4-Ingredient Nut-Free Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls
Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls are quick and easy healthy no-bake snacks kids love with the flavor of a sweet and sticky caramel apple. You only need four ingredients and a few minutes to make this gluten free after school snack recipe. Since they are nut-free and peanut-free, these energy bites are a perfect allergy-friendly treat to pack in a lunchbox too!
Originally published Aug 17, 2014. Several years later and the constant demands for snacks have not changed.
Not gonna lie, every year, as it approaches the end of the summer, I am totally ready for the kids to go back to school.
And do you want to know the main reason I need to get them out of the house?
When they are home, all they want to do is EAT ALL THE THINGS. ALL THE TIME. When they were younger, this is pretty much how a typical day would go.
So I get him something else, like some yogurt stuffed apples or easy peanut butter banana snacks. But if the little guy sees his big brother eating, of course he has to be shoving fistfuls of something in his mouth too.
Breakfast is done and an hour later, if I am within a 3-foot radius of the refrigerator, the little guy assumes that I am getting food for him. If I don’t give him yet another thing to eat, it’s meltdown-city. Lunch is inevitably happening by 11:30, and at 1 or 2, the big guy needs a snack because I’m trying to finish my lunch, and obviously he is “starrrrrvvviiinnnngggg”. The little guy wakes up from his nap at 3 or 3:30 looking for his snack, and if he is munching, the big guy has to be munching, too.
Since I am clearly starving my children, by dinnertime, the decibel level of whining and crying has reached the point that only dogs can hear. So I make up their plates first and sit them down at the table before I get food for The Hubby and I. Which inevitably means that by the time I sit down and put a bite in my mouth, they NEED seconds.
Then practically the second the table is cleared, after just finishing three plates of food, they want another snack. And this is just because I am in the cabinet getting vitamins, and me being near the cabinets reminds them that there is food in them.
Human Garbage Disposals, I tell ya!
Seriously, people, all I do is open and cut and peel and pour and put in bowls and get a spoon and cook and microwave and stir and serve and wipe faces and pick up crumbs. And, you know, dishes for dayssss!
I love my kids and know that they are my responsibility, but sometimes I do have to actually get out of the kitchen. Maybe use the bathroom or something. So it’s time for them go somewhere where they are distracted from food for at least a little while and when it is time to eat, someone else is taking care of it.
But when they are home, I need easy grab-and-go snacks like these…
Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Bites
These easy snacks are one of my boys’ favorite things to munch on. I have made several versions of no-bake energy balls, like these Funky Monkey Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls, but I wanted to make a variety without nuts or nut butter or any other major allergens. This way we could pack them on-the-go or share them with friends without having to worry about any kids with food allergies or sensitivities.
These are nut-free, vegan, have no added sugar, and are easy to make gluten-free. Plus, they take minutes to prepare, aren’t messy, and are healthy. Even better, from the making to the eating, they are totally kid-friendly.
What do you need Apple No-Bake Energy Balls?
- Pitted Dried Dates – this is the key to making sticky energy balls and making these taste like caramel apples without adding sugar, or, you know, caramel. They are “Nature’s caramel”!
- Dried Apples – the chewy kind, not the crisp freeze-dried apples.
- Uncooked Old-Fashioned Oats – you can get certified gluten free oats if needed.
- Cinnamon – OK, not totally necessary, but it adds a lovely warm spice flavor that always pairs so well with the flavor of apples.
Other than that, all you need is a food processor or blender and a spatula.
Energy Ball Recipe Pro Tips…
- As I mentioned, these are made with the chewy kind of dried apples. If you prefer a brand unsulfured and preservative-free dried apples, I will caution that these tend to be a bit drier. If that is the case for the ones you purchase, just add a teaspoon of water at a time until you get a thick paste consistency.
- I prefer to make these in my food processor, but you can use a high powered blender. In both cases, you may have to scrape down with a spatula.
- If you use a blender, I would recommend a high powered blender, such as my favorite from Blendtec. I am a Blendtec Ambassador so earn a commission on sales, but I have been using their products for years. If you purchase a Blendtec and use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS, you will receive 25% off. The Twister Jar with the scraping lid makes it super easy to make thicker recipes like hummus where you need to scrape down the sides frequently.
- For the full-sized energy balls, use about a tablespoon of the mixture for each. If you have toddlers, you can use about one-quarter to one-half teaspoon to make little baby energy bites.
- You can store these in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, but they will also last longer in the refrigerator. They can even be frozen in a plastic freezer bag for a few months.
- Since they are nut-free, they are perfect to pack for daycare or school.
Here are more easy nut-free snack recipes…
- No-Bake Apricot Energy Bars
- Healthy Cheesecake Dip
- Cherry Cheesecake Smoothie
- Trail Mix Granola Bars
- Coconut Chia Granola
Looking for more energy bites?
- Cranberry Energy Balls
- Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Energy Balls
- Cherry Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
- Coconut Pineapple Energy Balls
- Ginger Cookie Energy Balls
Apple Cinnamon No-Bake Energy Balls Recipe
These no-bake energy bites have the caramel apple flavor you love with the perfect hint of cinnamon for an easy snack recipe the kids love to make and eat. Perfectly portable and poppable, they have only four ingredients, and are gluten free, dairy free, nut- and peanut-free, and vegan. Made with only real, whole ingredients, so you can feel good about eating this healthy snack.
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!
No-Bake Apple Cinnamon Energy Balls
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender and process until it forms a thick paste. You may have to stop the food processor a couple of times to press down the mixture with a spatula.
- Using about a tablespoon of the mixture, roll into balls. If you want the little bites, use about 1/4 teaspoon each.