This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy.
Steel Cut Oatmeal Energy Bites are a 5 ingredient, healthy snack to make! Hearty steel cut oats, sweet honey, coconut, mini chocolate chips, and peanut butter is all it takes to make these deliciously addicting energy bites.
Note : This recipe has been updated July 2023 with updated & more helpful text, and new pictures. The recipe is the same and has not changed. Thanks for being here. Enjoy friends!
Healthy Energy Bites Recipe With Steel Cut Oatmeal
I consider this a lucky day because these energy bites finally lasted long enough for me to snap some photos to share with you all today! No joke, I make these weekly (sometimes more) and they disappear so fast each time.
I love making energy bites for my kids to snack on after school and especially during the summer-time when they have more ‘bored’ hours.
Healthy, hearty, and easy to make. These steel cut oatmeal energy bites are something that I feel good about my kids snacking. Keeps their bellies full with some healthy ingredients like the steel cut oats.
These energy bites taste like homemade Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats combined with the portable and poppable energy bite size.
Need a Healthy Snack Idea? Try No Bake Energy Bites!
During the summer, and after school, my 4 kids pretty much eat us out of the house. I am always on the lookout for easy, simple, cheaper snack to feed them that don’t involve the processed packaged snacks.
Which is why I won’t even admit how often I make these Steel Cut Oatmeal Energy Bites Let’s just say, I buy all these ingredients in bulk so I always have them in my pantry. I love the heartier texture that the steel cut oats bring to these traditional no bake energy bites.
Ingredients Needed (Substitution Ideas)
- Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats – There are NO substitutions for this. Only use the steel cut oats which are labeled as ‘quick cook’. These are similar to quick oats where you only need 1-3 minutes to cook them. Expect that you want the steel cut oats. The regular steel cut oats will not work. Promise! So don’t even try to use them.
- Coconut Flakes – Use sweetened or unsweetened, whichever you prefer. I like to toss the coconut flakes into a food processor or food chopper, to get them ground into finer pieces. My kids don’t love the texture of the stringy coconut flakes as is.
- Creamy Peanut Butter – Normally I say don’t use any peanut butter that is labeled as ‘no-stir’ or all-natural’ but I have had many readers tell me that it works just fine in this recipe. So experiment and find out what you like best. I prefer using the regular peanut butter, Peter Pan brand. You can also try using nut butter, almond butter, crunch peanut butter, sunflower butter, etc.
- Miniature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – Again, there really are not substations for this. Yes you could use regular sized chocolate chips, but the mini size actually work better in this recipe. If you don’t want the extra sweetness or chocolate in the energy bites, try using flax seed, unsweetened chocolate chunks (chop into smaller pieces), or dried fruit pieces.
How To Make Energy Bites with Steel Cut Oats
- Add the quick cook steel cut oats, coconut flakes, creamy peanut butter, mini chooclate chips, and honey into a large mixing bowl. Use a rubber spatula or wooden mixing spoon to thoroughly combine all the ingredients together.
- Use a small cookie scoop, or a measuring spoon or your clean hands, to scoop out the energy bites mixture and roll it into a ball. Place them onto a plate or inside a Tupperware type container with a lid.
- Cover the energy bites with a lid or plastic wrap and regulate for at least 1 hour for best results.
What Is The Difference Between Steel Cut Oats and Regular Oats?
Steel cut oats, also known as Irish oats or coarse oats, are the least form of processor oats. Meaning that more of the natural nutrition of oats is kept intact and not removed during processing.
Steel cut oats processing involves chopping the whole groats into smaller pieces. Which gives them a chewier, heartier consistency, and more robust flavor.
Normally steel cut oats need longer to cook. But as with regular oats, the quick cook version of steel cut oats are smaller and ground into finer pieces, which makes the resulting cool time shorter (if you’re cooking them) and the texture not as chewy and large.
What Kind of Coconut Should I Use For Energy Bites?
