1 cup peanut butter
1 cup oats
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1-2 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
To begin, combine the peanut butter, oats, flax seeds, dried cranberries, honey, and dark chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl. If you wish to make this step a bit simpler, combine the dry ingredients first (oats, flax seeds, cranberries, and dark chocolate chips) and stir into a homogenous mixture; then add the peanut butter and honey. Either way will work. It may be difficult to combine the ingredients for a while but continue stirring until all the ingredients look evenly distributed. This combination will result in a thick and sticky consistency; if not all the ingredients are sticking together, it is fine, though you may add more honey or peanut butter accordingly to ensure the balls will later stick together. Also note, the more honey you add, the sweeter the balls will taste, as it is a prominent flavor in the mixture.
Stick the mixture in the fridge for at least one hour to let it chill and set.
After an hour, remove the mixture for rolling. Locate a large cookie sheet and cover with parchment paper.
Next, roll the mixture into balls using about one tablespoon of mixture per ball. It may take a bit of patience per ball when rolling as sometimes the mixture does not stay together well. Use your palms to keep pressing the mixture together in your hand while rolling to shape it into a ball. Set the ball on the cookie sheet. Repeat this with the rest of the mixture until you have used it all. You can set the balls as close together as you would like (without touching, of course, so they do not stick together), as they will not expand in the fridge.
Place the cookie sheet of rolled protein energy balls in the fridge for another hour to chill and set together. After an hour, the no-bake protein energy balls are ready to eat. Store the remainder in the fridge to keep them from melting.
I had inspiration for this no-bake protein energy balls recipe when I was scrolling through Pinterest one day and came across a similar recipe. I already had the majority of the ingredients and knew it would not take long to make them, so I decided to give it a shot.
My mom used to make snacks like this recipe all the time growing up—like homemade granola bars, which were great, by the way—and so I wanted to see if I could make something similar to that, and this idea seemed simple enough. As a health fanatic, I wanted to stick with the best ingredients that were the healthiest but also the yummiest. As I looked some more into how to create protein energy balls like these, I found that you can make them in numerous variations as long as you stick to the same general guide: a base of oats; additives like seeds, nuts, or dried fruits; seasonings (if you want to get fancy); and something to bind it all together, like peanut butter and/or honey.
With this in mind, I followed a recipe I had found but ended up changing things up for my liking (also to suit what I had on-hand) and making some additions. Overall, these no-bake protein energy balls were exceptionally easy and quick to make—which I will make again with new ingredient variations. These balls make a great quick afternoon snack or breakfast bite on your way to class or work and save extremely well in the fridge. If you prefer more of a crunch (and don’t like peanut butter and chocolate melting on your fingers), try storing them in the freezer instead, which will also allow them to last longer.
All in all, I hope you enjoy this simple protein-filled no-bake recipe, suitable to all tastes!