Whether it’s first thing in the morning or midafternoon, we all need an energy boost at some point during the day. Coffee is one solution; a sugary energy drink, another. But when you need something with more sustenance, we recommend reaching for energy bites.
These balls are loaded with nutrients to keep you focused and going strong no matter what life throws at you. Even better, they’re simple to make: Most require combining a few ingredients in a food processor, then rolling right up. Just stash them in the fridge and take a few with you for when your tank nears “empty.”
1. Cranberry Orange Energy Bites
Cranberry and orange are like peanut butter and chocolate—wonderful alone and even better together. Add some protein powder and almonds for staying power, plus dates to bind everything, and you’ve got a healthy, portable treat that’s super tasty.
2. No-Bake Apricot Energy Bites
These sugar-free bites combine dried apricots, almonds, walnuts, raisins, and flaxseeds to form a perfectly sweet and crunchy treat. Blend the ingredients together in a food processor and roll in coconut, and you’re in heaven. Plus they’re vegan, Paleo, and gluten- and dairy-free, so pretty much everyone can enjoy them.
3. Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls
When you want healthy muffins without the hassle of baking, make these! The tasty duo of lemon and blueberry unites with a base of cashews, almonds, and dates that adds a sweet, buttery flavor. Throw in a little vanilla extract, and you have the taste of muffins in about 10 minutes.
4. Strawberry Shortcake Energy Bites
Who said dessert can’t be healthy? These no-bake bites are perfect for when you’re craving something fruity and delicious. Strawberries sweeten the recipe just enough so that you don’t need added sugar, and the vanilla extract gives it an extra kick. The recipe calls for freeze-dried strawberries, but you can easily substitute the real ones instead—just be sure to refrigerate the bites to keep them fresh.
5. Orange Zest Bliss Balls
Raw, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, these energy balls are as pretty as they are tasty. Unless you have the herb Damiana on hand (we’d never heard of it), feel free to leave it out—the bites may have less libido-enhancing effects, but they’re just as delicious without it. Orange zest and cinnamon add some zing to the typical bite recipe. Roll in shredded coconut for a sweet coating that also makes them look fancy.
6. Lemon Vanilla Energy Balls
This recipe is for all the lemon lovers out there. The tasty combination of vanilla and lemon strikes a balance between sweet and tart, and the nuts and protein powder will keep you full and energized. If you wish, add maca powder, which may further boost your energy (though it’s definitely not vital to the recipe).
7. Apple Almond Energy Bites
Only 10 minutes to make, this recipe is super simple and includes a sprinkle of hemp hearts for a boost of protein. And who can resist the combo of apple and nut butter? Process everything together, roll into balls, and let them set in the fridge—if you can wait that long.
8. Vanilla Plum Energy Bites
The word “prune” probably triggers thoughts of your grandmother and fart jokes. But grandma was on to something: Dried plums help increase satiety, which in turn may help control diabetes and heart disease. Plus these bites are truly delicious and naturally sweetened.
9. Lemon Poppy Seed Energy Bites
For a healthier alternative to the tasty muffin, try these easy-to-make bites. Combine your favorite protein powder (ideally vanilla-flavored) with oats, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Water and lemon juice bind it all together and add an extra kick of flavor. They’re just as delicious as the muffins, without all the crumbly mess.
10. Homemade Aussie Bites
With quinoa and sunflower, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, this recipe may read like bird food. However, when you add the oats, maple syrup, and fruit, you’ve got something far tastier and heartier. This one requires a little cooking (making quinoa and baking the bites), but it’s certainly not time-consuming.
11. Chocolate Goji Berry Protein Bliss Balls
Sure, we all love acai berries, but goji berries pack a ton of antioxidants too. This recipe marries them with other super-healthy ingredients, including chia and pumpkin seeds for some healthy fats, and dates and raw cacao to sweeten things up.
12. Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Balls
Zero oil and butter make these bites a healthier version of the beloved sweet bread. Raisins, walnuts, and pumpkin puree combine to create a gooey, delicious base. Coconut flour replaces traditional white flour, making these tasty bites gluten-free.
13. Chocolate Tahini Balls
Tahini isn’t only for hummus and salad dressing. Here, the sesame seed spread lends a delicate hint of nut that’s offset by sweet dates and cocoa powder. Between these irresistible treats and our hummus addiction, we’re stocking up on tahini—how about you?
14. Breakfast Fuel Bombs
This recipe invites experimentation. Use your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to come up with a personalized blend. No matter what, we highly recommend dipping them in chocolate.
15. Chocolate Coconut Pistachio Bites
Talk about delicious! These chocolate morsels have a fudge-y consistency that’s complemented by salty almond butter and the satisfying crunch of pistachio nuts. Even more impressive: They’re vegan, Paleo, and naturally sweetened by honey.
16. Raw Cacao Chia Balls
With just four ingredients, these energy bites are a breeze to whip up. Chia seeds not only bring crunch, they may also help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Form a dough by pulsing the almonds, dates, chia seeds, and cacao powder in a food processor. Roll the dough into balls and enjoy!
