These nut-free and low-fat cinnamon energy balls are easy to make with 4 ingredients for a sweet and satisfying cinnamon snack.

Plate of oatmeal energy balls sprinkled with cinnamon.

These easy no-bake balls are nut-free, which can be hard to come across in energy ball recipes! All you need to make these sweet bites is dates, oats, cinnamon and maple syrup.

These balls are perfectly portable so work well for kids lunch boxes, road trips, hiking, long runs and any snacking on-the-go. They can also be frozen so you always have a little treat on hand!

If you love cinnamon, you’ll love these sweet, soft and chewy energy balls!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • They’re vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and nut-free. Perfect for those with allergies or other dietary restrictions.
  • Low in added sugar or can be made sugar-free.
  • They’re naturally sweetened with dates and are low-fat making them easily digestible. Try them pre-workout or during a long run or bike ride!
  • Just 80 calories per energy ball!
  • Easy to make in 10 minutes with just 4 ingredients. No baking needed.
  • They travel well so they’re great for hiking, camping and busy days on-the-go.
  • They can be customized with different add-ins and swaps.
  • They’re bursting with cinnamon flavour!

Ingredient Notes

A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.

  • Oats: You can use rolled oats, quick oats, minute oats or large flake oats. The oats can be substituted with nuts such as cashews or almonds.
  • Dates: Any variety of date works as long as they’re soft and moist. I like medjool and sayer dates the best. If you have dates that are quite dry, you can soak them in hot water before making the recipe.
  • Maple Syrup: Adds just a touch of extra sweetness and helps mind everything together. You can substitute agave syrup or honey.
  • Cinnamon: You can use anywhere from 1-2 tbsp of cinnamon. Start with 1 tbsp and taste the batter, if you love a strong bite of cinnamon, add a little more.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Add the oats to a food processor and blend into a grainy flour. You don’t need to blend them as far as oat flour but break them down a bit.

Blended oats in a food processor.

Step 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a thick, sticky dough you can easily press between your fingers.

Quick Tip: If your dates were too dry, the dough may be too crumbly to roll into balls. In this case, add 1 tsp warm water and process again. That should do the trick but if no, repeat 1-2 times.

Blended dates and oats in a food processor.

Step 3. Use your hands to roll the dough into balls.

Quick Tip: Don’t want to roll the dough? You can also press it into bars in a baking pan or just leave it crumbled as a “raw granola”. This is yummy to sprinkle over oats, smoothie bowls and yogurt!

Hands rolling dough into energy balls.

Sprinkle the balls with cinnamon or roll in a mixture of cinnamon and coconut sugar or shredded coconut for an extra treat!

Sprinkling a plate of energy balls with cinnamon.

Notes and Tips

  • Dates: It’s essential to use soft, moist dates such as medjool or sayer dates. If your dates are overly dry, soak them (pitted) in hot water for 15 minutes then drain well before using in the recipe.
  • Sea Salt: Optional but I love the way it enhances the sweetness and cinnamon flavour.
  • Raw Granola: Instead of rolling the blended dough into balls, leave as a crumbly, raw granola. Store in the fridge and enjoy with yogurt or a splash dairy-free milk or crumbled over smoothies bowls and ice cream.
  • Coating: Try shredded coconut, cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, cocoa powder or a drizzle of melted chocolate. You can also completely coat them in melted chocolate or dunk half of them in melted chocolate and place in the fridge or freezer until set.

Variations & Add-Ins

  • Add up to 1/2 cup chocolate chips, chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips.
  • Add up to 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Swap up to 1/2 of the oats for shredded coconut.
  • Add up to 1 tsp vanilla extract to enhance the flavour.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds for extra nutrition.
  • Try swapping the cinnamon for apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice.
Small glass cup with several energy bars in it.

FAQ

Can I make cinnamon balls without oats?

Yes. You can substitute the oats with cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans or a mix of nuts. The instructions are the same. Add the nuts to the food processor and break them down into a grainy flour then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Are cinnamon energy balls gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free though make sure to use gluten-free certified oats if gluten cross-contamination is a concern

Can I make these sugar-free?

Yes. To make these sugar-free (no added sugar), omit the maple syrup and blend in 1-2 tbsp of warm water if the dough is too dry to roll.

You might also like these sugar-free Cinnamon Sugar Balls made with monk fruit, these lime coconut bites, pecan pie bites or chocolate bites.

Close up of a cinnamon energy ball on a white surface with a jar of more energy balls in the background.

Storing

  • Fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
  • Freezer: Store in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
  • Room Temperature: If taking to-go, they’ll keep for a few days at room temperature, they’ll get soft though so keep cool for best results.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review.

Print
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Plate of oatmeal energy balls sprinkled with cinnamon.

Low-Fat Cinnamon Energy Balls

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These yummy cinnamon energy balls are just 80 calories a pop so you can go ahead and enjoy a couple anytime for a healthy sweet treat. Try them straight from the freezer, yum!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Blend Oats: Add the oats to a food processor and pulse a few times to break down into a grainy flour.
  2. Add Remaining Ingredients & Blend: Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until it forms a thick, sticky dough you can easily press between your fingers. If your dates were on the dry side and the mixture seems too crumbly, you may need to add 1 tsp warm water and process again 
  3. Roll into Balls: Use your hands to roll the dough into about 20 balls.
  4. Coat if Desired: Option to sprinkle with or roll balls in shredded coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder or a mixture of cinnamon and coconut sugar.

Notes

It’s important to use soft, moist dates in this recipe. If your dates are dry, or hard soak them in “just boiled” water for 15 minutes and then drain well before using in the recipe.

Store balls in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months. If taking to-go, they’re okay at room temperature for a few days if kept cool.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 80
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 18 grams
  • Protein: 1.7 grams

Keywords: cinnamon energy balls, low-fat energy balls

Originally published on July 22, 2017.