These no-bake energy bites have all of the flavors of carrot cake, without the extra calories, fat or sugar. They’re ridiculously good (and also vegan)!
At the risk of sounding immodest, these no-bake energy bites are ridiculously good! They have all of the flavors of your favorite carrot cake (plus almond butter), with a fraction of the calories and sugar.
I’ve been making these no-bake energy balls for years. When my kids were little, I would offer these up as after school snacks (watch for nut allergies!) to my boys and their friends. Every single time I got the thumbs-up sign from every single kid!
The bites can be refrigerated or frozen (instructions below), which means you can always have them on hand for easy snack options. Offer them up with a Berry Banana Smoothie or Pineapple Spinach Smoothie for a quick & healthy breakfast, or save them for pre- or post-workout snacks.
What you need for these no-bake energy bites:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Oats: Old-fashioned oats are available in any grocery store, typically in the cereal aisle. If gluten is a concern, be sure to read the label to determine if the oats are processed in a gluten free facility. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats are a good option.
- Carrots: Peel and grate carrots on the large holes of a box grater. Please do not use packaged pre-grated carrots. More on that below.
- Pecans: Start with raw pecans and chop them into small pieces. Pre-chopped pecans are usually on the large side, so you may have to do a little more chopping.
- Almond butter: Use well-stirred natural almond butter. Natural peanut butter can be substituted, though the flavor will be a bit different.
- Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed (or flaxseed meal) can be purchased in most grocery stories.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg add that wonderful carrot cake flavor.
- Sweetener: I prefer pure maple syrup, but agave nectar or honey can be substituted. If you prefer vegan snacks, skip the honey, which is not considered to be vegan.
- Dried fruit: If you’re not a fan of raisins, substitute with dried cherries or chopped prunes.
How to make no-bake energy bites:
- Stir together the oats, pecans and flaxseed meal in a bowl. Next, add the almond butter, maple syrup and spices until the oats are coated.
- I highly recommend grating the carrots yourself rather than purchasing packaged pre-shredded carrots, which tend to be very dry. You’ll need the moisture from the freshly grated carrots for the energy bites to stick together properly.
- Stir the grated carrots and raisins into the rest of the mixture. Ready to roll!
- Use a rounded tablespoonful of the mixture for each bite. A cookie scoop makes portioning each bite a breeze!
- Use your hands to form the bites. Squeeze the portion together in your palm (I make a fist around it). Once the mixture is stuck together, roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet.
- Once all of the granola bites are rolled, cover with plastic wrap and pop them into the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.
Frequently asked questions:
How long do energy bites last?
When stored in airtight container like this one, these no-bake energy balls can last for 2 to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. I highly recommend refrigerating them because they retain their shape and texture much better.
Can they be frozen?
These carrot cake energy bites can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to store them in an airtight freezer container.
Place the bites on a baking sheet, cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Transfer them to the airtight container. Separate the layers with wax paper or parchment paper so the bites don’t stick together.
To defrost, remove the desired number of bites from the container and place in the fridge until defrosted. That should take a few hours.
Can peanut butter be used instead of almond butter?
Yes, though the flavor will be a bit different. I recommend using natural butter and stirring it well before using.
What if I don’t like raisins?
As I mentioned above, the raisins can be replaced with other dried fruits, such as dried cherries and chopped prunes (dried plums).
Other healthy snacks:
No-Bake Carrot Cake Granola Bites Recipe
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pecans and flaxseed meal.
- Stir in the almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined.
- Stir in the grated carrot and raisins.
- Using 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture for each bite, form the mixture into bite-sized balls. Use a medium-sized cookie scoop makes this process easier. Squeeze the mixture in the palm of your hand, forming a fist around it so it sticks together. Roll into a ball.
- Place the granola bites on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve.
- Store the remaining granola bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Alternatively, they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- To freeze: Place the bites on a baking sheet, cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Transfer them to an airtight freezer container. Separate the layers with wax paper or parchment paper so the bites don’t stick together.
This post was first published on March 27, 2013 and updated on January 7, 2021.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.