I am in love with how easy these little M&M's peanut butter energy balls are to make. A perfect little bite of deliciousness, they are to me, the ultimate snack. To make these little treats you only need 6 little ingredients.
Rolled oats and peanut butter are a perfect combination to create a little ball of delicious flavor that packs protein and some energy giving sugars. Add these to lunch boxes for kids or tuck them into your desk drawer for a mid-day snack to kick you into gear!
M&M's Peanut Butter Energy Balls
You've probably purchased a variety of little energy balls, granola bars, or similar little treats packed with rolled oats, and typically some peanut butter or similar binder.
These make excellent snacks, but sometimes, they are loaded with ingredients you just aren't so sure about. Plus, they can be super expensive when eating them on a daily basis.
So, why not make your own instead? This recipe will have you wondering why you ever bought these in the grocery store!
Both are great snack recipes that include some yummy flavors that are sure to please adults and children alike.
What are Energy Balls?
Energy balls are a delightful snack that is a combination of protein, healthy fats, a hint of sweetness, and some binder like oats for a healthier carbohydrate.
They are designed to be lower in calories, usually 100-250 each, and perfect for a burst of nutrition and energy.
You will often find these as part of a healthier lifestyle. They are also popular snacks for children or a great way to get more fiber into your diet by making rolled oats a bit more satisfying.
Are These M&M Peanut Butter Balls Healthy?
Healthy is a word that can describe many different things with no specific right or wrong. For many, this version of an energy ball is healthy because it is portion-controlled, has a lot of protein, and fiber.
Others may say no because of the added candy and syrup for sweetness. In my opinion, as a regular person and not a physician, everything in moderation can be a healthy choice.
Compared to most cookies, candies, and cakes, this is a great healthier treat to pack in a lunchbox or store away for those minutes when you need a little something extra for a boost of energy or to satisfy a craving.
Can I Make These Healthier?
If you find this mixture not as healthy as you would like, you can switch things up a bit to make them healthier by traditional standards.
Below are a few ideas that I like that can really turn these little energy balls into a great treat for any meal plan or diet.
- Substitute carob chips in place of candy.
- Use a sugar-free chocolate candy in place of the M&M's.
- Lower the amount of candy added.
- Use healthier peanut butter with no added salt or sugar.
- Replace the peanut butter with almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter if nut allergies are an issue.
- Swap the maple syrup for sugar-free syrup.
What Other Mix-ins Can I Add?
If you want to make the same basic energy balls recipe but mix things up a bit, then you'll love the ideas below. Energy balls are a great choice for your menu that has a basic base recipe but are easy to update with other add-ins for flavor and texture. Below are some of my favorite mix-ins. For each of these suggestions, they would replace the M&M's in equal amounts.
- Chocolate chips, carob chips, white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, or peanut butter chips.
- Coconut shreds, slivered almonds, chopped peanuts, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, chopped pistachios, or chopped hazelnuts.
- Toffee bits, cookie crumbs, Butterfinger pieces, Reese's pieces, or similar mini candy bits.
- Dried cherries, apricots, raisins, pineapple, mango, blueberries, apple pieces, or banana bits.
How Do You Store Energy Balls?
Energy balls are a bit sticky at first, so you will need to refrigerate them to help solidify them. After that, they can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I recommend placing it in a container with an airtight lid versus a Ziploc bag. The plastic storage bags tend to end up being more difficult to get them out of than when placed in a layer in a container.
When storing them, I highly recommend placing a layer of waxed paper between each row of energy balls.
This makes it easy to grab just one at a time and prevents them from sticking to each other when stored for more than a day or two.
- Old fashioned rolled oats
- Peanut butter
- Maple syrup
- M&M's candy
How to Make M&M's Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper and set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the peanut butter on high for 20 seconds.
To the peanut butter, add the maple syrup and stir to combine.
Add in the oats, M&M's candy, cinnamon, and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
Scoop 1 ½-2 tablespoons of the mixture out and roll into a ball then place on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat until all of the mixtures has been made into balls, and then cover and refrigerate for 30-minutes before serving.
These are best served at room temperature, so allow to sit for 5-10 minutes outside of the refrigerator before enjoying.
More Tasty Snacks
If you want more yummy snacks that are easy to make and perfect for snacking with kids, below are some favorites. These are ideal for sharing with kids in lunch boxes or serving up at birthday parties and events.
- Classic Coconut Macaroons Cookie Recipe
- Delicious Oatmeal Bars Recipe
- Peanut Butter Oat Bars
- Creamy Fruit Roll-Ups Recipe
- 11 Tasty Homemade Fruit Roll Ups Recipes
This recipe also makes great granola bars if you want a larger treat. When I make bars, I like to use a silicone granola bar mold so I get them a bit more exact and easier to track macros if I am watching my intake.
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup peanut butter
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup M&M's candy
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the peanut butter on high for 20 seconds.
- To the peanut butter, add the maple syrup and stir to combine.
- Add in the oats, M&M's candy, cinnamon, and salt, and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
- Scoop 1 ½-2 tablespoons of the mixture out and roll into a ball then place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat until all of the mixture has been made into balls, and then cover and refrigerate for 30-minutes before serving.
- These are best served at room temperature, so allow to sit for 5-10 minutes outside of the refrigerator before enjoying.
If the mixture does not stick together well, add additional maple syrup in tablespoon increments and mix then try again.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 4g