No Bake Oatmeal

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No bake oatmeal is an easy, no fuss breakfast. It is so delicious that I make it many times throughout the year. This will become your easiest breakfast. No bake means you can whip it up the night before and in the morning, it is ready to go! And believe me this is so much tastier than the old-fashioned oats.

8 no-bake oatmeal energy balls

  •  Total Time: 30 min
  •  Yield: 10 balls 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

8 simple variations to my favorite no bake oatmeal energy ball recipes that you will love to make and snack on! Full of healthy whole food ingredients and so easy to make.


INGREDIENTS

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Monster Cookie Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup mini M&M’s
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  • dash of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Blueberry Muffin Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup dried blueberries
  • dash of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • dash of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Sweet and Salty Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup crushed pretzels
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted salted almonds
  • dash of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Peanut Butter Cookie Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup roasted salted peanuts
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup toasted coconut
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Double Chocolate Energy Bites

  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • dash of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla, optional

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Bites

  • 1 ripe (but not grossly ripe) medium banana
  • 1 cup dry oats (old fashioned, instant, or a mix of the two)
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips (or something similar), optional

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Energy Bites (first seven sets of ingredients)

  1. Add the nut butter and honey and stir to combine well. Add the all of the other ingredients and stir to combine well.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop about a tablespoon of the cookie ball mixture into your hand. Roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. This should make about 12 oatmeal energy balls.
  4. Store the balls covered in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for much longer.

For the Banana Oatmeal Bites:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the peeled banana and mash thoroughly with a fork.
  2. Add the dry oats and chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  3. Refrigerate until the mixture holds together, about 30 minutes.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop about a tablespoon of the cookie ball mixture into your hand. Roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. This should make about 12 oatmeal energy balls.
  5. Store the balls covered in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for much longer.

Your snack game will never be the same once you try these no-bake oatmeal energy balls. And with eight flavor options, plus tips on how to make up your own, you definitely won’t get bored

NOTES

Tips and Tricks for Making No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls

  • Rest time is a must. Don’t skip the resting time. This is when the oats will absorb some of the moisture and will help everything stick together.
  • Don’t over measure your oats or add-in’s (don’t use heaping cups). It’ll throw off the ratios and they won’t stick together well.
  • If your oatmeal bites aren’t sticking together well, add something sticky. Different factors like the kind of oatmeal and mix-in’s you add are going to affect the “stickiness” of the energy balls. If they are too dry and won’t stick together after the resting time, your best bet is to add a tablespoon or two of something sticky (like the peanut butter and/or honey).
  • If they are too sticky add a few more tablespoons of oats.
  • If it’s sticking to your hands badly, wet your hands lightly with water! The water helps to be able to work the dough into a ball without sticking.
  • Add what you love. Don’t let my recipes stop you from adding what you think sounds good or what you might have on hand; these are just to get you started. You can also add some “superfoods” to these if you are looking to boost the nutrition (always a good idea, if you ask me). A tablespoon of chia seeds, ground flaxseed, and/or hemp hearts can be added to any and all of these recipes. Play with them! I’m going to make some with dried pineapple and cashew butter soon, because we love the stuff.

Substitutions:

  • When it comes to the oats: Did you know that quick cooking oats are still a whole grain? Unlike other “instant” kind of things, quick cooking oats are simply cut smaller. If you use quick cooking oats (sometimes called 1-minute oats), the texture of the oats will be softer/less chewy. If you use old-fashioned oats, the texture will be chewier. I found that a mix of the two was the best, though using one or the other will work well too.
  • When it comes to the honey: I did not do much recipe testing using anything other than honey. If you would like to experiment, I think that agave or brown rice syrup might be a good place to start, though I didn’t work with either.
  • When it comes to the peanut butter: You can use peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, sunbutter, and just about any other nut butter that you like, though it will change the flavor of the oatmeal energy balls. I like to use almond butter when I don’t want the flavor of the nut butter to be very strong (like peanut butter). It worked great in recipes like the Blueberry Muffin No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls because the flavor is a bit more mellow than peanut butter.

CLASSIC NO-BAKE COOKIES

These Classic No-Bake Cookies only require a few simple ingredients and are incredibly easy to make. Loaded with peanut butter, oats, and cocoa powder, these cookies are perfect for an easy dessert!

Several no-bake cookies on a piece of parchment paper.

Do you have a favorite cookie? One that you absolutely love and could probably eat the entire batch if you’re left alone with them? Besides a good chocolate chip cookie, I’ve always loved no-bake cookies.

Whenever we were kids and we wanted something sweet, my mom would whip up a batch of these cookies. And to be honest, we hardly ever waited for them to cool completely before we dug in.

One thing that I love about these cookies is how easy they are to make. You can prepare a batch in about 15 to 20 minutes, then all you have to do is wait for them to cool. 

And the best part? You probably have everything on hand to make these right now! And even if you don’t, once you make a batch you’ll make sure to have everything on hand for next time. Trust me.

The ingredients needed to make classic no-bake cookies in different bowls and measuring cups on a gray surface.

