it a little more difficult to press the balls together (although it’s truly not all that difficult, if you’re pressing them firmly together, anyway).

Can I Use Unsweetened Coconut?

I don’t recommend it. Sweetened coconut is generally moister (especially Baker’s brand), and the drier unsweetened coconut can make the balls harder to press together. Also, as I mention in my post for “Candy Bar” Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, when I compared product labels side by side, I was surprised to see that (comparing 15g portions), the sweetened coconut only has a little bit more sugar that the unsweetened … and sweetened actually has quite a bit less saturated fat (and overall fat) and also fewer calories.

Can I Just Shape These with a Cookie Scoop or Roll Them Lightly in My Hands?

You can use a cookie scoop if you want, just for spooning up equal portions, but not for actually shaping the balls. And lightly rolling them like you would, say, sugar cookie dough, won’t quite work either. With Energy Balls, you do need to actually firmly press them together to get all the yummy ingredients to stick to each other in a ball shape.

Want Even More Energy Ball Recipes?

Energy Balls have been around since the genesis of Two Healthy Kitchens. In fact, our Peanut Butter Energy Balls were our very first post ever! (Originally, we called ’em “Snack Bites.”)

Over the years, we’ve created a variety of crowd-favorite Healthy Energy Ball recipes.

Pinnable collage of four recipe photos with text overlay reading "Easy • Healthy No-Bake Energy Balls Recipes".

Be sure to check ’em all out!

Well, you know … after you make these Peanut Butter and Jelly ones first, of course! 😉

Love the Recipe? • Were My Tips Helpful?

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Please leave a star-rating in the recipe card below – I truly appreciate all your wonderful feedback!

Two Energy Bites on a red napkin with several more balls piled in a white bowl behind.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls are a simple, fast, wholesome, no-bake energy bite that tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

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

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons 100% pure fruit strawberry jelly or jam
  • 1/3 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup cherry-flavored dried cranberries (see note)

Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except dried cranberries. Mix thoroughly.
    2. Add cranberries to mixture and stir again, just until combined.
    3. Using your hands, press firmly to form one-inch balls.
    4. Place in air-tight container and refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Cranberries: We've tested these Energy Balls with dried cranberries, cherry-flavored cranberries, and strawberries. All of those dried fruits work, but we felt the cherry-flavored cranberries offered great flavor while also being relatively cost-effective and easy to find at the store.

Storing: 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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 servings Serving Size: 2 energy balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 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.

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This recipe was originally published as Peanut Butter and Jelly No-Bake Snack Bites on April 11, 2014, and was also featured as a guest post by one of my absolute favorite food bloggers – Julia at A Cedar Spoon. Julia’s recipes are delish (we’ve even featured her in our own hot dips roundup). I hope you’ll hop over to take a peek at her terrific site and fantastic recipes, too!

27 thoughts on “Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Balls”

  1. I was so excited to try another kind of snack bites so I made them the day you posted it! My oldest doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly but she loves these!! Love this new snack bite recipe!!

    Reply
    • Wow! What a fabulous compliment! Thank you so, so much for taking the time to pop back to our site and let us know how much you and your family loved these! That really means a lot! And hey – if we start a Snack Bite fan club, we’re thinking you’ll be the first president. Deal?!?!? 😀 Seriously though – thanks a million! Have an awesome weekend! ~G&S

      Reply
    • Thanks so much, Julie! Our kids are so happy when we tuck Snack Bites in their lunch or send some along in their backpacks if they’re heading straight to after-school activities! Plus, we’re happy knowing that they’ve got the good-quality fuel they need so they don’t have an energy bonk right in the middle of a test … or soccer practice … or band … or, well, you get the idea! 😀 ~G&S

      Reply
    • Hi, Judit! Thanks so much for your kind words! And honestly – our families eat Snack Bites all throughout the day, for sure! They’re the perfect fuel to start your day as emergency grab-and-go breakfasts, and great little power snacks all day long, plus we’re even happy to nibble them as something-a-little-sweet desserts. So awesome when the kiddos are even happy to call something this healthy “dessert!” 😀 Hope you and Corina have a fabulous weekend! ~G&S

      Reply

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Published on
Updated on August 24, 2021
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