This nut-free energy ball is inspired by nature.

On Instagram, I talked about how nature can help your gut health and one of the ways is by eating plants. Today’s recipe not only features plants but is also the perfect snack to take on the go when you are enjoying nature!

Plus this recipe only requires a few pantry staples and is super easy to make so you’re going to be racking up some major kitchen confidence which is a pillar of The Mindful Gut™ Approach.

What you’ll need

A lot of the energy ball recipes use peanut butter which is great but you don’t see many recipes that are nut-free. What I love is that this recipe uses a couple of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

For this recipe, you will need sunflower seed butter, oats, cranberries, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and honey.

picture of cranberries, honey, and oats labeled as prebiotic. Cocoa and cranberries labeled as flavor. Oats and chia seeds labeled as fiber foods. Chia seeds labeled as omega-3.

What makes these energy balls good for your gut

There’s a couple reasons energy balls are are a great snack for your gut. Don’t underestimate how nutritious these energy balls can be!

Energy balls have protein, fat, and fiber

Energy bites make one of the best snacks for your gut because they are PFF which is protein, fat, and fiber. Protein and fat or protein and fiber in your snack help manage your blood sugar and gut hormones. 

Includes prebiotic foods

The oats are a source of beta-glucan which is a type of prebiotic fiber. Beta-glucan not only feeds your good gut bacteria but also is good for your heart! Cranberries are also being looked at as a possible prebiotic and cranberries can be good for your gut.

Adds omega-3s

The chia seeds will add omega-3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Many people don’t eat enough omega-3s and you can read more about how they are good for your gut in this blog post.

how to make mix with a bowl, chill in the fridge, shape with cookie scoop

How to make energy balls

This recipe is super simple.


Mix your dry ingredients with the sunflower seed butter.


Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will help your mixture better be able to be formed into a ball.


When you’re ready to form your energy balls use a cookie scooper to make them use a smaller scoop like this one. You can round out the flat spot for a perfect ball shape or you can leave it as is.

Other ingredients you can use

Energy balls are very forgiving which means if you don’t have an ingredient and want to add something different it’s very easy to do it. A lot of the time I won’t even measure out ingredients and just eyeball it as I go.

Dried fruit

Instead of dried cranberries, you can use raisins or dried pineapple. I think pineapple could work well and balance the cocoa powder.

Chocolate chips

For an extra chocolate flavor, you can add chocolate chips or sub the cocoa powder for chocolate chips. 

Other sweeteners

You can also sub in a mashed up banana or swap another liquid sweetener like date syrup or monk fruit. You can also omit the sweetener altogether. If you use mashed banana you may want to add more oats depending on how much moisture the banana adds.

Optional Add-Ins

Try using ground flax or hemp hearts instead or in addition to the chia seeds. Flax seeds, hemp hearts, and chia seeds are all rich in omega-3s.

energy balls


Some quick tips for your energy balls.

How to prep ahead of time

You can prep your dry ingredients ahead of time by placing them in a mason jar. Then when you are ready to make them all you need to do is add the sunflower seed butter. This works well if you take this as a road trip snack.

How to make energy balls with your hands

This recipe uses a cookie scoop but you can make the nut-free energy ball by hand. Take a big tablespoon full of the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.

Can you freeze energy balls

Yes. Energy balls freeze nicely so you can make a double batch for energy balls another time.


Store your energy balls in an airtight container. They should last about a week but you can freeze them as well.

Other recipes you’ll love

Check out this recipe roundup of no nut bars. For more recipes delivered straight to your inbox sign up for The Mindful Gut™ newsletter.

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chocolate cranberry energy bites small

Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Energy Bites

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 14


  • 1.5 cup oats, old fashioned
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, dried
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will make the mixture easier to make into a ball.
  • Use a cookie scoop to make your energy ball. Or take a big spoonful and shape into a ball with your hands.
  • Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!