Are you a fan of monster cookies? You’ll love monster cookie energy balls, with everything you love about the cookies: peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and M&Ms!
Why you’ll love it: This no-bake treat is easy to make and is gluten-free. Kids love them!
How long it takes: 15 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large mixing bowl
Servings: makes 30 balls
Are you a cookie monster? Do you remember the lovable fuzzy blue Cookie Monster from Sesame Street who gobbled up cookies as fast as he could, while saying “Me want more cookies!!”?
I did hear that in response to concerns about promoting healthy eating to children, the producers of the show were going to change his name to Veggie Monster. Ha, good luck with that! Has anyone heard of the Veggie Monster? I didn’t think so. Obviously, that didn’t fly.
Cookie monster or not, everyone loves monster cookies with peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, and M&Ms all wrapped up in a nice big cookie. You can’t go too wrong with that combination. It would make anyone turn into a crazy cookie monster.
So I figure monster cookie energy balls are going to be an instant hit wherever you take them. A no-bake protein ball with all the goodies of a monster cookie. Hurray! It’s genius!
Learn how to put together an amazing after school snack board. Monster cookie energy balls play a starring role, accompanied by lots more healthy nibbles. The snack board is perfect for birthday parties, pool parties, or any event that includes children and those of us who are still kids at heart.
About this Recipe
Energy balls, energy bites, protein balls are all pretty much the same thing. I’ve done a few different variations of energy/protein ball and you can find the recipes below. They are usually made with oats, some sort of protein (nuts, nut butter, protein powder), often dried fruit or another sweetener.
They are sort of like trail mix but in a neat little ball. They satisfy a hungry tummy and give you a nice little boost when you’re running on empty. Energy balls are perfect for lunchboxes or after school treats.
Are energy balls difficult to make? Absolutely not! These treats are no-bake, no-cook, and don’t involve any sharp knives, so the recipe is definitely kid-friendly. They can use their hands to mix the ingredients and they’ll have a blast rolling the little balls. You may see some of the M&Ms and chocolate chips disappear before they get rolled but you can always throw in a few more.
I’ll get you started on the recipe here and give you some helpful tips (although the recipe is super easy!).
Look for the printable recipe card near the bottom of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What you’ll need
- Creamy Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is a good source of protein, nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats. Stick to a brand that doesn’t have a lot of added ingredients such as sugar, vegetable oils or trans fat. Peanut butter is the glue that holds these balls together. And yes, sunflower butter or other nut butters can be substituted.
- Maple Syrup: A natural sweetener, maple syrup also has great flavor. Use pure maple syrup. Pancake syrup is often made with high fructose corn syrup and artificial maple flavoring.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Most cookies contain vanilla extract. It provides a pleasant, sweet flavor.
- Peanut Butter Protein Powder (Optional): Made from ground peanuts but without the oil, PB powder increases the nutritional value of the energy balls. Other types of protein powder are fine, too.
- Rolled Oats: These energy balls have a substantial amount of oats: two cups! Oats are a whole grain with lots of protein, soluble fiber, and antioxidants. They are gluten-free.
- Mini M&M’s: An essential part of monster cookies! I like the mini size for these energy balls but regular size M&M’s are fine, too.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: Another essential for monster cookies!
How to make This Recipe
Roll up your sleeves, wash your hands, and let’s get started! Find a nice big bowl.
Measure out the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and PB powder (if you’re using it) and put it all into the bowl. Stir it with a rubber spatula until it’s smooth and creamy.
Next, stir in the oats. The mixture will be thick. Stir it until the oats are combined with the peanut butter mixture.
Now add the M&M’s and chocolate chips. At this point, the dough will be hard to stir and it’s okay to use your hands.
Using your fingers, roll the mixture into small balls, about one and a half inches in diameter. It’s okay to guess! If your energy balls are smaller, you’ll end up with more of them. If they’re larger, you’ll have a few less. No biggie!
Having A Hard Time Rolling the Balls?
Spray your fingers with a light misting of nonstick spray.
If your mixture is too dry or too sticky, it may be difficult to roll. If the balls are falling apart, try adding a bit more peanut butter to the mixture. If the mixture seems too sticky, stir in more oats.
Refrigerating the mixture for an hour or so can help, too.
Store the energy bites in the refrigerator. They’ll firm up a little bit as they chill. They’ll keep for a week in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.
Serve the energy bites with a glass of cold milk or a tropical smoothie. They go great with a cup of coffee, too.
Energy balls and protein balls are pretty much the same thing. Protein balls may have extra protein added in the form of protein powder but energy balls could contain protein powder, too. It all depends on the recipe you use and what the author chooses to call them.
Many energy balls are high in calories and may contain quite a bit of sugar, which gives you a quick energy boost, mostly in the form of carbohydrates. However, a good recipe for energy balls should also include protein, whether it’s from protein powder, nuts or nut butter and a whole grain, such as oats. Complex carbs, healthy fats, fiber, and protein will satisfy you and help you feel more energetic for a longer period of time.
Make It Your Own
- Nut-Free: Substitute sunflower butter (SunButter) for the peanut butter. Omit PB powder or substitute another protein powder of your choice.
- Play around with the ingredients. Instead of the chocolate chips and M&Ms, try dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries. Toasted coconut is good, too. Try to keep the ratios the same or you’ll have problems rolling them into balls.
- Increase the nutrition by adding chia seed, hemp seed, or flaxseed. Ground flaxseed can be added, too. Again, try to keep the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients the same. If you add a lot of extra dry ingredients, the mixture may be difficult to roll into balls. For example, if you add a quarter cup of chia seed, you may want to decrease the amount of chocolate chips to a quarter cup.
- Rather have a cookie? Try trail mix cookies or my popular M&M cookies.
Store the energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll keep for about a week.
I like to make a double batch and pop half of them into the freezer. To freeze energy balls, put them on a tray or baking pan in a single layer and freeze them for an hour or so, or until they are firm. Place them into a freezer container or freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. They make a great lunchbox treat!
- 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 scoop PB protein powder, about 2 tablespoons (optional)
- 2 cups rolled oats (quick oats are fine, too)
- ½ cup mini M&M's (or regular M&Ms)
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and optional PB protein powder using a rubber spatula.
- Add oats and combine with the peanut butter mixture.
- Stir in M&Ms, and chocolate chips, using a rubber spatula or clean hands to combine.
- Roll mixture into 1 ½ inch balls and place on a cookie sheet or platter. Makes 30 balls.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Store monster cookie energy balls in a sealed container or storage bag in the fridge for up to 7 days. To freeze, place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for about 1 hour. Once the energy balls are firm, transfer them to a freezer storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Sunflower butter may be substituted for peanut butter.
- If you like, add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed, chia seed, or hemp seed (hearts).
- Other types of protein powder can be substituted.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.