stop buying granola bars & make these: no bake chocolate energy balls

Something we spend far too much money on is healthy organic granola bars. At $4.99 for a box of 5, I just can’t justify it anymore!

Solution? This.

If you’ve ever searched recipes on how to make your own granola bars, you’ll find hundreds of variations of this recipe around but really it comes down to what’s in your pantry. And it’s perfect if your littles have sensitivities or allergies because it’s completely customizable. What you end up with? Chewy, moist, (mostly) mess free snacks for lunches and on-the-go.

My recipe for the above (I just eyeballed everything…no measuring cups required!).

– 1 cup of oatmeal

– 1/2 cup peanut butter

– 1/3 cup cocoa powder

– 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened (or sweetened) coconut

– 3/4 cup of pecans (get your children to smash and crush them with a rolling pin!)

– 1/3 cup of honey (or blue agave – whatever you have on hand)

– 2 teaspoons of vanilla

– handful or two of chocolate chips (optional)

Mix really well in a med/large bowl, then let chill in fridge for a half hour.  Lightly coat your hands with olive oil or cooking spray then start squishing and rolling into little balls.  Store them in the fridge in an airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper. Makes about 25-30 small-ish balls (about the size of a timbit).

Other options: substitute with flax seeds, sesame seeds, ground flax, cooked quinoa, walnuts, almonds, sunbutter, almond butter, pea butter, wow butter, etc. You can also press the mixture into a 9×11 pan, refrigerate then cut into bars.

About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

52 thoughts on “stop buying granola bars & make these: no bake chocolate energy balls

  1. I love this idea! My kids are always wanting a snack in the car and this would be a good hold me over.

    1. Exactly! And I find my 2 year old can never finish an entire granola bar but he always wants to the whole thing (to be like big brother) but it ends up on the floor. No wasting with these since they’re the perfect size for little hands.

  2. These look really good. Much health and frugal options to granola bars. I’ll have to try them however I’m going to skip the chocolate chips only because I don’t have any at the moment! Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome Lina! To be honest, you don’t really notice the chocolate chips that much. My oldest picked one out and was excited about it, but I’m leaving them out next time because he he won’t notice either way. They’re chocolaty enough with the cocoa powder!

  3. Adding this to my snacks to make list! These look mighty tasty and I have 2 very hungry boys in my house! Thanks ;)

  4. I was Just telling my hubby we need to make our own granola bars, can’t wait to try this ! And it sounds fool
    Proof :)

    1. It totally is. I didn’t even measure everything out. Too dry, add more PB….too sticky, more oatmeal or nuts :)

  5. Man oh man do these look delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe as I will be making these soon :)

  6. Just made these. I had everything on hand! Super easy, super yummy. The kids loved them. I did roll them in some ground almonds that I had, to add a little protein since I left out the pecans.

  7. Thanks for the post. I went straight up and made them and — wow, what a hit in our house. I went for the balls rather than the bars and the kids thought that was great. My daughter loved helping make them. Thank you for the great recipe. I am going to play with the recipe to see if I can make different flavors. Thanks for the great idea!

  8. These are going to be a hit with my 4 yr old. I am going to make them with him tonight when he gets home from his sisters house.

    Just a question: what is pea butter?

    Thanks for sharing this with us Amanda!

    1. My 4 year old is obsessed with them….I have to hide them in the back of the fridge!

      Pea Butter is a peanut butter alternative made from brown peas!

  9. what do you think cacao nibs would do in place of the option choc chips? too harsh?

    1. I’m not a fan of cacao chips but I can’t see why they wouldn’t work if your family is used to eating them!

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  11. Hi,

    I just made these and I wanted to let you know they are amazing! I love how I could add or subtract anything I want. This is a great base for any granola bar! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  12. These look yummy and there is no salt. Yay!! I am a heart disease survivor and always looking for good recipes with little or NO salt. Of course, homemade is the way to go. You know exactly what you are using. NO ingredients that you can’t pronounce. And if salt is one of the first ingredients, that isn’t going to work for me.

    I will certainly try these as I have most of the ingredients in my pantry. Thanks so much.

  13. my good friend Kathy posted this link to facebook! yummo! not to mention that most ‘natural’ cereal bars have GMO grains, this way we can make our own and make sure we use organic/GMO free ingredients. I’m going to throw in some chia and flax seeds for good measure.

    quick question, quick cook oats or traditional?

    1. Hi Hayley! I’ve been using quick oats, but will be trying them with regular ones next time :)

  14. These are soooo good that you’ll be oblivious to the slow onset diabetes.

  15. i used hazelnuts and half organic nutella half peanutbutter instead of all peanutbutter and they are…or were great!

  16. Love your blog, love your voice, love your recipe–I’m stuttering.

    I am going to try these yummy looking little morcels. I know my grand kids will love making them with me.

    Come and check out my recipes and tales.

  17. We are Paleo, which means we don’t eat gluten/grains or legumes (peanuts, beans, etc) I’m wondering if I can make these with Coconut flour or almond meal and of course I’ll substitute the peanut butter with almond butter. Just curious if you have any other ideas instead of oatmeal? My kids will totally love these, thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Christine! Sorry I haven’t tried anything other than oatmeal as the base. I think with a flour they’d have just a little less “hearty” texture. The oatmeal keep them from being pasty and sticky. If you try coconut flour or almond meal please let me know!!

  18. These look great! Thanks for the idea and recipe! Love your site!

  19. Mmmmmmm….these look yummy! I plan on making them this weekend with almond butter…fingers crossed it works. :) Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Do you have an approximate calorie count on the servings based on the recipe provided

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