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.
With recipes like the ones below, who can blame us? 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.”
Cranberry and orange are like peanut butter and chocolate—wonderful alone and even better together. Add some oats and almond butter for staying power, plus dates to bind everything, and you’ve got a healthy, portable treat that tastes fantastic.
Almost all of the ingredients are in the name—the only one missing is oats. The combination of sweet apricots and nutty almonds is already perfection; roll them in coconut, and you’re in heaven. Plus, they’re raw, vegan, Paleo, and gluten- and dairy-free, so pretty much everyone can enjoy them.
The word “prune” probably conjures up 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.1
Plus these bites are truly delicious and naturally sweetened.
- Dried plums and their products: composition and health effects–an updated review. Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis M. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 2014, Apr.;53(12):1549-7852.
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 maple syrup and figs. Between these irresistible treats and our hummus addiction, we’re stocking up on tahini, how about you?
Sure, we all love acai berries, but goji berries pack a ton of antioxidants too, plus they may make your next flu shot more protective.1
This recipe marries them with other super healthy ingredients, including hemp seeds and flax meal for some omega-3s, almonds for additional healthy fats, and dates and blueberries to sweeten things up.
- Dietary wolfberry supplementation enhances the protective effect of flu vaccine against influenza challenge in aged mice. Du X, Wang J, Niu X. The Journal of nutrition, 2013, Dec.;144(2):1541-6100.
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 that adds an extra buttery flavor. Throw in a little cinnamon to spice things up, and you have the taste of muffins in about 10 minutes.
Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, these energy balls are as pretty as they are tasty. Blood orange zest and juice add some zing to the typical bite recipe. Roll in sesame seeds for a crunchy coating that also makes them look fancy—even though they’re crazy easy to make.
Zero oil, butter, and flour make these bites the healthier version of the beloved sweet bread. Oats and peanut butter will help you stay full, and of course there’s the sweet satisfaction of cinnamon and raisins. The blogger adds a prepackaged icing, but for a better-for-you option, combine confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla like this, or eat them without any topping.
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).
These bites take a little more time and require an oven, but you’ll be happy you decided to make them. Why? Because they’re basically cookies. The strawberries, bananas, and applesauce sweeten the recipe just enough so that you don’t need sugar, and the nutmeg and ginger give it an extra kick. Go ahead and have them at breakfast, as a snack, or for dessert.
Only 10 minutes to make, this recipe is super simple, and includes a sprinkle of hemp hearts, which are good for cardiovascular health. 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.
Combine all the best flavors of Hawaii, and you have these. Pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts will have you longing for a surf board and lei, but since you probably can’t just hop a plane to the islands (we wish!), at least you can daydream about it while eating these.
Made with raisins rather than dates, these are full of delicious, warming spices like cinnamon and cloves. Add the unique flavor of blackstrap molasses, which also serves as a source of iron, and you’ve got your snack for the day.1
- Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar. Phillips KM, Carlsen MH, Blomhoff R. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2009, Mar.;109(1):0002-8223.
We love how these guys look with their snowball-like dusting of coconut. Soak the cashews and almonds for a few minutes first so they’re easier to process, then pulverize them with the other ingredients. A little coconut oil brings healthy fats and that tropical note we all love.
With quinoa and sunflower, flax, 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.
Dark chocolate chips and cocoa powder provide plenty of chocolaty goodness. Chia seeds not only bring crunch, they may also help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Sure, you have to melt almond butter and honey, but that’s easy peasy.
We realize there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe compared to most others on this list. But stay with us: As the blogger says, you can omit (or add) things as you wish. We’d definitely keep the protein powder for energy, cacao because chocolate, and spirulina, which reduces inflammation.
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, flax, 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.
You had us at double chocolate. But if you aren’t on board, hear this: Protein powder and almond butter add satiety, while dates are used for natural sweetness. Since they don’t require heating up the oven, this could get dangerous…
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!
Talk about delicious! These chocolaty morsels have a fudgy consistency and are finished off with some healthy oats and protein powder, which never hurts.
This recipe invites experimentation. Use your favorite nuts, nut or seed butter, and dried fruit to come up with your favorite blends. No matter what, we highly recommend always adding the chocolate chips. Using granola rather than oats allows you to add even more flavor (and use up those tiny pieces of granola at the bottom of the bag).
Yeah, these are pretty amazing. Three types of chocolate—protein powder, cocoa powder, and chips—make them the real deal, and a hint of almond butter and coconut keeps them from being too overwhelming. The fact that they’re kinda like eating cookie dough doesn’t bother us one bit.
Ideal for grabbing as you run out the door, these balls feature uncooked quinoa. That’s right—raw. The protein-rich seed plus flaxseed 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.
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, clean ingredients create the exact same flavor, just in a little ball rather than a wafer cookie. Go ahead and freeze them, if you wish.
Stealing a trick from foodies who use beets to naturally color red velvet cake, these bites also feature the root veggie. But with cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and coconut, you’ll never taste it. These are also a bit seedy—in a good way: They pack hemp and flax, which are both known for their omega-3 fatty acids.
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).
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 stevia, but you could also substitute maple syrup, honey, or any other natural sweetener.
With so few ingredients, you could practically make these in your sleep. Add two more (coconut oil and chocolate chips) and you can drizzle chocolate over the top for a treat that tastes kind of like an almond butter cup. With a snack this simple to make, you have no excuse not to be healthy.
The adult version of those Rice Krispies Treats you ate as a kid, these have all the crunch you desire, plus they won’t leave you hungry 10 minutes later. This 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 what tastes best.
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 it with your hands! ‘Nuff said.
Put down the candy bar. One bite of these, and you won’t want the name brand (and its PGPR and sodium metabisulfite—real foods are always best). Shredded coconut and coconut oil ensure they have that tropical taste you love.
Peanut butter, chocolate chips, honey, and oats, all rolled into one flavor-packed ball. Then just add sprinkles. What’s not to love? Of course, you can opt to leave off the sprinkles, but really, why would you want to do that?
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 (or any time of day) bite.
The oh-so-decadent cake gets a remix in this recipe that packs in tasty coconut and chocolate without all the calories or flour. All you need is dates, coconut, cocoa powder, and coconut oil (and a food processor), and you have vegan, gluten-free bites that are as good as a slice.
Why struggle with homemade pie crust when you can make these? Pumpkin, oats, almonds, and of course pumpkin pie spice makes them taste just like your mom’s Thanksgiving dessert, but now you don’t need a fork—and portion control is easier. Plus, rather than baking, they set in the fridge.
Subtly sweet dates and mild-tasting almonds, cashews, and chia seeds allow the ginger to really shine through here. In addition to adding a spicy kick, ginger helps reduce inflammation (great for post-workout) and may fight cancer. Talk about food with benefits—take that, ginger snaps!