Looking for a simple, delicious, and low-waste snack recipe? Try these no-bake chocolate peanut balls with only four ingredients. They are a hit in our house and so convenient.
I’ve been making these chocolate peanut butter balls for years, but they’ve been especially heavy in our rotation lately. My son started taking them for lunch every day instead of a sandwich. And they’re great for road trips, something that’s a fairly regular part of our weeks this time of year when we’re deep in hockey season.
I found myself reaching for store-bought protein bars all too often. They have more sugar than I’d like, and they’re expensive! So I dug out this recipe, and these chocolate peanut butter balls are a much lower-waste replacement for even the best protein bars in my book.
Low-waste and low-sugar quick snacks
I started making these after reading I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson and Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub. Both reiterate how much sugar hides out in our diet, even in places we might least expect it. Although these still have natural sugar in the raisins and added sugar in the chocolate chips, they’re a far cry from most of the store-bought granola bars loaded in the stuff.
By no means am I ready to quit sugar. As Schaub mentions in her book, sugar is deeply ingrained in our culture, and I’m not currently committed enough to go all-in against The Sugar Machine that is our food system. I have, however, been working on a slow and steady decrease in the amount of sugar hiding in our cabinets and refrigerator. Sugar’s a sneaky thing (and has a host of aliases) so it’s not always easy to spot by a glance.
Good but different replacement for granola bars
These chocolate peanut butter balls are a little more fragile or crumbly than commercial granola bars because the peanut butter isn’t quite as strong a glue as store-bought ingredients (though I’m not sure how I feel about eating “glue” so maybe that’s a good thing). For the preservation of both shape and freshness, we keep ours in the fridge in an airtight container.
I love the taste and the texture (and I’m a bit ruthless as a critic of texture… a.k.a. I’m picky). They’re not overly sweet despite the small doses of chocolate chips and raisins. The peanut butter makes me a bit thirsty (which I like, because I never drink enough water). And they don’t leave me with the ‘craving for more’ aftertaste of which so many sugary granola bars are guilty.
They work well for our family. And as my son has shared them with some of his friends, I’ve been getting requests for the recipe. So we aren’t the only ones who like them!
Zero or low-waste recipe
With some help from the bulk food section at your grocery store, this recipe can be made zero waste fairly easily. Bring your containers or bags to snag each of the ingredients in the recipe and you’re golden. Even if you don’t bring your own container, it’s still far less waste than traditional store-bought and single-packaged alternatives.
If you try them, be sure to let me know what you think!
If you liked these chocolate peanut butter balls, you might also like:
Jen Panaro, founder and editor-in-chief of Honestly Modern, is a self-proclaimed composting nerd and an advocate for sustainable living for modern families. In her spare time, she’s a serial library book borrower, a messy gardener, and a mom of two boys who spends a lot of time in hockey rinks and on baseball fields.
You can find more of her work at Raising Global Kidizens, an online space to help parents and caregivers raise the next generation of responsible global citizens.
- 30-35 oz peanut butter
- 6 cups quick rolled oats
- 2 cups raisins
- 12 oz chocolate chips
- Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl, until well mixed. I like to add the peanut butter last and in increments so it's easier to incorporate throughout evenly.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour (I do this in a casserole dish but you can do it in the bowl if that's easier).
- Form the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week or so or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
These do not need to be refrigerated but I find that they stay together better when they are cold.
For the ingredients, I eyeball the amount of peanut butter until I get a good consistency. It's almost (but not quite) a full 40 oz jar of peanut butter. Don't worry about being precise with any of these measurements. They will be great if your'e close enough.