No Bake Energy Balls With Options

Protein balls, Energy balls, Bliss Balls, Power Balls or Bites. No matter what you call them… this plant-based treat is so good and much better for you than candy or junk food when you want something sweet.

Leading an active life – one with a lot of DIY decorating – painting, ladder climbing, moving furniture, etc. involved, requires a lot of energy. That’s especially true when I hop from one project to the next during what I fondly refer to as my decorating marathons.

I am in one of these marathons right now – working on many big and small projects for my house that I will post about as I finish each one.

Since I began eating a plant-based diet a year ago, (will be posting about this next week) I have tested and tried quite a lot of recipes and food combinations to find ingredients and flavorings for meals as well as snacks that taste good to me. I now know what I like and don’t like which makes it easy to stick to eating plant based.

I shared my main plant-based sweet treat with you a few weeks ago – Sweet & Crisp Cookies. When I am craving something with chocolate, I reach for a No Bake Energy Ball. I make a batch every few weeks and freeze them so I always have one when needed.

Two rows of healthy no bake energy  balls on white plate.

I first had one of these scrumptious balls filled with energy at a coffeeshop in Charlottesville, Va called Mudhouse. They call them Power Balls.

Whenever we visit our daughters that live there, I always make a trip to Mudhouse to get some to take home.

There are no cafes or coffeehouses where I live that make them so I had to figure out a way to make them myself.

Protein no bake energy balls on a white tray. French coffee press in the background.

I went online and did a search for recipes and have been testing them out. I found a winner, but tweak it from time to time depending on what ingredients I have on hand. As I learned, you can make Energy Balls with many different ingredients.

no bake protein ball cut in half on white plate.

What I found I liked best is using mix of regular old-fashioned rolled oats and crispier Sprouted Oats by One Degree. For the sweetener, I like using date paste instead of honey.

Here is the recipe with the many ingredient options you can try, but don’t be limited by them, add whatever you like to them to create what tastes best to you.

No Bake Energy Balls With Options

Protein balls, Energy balls, Bliss Balls, Power Balls or Bites. No matter what you call them… this plant-based treat is so good and much better for you than candy or junk food. To make them vegan – make sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips and pure maple syrup instead of honey.
Prep Time20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Plant Based, Whole Food
Keyword: energy bites, healthy dessert, no bake, plant based, power balls, protein balls
Servings: 12
Calories: 159kcal
Cost: $8


  • mixing bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • measuring cups & spoons



  • Stir everything together until combined. Use your hands to really mix well.
  • Cover the mixing bowl – I use a plate and place in the refrigerator for an hour or until the mixture can be formed into balls without falling apart.
  • Scoop out enough mixture from the bowl to roll out 1-inch balls.
  • To store: Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a week or store in freezer for up to 3 months.


What makes these energy balls so good is that you can switch out ingredients to come up with new flavors for every batch you make. 
Here are a few optional ingredients you can use:
Choose One Base:  1 cup. Instead of old-fashioned oatmeal, try sprouted rolled oats, finely chopped nuts or seeds like walnuts, almonds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. 
Choose One Sweetener:  1/2 cup. Instead of honey, try date paste, maple syrup, or agave syrup.
Choose One Chocolate: 1/2 cup. Use dairy free chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, sugar-free chocolate chips, or cacao nibs. 
Choose One Fruit – 2/3 cup. Instead of coconut, try raisins, cranberries or chopped apricots, dates or figs.
Choose One Nut Butter: 1/2 cup. Almond butter, tahini, sunflower seed butter, walnut butter or cashew butter.
Choose One Flavoring:  1 tsp. Instead of vanilla, try cinnamon, peppermint, ground coffee, sea salt or citrus zest.
(Optional) Choose One Coating:  Once balls are formed, roll in finely chopped nuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds or cocoa powder.

To Make Date Paste:  Place 2 cups pitted dates in a bowl and pour 3/4 cup of boiling water over them so that they are submerged in water. Cover bowl and let soak for at least 3 hours or longer.  Once softened, transfer dates and the water to a food processor and blend until smooth. 
Transfer the paste to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for up to 5 months. 


Serving: 1 | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 32mg

I don’t eat these every day, but as a special treat in the afternoon when I can take a break from work and relax with a cup of tea or coffee.

They are my little nuggets of indulgence. :-)

Rows of oatmeal chocolate chip energy balls on a plate. Text overlay says healthy energy ball recipe.

