No-Bake Granola Bites

Um, yum. These little babies are an absolutely irresistible healthy, bite-sized snack. Ever since these simple chewy granola bars entered my life, we’ve been on the homemade granola-snack train. But, like many of my life plans, summer kind of derailed any homemade granola making. Summer has a way of just creating lots of happy chaos, asked for or not.

But with the onset of school quickly approaching, I am hereby recommitting to snacks. Recommitting to healthy-ish snacks! Recommitting to homemade, healthy-ish snacks! And these granola bites are a perfect way to start.

No-Bake Granola Bites

Packed with crunch and creaminess and lots of good-for-you things (think: flaxseed) and some extra treats (think: mini chocolate chips), we had a hard time leaving any of these for storing away in the freezer for when after school snack time rolls around or when I’m popping goodies in lunch boxes each morning. No biggie though; they are so simple to throw together (no cooking or baking!) that I can easily order my 9-year old to make another batch pronto which he’ll gladly do since he announced yesterday that his life’s work will be complete when he gets to be on Cutthroat Kitchen (a fun, new show on The Food Network) and apparently¬† making granola bites puts him on the fast track to chef-dom.

These are truly a divine solution to the snacking days (and lunch-packing) days ahead of us!

No-Bake Granola Bites

No-Bake Granola Bites

Yield: Makes about 30 bites

No-Bake Granola Bites

Kira who sent me the recipe also includes 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds with the dry ingredients (I haven't used them when I've made them...yet!). Also, feel free to play around with the amounts, increasing or decreasing ingredients, adding dried fruit, coconut, etc. Just keep an eye on the consistency so that it still forms a mixture that sticks together when formed into balls. The coconut oil isn't absolutely necessary but I loved the smooth silkiness it gave to the granola bites plus if you use extra-virgin instead of expeller-pressed, you'll get a sweet hint of coconut.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl, mixing gently so the crispy rice cereal doesn't get crushed. Mix until well-combined.
  2. Using a cookie scoop (or roll small amounts in your hands), drop rounded tablespoonful-sized portions onto a parchment or wax paper lined cooking sheeet. I used my cookie scoop and then rolled the scooped portion out between my palms.
  3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. At this point you can serve them or combine the chilled granola bites in a large tupperware-type container or ziploc bags to freeze or refrigerate. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week or for a few months in the freezer.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/no-bake-healthy-granola-bites/

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe Kira W. sent me (added coconut oil, took out coconut flakes and increased rice cereal, used agave nectar and honey in different batches, etc.) – thanks, Kira!

74 Responses to No-Bake Healthy Granola Bites

  1. kelsey says:

    My son goes to a nut free school where no form of any nut is allowed. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative to the peanut butter? Your granola bars don’t have them, so i was hoping for some wisdom from you! Thanks.

  2. Kim in MD says:

    These look so healthy and delicious, and I love that they are easy! It’s awesome that your son loves to help you cook, Mel. I love Cutthroat Kitchen!

  3. Sheila says:

    Mel . . .you are like the energerizer bunny. You just keep on and on delivering wonderful food ideas and delicioius recipes. @Kelsey . . . wow, I sure wish my kids could go to a school that was “nut free”. :-)

  4. Teresa R. says:

    I just bought a grinder to grind flaxseed, so this recipe came at a perfect time! I love granola, and I think these bites sound delicious.

  5. I need to make these for our plane snack for this weekend! Thanks :)

  6. cate brown says:

    Kelsey – my son goes to a school that is nut-free too. There are alternatives that are delicious and taste just like peanut butter. School safe “Wow Butter” (made from soy) and “Peabut Nutter” (made from peas) are peanut alternative spreads I use for my son’s school lunches.

    • Mel says:

      For those of you new to the coconut oil world, it comes in solid form but melts at low heat (around 70 degrees I think). I warm it slightly to add to this recipe in liquid form (you can easily use expeller pressed which doesn’t have a coconut taste or the extra-virgin kind that does have a hint of coconut).

      Kelsey – sounds like you have a lot of good ideas from others on the alternatives to peanut butter! My nut free friends use sunbutter and love it.

  7. Betsy says:

    I have a child with a peanut allergy and I recommend Sun Butter as a peanut butter alternative. It is made with sunflower seeds so it meets the no nut criteria and it taste a lot better than the soy alternatives. I buy mine at Super Target but i’ve seen it at other grocery stores and you an also buy it at Trader Joe’s.

  8. Lisa Powell says:

    These sound great for lunches!! But my daughter hates coconut-can I just use regular oil? thanks for the recipe!

  9. Emily C. says:

    By carefully choosing which type of oats, cereal, peanut butter and chocolate chips, these are easy to make gluten free, soy free and dairy free! These have been a favorite treat at our house. For those who have allergies to milk or soy, “Enjoy Life” brand mini chocolate chips work perfectly!

