Low sugar energy bites made with raw cashews, rolled oats, collagen peptides, fresh lemon, and touch honey for sweetness. These lemon cashew collagen bites are the perfect quick and healthy snack.
Lemon Cashew Collagen Bites
A protein-packed energy bite that tastes like lemon cookie dough? Yes, please! These lemon cashew collagen bites are the perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich complex carbohydrates making them a great mid-afternoon or pre-workout snack.
These no bake protein-packed energy bites have a sweet, vibrant lemon flavor and an amazing chewy texture. All you need is a few pantry staples. Raw cashews, rolled oats (or oat flour), collagen peptides, lemon, lemon zest, honey, vanilla, and sea salt get blended together to make these nutritious bites. They come together in less than 10-minutes and you’ll have a healthy snack to eat throughout the week.
I recommend keeping these protein balls in the fridge best texture. That being said, I love having a statch of these energy bites in the freezer. It’s a great way to ensure you have a healthy snack on hand or when the craving for a lemony treat hits.
Ingredients Needed to Make These Energy Bites
All you need are five main ingredients plus a few flavor enhancers to make these lemon cashew collagen bites.
- Cashews – using raw cashews gives these bites a slightly sweet, nutty taste and doughy texture. You could use almonds, macadamia nuts, or even sunflower seeds, but the taste and appearance will be slightly different. If you’re making without a food processor, use 1/2 cup of cashew butter in place of the raw cashew.
- Rolled oats – a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Rolled oats help create a doughy texture, making these energy bites reminiscent of lemon cookie dough. Grinding the oats into flour first ensures the smoothest texture. If you’re short on time, simply blend the raw cashews and oats together in the food processor.
- Collagen peptides – this is the main source of protein in these energy bites. I love adding collagen to recipes because it doesn’t alter the taste or texture like most protein powders. In place of the collagen, sub a vanilla plant-based protein would work!
- Honey – only two tablespoons of honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to these bites while also keeping them low sugar. If you want to make these vegan, use maple syrup.
- Lemon – fresh lemon juice gives the bites a bright, slightly tart flavor. Adding in the zest of one lemon also adds additional flavor and sweet lemon aroma to the bites.
- Flavor enhancers – to boost the flavor of these bites you need a pinch of salt and vanilla extract. While these are technically optional, I highly recommend not skipping them. They bring out the flavor of the lemon and the vanilla adds a touch of sweetness to make these energy bites taste like a lemon sugar cookie.
How to Make Energy Bites
Energy bites are one of the easiest snacks to make. They only require a food processor and only five minutes of your time. Make a batch and store them in the fridge or freezer to enjoy throughout the week as a quick and nutritious snack.
- Blend – start by blending together the cashews and rolled oats until a fine flour forms. If your flour starts to turn into a nut butter consistency, even better! Your bites will have more of a “cookie dough” texture. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until a thick dough forms.
- Roll into balls – Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Another option is to make these bites into bars. Press the dough into an 8 ½ x4 ½ inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up before slicing into bars.
- Chill – Stick the energy bites in the fridge or freezer to firm up a bit. Enjoy straight from the fridge or let threw for a few minutes if enjoying from the freezer. I recommend storing the bites in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.
Can you make energy bites without a food processor?
Yes! With some modifications, you can still make these energy bites without a food processor. The easiest way is to use oat flour and cashew butter in place of the rolled oats and raw cashews. You’ll need about 1 cup of oat flour and 1/2 cup cashew butter. Simply mix the ingredients in a bowl and adjust the liquid by adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time until a dough ball forms. If you don’t have oat flour you can use quick-cooking or rolled oats but the ball will not have as smooth of a texture.
Nourished by Nutrition Facts:
Healthy Fats – These lemon cashew collagen bites are a good source of healthy fats. Cashews are a good source of monounsaturated fats. These are considered heart-healthy fats that can help to lower LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels.
Healthy fat sources like nuts and seeds are essential for healthy hair and skin, balancing hormones and slowing down the absorption of food so we can go longer without feeling hungry. Healthy fats also help keep blood sugar stable by not initiating a spike in blood glucose like carbohydrates.
Protein – The majority of the protein in these snack bites comes from collagen peptides. The ⅓ cup of collagen peptides contains about 45 grams of protein to the entire batch. This means if you roll the dough into 10 balls, each energy bites contains at 4.5 grams of collagen protein and 7 grams of protein total.
In addition, the cashews and rolled oats also provide some protein. This helps with satiety and keeps you full longer. For more on protein and its function, check out the Protein 101: a simple guide to understanding protein post.
Common Ingredient Substitutions
Since there are only five main ingredients these protein bites, I recommend making them as written for the best results and flavor. That being said, I have tried a paleo, grain-free version that tasted quite similar.
- Grain-free – in place of the oats, use 5-6 tablespoons of coconut flour. I haven’t tried these with almond flour but 1 to 1 1/2 cup of almond flour may work.
- Vegan – these are vegan if you leave out the collagen and sub maple syrup for the honey. If you want these to be protein bites, you can add 3 tablespoons of plant-based protein powder. A vanilla flavor would work best. Adjust the liquid as needed, by adding in 1 teaspoon of water at a time.
- Sweetener – sub maple syrup or another liquid sweetener for the honey. I have not tried these with dates but 2-4 Medjool dates may work.
More Healthy Snack RECIPES
If you make these lemon cashew collagen bites be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe below. I’d love to hear from you and it encourages others to make the recipe too.
Lemon Cashew Collagen Bites
Low sugar energy bites made with raw cashews, rolled oats, collagen peptides, fresh lemon and a touch honey for sweetness. These lemon cashew collagen bites are the perfect quick and healthy snack.
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 10
- Yield: 10-12 bites 1x
1 cup rolled oats (see notes)
1 ¼ cup raw cashews (see notes)
2 tablespoons honey
⅓ cup collagen peptides
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Optional: For the smoothest texture, grind the rolled oats into a fine flour AND remove from the food processor before grinding the cashews.
Add the cashews and oats to a food processor, blend into fine flour. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend until a dough ball forms. If the dough is too sticky, add in additional oats, one tablespoon at a time until the dough ball forms. You should be able to easily roll the dough into a ball.
Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Another option is to make these bites into bars. Press the dough into an 8 ½ x4 ½ inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up before slicing into bars.
Optional: I coated a few of the balls in cashews ground in a spice grinder and some in coconut flour, purely for aesthetic. Feel free to do this if you’d like.
Place the energy bites in the fridge or freezer to firm up. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks or the freezer for 3 months.
In place of the rolled oats, you can use oat flour. You can also grind the rolled oats into a fine flour before adding the cashews. This will give you the smoothest texture.
I’ve tested a grain-free version using ⅓ cup coconut flour. However, I prefer the taste of the oat version. You can also sub ½ cup of cashew butter in place of the raw cashews.
Without a Food Processor: If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make these using 1 cup oat flour and ½ cup cashew butter. Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl until a thick dough forms. Adjust the amount of oat flour or nut butter as needed so that the dough easily rolls into balls.