Nut-Free Energy Balls are an easy-to-make healthy snack. Packed with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sweetened with Medjool dates, these energy bites are in a base of Sunflower Butter to keep this school safe and lunchbox approved! This recipe was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill.
Back to school is HERE and it is time to get serious about school-safe healthy lunchbox treats and after-school snacks. These gluten-free and nut-free energy balls are the perfect snacks to have on hand for packing lunch and satisfying that relentless after-school hunger.
Made with easy to find nutrient-dense ingredients, these little energy bites pack a serious nutritional punch and will help keep kids and adults satisfied throughout the day.
They are no-bake so just mix, roll and refrigerate.
In fact, they are so easy, you can task your older kids to whip these up themselves!
What are Energy Balls?
I partnered with my friends at Bob’s Red Mill to showcase a bunch of their easy-to-find products in these energy bites.
Nut-Free Energy Balls Ingredients:
- Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Rolled Oats
- Bob’s Red Mill Shelled Pumpkin Seeds
- Bob’s Red Mill Shelled Sunflower Seeds
- Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds
- Medjool Dates
- Refined Coconut Oil
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch
- Ground Cinnamon Powder
- Sea Salt
Let’s talk a bit about ingredients here. First things first, you need a binder. That is where the SunButter and Refined Coconut Oil come in. Be warned that some store-bought sunbutter is not that tasty. I use my homemade SunButter recipe. It is not hard to make but it does take a good high-powered blender and about 10 to 15 minutes of off-and-on blending to make it happen. If you go with a store-bought, try to find one without any additives.
If you can eat nuts (and can safely send nuts to school), you can substitute any creamy, unsweetened nut butter of your choice.
I use Refined Coconut Oil as it is pretty much odor and taste-free. If you don’t mind a strong coconut flavor, you can use Virgin Coconut Oil.
The Medjool dates are for added fiber and sweetness. You could substitute Maple syrup but the energy balls will be a bit stickier and of course, you won’t have the added fiber from the dates.
Arrowroot Starch is to help absorb some of the oil from the SunButter and Coconut Oil and act as an additional binder. You can substitute tapioca starch or flaxseed meal. Or, if you can have nuts, almond flour. But, do not add any baking flours or cassava, as they need to be cooked to be edible and shouldn’t be eaten raw.
Once you have all of your ingredients gathered, this energy ball recipe is as easy as dump into the food processor and turn it on. Roll the dough into balls – I use a small cookie scoop which measures approx 1 Tablespoon of dough per ball.
Pop a couple into your lunchbox and wait for your kids to thank you because they will LOVE the flavor and the texture!
More Nut-Free Snack Recipes:
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Nut-Free Energy Balls are an easy-to-make snack. Packed with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sweetened with Medjool dates, these energy bites are in a base of Sunflower Butter to keep this school safe and lunchbox approved!
- 1.25 cups Bob's Red Mill Quick Cooking Rolled Oats
- 2 Tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Shelled Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Shelled Sunflower Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Chia Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Arrowroot Starch
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup SunButter
- 6 medium Medjool dates pits removed
- 6 Tablespoons Refined Coconut Oil melted
- 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
- sunflower seed flour or oat flour
In order listed, add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
Pulse to combine all ingredients.
For a fine texture, pulse until most of the seeds and oats are pulverized.
For a chunkier texture, pulse until Medjool dates and SunButter are just combined and there are still some seed chunks.
Remove blade and use a spatula to scrape. Use a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough.
Press in your hands and roll into a ball.
Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until hardeneded before transferring to a container with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
If you prefer a dry outer coating of the energy balls, you can roll them in some sunflower seed flour or oat flour before refrigerating.
You take some sunflower seeds OR oats and add to your blender (just enough to cover the blades). Process at a high speed for about 1 minute until pulverized into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and roll the balls into the flour.
- Here is a link to my homemade Sunflower Seed Butter recipe.
- If you can eat nuts (or send them to school), you can substitute any type of nut butter for the SunButter.
- This recipe calls for Refined Coconut Oil, which is odorless and flavorless. If you don't mind a strong coconut taste and smell, you can substitute Virgin Coconut Oil.
- Tapioca Starch or Flaxseed Meal can be substituted for Arrowroot Starch.
- I use a small 1-Tablespoon cookie scoop to form the balls.
DISCLOSURE: This post is part of a series of posts sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. Bob’s Red Mill has compensated me for my time to develop this recipe and share my experiences with their products. Thank you for supporting the brands that make EverydayMaven possible. All opinions are my own.