Are you looking for an easy healthy snack choice that the whole family will love? If so, these 3-ingredient peanut butter oatmeal balls are the perfect solution for you! These little bites of goodness may have only three simple ingredients, but they’re packed full of flavor and nutrition.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Nutritious. Sometimes called peanut butter oatmeal energy balls, peanut butter energy balls, or oatmeal peanut butter protein balls, these tasty treats are chock-full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. On top of that, they provide sustained energy to fuel you throughout the day.
Versatile. Think of these as little no-bake energy bites that can be eaten for a healthy breakfast, as a post-workout snack, or even as a guilt-free delicious dessert!
Quick and Easy. They take just 5 minutes to prepare and don’t require any special equipment. The ingredients are probably in your pantry or refrigerator already.
Delicious. With a slightly chewy texture, these no-bake 3-ingredient peanut butter oatmeal balls are similar to granola bars, only better!
Flexible. This simple recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian. Allergic to peanuts or prefer vegan? I’ve got you covered! This customizable recipe can easily adapt to your needs and preferences. You will find variations at the end of this post.
Convenient. Store them in the fridge for up to 2 months or freeze them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6 months.
Why Are Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls So Healthy?
The star ingredients of these delectable treats are peanut butter and oatmeal, two healthy ingredients that will help you stave off chronic disease and feel full longer.
Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
Good source of protein. An excellent source of plant-based protein, peanut butter supports muscle growth and repair.
Rich in healthy fats. Loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, peanut butter may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
High in fiber. Peanut butter is a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and keeps you feeling full longer.
Regulate blood sugar levels. The combination of fat, protein and fiber may help stabilize blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes.
Pro-tip: Peanut butter is high in calories and is best consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Pro-tip: Choose natural peanut butter without added sugar and salt to get the most health benefits.
Health Benefits of Oatmeal
Reduce cholesterol levels. Oatmeal contains a polysaccharide called beta-glucan that has been shown to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood. This can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke (1).
Boost Immune Function. Beta-glucans help regulate the immune system by improving your resistance to infection (2).
Manage Blood Sugar. The fiber in oatmeal slows down the absorption of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes.
Promote Healthy Weight. Oatmeal is a low-calorie, high-fiber food that can help you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time, thereby helping to reduce overall calorie intake.
Improve Digestive Health. The fiber in oatmeal helps keep food moving through the digestive tract and may help prevent constipation.
Pro-tip: Quick oats have slightly more protein and a little less carbohydrate than rolled oats.
Pro-tip: Steel-cut oats, though healthy, are not the best choice for this recipe due to their firm texture.
Blender or food processor
Small cookie scoop or tablespoon
Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 5 min
Servings: 12 balls
- Pulse the oats in a blender or food processor for just a few seconds. How much you process the oats will depend upon your preferred texture. Processing them more will result in a cookie dough-like texture. I prefer pulsing them briefly so that you see a bit of powder but also plenty of oatmeal bits. Do not process fully into oat flour.
- Combine the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. You may also use a food processor for this step, but do not use a blender as the dough may get stuck on the bottom. If the mixture is a little too dry, add a little bit more honey or peanut butter. You want the mixture to stick together well, but not be too sticky.
- Divide the dough into 12-15 equal amounts using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon.
- Roll into 1-inch balls using your hands. Wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to them.
- Place the balls onto a parchment paper-lined plate or tray
- Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until firm. You can speed up this process by popping them in the freezer instead.
Pro-tip: Microwave the peanut butter and honey for 20 seconds in a microwave-safe bowl to make it easier to blend together. This is especially useful if your peanut butter was in the fridge.
Pro-tip: Taste the dough before dividing and rolling it to be sure you are happy with the texture and taste. You can always add a little more honey to sweeten, more peanut butter if you want it creamier, or more oats if it is too loose.
Pro-tip: Store the extras in an airtight container in the fridge or a freezer-safe bag in the freezer.
Vegan: substitute pure maple syrup for honey.
Peanut Free: Replace the peanut butter with alternate nut butters like cashew butter or almond butter.
Nut Free: Replace the peanut butter with sunflower butter or any other seed butter (like pumpkin or hemp seed butter).
Chocolate Lover: Add 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder or drizzle the balls with melted chocolate.
Protein Packed: Add 1/4 cup of seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground chia seeds, ground flax seeds or hemp seeds. Or replace 1/4 cup oats with your favorite protein powder. You may need to add extra honey or peanut butter when making these additions.
Crunch Lover: Replace creamy peanut butter with crunchy peanut butter.
Cookie Dough: Process the oats until they are almost a flour and add 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
PB&J: Add raisins, chopped medjool dates, or dried berries.
These 3-ingredient peanut butter oatmeal balls are easy to make, healthy and delicious. Give them a try- I know you’ll love them!
Pam is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master’s of Public Health and a Certificate in Integrative and Functional Nutrition. Passionate about the science of health and nutrition, she loves to share her knowledge to help others live healthy, vibrant lives. When not working, Pam can be found hiking, traveling, and enjoying great-tasting, nutritious food.