You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes (like the kind you use for baking) or try using organic coconut flakes instead.
I love the Bob’s Red Mill brand of unsweetened coconut flakes. No matter what coconut I use, I always throw it into a food processor to chop it up into smaller pieces.
Try using toasted coconut flakes for an added layer of flavor.
Can I Add Anything To These Steel Cut Oatmeal Energy Bites?
Yes! There are so many ways to switch up these every bites. The general rule of thumb here is that you keep the measurements the same. As far as additions go in this recipe, there is 1 cup flaked coconut + 1/3 mini chocolate chips. Therefore, stick with 1 cup + 1/3 cup of total mix-ins.
Here are some ideas and things that I have done with success in my own kitchen.
- Almonds : This is one addition/change that I frequently do. Well, every time I make them I do this. I use 1/2 cup coconut flakes + 1/2 cup sliced almonds (instead of 1 cup coconut flakes). I throw them both into the food processor and pulse until they’re smaller pieces.
- Nut Butter or Almond Butter : Use almond butter, all-natural peanut butter, or other types of butter in this recipe. I stick with the traditional creamy peanut butter. If using almond butter or all-natural peanut butter, you may need to add some additional amount of it (like 1-2 tablespoons).
- Chia Seeds : I LOVE adding some chia seeds into the energy bites. I add 1 tablespoon. They’re so healthy and a great addition to these snack balls.
- Dried Fruit : Try adding dried fruit like cranberries, banana chips, or apple pieces. I would recommend chopping them up into smaller pieces, or put them in a food processor, before adding them into the bowl along with the other ingredients.
- Chocolate : If you prefer, use organic chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate (that has been chopped small), use mini m&m’s instead of the mini chocolate chips, or leave the chocolate out completely.
Storage Tips For Energy Bites
These are best served chilled from the fridge. As the energy bites sit out at room temperature, they will begin to soften, which some might really like that. They can be serve chilled straight from the fridge, or if you prefer the soft texture, let them sit out at room temperature before eating.
If you want to freeze these steel cut oatmeal energy bites then place them in a single-layer, inside a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 2 months. I don’t recommend freezing them touching each other, as they will stick together once frozen.
- Texture Tip : My kids, and me, don’t like that stringy texture of coconut flakes. I throw the coconut flakes into a food process, or food chopper, and pulse until they are in smaller pieces. Then I add the coconut into the mixing bowl along with the other ingredients.
- Use a Food Processor : To make mixing the energy bites mixture really easy try adding all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse/blend until it’s combined well.
- Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats : Use them! Don’t try to substitute with anything else, especially the whole, regular cook steel cut oats. Make sure that the label specifically says ‘quick cook’.
- Sticky Mixture? : If the energy bites mixture is too sticky and hard to roll into balls, try putting the mixing bowl inside the fridge for 15-30 minutes before rolling them. Naturally, the mixture will be slightly sticky because of the peanut butter and honey. I’ve never had a problem with it being so sticky that it can’t be rolled into balls.
Steel Cut Oatmeal Energy Bites
- 1 cup quick cook steel cut oatmeal
- 1 cup coconut flakes sweetened or unsweetened
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup honey
- Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until thoroughly combined.* TIP – My kids don't love the longer texture of coconut so I put the shredded coconut into a food processor/food chopper and pulse it a few times until it's more ground up. You can also do 1/2 cup shredded coconut + 1/2 sliced almonds (add both to the food processor) for a different flavor – I actually make the energy balls this way most of the time with coconut + sliced almonds. * For easier mixing try adding all the ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until combined well.1 cup quick cook steel cut oatmeal, 1 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/3 cup honey
- Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon) to scoop out the mixture and roll it into a ball. Place the rolled energy bites onto a plate, inside an airtight container with a lid, or onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Eat right away or for best results and taste, refrigerate the energy bites for at least 1 hour before eating.
- Store leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight covered container, for up to 1 week.