4 o’clock No-bake Energy Bites

My favorite alternative to energy bars - these are a favorite late afternoon snack. The best part is they're simple to make, and you're in control of the ingredients.

4 o’clock No-bake Energy Bites

Energy bites aren't a new thing, but if you're a person that grabs commercial power bars regularly, and you're not already on board, give these a try as a DIY alternative. I make them for a 4 o'clock late afternoon snack to reach for when I'm at the studio, but they're also a great travel option. Kids love them. Adults love them. The best part is that you're in control of the ingredients, and they're a breeze to make. That said, I deploy a few, small, but (I'll argue) significant personal preferences when I set out to make energy bites.
No-bake Energy Bites

Energy Bite Strategy

Most recipes tend to use raw coconut flakes, and raw oats. I find a light toasting of both is worth the slight extra effort. I also like chia seeds here, and tend to use them as my seed of choice, but I first beat them up in a mortar and pestle a bit before adding them to the mix. Also, feel free to swap things up a bit - trade in alternate seeds, use whatever sweetener you prefer, add spices if you like, or an alternative nut butter, or keep things simple, and just go with this version - Enjoy!


A quick side note, I make these with whatever nut butter I have on hand. Typically peanut or almond butter, but in the video up above you'll see sunflower seed butter. All great!

No-bake Energy Bites

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4 O'Clock No-Bake Energy Bites

4.57 from 16 votes

We keep these on hand for a little late-afternoon energy boost. Start with all ingredients at room temperature. Also, different brands of peanut butter yield slightly different results, you can adjust as needed. And, yes to substituting honey, or almond butter, or a different type of ground seeds.

  • 1 cup lightly toasted old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds, ground in mortar & pestle
  • 1/4 cup chopped chocolate (or chips)
  • 3 tablespoons good maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, toasted coconut flakes
  • 2/3 cup well-stirred natural peanut butter
  • sea salt, to taste
  1. Combine the oats, chia seeds, chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut in a medium bowl. Toss until well combined. Add the peanut butter, and use your hands to really work the ingredients together. Adjust a bit if necessary, adding a bit more peanut butter if the mixture won't stay in a ball shape. Alternately, add more oats if the mixture is too sticky. 

  2. You can shape into balls by hand, but I find it is easier (and less messy) to press the mixture into a rounded tablespoon, then press it out (see photo). Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet or plate, and refrigerate or freeze. Carry around in a small jar, or any small structured bento or container.

Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Hi Heidi: This must be an older post- but I found a similar recipe on a package of Trader Joe's ground flaxseed, so I tried it, using chunky almond butter. The addition of chia seeds would be great also!

Susan Iseman

These are delicious, and I did not even grind up the chia seeds!


Great recipe, my husband barely leaves me any! I recommend folks watch the video and take note of the consistency of the dough. I've done this 3x and twice it was a bit off in texture due to overly dry peanut butter, then overly oily and lose. Both were good though.

Elizabeth Rouse

Heidi, These are absolutely delicious! They are the perfect little bite sized snack that will be going into high rotation in my kitchen. Thank you for the awesome recipe! Sarah


These were great and the kids loved them! Thanks!


I made these with slivered almond instead of coconut flakes and they turned out awesome!

Frances Darwin

This looks delicious! I will def make them over the weekend. Btw: I often go to your site for inspiration:-)

Anne Sundhed

These are really, really tasty. Just enough sweet and not mushy like most no-bake granola snacks. I think the toasting is essential.


I keep meaning to make things like these, and love the tip about roasting the oats and coconut first. Definitely going to give these a try.

Helen Tarver

These sound fab - any chance you have recommendations for non-grain replacement of the oats? I've recently learned grains are a no no for me but everything else is okay. Thanks much in advance!


Now that school is out, I need to make something like this and perhaps instill a taste for a healthier kind of snack. Making out the shopping list now.

Taste of France

Thanks for the recipe - we are traveling soon and this looks like a healthier alternative to the snacks one can usually get int he airport! On another note, would love to see an easy print option at QK the way you have it on 101CB...any plans for this?


I'm curious -- Why do you grind the chia? Is it necessary to release their nutrients (like I think is the case with flaxseed), or is it just because you prefer the texture?


Do you recommend a substitute for coconut flakes??


Hi there. I'm not a big fan of coconut. Is there something I could substitute or can I just leave it out?


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