Inside: Get a simple recipe for 4 ingredient protein balls that are great in lunchboxes or as a quick snack or dessert.
The dilemma: Everyone wants something quick to grab and eat. You’d like that something to provide nutrition, especially for growing kids.
Around here, I solve this by having some kind of homemade snack bar or bite on hand, which can quickly pinch-hit for breakfast, a lunchbox treat, easy healthy snack, or even a satisfying two-bite dessert.
I’ve been making these no bake energy bites for a long time, usually as part of Sunday snack prep and meal prep for the week. I typically have all the simple ingredients in my pantry, and keeping a “little something” like this around tends to make my week a bit easier.
I think these no bake energy balls taste a bit like peanut butter cookie dough. They also remind me of the peanut butter Perfect Bar (but cost a lot less!). Here’s the easy recipe.
Ingredients in No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
- Peanut butter: I use creamy natural peanut butter, that’s made with only peanuts and salt. You can also use almond butter or cashew butter instead.
- Oats: I like the chew of old-fashioned rolled oats, but you can use quick oats as well.
- Powdered milk: Find this in the baking aisle. The kind at my store is nonfat. This gives added texture to the energy bites.
- Honey: You can swap this for pure maple syrup if you prefer.
How To Make 4 Ingredient Protein Balls
Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir well. (You don’t need a food processor for this recipe!) If your mixture seems too dry to roll into balls, add a little bit of peanut butter, a drizzle at a time, until it’s the right consistency. If it’s too wet, add a tablespoon of oats at a time.
If the mixture is a little sticky when you’re rolling it, having slightly wet hands can make this easier.
If you’d like to add chocolate chips, stir in about 3 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips, which I think work best with these bites.
I like to use a cookie scoop to make uniform snack bites. Scoop the right amount, then use your hands to roll them into balls. You can put them place on a baking sheet as you’re making them or straight into a sealed container. I get about 12 snack bites with one recipe, 24 with a double batch.
What is powdered milk?
Powdered milk (aka dry milk powder) is made by evaporating the liquid from milk and turning it into a powder. I keep it in my pantry to make Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix. You can also add it to recipes to give some extra calcium and protein, such as:
What can I use besides powdered milk?
If you don’t have powdered milk, you can also use protein powder (such as vanilla protein powder) or peanut powder (such as PB2) instead.
Can I use maple syrup instead of honey?
Yes, just swap the sweeteners one-for-one.
How do I make these vegan?
To make these peanut butter energy balls vegan, swap out the powdered milk for peanut powder or a plant-based protein powder, sweeten them with maple syrup instead of honey, and use dairy-free chocolate chips if adding chocolate.
How much protein do these bites have?
Each of these 4-ingredient protein balls contains about four grams of protein. Need other ideas for protein-rich snacks? See my list of 35 Protein Snacks.
How do I store these 4 ingredient protein balls?
Keep these protein balls in an airtight container. You can keep them at room temperature, but I think they taste best kept in the refrigerator. They’re best eaten within a week or so.
Other ideas for swaps & substitutions
- Swap a tablespoon of the powdered milk for chia seeds, ground flax seed, or hemp seeds for extra healthy fats.
- Use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter to make these nut-free and peanut-free (check labels on all other ingredients to be safe)
- Swap chocolate protein powder for the powdered milk to make chocolate energy bites
- Trade mini chocolate chips for white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Combine all ingredients. (f the consistency isn’t quite roll-able, add more peanut butter or more oats or dry milk powder to get the right texture.)
- Roll into tablespoon-size balls.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Serving Size: 1 ball
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 106Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g