Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Healthy Snack-Balls and Bars

I realize there are about a million recipes for these little snack-bites out there... but I thought I'd still share mine, for my friends & family who haven't seen them yet, and to hopefully provide some new ingredient ideas. If you haven't ever seen or tried these little bites, they basically taste just like cookie dough, but are healthier. These little bites are also incredibly quick & easy to make, and can be varied in hundreds of different ways. It's impossible not to love them. Call them bites, babies, or balls.... whatever you name them, they taste great!

My first encounter with these was from Chocolate Covered Katie- I needed something quick & easy to bring to a party, and was out of sugar. So I turned to CCK for a quick, healthy dessert idea. Cookie Dough Babies seemed to be the perfect fit... and thus began my ball-making. Hehehe.

Here are some general notes for making these balls/bars/snacks:
  • No baking; simply process, shape, and store in the fridge. 
  • Speaking of which, they can be shaped into balls, bars, or bite-sized squares (it usually works better to use more oats if making bars).
  • To vary the sweetness, add more or less dates.
  • To vary the consistency, add more or less oats and/or nuts.
  • For omega-3s, try adding some flax seeds.
  • Spices can be used as calorie-free flavoring, and raisins & dates act as natural sweeteners.
  • The options are endless!
Now, I don't even use a recipe when I make these; I simply grab handfulls of ingredients, put 'em in a food processor, and add more of something if necessary. But here is a recipe base that you can alter off of:

Blueberry Balls:
For about 18-20 small ball-bites:
  • 8 pitted medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 1/8 cup almonds
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Handful of dried or fresh blueberries
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until it all lumps together into one big dough ball and you don't have whole nuts left. If it looks too soft, add in some more oats. The ratio of sweet-to-oat is really up to you, but the amount listed above should be a good starting point. 
  2. Take about a spoonful of the dough and roll between your palms to form a small ball. 
  3. Store in the fridge and enjoy! (Note: For serving the ball-versions, it works really well to use mini cupcake wrappers.)

Recently, I made another delicious variation:

Ginger-Flax Spice Balls:
Ingredients to make about 10 small balls:
4 dates, 1/4 cup oats, 1 piece of crystalized ginger, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, a handful of each of raisins, walnuts, and almonds, and a little vanilla extract. After processing, I added a few mini dark chocolate chips as I rolled the balls. These might be my new favorite variation; I loved the spices in them, and the flax seeds add a nutty flavor that's really complimented by the other ingredients. Plus, they add omega-3s, vitamin B1, and fiber. What cookie dough do you know that has all that? And only takes 1 minute to make?!

Other flavors:
For Chocolate-Banana mini oat squares, see my cookie mania post. There are also lots of variations on CCK's page.  

For bar-versions that are a little less sweet and more oaty, see my oat bars, or a banana version here.

Enjoy your healthy snacking!


  1. Love the versatility of this recipe - I have a similiar recipe but love this version too!

  2. Mmm, I love treats like these! I've been making them for ages - I think I was originally inspired by Katie too :D Love the blueberry flavor in yours, they sound great!

    1. I just made chocolate-cherry ones - a version of the banana-oat bites from my Superbowl post - last night for a quick dessert, and they were yummy! Each time I make a new flavor, I think it's my favorite.... I DO like the ginger-flax version a lot too though ;-)

  3. Thanks for Sharing! I'll shortly make these for a nice school snack.

  4. I was surprised when I tried a version of these how much they really did taste like oatmeal cookies! I like the sounds of the chocolate-cherry and the ginger-flax versions

  5. I'm pretty late coming into the no-bake balls but I love all the nutritious ingredients you have in your recipe. Will definitely be trying the banana/chocolate squares!

    1. Awesome! Enjoy! I found myself wishing I had some of those last night...


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