Searching for a nut-free snack suitable for lunch boxes or a nut allergy? Look no further! Try out our list of 10 nut-free bliss ball recipes, tips to easily convert nut-based recipes, plus a nut-free energy bites base recipe that you can easily adapt.
Parents often reach out to me seeking Healthy Lunchbox Ideas. One staple I love to include is bliss balls, also known as energy balls, snack balls, protein balls, power balls or energy bites.
Energy balls are a great snack for lunchboxes for several reasons. They're small and energy-dense, perfect for kids who want to maximize their playtime by eating quickly.
They're no-bake, freezer-friendly, ideal for batching, and can be conveniently popped into lunchboxes straight from the freezer. Plus, they're easily adaptable, allowing for ingredient substitutions or simple tweaks.
However, a common challenge arises—many bliss ball recipes contain nuts or nut butter, which is fantastic but poses a problem in nut-free school environments or for those with nut allergies. To address this, I've curated a list of our favourite nut-free versions as well as a base recipe and handy tips for adapting recipes to be nut-free.
So grab your food processor, here are 10 of our favourite energy bite recipes. Don't have a food processor? Scroll to the bottom of the page for our nut-free bliss ball recipe that you can make in a mixing bowl.
Nut-Free Ball Recipes To Try
A base of crushed wheat biscuits combined with cocoa powder and sweetened with raisins.
Bursting with zesty lemon flavour, made with oats, and coconut, and easily adaptable to lime or orange variations
Move over cherry ripe, there is a new kid in town. Cherry, sticky dates and cacao powder mixed with oats.
Taste just like apple pie but are loaded with nutrients and are naturally sweetened with dates.
These chocolate bliss balls are indulgently rich, thanks to medjool dates and cocoa powder.
Oats and flaxseed mixed with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices, and sweet dates for the taste of fall/autumn.
Sweetened with dried apricots and bulked with coconut and oats.
Puffed rice and coconut bulk out these passionfruit balls for a taste of summer.
9. Carrot Cake Balls
Oats and sunflower seeds mixed with carrots, juicy dates, raisins, orange and cinnamon create this delicious bite.
10. Tropical Balls
Packed with fibre from flax seeds and oats, with a delightful tropical twist from pineapple and coconut.
Tips for Converting Your Favourite Nut Recipe to Nut-Free
Have a bliss ball recipe that you love but it contains nuts or nut butter? Here are our tips to help you convert it. The great thing about bliss balls is that they are very forgiving and you can easily add extra liquid if too dry or more dry ingredients if you find the mixture to soft to roll.
- Nut-Free Spreads: Swap out peanut butter, almond butter, or other nut butters with alternatives like sunflower seed butter, tahini, or pumpkin seed butter. These spreads are a great binding agent and often work seamlessly on a 1:1 ratio.
- Rolled Oats: Quick oats or rolled oats serve as excellent replacements for nuts. Enhance the texture and mouthfeel by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil per cup of oats.
- Cereals: Consider using Weetbix (Weetabix) or other cereals such as puffed rice or shredded wheat as a base instead of nuts or oats. They provide structure and bulk without compromising on flavour.
- Coconut: Desiccated coconut (shredded coconut) works wonders as a nut substitute, offering both texture and flavour. It pairs beautifully with oats. If your recipe calls for almond flour you can use coconut flour in its place but it may require less due to its higher absorption rate.
- Seeds: For added texture and crunch, incorporate seeds like sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, or chia seeds into your recipe. Ground seeds such as flaxseed meal can also help bulk out the balls while offering nutritional benefits.
It depends! Not all bliss balls are created equally. The healthiness of each recipe varies. Look for recipes that incorporate seeds for added healthy fats, protein, and fibre, which can help keep little tummies fuller for longer. Be mindful of sugar levels; excessive sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, dates, or dried fruit can contribute to high sugar content. As part of a balanced diet, bite-sized balls are a great addition to the lunchbox, providing a sweet treat and refuelling energy for all-day learning!
Store no-bake energy balls in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 3-5 days, depending on the recipe. Alternatively, pop them in a freezer-safe bag and store them for up to 2 months. Making a big batch ensures you have snacks on hand whenever hunger strikes!
I find a tablespoon size is perfect. Use either a tablespoon or a tablespoon cookie scoop to form equal-sized balls, ensuring consistency in each bite.
It is safe to eat raw oats, but some people may find them harder to digest. If you prefer, you can use a cereal such as Weetbix to bulk out the balls, offering a similar texture without the concern of raw oats.
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Nut Free Bliss Balls
- ¾ cup (85g) Rolled Oats
- ½ cup (40g) Desiccated Coconut
- 1 tablespoon Seeds of Choice chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds etc
- ⅓ cup Sunflower Seed Butter
- 3 tablespoon Honey (add more if you want it sweeter, can replace with maple syrup or sweetener of choice.)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Optional Mix In
Some Mix In Suggestions To Try...
- ¼ cup Chocolate Chips
- ¼ cup Raisins
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
White Choc Cranberry
- 1 tablespoon Dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon White Choc Chips
- 1 tbsp Orange Zest
- 1 tbsp Orange Juice
- ¼ cup Choc Chips
- 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, including add-ins, stirring until well mixed. Adjust the consistency by adding more oats if it's too wet or additional sunflower butter or honey if it's too dry. Aim for a slightly sticky dough that easily holds together when lightly squeezed.
- Divide the dough into balls of your preferred size; for reference, I used a tablespoon to create tablespoon-sized balls. Form the balls by gently squeezing and forming the mixture rather than rolling it.
- Place the formed balls in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to firm up.