Not only are they amazingly delicious, they are also super quick, easy to make and have only five simple healthy ingredients. That’s right. Five. Count them (1) oatmeal (2) shredded coconut (3) chia seeds (4) honey and (5) Nutella. So simple! Mix them together, roll them into little balls of joy and eat. Can’t get any easier than that!
I have recently gone on an ‘energy ball’ kick. I discovered these easy to make, delicious snack when I started the Paleo diet and from then on, I was hooked. Let me tell you why.
Energy balls are essentially a few ingredients, mashed together and rolled into balls. They are easy to throw together in a rush, they make a perfect snack for adults and kids (pop a few of these in a lunchbox and you’ll be a hero!), and they are healthy. Like seriously healthy. How could you not love these?!
Energy balls are perfect for popping in your mouth when you need a quick pick me up, a small snack to help you get through the day, hence the name ‘energy balls’. However, I will eat a few of these for breakfast, take one on my way out the door and even have them as a dessert at night. Hey, I’m a mom, I need energy all the time!
I also am a huge fan of energy balls as they are quite portable and keep in the fridge or freezer very well. When I make any energy ball recipe, I make a huge batch, like a triple recipe at least. Then, I freeze half and stick the rest in the fridge. Depending on the energy ball recipe I use, the snack will last about two weeks in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. Talk about a great shelf life for a homemade snack!
As you can see, energy balls are a snack that is seriously worth making. But back to my need for nutella…
Healthy Nutella Snacks
Energy balls have become my go to snack for me and my kids yet I still had one craving that hadn’t been met: my need for Nutella. That’s right, the hazelnut chocolate spread that is an obsession of so many, myself included! Could I make an easy, healthy energy ball with Nutella? I had to try!
When you think of Nutella, you may think that there is no way it could be healthy but think again! Sure, Nutella has chocolate in it but it also is full of beneficial hazelnuts, milk proteins and the chocolate part is actually made with cocoa powder which is a little better than processed chocolate.
If you want to know a little more about Nutella and how it is made, check out this cool video that shows you some of the secrets of the Nutella factory. It is always fun to learn how the food you eat is created and it is something your kids may enjoy watching too. Just a warning, it will likely make you love Nutella even more…
Okay, okay, Nutella may have its hidden benefits but it is mostly a decadent dessert treat. So in order to qualify this food as healthy, the energy balls themselves had to be loaded with undeniable nutritious ingredients. But we can do that!
Energy Bite Ingredients
What are those beneficial ingredients that make energy bites so great? Here’s a quick outline
- Shredded Coconut
- Chia Seeds
- And now, Nutella
Oats are full of fiber, help regulate blood pressure and have antioxidants. Coconut can help improve cholesterol, improve digestion and supports the immune system. Chia seeds have lots of omega-3’s, plant based protein and fiber too. Honey is a perfect natural sweetener and Nutella is, well, just delicious.
All of these ingredients will help improve your health and make such a well balanced snack. Know what else, these energy bites are gluten free, vegetarian and low carb.
While I didn’t opt for adding any extra powders to my energy bite mix this time, you definitely can. Increase the protein in these healthy nutella energy bites by adding a scoop of protein powder. Add some dried pomegranate seeds for a crunchy, antioxidant packed snack.
You can easily add a sprinkle here and there of your favorite dried nutrients. Adjust the texture of the energy bites by adding a touch more honey or a few more oats to make them hold together nicely and not crumble when you take a bite.
While most people know Nutella as just that plastic jar with the gold lid that you buy in the grocery store, you can actually make your own version of Nutella. To be honest, the store bought brand is already pretty well made with very few additives. However, if you want to eliminate things like soy lecithin and make a nutella that is pure and simple, check out this video that will show you how. You can then use your homemade nutella in this recipe for Healthy Nutella Energy Bites- could it get any more fancy than that?!
Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bites For The Win!
After thinking about this recipe and adjusting it to be healthy but still loaded with Nutella, I was ready to give them the true test- feed them to my kids! I mashed the ingredients together with my mixer, scooped them into balls using and ice cream scooper and packed them tightly onto a try. (You may notice that I don’t roll my energy balls between my hands- you totally can to compact them more but I’m seriously not a fan of sticky hands…)
Now, my kids are already very familiar with energy bites as I make them all the time so they immediately bit right in. In fact, you should give my recipe for No Bake Energy Balls a try as they are a very quick and simple way to get some nutrition into your kids. I’m also a big fan of my No Bake Brownie Bites when I really need a chocolate fix- healthy chocolate snacks is like a dream come true!
But back to my Nutella Energy Balls…My little one took one small bite and then put the whole remaining ball in her mouth. My older daughter had her first bite then asked me if she could have a second ball- she hadn’t even finished the first! I was definitely pleased and it seemed like both kids were too!
My kids were gladly eating oats and chia seeds without batting an eye! Now if I had just served a bowl of oatmeal, that would be another scenario all together…
Health Snack Balls That Everyone Loves
Now that I have this recipe, I can easily get my Nutella fix in a healthy way. I can quickly make a snack that my kids love and that actually adds something to their diet (sorry regular old Nutella on bread, you don’t bring much to the table health wise.) This recipe is a dream come true. Hopefully you and your family will also enjoy these and add them to your regular snack rotations. Of course, you can also consider them a dessert since they are so rich. Or call them breakfast- there are oats in there after all!
So, I have to go- time to make another batch! Happy baking and let us know how they turn out!
An irresistible snack that is easy to make and loaded with health benefits.
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup Nutella
- Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Add the honey and Nutella
- Use your hands or a small scooper to form 1-inch balls
- These healthy Nutella energy bites keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
- Store in the freezer for up to three months, thaw before eating!
- Find a keto hazelnut spread to use in place of Nutella in order to make this recipe Paleo and Keto friendly
- Use unsweetened shredded coconut
- Push the mix into a plastic lined casserole dish and place in the fridge to firm. Pull the bars out of the dish, peel off the plastic and cut into bars. Now you have energy bars instead of bites!
- Add ¼ cup pureed dates in place of ¼ cup nutella for a lower calorie snack.