Cranberry oatmeal energy balls, with dates and hemp seed, are chewy bites of deliciousness. They will satisfy your snack cravings plus you’ll enjoy a nutritious energy boost. 

Overhead view of bowl of energy bites, with dried cranberries, oats and hemp seeds also pictured.

Cranberry oatmeal energy bites are perfection rolled into bite-sized balls. Packed with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients, these energy balls are sweet without added sugar. They contain fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and taste like dessert. Nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, most everyone can safely enjoy these.

Having a snack attack? You won’t experience a sugar crash after indulging in a couple of these healthy energy balls. The complex carbohydrates will leave you feeling energized and satisfied. At less than 60 calories each, you won’t have to worry about your waistline either.

True story: I couldn’t write about these without wanting to have one. I just set aside my keyboard, went upstairs and ate a couple energy bites for a mid-morning snack with a cup of tea. Honestly I like these way better than a cookie.

They’re perfect for kids and school lunch boxes, too. Because they’re made without peanut butter, they’re safe to bring to schools with peanut restrictions. They keep well in the fridge (or freezer!) and are a fun finger food. So much better than high sugar granola bars!

Bite taken out of a cranberry oatmeal energy ball to show texture.

About these Cranberry Oatmeal Energy Balls:

You would think something this good would be difficult to make. Nope, not true! Oatmeal energy balls are super easy, and your kids will enjoy helping you. 

Let’s get started! Set up your food processor with the standard blade. Add oats, dates (make sure they’re pitted!), sunflower seed butter, honey, a dash of salt and pure vanilla extract. Process until well-combined. Add dried cranberries and hemp seeds (flax seeds are fine, too), and pulse briefly. The mixture should be in clumps.

Easy so far, right? That only takes about 5 minutes. Next up, making the balls. Here’s where your kids could help.

Scoop out a tablespoon of the mixture and, using your fingers, form a ball. Press it firmly together. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round. Roll each ball in additional seeds if you like. Keep going until the mixture is gone. You should get around three dozen balls.

There, that’s it! No cooking, no baking. Easy as pie! Where did that phrase come from anyways? Making pie is anything but easy! Energy balls are way, way easier to make than pie and taste so good. 

Overhead view of oatmeal energy bites in a bowl, with dried cranberries.

Are energy balls good for you?

The answer to that is a resounding yes! Just take a look at the ingredient list.

  • Oatmeal is so beneficial, with lots of soluble fiber and protein. You’ll never go wrong adding oatmeal to anything.
  • Dates, while high in calories because they’re a dried fruit, are also high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Sunflower seed butter is high in protein, contains lots of Vitamin E, and no trans fat.
  • Dried cranberries are packed with antioxidants.
  • Flax and hemp seeds, so trendy right now, contain protein, fiber, and a variety of minerals.

All rolled together in a cute little tasty ball, you get a bundle of complex carbs, gut-friendly fiber, and protein, plus a bunch of vitamins and minerals.

Energy balls in a bowl, in the background dates, oats, sunflower seed butter and dried cranberries are pictured.

How to make these energy balls your own:

There are lots of substitutions you could possibly make. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Instead of dried cranberries, try a different dried fruit like raisins, currants, dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, or dried apple. Or replace the dried fruit with mini chocolate chips or coconut.
  • To make these energy bites vegan, replace the honey with a different sweetener, such as agave or corn syrup.
  • Replace the sunflower seed butter with peanut butter or another nut butter of your choice.
  • Add 1/4 cup of protein powder to the mixture. Reduce oats by 1/4 cup.
  • Check out more energy ball recipes below!

A bowl of energy bites with dried cranberries, dates, and oats in the background.

Storage Tips

Store cranberry oatmeal energy bites in a resealable container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Make a double batch and freeze some to enjoy later.

More healthy energy bites:

Here’s a few more ideas for you:

 

Overhead view of bowl of energy bites, with dried cranberries, oats and hemp seeds also pictured.

Cranberry Oatmeal Energy Balls (nut-free)

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Cranberry oatmeal energy balls, with dates and hemp seed, are chewy bites of deliciousness. They will satisfy your snack cravings plus you'll enjoy a nutritious energy boost. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup dried dates, pits removed
  • ½ cup sunflower seed butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons flax seeds, or hemp seeds, plus more for rolling

Instructions

  1. Add oats, dates, sunflower seed butter, honey, vanilla, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is well combined.
  2. Add cranberries and flax or hemp seeds and pulse briefly until combined.
  3. Scoop out approximately one tablespoon of the mixture and, using your fingers, form into a ball. Repeat until all the balls are made. If desired, roll balls in additional flax or hemp seeds.
  4. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container for up to 2 weeks. Energy balls can also be frozen.

Notes

  • Instead of dried cranberries, try a different dried fruit like raisins, currants, dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, or dried apple. Or replace the dried fruit with mini chocolate chips.
  • To make these energy bites vegan, replace the honey with a different sweetener, such as agave or corn syrup.
  • Replace the sunflower seed butter with peanut butter or another nut butter of your choice.
  • Add 1/4 cup of protein powder to the mixture. Reduce oats by 1/4 cup.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 2 energy balls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: So much flavor and nutrition in a little bite! 
Husband’s take: Ben has no complaints about these…truthfully he’s more of a cookie guy, though.
Changes I would make: None!
Difficulty: Easy!