How to Make No-Bake Energy Bites Low-Carb
Years and years ago when I could still eat oats, I LOVED making no-bake energy bites using oats, honey, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
But NOW, I can't eat oats (intolerance -- they make my stomach want to DIE lol). And I also found out I'm allergic to honey! (plus it's high in sugar) So the original high-carb recipe wasn't gonna cut it.
After a little experimentation, I discovered a way to recreate a very similar no-bake bite without using oats or honey or any added sugar! With my secret faux oat ingredient and a super simple low-carb sweetener, these are much lower in sugar but still absolutely delicious.
These make an easy snack, breakfast, treat, or dessert! They're nutty, crunchy, hearty and filling and absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS. My family loves them and I think you will, too!
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Grain-Free Faux Oats
These peanut butter granola balls are made with simple healthy ingredients, but NO oats or grains this time!
The main component of these granola balls is surprisingly -- NUTS. It's amazing how nuts can transform! They create a hearty, nutty wholesome texture and let the peanut butter flavor shine. My preference is raw walnuts and dry roasted almonds.
But nuts aren't the only ingredient.
What's my secret to faux oats? Coconut flakes! Yes, it's true. And no, it doesn't taste like coconut! To me, it has a very similar taste and texture to oatmeal.
Coconut flakes are KEY to the oatmeal flavor, so I highly recommend leaving them in for taste and texture. (Note: I don't find these have a grittiness like coconut flakes can have in some recipes, perhaps since they are blended in a food processor, just in case you were concerned about the texture.)
I created "oatmeal" without the oats in several other recipes:
Easy No-Bake Snack
These take just 5 minutes to throw together! No cooking, no melting, no excessive waiting.
Simply pulse together the ingredients in a food processor until combined. SO EASY.
I like to pulse just the nuts first to break them up, then add the remaining ingredients.
You can throw in the coconut oil solid. It will melt as it blends.
Side note, if you need a sub for coconut oil, you can use butter, palm oil, or coconut butter. You need an oil that solidifies when chilled -- that's what holds these together.
Do you need a food processor?
It's not 100% crucial. You *can* make these without one. It's just a little trickier.
The food processor makes the prep time less than 5 minutes. But if you don't have one, you can use a blender, preferably with a pulse setting, just to coarsely grind the nuts. Then mix the remaining ingredients in by hand or with a hand mixer.
If you're in the market for a food processor, I always recommend this Cuisinart model. I've had mine for over 5 years and it still works great! This size is perfect for the recipes I make (larger sizes can make blending small batches more difficult)
After blending to a coarse consistency, add in the chocolate chips - either by pulsing a few times, or stirring by hand.
Use a 1 Tbs size cookie scoop to make forming these balls super quick and easy!
In this recipe, I chose to use pure stevia powder. I've been using this brand for several years and it's delicious! It's highly concentrated, so you only need a pinch -- about 1/16 teaspoon for the whole batch. It doesn't have an overpowering bitter taste like some stevia can have. Just don't use too much! Add a little and taste as you go.
Need an alternative sweetener? There are several other sweeteners you can use:
- Pure monkfruit extract (same amount)
- Powdered monkfruit (start with ½ Tbs and taste)
- Powdered erythritol (start with 1 Tbs and taste)
- Powdered coconut sugar (for non low-carb. Start with 1 Tbs and taste)
- ¼ cup to ⅓ cup soft medjool dates (for non low-carb)
This recipe was inspired by my kids who have been begging for granola bars lately. They LOVE snacks. And yes, they love things with sugar.
But even my sugar-loving children who are not on a low-carb diet LOVE these balls. Loud 'MMM's were heard all around, haha. I do try to reduce their sugar intake and they like the treats I make with stevia and monkfruit just the same 🙂
I love that these have just a few simple, natural ingredients and NO added sugar. They're quick and easy to make, filling and DELISH.
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Peanut Butter Granola Balls (Low-Carb, No-Bake)
- 1 cup mixed nuts - such as walnuts, almonds, pecans or peanuts
- ¼ cup coconut shreds
- ¼ cup peanut butter - or other nut/seed butter
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of pure stevia powder - to taste
- dash of pink salt
- 1 Tbs coconut flour - optional for firmer/denser texture
- 1 Tbs mini chocolate chips - sugar free
- Add nuts and coconut to a food processor and pulse coarsely ground.
- Add remaining ingredients except chocolate and pulse again to combine.
- Taste and adjust for sweetness.
- Pulse or stir in 1 Tbs chocolate chips.
- Use a 1 Tbs cookie scoop to form balls. Place on a tray lined with parchment. Add extra chocolate chips and coconut flakes, if desired.
- Chill balls for 30 minutes until firm. Enjoy!
Want more easy, healthy no-bake treats? Make some DONUT HOLES!