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  • Makes 16 to 20 snack balls
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Feeling that afternoon slump? Keep a batch of these cherry oat snack balls on hand to boost your energy levels and ensure your tummy stays happy. A nutrient-dense combination of oats, dates, nut butter, chia seeds, and dried cherries are rolled into bite-size balls for the perfect healthy treat during busy days or after school. The warming flavors of cinnamon and vanilla are infused into each bite, and a few tablespoons of orange juice add a subtle fruity sweetness that ties everything together. This recipe is incredibly versatile, so feel free to add in other nuts, seeds, or dried fruit, or even stir in some vegan chocolate chips; it’s a totally customizable snack experience.

Tip: Want to make this recipe gluten-free? Use certified gluten-free oats.

For more kid-friendly snacks, check out these tasty ideas:

By Shelli McConnell,


  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 6 pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries


  • Put the first nine ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; add lid. Turn it on and let it run until mixture sticks together. Add cherries through the feed tube; push the pulse button just until the cherries are evenly combined in the mixture. Use a spoon to transfer mixture to a bowl.
  • Use your hands to shape mixture into 1-inch balls (2 to 3 teaspoons for each ball). Place balls in a single layer in an airtight container; add lid. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Comments (13)

(5 from 6 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I make these all the time and love having a quick alternative to junk food. I will incorporate some of the ideas below to limit the excess sugar.


This will be a great treat for summertime when I don't want to use my oven. I'm surprised by how yummy it is. The sweetness of the dates is balanced by the tart cherries. The vanilla and cinnamon add complexity. Delicious!


Where can we find the nutritional data for these recipes, please?

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Kathy, We are currently working on adding nutritional information to all our recipes and anticipate for this feature to be live on the website in coming months. Please stay tuned for updates! Thanks, Lisa Forks Over Knives Support


I just copy and paste ingredients into My Fitness Pal as a new recipe to get the nutrition facts. This recipe has a ton of added sugar so I make it without the maple syrup and juice and less dried fruit.


I like the cherry, oats, peanut butter combo! I mixed up some PB2 dry into the 2 T. It works great & less fat. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

noel thurner

Might as well face the facts: double this recipe and you will not be disappointed! I did not have an orange for the juice so used water and orange extract and that created a wonderful pop. Next time will not add maple syrup as it would be sweet enough with the dates. This gives new meaning to power balls!

Nancy Lawhorn

In the cherry oat snack ball recipe, can I replace the dried cherries with dried cranberries?

Betty McEnaney

I'm going to give it a go with cranberries instead of cherries. They sound delicious.


Sounds like a delicious recipe!

Krista Perry

What are “regular” rolled oats?

Jen Yocum

Old fashioned oats probably, instead of the quick cooking kind.


As in, not steel cut oats.

About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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