These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Balls are the perfect healthy snack! They’re a filling peanut butter oatmeal ball recipe that is super easy to customize with your favorite add-ins–chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, flax seed, and more.
We always have these on hand for snacking, dessert, or when we go on road trips!
These are the perfect after school snack. Or Netflix time snack. Bedtime snack. Pre-workout snack… See where I’m going with this? Oats, peanut butter, honey, and a few chocolate chips (I love dark chocolate!) will satisfy your cravings like no cookie can!
Are protein balls good for you?
I love these balls because they’re just the right amount of sweet–no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners. In our house we consider this a healthy snack. They do have a fair amount of honey and peanut butter, so while we consider them healthy in our house we don’t eat them every day. They’re perfect as a quick energy bite.
How long do these last in the fridge?
I’ve never had the opportunity to keep them in the fridge more than a couple of weeks, and they were absolutely fine in the fridge for that long. I’d say a month, maybe? And to be honest I don’t even know why I’m saying that–maybe because that’s as long as I feel comfortable with them in there? It’s not like there is anything that will go bad in them if left for longer.
Can you freeze these oatmeal peanut butter protein balls?
Absolutely you can! I love making extra batches before vacation and freezing them so I can bring a few containers along with us. I’ve frozen them for up to six months, and they taste as delicious as the day I made them.
We have also frozen them to ship them in the mail, and they arrive perfectly.
Do these energy balls need to be refrigerated?
Not necessarily, but I feel like they keep better and stay more firm in the fridge. They also taste better to me when chilled–I prefer them refrigerated. That being said, when we take them on trips we don’t refrigerate them and they’re just fine.
I wouldn’t recommend storing them long term outside of the fridge, as the peanut butter could potentially mold–that’s why the natural peanut peanut butters say to store in the fridge.
Can you make these chocolate peanut butter balls?
You can easily make these chocolate protein balls a few different ways:
- Melt the peanut butter (or almond butter), honey, and chocolate chips on the stovetop before adding the other ingredients and mixing. This will result in the darkest looking chocolate balls.
- Use chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla. You can do this in addition to melting the ingredients, too.
- Add a spoonful of cocoa powder into the batch.
Are these no bake protein balls?
They are! No baking required. I do, however, recommend that you chill the mixture in the fridge for a bit before making the balls.
Ingredients for these no bake peanut butter protein balls:
- peanut butter: I prefer the natural stuff that is a little thin
- honey: local honey is delicious and can help with allergies, if you have them!
- shredded unsweetened coconut: if you don’t like coconut you can leave this ingredient out!
- chocolate chips: Totally optional, and I actually prefer mini chips because they allow the balls to hold together easier.
- protein powder: I like to use vanilla or unflavored, but if you’re looking to make these chocolate protein balls you can add chocolate protein powder
These balls are so easy to customize with whatever you love! Some of our favorite optional ingredients are:
- MCT Powder: Contains medium-chain triglycerides. It’s pretty much coconut oil in powder form.
- Flaxseed: Great source of omega-3 and fiber.
- Chia seeds: Fiber, protein, antioxidants, and magnesium are the biggest benefits of this little seed.
- Chopped Nuts
- Dried Cranberries
- Maple Syrup
- Extra coconut can make these taste a bit like an Almond Joy!
- White Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter or Butterscotch Chips
How do you make Protein Balls?
1. In a large bowl, add all of your ingredients.
2. Mix well. Using a stand mixer for this recipe is the best way to get the ingredients to stick together nicely and make the protein balls easy to roll. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer will do! I don’t think a food processor would do well with this recipe because it’s so thick.
Not mixing this enough will result in balls that don’t stick together well, so I definitely recommend mixing very well.
3. Optional: Chill mixture in the refrigerator for an hour, then roll out balls about an inch in diameter. The chilling helps you roll the mixture. You can also roll them right away if the mixture cooperates. For tips about how to fix a mixture that is too dry or too sticky, see below!
4. Store in an airtight container. I prefer to keep them in the fridge.
How to make homemade granola bars with this recipe:
- Grab a deep baking sheet or pan with sides and place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom.
- Dump your mixture on top of the parchment paper. Put another layer of parchment paper on top of your granola bars (to keep your roller from sticking to the bars).
- Use a roller (or a can) to roll the bars out the best you can, and as uniform as you can from side to side and top to bottom.
- Lift the bottom piece of parchment paper up to get your bars out of the pan and gently (but firmly) press the sides together.
- Use a pizza cutter to slice your bars.
You can see an example of how I do it here in my healthy granola bar post.
Wondering how to get your protein balls to stick together?
You might have to play with the recipe a bit depending on your ingredients, but know that it’ll be worth it in the end! Different brands of peanut butter change the way these come together, and I’ve found that using mini chocolate chips instead of full size chocolate chips really helps them stick together better.
If all else fails and you can’t get your balls to stick together, you might want to consider rolling them out into a pan and cutting them up like granola bars!
Why are my protein balls sticky?
If you’re struggling to roll these peanut butter oatmeal balls because they’re too sticky, add a bit of extra oats to dry them out. You’ll want to mix the recipe again after adding the oats so that they become fully incorporated and soak up that extra peanut butter and honey.
Why are my protein balls dry?
They need some more peanut butter or honey! This recipe can vary quite a bit depending on the type of peanut butter you use. I prefer Costco’s Kirkland Organic peanut butter for this recipe because it’s very thin and mixes really well. Using a thicker peanut butter, like JIF, could cause the peanut butter oatmeal balls to dry out a bit. It’s very easy to ‘fix’ the balls at this point by adding a few tablespoons more peanut butter or honey, or oats like stated above.
For the 21 Day Fix, I treat these like a healthy dessert–2 balls = 1 yellow container treat swap. If you’re comfortable pushing the top of the calorie range for treat swaps, you could have three.
If you’re wondering how to count these on Weight Watchers, you’ll want to check out that recipe!
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Protein Balls
- 2 cups oats I use quick cook
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or unsweetened
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp chia seeds optional
- 2 tbsp flaxseed optional
- 2 tbsp mct powder optional
Here's how to put them together:
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
- Using a stand mixer for this recipe is the best way to get the ingredients to stick together nicely and make the protein balls easy to roll. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer or spoon will do!
- Chill mixture in the refrigerator for an hour, then roll out balls about an inch in diameter. The chilling helps you roll the mixture.
- Store in an airtight container. I prefer to keep them in the fridge.