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS RECIPE

Before you get started making the cookies, I suggest getting all of your ingredients ready and measuring them out. This will make the process go much smoother, and the quicker you get everything combined after the mixture has boiled the better the cookies will turn out.

Here’s a quick overview of exactly what you will need:

  • Butter: I prefer to use butter in this recipe because it tastes better. I have tested it with margarine though and it does work just fine.
  • Milk: Any kind of milk will work in this recipe! I typically use whole milk, but 2%, 1%, skim, or even a non-dairy milk like almond milk will work.
  • Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the cookies and help them set up.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: This adds a delicious chocolate flavor to these cookies. Natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder both work great.
  • Peanut Butter: I recommend using a no-stir creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. Crunchy peanut butter is fine too!
  • Vanilla Extract: For a little flavor.
  • Quick-Cooking Oats: I find that quick-cooking oats work best in this no-bake cookie recipe because they’re smaller and not quite as chewy.
The butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder in a large saucepan after it's been melted together and boiled for one minute. A rubber spatula rests inside the saucepan.

HOW TO MAKE NO-BAKE COOKIES

To start, line a couple of large baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

Next, combine the sliced butter, granulated sugar, milk, and cocoa powder in a large saucepan and place it over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, bring the mixture to a rolling boil and allow it to boil for one minute.

Now here’s another important thing, set a timer for exactly 60 seconds once the mixture comes to a rolling boil. In other words, the top is completely covered in bubbles. If you boil it too long, the no-bake cookies will turn out dry and if you don’t boil it long enough they won’t set properly. Timing is very important here!

Once the timer goes off, remove it from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until it’s nice and smooth. Add the quick-cooking oats and stir them in until all of the oats are coated with the mixture.

Then, use a cookie scoop to scoop the mixture and drop cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. I like to use the back of the cookie scoop or a spoon to flatten each one out a bit so they cool faster.

The cookies will be very soft at first, but will continue to set up more as they cool. Mine usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to fully set up, but they’re delicious warm too!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY DID MY COOKIES NOT SET?

The main reason that chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies don’t set up is because the mixture did not boil long enough. Make sure to wait and set your timer once the mixture comes to a rolling boil. In other words, the top is completely covered in bubbles. If you set the timer too soon, then the cookies may not set up.

If you’re cookies don’t fully set up after 2o to 30 minutes, you can place them in the refrigerator to help them firm up. Some readers have also mentioned that they will microwave a few cookies at a time for a few seconds and this helps them to finish setting up too.

CAN YOU FREEZE THESE COOKIES?

Yes, absolutely! Once the cookies have cooled completely, you may freeze them in a freezer bag or freezer-friendly storage container for up to 3 months. When you are ready to enjoy the cookies, place them on the counter and let them come to room temperature. 

CAN I USE OLD-FASHIONED ROLLED OATS?

You may used old-fashioned rolled oats in these cookies, but they will be chewier. I recommend using quick-cooking oats if possible or pulsing the old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor 2 or 3 times to break them down. 

BAKING TIPS

  • Make sure to gather your ingredients and measure everything out before you get started with these cookies, it will make the whole process much smoother!
  • After you remove the mixture from the heat, work quickly to stir in the remaining ingredients and scoop the mixture. If you let it sit for too long, the cookies may turn out dry.
  • For cookies that are perfectly round and uniform in size, I highly recommend using a cookie scoop!

What Are Oatmeal Drop Cookies?

Oatmeal drop cookies are cookies made with quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned oats. “Drop cookie” is a term applied to cookie recipes where bakers “drop” cookie dough from a spoon or cookie scoop onto a baking sheet, rather than roll it out or cut it into specific shapes. You can bake oatmeal drop cookies in the oven or prepare no-bake oatmeal drop cookies.

3 Tips for Making Oatmeal Drop Cookies

Consider these tips and optional mix-ins when making oatmeal drop cookies:

  1. 1. Choose your oats. To make hearty oatmeal drop cookies, use quick-cooking oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats yield chewier cookies. If using rolled oats, let the mixture cool in the pan for a few minutes before shaping it into cookies.
  2. 2. Thoroughly heat the sugar. Bring the sugar mixture to the soft-ball stage so that the cookie batter will hold together. At the soft-ball stage, sugar and water boil to 240–250 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sugar syrup contains about 90 percent sugar.
  3. 3. Add mix-ins. A popular variation of oatmeal drop cookies is chocolate peanut butter cookies. Add cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and crunchy peanut butter. Other popular add-ins include raisins and pecans.

Easy Recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

MAKES

10

PREP TIME

5 min

TOTAL TIME

5 min

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, raisins, pecans, or chocolate chips (optional)
  1. 1In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, milk, cocoa powder, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Boil the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  2. 2Stir in the oats, vanilla extract, and mix-ins.
  3. 3Prepare a baking sheet covered with wax paper or parchment paper.
  4. 4Using a cookie scoop, scoop the batter and drop it onto the wax paper, leaving ½ an inch in between the cookies.
  5. 5Let the cookies rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, until firm.
  6. 6Serve immediately or store the cookies in an airtight container.

NoteThe recipe includes 30 minutes of inactive time.

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