  10. Gail says:

    Hi Mel! Thanks for all the awesome recipes! I print at least two a week off! I’ve never had anything I didn’t like from this blog….and I’m picky! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that FOX is starting Master Chef Jr. My 11yo is planning on auditioning next year (we’ll see!) and since your little guy is into cooking too, he might enjoy at least watching it! It starts next month. :)

  11. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the peanut butter free ideas! I have a bunch of the regular rolled oats, if I blend them up a tiny bit do you think they’ll work ok in this recipe or should I just go buy some instant?

  12. Kerry says:

    How do these rate on the sticky /messy factor? Thinking ahead for school lunches. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Kerry – I’ll definitely be putting these in my kids school lunches. They aren’t so sticky that they’ll mash up in a lunch box (unless, you know, your kid is stomping on his/her lunch box) – they keep very well.

  13. My kids are so beyond school lunches…thankfully they are also beyond college tuition…so these would be for ME! I love making my own snacks; I work through lunch most days and having something easy that I can eat is important. I only started making my own granola in the past couple of years and it’s SO good…time to move to granola snacks!

  14. Jocelyn says:

    My daughter has given me the green light to try these for her snacks. I have two questions. First, can I use old fashioned rolled oats instead of quick oats? Second, can you recommend a substitute for the flax seed? Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      For all those that have asked, old-fashioned rolled oats won’t work the same way as the quick oats (it will make the mixture much more crumbly) so if you only have old-fashioned oats, try giving them a blend first to make them similar in size and texture to quick oats.

      • Miranda says:

        I just made these last night and kind of had a happy mistake. I only had the old fashioned oats instead of the quick oats. As I was reading through the ingredients I thought it would be pretty difficult to mix it all together. So I threw the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil into a bowl and microwaved it until it was a smooth consistency. As I was pouring it into the dry ingredients I realized it was going to melt the chocolate chips…and it sure did. It mixed up really easily, but I had to
        let it sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before I could form them into bites. They taste great and are holding their shape nicely because of the melted chocolate.

  15. Army of 7 says:

    My kids took granola bites in their lunchbox today- how cute! I’ve been making these for over a year now. I make at least a double batch but add a few different thing to each batch for variety like craisins, wheat germ, cashews, etc. The kids help roll them out and we freeze them so they can easily go in lunches in the morning.
    This summer I came across a recipe that added a few tablespoons of cocoa powder – such a big hit here.
    Also chocolate covered Katie has a vegan version called fudge babies in

  16. Army of 7 says:

    Hmm, the end got cut off but those “fudge babies” have many different flavors like Pb&j, German chocolate, etc. They also freeze nicely for lunches.

  17. Kira says:

    Time for another batch! I am intrigued by the additon of oil since I have been making them with the coconut flakes and no oil…. Going to have to try it! You always know best!

  18. Melissa says:

    Do not use old fashioned oats! They will not form into balls. Learn from my mistakes as I sit here with a bowl of it!

  19. Jeni Allen says:

    OH, huge hit with the football team tonight Mel!! Thanks a bundle! My son (11) and I made them this afternoon and they are a keeper! He was pumped that he made such a great treat!! The football team really liked them as well! Thanks for a great new staple!! (EVERYTHING i make from here becomes a staple in our house!!) Thanks so much for sharing!!;)

  20. I can’t wait to try these! And p.s. I love your food styling on this one. Looks awesome.

  21. Karen says:

    What would be a good substitute for the coconut oil? My friends have tree nut allergies. I hope you do more snack ideas Mel, you are the best!

  22. Carol says:

    Made these with gluten free oats and gluten free rice krispies. I also added some chia seeds. We loved them. With the peanut butter and chocolate, they reminded me of no-bake cookies. I actually used old-fashioned oats (not quick oats) and I must have been lucky because they worked alright. Next time I will try blending them a touch and maybe that will make them even better. Thanks for a great recipe!

  23. Carolyn says:

    These are awesome! I made them yesterday and substituted Sunbutter because my daughter’s school is nut-free. Thanks Mel for another goodie! What else is new?!

  24. Susan says:

    I just made a double-batch to keep in the freezer for easy lunch additions. Wetting your hands every few minutes makes it easier to roll into balls. If anyone wonders, I used natural peanut butter (even crunchy) and it worked great. Thanks for another excellent recipe.

  25. Melissa says:

    Any tips for grinding flax seed? Or do you buy yours already milled?

  26. Wendy says:

    I knew I would love these and I was right. Thanks for another great recipe!

  27. Alyssa O says:

    These were a hit at my house! My kids liked them and my oldest couldn’t wait to get some in her lunch today! And I’ve been snacking on them right out of the freezer. :)

  28. Bri says:

    Mel, these are outstanding! I made them for my husband who has a hard time remembering to eat breakfast. Not only does he love them, but I cannot stop eating them either!