17. Raw Energy Power Balls
We realize there are a lot of ingredients between these three lists, but stay with us. As the blogger says, the combinations are endless. The coconut oil and date base remains the same, but feel free to get creative with the add-ins. We suggest combining the hemp seeds for omega-3s, cacao powder because chocolate, and spirulina for a touch of greens.
18. Peanut Butter Mocha Energy Bites
A list wouldn’t be complete without a recipe that included espresso. Grab one or two of these to stock up on carbs and energy before heading out on your morning run. The oats, flaxseeds, and peanut butter will keep you going strong, and maple syrup lends the perfect light sweetness. Pair with a cuppa joe for even more pep.
19. Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Energy Balls
You had us at dark chocolate. But if you aren’t on board, hear this: Walnuts and almond butter add satiety, while dates are used for natural sweetness. Plus the crisp quinoa makes these extra filling and packed with protein.
20. Trail Mix Energy Bites
The perfect snack to pack for a hike or weekend drive, this recipe is so good you’ll want to make two batches. Crispy rice cereal, corn flakes, and pretzel bits make for a crunchy, salty flavor that plays well with chocolate and peanut butter. You’ll never buy a prepackaged bar again!
21. Triple Chocolate Energy Bites
Yeah, these are pretty amazing. Three types of chocolate—chocolate chips, chocolate peanut butter, and cocoa powder—make them the real deal, and a hint of oats and honey keeps them from being too overwhelming. The fact that they’re kinda like eating cookie dough doesn’t bother us one bit.
22. No-Bake Chocolate Cranberry Energy Bites
Ideal for grabbing as you run out the door, these balls feature uncooked quinoa. That’s right—raw. The protein-rich seed (plus flaxseeds and almonds) makes them crunchy, but what you’ll really go for is the chocolate chips. Since they’re made in a food processor, you’ll get a little chocolate in every bite.
23. Thin Mint Energy Bites
Now you can feed your Girl Scout cookie addiction and feel kinda good about it, since these have no hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, five simple ingredients create the exact same flavor, just in a little ball rather than a wafer cookie. Go ahead and freeze them if you wish.
24. No-Bake Red Velvet Cake Bites
These no-bake chocolaty bites are ready in just 15 minutes, and no need to wait for the oven to heat up. Cocoa powder, almond butter, and honey combine to create a fantastic fudge flavor. Beet or goji powder gives the bites their classic red hue, but they’re just as delicious without the added color.
25. Cinnamon Apple Energy Bites
Indulge your sweet tooth with this delicious recipe that derives its sweetness from dates, maple syrup, and apples. It’s like an apple pie you can eat with your hands! ‘Nuff said.
26. Almond Joy Energy Balls
Put down the candy bar. One bite of these, and you won’t want the name brand. Coconut flakes, cocoa powder, and almonds ensure they have that tropical taste you love. Bonus: They’re gluten-free, vegan, and Paleo.
27. Carrot Cake Energy Bites
Craving cake? Try these instead. They somehow taste just like the sweet treat yet contain no grains or dairy. Rather than icing these bites, roll them in coconut for extra flavor and a Pinterest-worthy appearance. This recipe calls for multicolored carrots, but feel free to stick with the standard orange variety.
28. No-Bake Blueberry Energy Balls
At one point or another, we’ve all experienced the joy of diving into muffin batter. Well, this recipe tastes just like that, and you don’t have to worry about raw eggs or excess sugar. Plus it’s gluten-free and vegan (with a Paleo option).
29. Coconut Brownie Energy Bites
With so few ingredients, you could practically make these in your sleep. The recipe takes about 10 minutes—just throw all the ingredients in a food processor, combine on medium speed, then roll into bite-size balls and coat in shredded coconut. It’s healthy dessert you can eat on the go.
30. No-Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Cookie dough meets granola bar in these surpisingly healthy no-bake bites. They taste just like dessert, but they’re packed with protein and nutrients. The recipe calls for peanut butter, but you can use any kind of nut or seed butter, and the balls will taste just as delicious. In fact, it’d be fun to play with different kinds to see which tastes best.
31. Pecan Pie Energy Bites
It takes only five ingredients and 15 minutes to make this twist on the dessert—and it’s vegan. Plus pecans are a good source of fiber and monounsaturated fats, so you can stock up on nutrients while you enjoy an evening bite.
32. Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
Why struggle with homemade pie crust when you can make these? Pumpkin, oats, almonds, and pumpkin pie spice make them taste just like your Mom’s Thanksgiving dessert—but now you don’t need a fork. And rather than baking, they set in the fridge.
33. Vegan Chocolate Truffles
This mouthwatering recipe is essentially chocolate ganache rolled in cocoa powder—and it’s ready in just 10 minutes. A hint of maple syrup, sea salt, and espresso powder gives these bites a uniquely decadent flavor.
Orginally published September 2015. Updated September 2016.