This quick, no-bake recipe for oat almond and date energy bites beats any granola bar. They’re a perfectly healthy and wholesome treat for on-the-go snacking that both kids and adults will love.

Almond date energy balls in a bowl.
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In 2011, when I first started this site, energy bites were all the rage. If you dig deep in the archives, you’ll find plenty of them here, too.

From copycat nutella balls to pumpkin spice chocolate chip bites for fall and gingerbread bites for winter, there are tons. Sometimes called balls or ‘bliss balls,’ other times, bites, protein bites or dough balls, but they’re all the same thing — a quick and easy snack that usually combines oats, nuts and dates.

These oat-based energy bites were one of the very first creations I made to contribute to this fad, and because of that, the photos really didn’t do them justice. We eat with our eyes first, and no one wanted to make a recipe with harsh yellow lighting before I discovered what white balance was in editing.

It didn’t take teeth-pulling to remake these. I try to make a snack like this every week, so I have something to nibble on around 3 pm when I typically sit down to write (exactly what I’m doing now), and this recipe is one of my favorites.

Oats, almonds and dates are all things I have in my pantry on the regular. There are a few other pantry staples that get thrown in but those are the basis for these energy balls. 

The result is a sticky, toothsome bite that’s both healthy, satisfying and as delicious as your favorite granola bar.

A plate full of oat and date balls.

What you’ll need to make these oat almond energy bites

Energy bites are forgiving. You can mix and match ingredients with ease, but to stay true to this recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • Oats — Are a great source of protein and fiber for this easy snack.
  • Almonds — Add richness, but any other nut can be used.
  • Medjool dates — These add natural sweetness to the energy bites and help them stick together.
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes — Contribute added texture and taste.
  • Chia seeds — Add more fiber and omega-3 healthy fats to the bites.
  • Pepitas — Incorporate some healthy fats.
  • Cinnamon — Adds flavor and can be augmented with other sweet baking spices.
  • Salt — A pinch of sea salt helps the flavors pop.
  • Maple syrup — Helps to bind the bites together and adds a touch of additional sweetness. Honey can be swapped if preferred.
  • Chocolate chips — Optional, but makes these energy bites a bit more like dessert!

The result is a nicely balanced snack that’s rolled into bite-sized pieces for easy snacking.

How to make oat date and almond energy bites

Add all the ingredients to a food processor except the maple syrup. Pulse until finely chopped and starting to stick together.

With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the maple syrup. The mixture should start to clump and form a ball. If you try to pinch it between your fingers, it will stick together easily. If not, add a touch more maple syrup until it does.

Remove the blade from the bowl of the food processor and transfer the mixture to a bowl. If using chocolate chips, add them to the bowl and fold in until incorporated. Roll into balls using your hands.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tip

It helps to wet your hands lightly when rolling so the energy bite mixture doesn’t stick.

A plate of almond oat and date balls and extra ingredients in a bowl in the background.

What if the dates are hard?

If your Medjool dates have been sitting around in the pantry for some time, there’s a good chance they may have hardened. Don’t throw them out! 

Simply add the dates to a small bowl with some warm water. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes until softened. They should be soft and pliable.

How to store energy bites

The bites are best stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge for up to a week. For anything longer than that, keep them in the freezer. They will defrost quickly at room temperature, so you’re able to snack on them any time.

They’re a great lunch box addition for kids. Pop them into their lunch in the morning from the freezer, and they’ll be ready for them by lunchtime.

Oat almond date energy balls in a bowl with a bite taken out of one on top.

Other variations

The different ways in which you can make energy bites like these are practically endless. From making small changes like adding vanilla extract or another dried fruit to a complete revamp by using chickpeas as the base for a cookie dough bite, there’s an energy bite for every palate.

Kids love these peanut butter chocolate chip balls or copycat Butterfinger dough balls. Chocolate lovers will gravitate towards no-bake brownie fudge balls, and I’m personally partial to the cherry chocolate combination in these balls.

The basic science of a good energy bite is a binding base such as oats, a bunch of add-ins such as nuts and seeds and then some sweetness and flavor from a dried fruit. 

Play around and make them your own, but when you’re looking for something simple with ingredients you know you have on hand, you can’t beat these oat and almond bites made with dates.

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5 from 41 votes

Oat Almond Date Energy Bites

Servings: 9 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Oat almond date energy balls in a bowl with a bite taken out of one on top.
A quick, no bake recipe for Oat Almond and Date Energy Bites that will rival any granola bar. Perfect for on the go snacking.


  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 almonds
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dark chocolate chips, optional


  • Add all the ingredients except maple syrup and chocolate chips (if using) to a food processor. Pulse until finely ground and starting to stick together.
  • With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the maple syrup and continue processing until the mixture comes together and starts to clump. It should easily hold together when pinched with your fingers.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and fold in chocolate chips if using.
  • Roll the dough into bite-sized balls using slightly wet hands.
  • Keep refrigerated.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 69kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this last week coz I am traveling out of town, and I can say that it was perfect! It provided energy to me during the trip and I was also able to enjoy eating the remaining as a dessert for my dinner coz it’s so delish! :-D. Really awesome recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this, I made this yesterday as an on-the-go snack as I do some errands and it was perfect! A really awesome energy booster. I like the taste of the cinnamon the most (cinnamon lover here haha!) <3. This is on my go-to list of on the go snacks already, thanks for sharing :)

  3. Oat almond & date energy bites says “1 tablespoon coconut”. Coconut what? Milk, butter, oil, desiccated? Please review and advise.

    1. It’s shredded coconut, unsweetened. Thanks for pointing that out, this is a very old post, will update it!

  4. Love these! I doubled the recipe as they don’t make many. Also added some full fat cocoa powder to the coconut before I rolled them. Added coco nibs to mixture before blending. Put them in freezer and they are so good!

  5. About how many dates are needed for 1/4 cup? Also where can I find chia seeds? I had no idea what they even were until wiki told me tonight.

    1. Rachael- I honestly don’t remember about the amount of dates, I would just put them in a quarter cup measure until it’s full. I find chia seeds at my local health food store in the bulk bins. If you have a whole foods near you, they have them. Also, you can always order them online.

  6. I love these! They look like perfect travel snacks for my NY trip next weekend! :D Can’t wait to try!

  7. “I snacked on balls” seriously think about that. Sounds like something I would innocently say and then have every one laugh at me. Have a marvelous time soaking up the warm weather.

  8. The nail clipping thing is HORRIBLE. One time while riding the city bus there was someone 5 feet away from me clipping her nails…without even catching the nail clippings or anything, just letting them fly all over. Ick.