15 Minute, No-Bake Snack Balls

posted by Andrea | 02/28/2018

Dave and I have always enjoyed snacks throughout the day — and our snacking habits were quickly passed on to our children 🙂

We try to have lots of nutritious snack options available for morning and bedtime snacks — yogurt, clementines, apple slices, bananas, frozen grapes and blueberries, raw veggies, cheese sticks, etc. — but our afternoon snacks are often more fun.

The kids can choose between pretzels, goldfish, animal crackers, vanilla wafers, granola bars, muffins, and sometimes even fruit snacks, candy, or popsicles (in the summer).

They LOVE their afternoon snack — especially because we usually let them watch part of a movie or a show on Netflix while they munch away.

In an effort to add a few healthier options to our afternoon snack, I’m always on the lookout for super easy snacks that are slightly more nutritious than traditional baked goods or store-bought goodies, kid-friendly, and have a decent shelf/freezer life.

Today’s recipe definitley fits all my criteria — which is probably why it’s a favorite in our house!

Not only can I make roughly 30 of these yummy no-bake snack balls in 15 minutes or less, they are SO good, and they last for weeks in the fridge (even longer in the freezer).

I’ve seen similar recipes called “energy balls” or “healthy granola balls” — but I just call ours “snack balls” because I’m honestly not sure how “healthy” or “energizing” they are.

I DO know they are more nutritious than a cookie or brownie, I know my family loves them, and I know they are ridiculously easy to make — so for now, that’s good enough for me!

Recipe for 15 Minute No-Bake Snack Balls

makes 30-35 balls

{print recipe}

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 c. oats (any kind will work — I like the smaller quick oats for this)
  • 1 c. shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter (or substitute butters)
  • 1/4 c. – 1/2 c. honey

NOTE: you can definitely add in extra ingredients based on what you have in the house. Some ideas are:

  • ground flax seed (I almost always add this into my balls)
  • chia seeds or sesame seeds
  • protein powder
  • craisins or raisins (you might want to chop them up a bit first)
  • finely chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS: 

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients until combined.

Scoop out a heaping Tablespoon of oat mixture and roll into a ball.

Refrigerate balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes

Store balls in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator, or freeze for later.

That’s it! 15 minutes or less and only 1 bowl to wash!

These snack balls are so tasty — just the right amount of sweetness without being too sugary.

Also, these are really fun for kids to help with — it’s fairly easy for them to roll the mixture into balls if I scoop out an appropriate amount. And they love snacking on the little bits that fall while they are rolling.

I’m positive there are healthier snack options out there… but considering my kids love these balls, they aren’t pure sugar, and they are super easy to make, they are winners in my book!

What are your favorite healthier snack options?

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19 comments

  1. Sarah

    07/26/2018

    Love these! We had friends over right after I made them and they were gobbled up. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Bridget

    04/17/2018

    We’ve made these a few times but yesterday tried something new….we tripled the recipe and pressed into a 9×13 and cut into small squares, bars, etc. I found it easier than rolling into balls. It’s a great recipe!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh yum — great idea!

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  3. Erin M

    02/28/2018

    I’ve been meaning to make something like this but was initially overwhelmed by the different recipes available online. Your post was the push I needed and I made them- they’re yummy!

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    Andrea Reply:

    well this recipe is super simple — give it a try!

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  4. Pat

    02/28/2018

    I’ve made these several times but instead of chocolate chips I’ve made them with mini m&ms. I always put flax seed in also

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  5. Diana

    02/28/2018

    I do a version of this for myself on many afternoons! It’s a perfect nursing-mom snack because between the protein, fat, and sugar you feel full and stay full. I do a single serving in a bowl, and usually add cocoa for more chocolate flavor. Sometimes I add a little almond flour, for extra protein and it makes everything a bit fudgier. I agree that quick oats work the best–I actually think they’re easier to digest than rolled (when using them “raw” like this) because of how they’ve been processed. (Now if you’re cooking the oats for oatmeal, it’s rolled all the way!) The coconut is a great addition–I’ll have to try that too!

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  6. ShellyL

    02/28/2018

    Great recipe! I’m definitely trying this one. Slightly off-topic, but I like the way you use screen time in moderation. My kids are a bit older, well two of them are, and it seems they are on some type of screens all the time. I like that TV is just a “sometimes” event and you don’t do a lot of other technology. I miss the interaction with them and their interaction with each other. It gets lost when everyone is on their own devices and doing their own thing.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh, don’t be too fooled — our kids definitely love watching TV 🙂
    However, I will say that they never use the computer or our phones, and Nora is the only one who uses the iPad because she needs to do reading assignments on them for Kindergarten.
    I’m sure they will be more “addicted” to screens as they get older though!

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  7. Nancy

    02/28/2018

    I’m going to make these! We’ve been on the lookout for healthier options that will satisfy an emergency sweet tooth.

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    Andrea Reply:

    these are great — definitely sweet enough but not too sweet!

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  8. Michelle

    02/28/2018

    Yes, I love these too!! I don’t always keep coconut in the house but I’ve substituted Rice Krispies and it adds such a fun crunch too!

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    Andrea Reply:

    good idea — my kids would probably like them even more with rice krispies!

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  9. Debbie

    02/28/2018

    The link to print the recipe takes me to the Yummy Cereal Bars recipe (which are very good too!!)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it takes you to the correct recipe, I just had the wrong title on the recipe!! I changed it now!!

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  10. Katie

    02/28/2018

    These look like what I make – I just haven’t incorporated the chocolate chips and I always use the ground flax seed. Easy to make, and easy to pop a couple in the lunch box too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ooo… definitely try the chocolate chips!!

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    Amy Reply:

    Oh…I like that you said lunchbox….I am ALWAYS on the lookout for lunch ideas! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, great lunch additions and easy snacks!

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