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These no-bake healthy trail mix protein bites are like a bite-sized cookie, but healthy! They're packed with protein and good-for-you ingredients like oats, shredded coconut, nuts, and seeds. They're easily customizable, kids love them, and they take just 10 minutes to make!
For more easy on-the-go snacks, try our healthy and customizable homemade trail mix.
These healthy trail mix protein bites are so tasty, that it's easy to forget they're good for you. The no-bake recipe couldn't be easier to make either. Just mix everything together in a bowl, and roll them into balls. We always have a stash of them in our freezer to satisfy that mid-afternoon sweet craving, to pack for a hike, or to serve as an after-school treat!
These yummy trail mix energy balls come together in just 10 minutes, with less than 10 ingredients.
Here's everything you need to make them:
- Quick oats: we use quick oats because we find they are easy to work with but you can use old fashioned oats if that's what you have on hand. Use gluten-free oats if needed. You can also pulse rolled oats in your blender or food processor a couple times to break them into smaller pieces.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut: shredded coconut adds great texture, plus it's high in fiber and healthy fat to keep you feeling fuller, for longer.
- Sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped walnuts, and chopped peanuts or almonds: this is the mix of ingredients we use but feel free to mix it up with other nuts, seeds, or dried fruit like pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, dried cranberries, or dried cherries.
- Mini m&m's: mini m&m's are a delightful addition that are always a big hit with the kids. You can also use mini dark chocolate chips.
- Natural peanut butter or almond butter: use a natural peanut or almond butter that's somewhat liquidy to help everything stick together. You can also use cashew butter if that's what you have in your pantry. For a school-friendly (aka nut free) version of these protein bites, use sunflower seed butter.
- Maple syrup: we use maple syrup as a sweetener to keep this recipe vegan but runny honey makes a great substitute.
How to make healthy trail mix protein bites
These healthy trail mix protein bites are quick and easy to make in just three simple steps:
- Mix everything together in a large bowl until it forms a batter. It's best to use your hands toward the end.
- Roll into balls using about two tablespoons each (you'll get about 22). You can also use a cookie scoop to measure.
- Store them in your fridge, on the counter, or in your freezer!
These healthy trail mix protein bites are easily customizable with lots of options for substitutions, so have fun making them your own!
Here are some delicious ideas to get you started:
- Give your protein bites a healthy omega 3 boost by adding 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal or hemp hearts (and adjust the recipe by reducing the amount of oats by 2 tablespoons).
- For more texture, try a crunchy natural peanut butter.
- Enhance the overall flavor with a splash of pure vanilla extract.
- For a less sweet version, swap the M&M's or chocolate chips for cocoa nibs.
Tips for making healthy trail mix protein bites
These healthy trail mix energy bites are easy to make but here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Use a runny natural nut butter. The runnier texture is what helps these balls stick together so they don't crumble apart.
- Chop your nuts into small pieces. If the nut pieces are too large, the dough will be hard to form into balls.
- Store them in the fridge or freezer so they firm up. If you prefer a softer texture, pull them out about 5 minutes before you want to eat them.
How long do these keep?
These protein bites will keep in your refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or in your freezer for up to 3 months.
My protein bites are crumbly. What should I do?
If your protein bites are crumbly, try adding a bit more nut butter.
When making protein bites, we recommend doing a test before rolling to see if your mixture is sticky enough. Just pinch a little bit between your fingers, and if it sticks together well, you're ready to roll!
How do I make these protein bites nut-free?
To keep these protein bites nut-free (aka school-friendly), use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut or almond butter, and swap the chopped nuts for seeds instead.
- 1 cup quick oats
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup EACH: sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped walnuts, and chopped peanuts or almonds
- ¼ cup mini M&Ms (sub mini chocolate chips if needed)
- ¾ cup natural peanut or almond butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup (can sub honey)
- Place the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, walnuts, peanuts or almonds, and the mini M&Ms in a large bowl. Add the peanut or almond butter and the maple syrup and mix everything well. It is easier to start mixing with a wooden spoon and then use your hands at the end.1 cup quick oats, ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, ¼ cup EACH: sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped walnuts, and chopped peanuts or almonds, ¼ cup mini M&Ms, ¾ cup natural peanut or almond butter, ¼ cup maple syrup
- Once the dough comes together, form it into 22 balls. You'll need about 2 tablespoons per ball.
- Store in your fridge for firmer balls and covered on your counter for softer ones.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.