  29. Amy G says:

    I followed the recipe and thought they were delicous. My son is a picky eater and I made them hoping it would give me a snack alternative. His extra sensitive palate could the detect the coconut oil, I could not. (He is the only one I know that can taste the difference in cows milk one gallon to the next) so I will make them again omitting the oil or substituting with something else on hand. My husband thought they were too sweet, so I may also reduce the honey to 1/2 cup, but I’m not sure if they will still stick together

  30. Glenna says:

    I am excited to try these. We just found out my son who is three had a peanut allergy so I am going to try Sunbutter or Almond butter. I think it will be ok? Thank you!

  31. Abbie says:

    I made these last week and they were a huge hit in my house. Thanks for the great recipe. Love your site!!!

  32. Beth Wadsworth says:

    I have nicknamed these POWERBALLS!

  33. Karyn says:

    I ended up with a crumbly mess. What I was able to squeeze into balls did taste good.
    Might try your granola bar recipe next time.

  34. jill says:

    My daughter (8) made these all by herself one morning. She used butterscotch morsels instead because that is all we had with chia seeds since she couldnt find flaxseeds. They were amazing. Her and her brother eat them everyday for a snack at school. Next time we will use quick oats but since they go in lunches frozen they are usually still ok by snack time. Thank you so much for more snack options!!!

  35. Heidi says:

    I made these for my kids after school lunch this morning, and ate half the batch myself. They are that good. This will be a regular on our list. I love your recipes and your website Mel.

  36. Michelle says:

    I’ve made these twice now; my kids love them, and so do I. Using the whole amount of honey/agave (I used a mixture of both) made them a tad too sweet, so next time I made them, I cut down the liquid sweetener to 1/2 cup. As expected, this change made the mixture a little more difficult to form into balls, but with a bit of elbow grease, it worked. (Meaning, I gently compressed each ball in my hands to stick it together but not break the rice krispies.) I think next time, I will experiment with adding back in another tablespoon of honey and maybe another tablespoon of peanut butter to see if that helps matters. I also use unsweetened pb and cut the chocolate chips down to 1/2 cup. I keep these in the freezer; every day my younger kids take 2 each for a school snack, transported in a little gladware container. They also help themselves with one or two after school some days. They used to take store-bought granola bars for snack and they’d be hungry 30 minutes later- now they are full till lunchtime! (They have a very late lunchtime.) Yay for this recipe; thanks for sharing it!

  37. Jane says:

    I just got done putting these together as a trial run (no pun intended) before serving them at the end of a Half Marathon this weekend – they are going to be fabulous. I decided that since I was heating the coconut oil, I would throw the rest of the ‘liquid’ ingredients in as well. The mixture was a bit warm going into the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips melted, which resulted in a happy accident – my kids think they are No Bake Cookies. :) Anyway, they came together very well. Thanks again for another great recipe!

  38. Shari H says:

    Would these be as successful without the coconut oil? My daughter is allergic to coconut.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Shari – I haven’t made them without the coconut oil but you could definitely try – the original recipe didn’t have the coconut oil so it should work ok.

  39. Jane says:

    Update – made 100 of these babies for the ‘after-run’ Half Marathon party. I was so intent on making them gluten-free that I forgot to blend the oats and Melissa is right – they do not form balls when using rolled oats. Here’s how I saved my quadruple batch…..I blended another 2 cups of oats till fine (like flour) and mixed in to the mess. Then I drizzled a small amount of water (very small – can always add, but can’t take away) over the whole thing and it worked like a charm – they came together beautifully! Thanks again, Mel. You rock.

  40. I love these! I have been using them as post-workout snacks!

  41. Anna says:

    I absolutely Love that these are SO easy to make! I make them gluten and nut free for my son. My favorite pb alternative is almond butter, super healthy and so completely delicious! It doesn’t have quite the same consistency as pb so I just add a little bit more of the coconut oil. Approved by my husband, and all three kiddos! :D Thanks a million for this recipe!

  42. Um, these are totally amazing! We just made them and it will be hard to let them sit in the fridge! :) delicious!!! I won’t be buying granola bars anymore….if I can keep up with demand of these little bites! Thank you so very much for sharing!

  43. Erin says:

    Made these three times. Simply fabulous! Thank you:)

  44. Megan says:

    Can I leave out the flaxseed? I live in the Middle East and can’t find it. Any suggestions, greatly appreciated!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Megan – sure, you could definitely leave out the flaxseed. You might need to increase one of the other dry ingredients just slightly so kind of keep an eye on the texture of the mixture.

