Monster Cookie Energy Bites – These peanut butter oatmeal energy bites made with chocolate chips and chocolate candies make for a fun, easy treat! (Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly)
I feel like Halloween is a perfect time to have some fun, whether that’s trying on your costume for the 1000th time, or mixing things up with Monster Face Smoothies, Owl Cupcakes, Halloween pudding cups, or Baked Ghost Chips. Today’s healthy treat recipe is definitely fun!
These monster cookie energy bites have all the flavor of traditional monster cookies (or monster cookie bars!), tucked into a little no-bake, snack-sized (and more nutritious) package.
Energy bites are one of our family’s favorite healthy snacks, and this spin is decidedly delightful. We channel the classic ingredients for monster cookies (peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips & m&ms) into a fun, easy snack or treat that’s perfect at Halloween or holidays.
Here’s what you need to make our easy no bake monster cookie energy bites …
Here’s What You need To Make These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites:
- Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. First, we use rolled oats (sometimes labeled old-fashioned oats). If you’re gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats to avoid cross-contamination. We have great luck with these ones from Bob’s Red Mill, Trader Joe’s brand, and One Degree (which are also sprouted & easier to digest!).
- Natural Peanut Butter. Next up is natural peanut butter. You can use creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanut butter for some extra crunch, just be sure that the only ingredients are peanuts or peanuts and salt. (Natural peanut butter has a more drippy, liquid consistency, which is crucial here.)
- Pure Maple Syrup. For a little sweetness and to help bind the energy bites together, you’ll need a little pure maple syrup. Honey or agave can be used in a pinch, but I like maple syrup best.
- Vanilla Extract & Salt. Then, a little vanilla and salt balance the flavors beautifully.
- Chocolate Chips. Here’s where things get fun! You’ll mix in some chocolate chips–standard chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips work.
- M&Ms or Chocolate Candies. And (definitely the most fun ingredient) is some candy coated chocolate candies. You can use M&Ms if you include dairy in your diet (see which M&Ms are gluten-free here), or you can use dairy-free chocolate candies like Little Secrets or unREAL candies for a vegan & dairy-free version.
How To Make Monster Cookie Energy Bites, Step By Step:
- Start The Energy Bites. In a food processor, combine oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Process Until Smooth. Pulse or grind the mixture until there are no large pieces of oats and the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Taste, and add more vanilla or salt, if desired.
- Mix In The Goodies. Remove the blade from the food processor and add chocolate chips and candies to the energy bites mixture. Stir these in by hand with a flexible spatula or wooden spoon.
- Scoop & Roll. Use a small cookie scoop to make 1-Tablespoon balls and roll them smoothly in your hands.
- Serve & Store. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 1 week.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Monster Cookie Energy Bites:
Can I Use Another Nut Butter? Yes! If you have a peanut allergy, feel free to swap in cashew butter, almond butter, or a seed butter or peanut butter alternative that works better for your diet. You *will* be able to taste the flavor, so only use one that you enjoy!
Can I Add Protein Powder? I usually don’t, as I dislike the flavor and texture of most flavored protein powders. If you want to try adding a little collagen or vanilla protein powder, I’d just recommend starting small. You may need to reduce the amount of oats or add a little additional peanut butter or syrup as adding some of your favorite protein powder will change the ratio of wet & dry ingredients in these monster cookie energy balls.
Can You Freezer Energy Bites? Yes! I find most energy bites can be frozen. Just store in an airtight container or freezer bag with all the excess air pressed out and keep in the freezer about 1 month. (Occasionally, energy bites will be *slightly* more dry upon thawing, but it very much depends on your climate and freezer settings.)
More Mix-Ins To Try!
Mix things up by playing with the ingredients a bit, depending on what you have on hand.
- Try using peanut butter chips (or use half chocolate chips + half peanut butter chips)
- Add some raisins or chopped peanuts, or
- Swap the M&M candies for Reeses Pieces at Halloween.
- Feel free to experiment with other goodies like butterscotch chips, unsweetened shredded coconut, and more!