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And, if you happen to be reading this post during the Christmas holiday period, perhaps you can grab some hot buttered rum and explore my Christmas projects gallery.

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  1. Debbie Jones says:

    I made these today for the first time, and they are exactly what i was hoping for! I’ll definitely try the date paste next time as a comparison. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debbie – They are good for sure. This week I made a new to me recipe using carrots. They also taste great and don’t have nut butter in them. I will be posting the recipe soon.

  2. Julie Huston says:

    I always like to check other people’s recipe for these because I make them all the time and is my go to breakfast. I am constantly tweaking this, but it will always have oats, peanut butter, flax seed, and chocolate chips. I usually use molasses as a sweetener but only a couple tablespoons. The peanut butter I use (usually JIF) already has sugar so I do not add as much additional sweetener.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Julie – I agree with looking at all the recipes and then tweaking to your liking. There are quite a few different ways to make them. Most say to use creamy peanut butter, but I have found crunchy works just as well. YUM!

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  7. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    You had me at Flax seeds!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – How are you doing? I hope well. :-) I am a flax seed lover too. I put a spoonful in my salad everyday.

  8. We will definitely try these. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Paige Coggin says:

    Hey, Diane. I haven’t read your blog in weeks because so much is going on. I love this recipe. I’ve been on Whole 30 since Feb 4. I feel so good that I’m too scared to reintroduce much. I’ll make these on Friday. I wonder if Almond Butter would work instead of peanut butter? On a traumatic renovation note, my kitchen caught on fire. I need to dive into blog and Facebook site for ideas for my total kitchen redo.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Paige – So sorry to hear about your kitchen fire. :-( I hope everyone is alright. It sounds like you are staying positive and making the most out of the situation. Enjoy planning your new kitchen.

      As for the substitutions for the energy balls, Almond Butter instead of peanut butter is fine to use. Any nut butter is fine. Eating whole foods has so many benefits – like you mentioned – you feel so good. I have never felt better in my life. :-)

  10. I have a cookie every day from your recipe a few weeks ago. I no longer have leg cramps. I will look forward to trying the protein balls also. Look forward to your upcoming posts on this subject. I think many women will benefit from learning how to eat thru this method. Can you eat chicken with squash and zucchini (instead of pasta) using pesto sauce on this plan? So excited to see your upcoming posts.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nancy – I think you are right. It is hard at first changing the way we normally eat and having to do a lot of prep work and cooking, but I am enjoying it. I would have never thought I would enjoy cooking and preparing food. :-) I do not eat any meat, but do eat squash and zucchini. I eat pasta, but not very much. Tonight I had spaghetti squash with tomato caper sauce. It was delish. I will post all about it next week.

  11. Love Mudhouse! Used to go when visiting my son in C’ville. Will miss everything about the area now that they have moved. Have you ever visited during Garden Week? Always such a treat! Looking forward to your discussion on your PB journey. Seriously looking at making the switch for overall health.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary Ann – I understand how much you will miss the C’ville area. My oldest is moving to California in the summer. My youngest will still be in C’ville so I still will get to spend time in the area. I have not gone during Garden Week. I will ask my daughter’s if they ever have taken part in it. I am sure I would enjoy it. We do go to the Farmer’s Market on every visit. I do enjoy that.

  12. Kate @ Centsational Style says:

    Love these Diane!! Thanks for the simple instructions and options too!


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kate – Thanks – When I was thinking about what recipe to post, I figured why choose just one, hence the addition of the options or substitutions you can make.

  13. We went whole food plant based no salt oil or sugar over three years ago to help combat my husband’s Agent Orange caused cancer. We would never go back to eating all the oily animal products again. We feel good, our cholesterol is crazy low, and the excess weight just melted away. So glad you hopped on the bandwagon. I’m looking forward to hearing your story.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pam – I love hearing stories like yours and happy to hear that your husband feels good after his cancer diagnosis. :-) I agree with you, I would never go back to eating how I used to. I gave up dairy 15 years ago and just doing that changed how I felt. Now eating WFPB – no oil, salt, processed sugar, I have never felt better and like you said, the weight just melts away. It has never been easier for me. Whoever said weight loss for women after a certain age would be hard… is wrong! :-)

      1. What I love, too, about eating this way is I can eat a lot, so I am not always hungry like I have been on other eating plans. And believe me, we eat a large volume of food.

        1. Diane Henkler says:

          Hi Pam – I agree – I eat a lot and am not hungry or have intense cravings like I used to.