I’ve been on a bit of a protein bite kick lately. They’re great for energizing snacks, but I also like a handful of them for breakfast with tea. They fulfill my morning carb cravings, but in a more balanced and less heavy way than toast or a bowl of oatmeal. Molasses protein balls are my staple, but I decided to mix things up this week with these dairy-free oatmeal raisin protein bites.
Dairy-Free Oatmeal Raisin Protein Bites with Options for All
I originally shared this recipe more than a decade ago, on my old blog. It was buried in our archives, so I decided to give the post a refresh, and added nutrition, options, and answers to common FAQs.
Which Nut Butters do You Recommend?
I like these oatmeal raisin protein bites with almond butter or cashew butter. But of course, peanut butter is also delicious! I use salted natural nut butter that contains just nuts and salt. Yes, the kind that separates! We use the dough hook attachment on a cheap hand blender to mix the peanut or nut butter right in the jar. It’s mixed and fluffy in 2 minutes!
Which Sweeteners Work Best in these Protein Bites?
You will want to use a liquid sweetener. Maple syrup provides a warm, gently sweet flavor. Honey or agave lends a bright, sweeter taste. And blackstrap molasses gives these oatmeal raisin protein bites a richer, lower sugar depth. If you prefer brown rice syrup, that should also work well.
What is Vanilla Flavoring? Can I Just Use Extract?
Extracts are made with alcohol. The alcohol taste typically burns off in baking, but I don’t like the taste of it in no bake recipes. You can use it if you don’t mind it, but I prefer alcohol-free vanilla flavoring for no bake recipes. It’s still natural, but in another base, like glycerin. Vanilla powder also works well.
What Type of Dairy-Free Protein Powder do You Recommend?
I’m currently using Primal Kitchen Collagen Peptides, which are unflavored and unsweetened. You can certainly use a flavored variety, like vanilla or chocolate, Flavored varieties are often sweetened, and will make these oatmeal raisin energy bites a little sweeter. I find that collagen and egg white protein powders are the most seamless in no bake energy bite and bar recipes. But for plant-based needs, I like pea protein powder. That said, you can use hemp protein, soy protein, brown rice protein, etc. Whatever type works for you! Just keep in mind that some of these protein powders can add a gritty or powdery texture, and can also affect the overall flavor.
Can I Use Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats?
You can, but I don’t like them in no bake recipes. They are too big, chewy, and “raw” tasting. Quick oats provide all the nutrition, but are sliced thinner, so they provide texture without overwhelming.
Is it Safe to Eat Raw Oats?
It is considered safe to eat raw or uncooked oats. Eating raw oats can have unwanted digestion side effects for some people, but the quantity in each bite is minimal. If concerned, you can toast the oats for a few minutes in a skillet on the stovetop before adding them to the dough.
What Can I Substitute for the Raisins?
Not a raisin fan? You can substitute dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried cherries, or chopped dried apricots for the raisins. I like to chop the dried fruit – even the berries – because I prefer the infusion of smaller pieces rather than big chunks in these oatmeal raisin protein bites.
Special Diet Notes: Oatmeal Raisin Protein Bites
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. Just be sure to pick the nut butter, protein powder, and oats that suit your dietary needs.
- ½ cup nut butter (see below for Nut-Free Option)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup, or your liquid sweetener of choice
- ⅛ teaspoon natural vanilla flavoring or powder (optional)
- ¼ cup unsweetened dairy-free protein powder
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste
- Pinch fine salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
- ½ cup quick oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- ¼ cup raisins, chopped
- In a small bowl, stir together the nut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla (if using).
- Add the protein powder, cinnamon, and salt (if using), and stir until smooth.
- Add the quick oats and raisins, and stir until combined, bringing it together with your hands, as needed.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. You can leave them as balls, or flatten them a bit like thick little cookies.
- Store the protein bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer until ready for a snack.