  45. Meg says:

    I just made these, and they are delicious! i only had rolled oats on hand, and my mixture ended up crumbly, just like has been mentioned. Then I thought about the “wet hands” trick that works so well with rice crispie treats, keeping the mixture from sticking to your hands while you work with it, and I tried it with these, and it worked! No more sticking to my hands or crumbly mess when I used wet hands to form the balls! Also, I used the 2 Tbls Chia Seed. I scooped out 1/4 cup and split it in two to form 2 Tbls spoon balls. I got 42 balls this way, and they each are 122 calories, 7 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein per ball, according to myfitnesspal.com

    On a side note, my four year old daughter was standing on a chair in my kitchen while we were making these, and she started singing a made-up song and pretending to conduct an imaginary choir (which she regularly does:) and the words of her song went like this today: “I do everything I do at My Kitchen Cafe.” So Mel, you made the words to my daughter’s spontaneous song! You are a part of our lives:) Thanks!

  46. Ashlee says:

    I made these and they were awesome! We all loved them, and my husband wants a crunchy version now. Granola clusters?

  47. nicole says:

    These things are amazing. We have made them twice and the only last a day or two. My family of 4 can’t get enough of them!

  48. Len says:

    Hi Mel, I’m Len from Manila, Philippines and I was inspired to make these really yummy graham bites. I loved them so much I included them in our menu! Originally selling chewy graham munchkins but wanted to have a healthy variety through these babies. Again, thanks for this recipe! :) http://www.facebook.com/munchkinsurprise is our FB fanpge of you want to check it out! Bless you more!

  49. Rachel R. says:

    I made these little babies tonight – man they are good!! They were the carrot I used to persuade my toddler to eat his broccoli on his dinner plate and boy did it work!
    Thank you, Mel! You’ve brought so many wonderful tastes, smells, and full-happy-tummies to our home… I can never thank you enough! God bless you and your family!

  50. Kelli says:

    I made these today & they are delicious! I love the variations that everyone has mentioned here, too.

  51. […] this amazing recipe, please visit mel’s kitchen […]

  52. holly says:

    We make these all the time and love them! In an effort to cut out processed food, I sub the rice krispies for 1 cup of mixed nuts. We usually do sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews or pecans. I chop the bigger nuts a bunch to help the balls stay together. We’ve used all variations of natural nut butters. Almond butter helps them stick together the best. I also cut down the honey to 1/2 cup. I’ve also made them without the coconut oil, but only once. I could really tell a difference and thought they were lacking something great. I make half a batch with chocolate chips and half without. My kids eat both versions like candy. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!

  53. Tracey says:

    Hey Mel! Just made these today for the first time. They are delicious. However, they do seem to be quite sweet. I’m wondering if you use an all natural, no sugar added peanut butter. I used “natural” peanut butter, but it still has sugar added. Yours also looked a lot more textured than mine, which came out more smooth and a little “stickier” looking than yours. I followed the recipe exactly, so perhaps the peanut butter again? Just curious, because I know all natural peanut butter, like Adam’s brand, tends to be a little more dry.

    • Mel says:

      Tracey – I just use Jif natural creamy. You could definitely cut down on the sweetness by adapting the other ingredients since it probably will depend on the sugar in the peanut butter. Good luck!

  54. Amanda C says:

    We love these! I add a TB or two of cocoa powder instead of the chocolate chips and they are our favorite new snack! Another family favorite from MKC :)

  55. Louise trottier says:

    For the mothers sending these to school whit there kids just place a damp paper towel in a plastic bag it will do te job. No sticky hands.

  56. Stefanie says:

    These are delicious! I was searching for a healthier dessert option to have on hand and made these. Love them!! I even forgot the vanilla and coconut oil in my haste and they are still wonderful! Look forward to adding these to lunch boxes for snack :)

  57. amy says:

    Have you made them with corn flakes in stead of rice krispies?

  58. jen says:

    I found these much easier to roll after chilling the dough slightly. They are good, but I think next time we’ll tweak a bit : sub some ground up dried fruit so we can reduce the pb and honey. I think they’re a good jumping off point for us to find our own perfect snack ball.

  59. Ashley says:

    I have absolutely loved your blog! It is always my go to for snacks or when I have no idea what to make for dinner. These have become a household, neighborhood, and even my children’s soccer teams favorite treat! Thanks so much for sharing!

  60. Jennifer says:

    My boys love these! My oldest isn’t a fan of chocolate in any form (so sad!) so I’ve thrown in heath toffee bits instead and it’s a hit!

  61. Jen says:

    Hi Mel, I have made these and love them! If I want to make them a tad less sweet next time what should I change without compromising too much? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      You could definitely try cutting down the sweetener to 1/2 cup. It might mean you need to use just a tad bit dry ingredients so they still stick together so keep your eye on that.

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