The health and fitness world serves up some bizarre ideas sometimes - a lot of them are absolutely bonkers, but from time to time we're bowled over by a stroke of genius from the fitness fanatics.

Snack balls are one of the creations we're most impressed by. Often no-bake and always easy prep, these are mixtures of all the good things we love, like oats and nuts, held together by more things we love, like honey and peanut butter.

Energy bites, or power balls, will all work wrapped and placed in a jersey pocket on a ride, and they'll also help you to avoid reaching for the Dairy Milk come those 4 pm hunger pangs.

In fact, we were pleased to note that Olympic track and now road specialist Dani King is a fan - having recently said: "I use my NutriBullet to mix up treats to help me recover after training. I blend oats, honey, protein powders, peanut butter and almonds, to make snack balls, which I freeze. It’s important for me to eat well to get the best out of my body."

So - without further ado - here are five of the best recipes we've found:

Coffee Choc Chip Energy Bites

energy bites power balls

These little snack balls from BlissfulBrit basically contain all our favourite things - and the caffeine kick will do wonders on your morning ride.

Suggested reading: How to Use Caffeine to Improve Performance

Oats provide a great slow release carbohydrate to get you on your way, whilst almond butter contains a little protein hit and healthy fat injection as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole grain oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh ground “unused" coffee beans
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or dried fruit)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Method:

Stir oatmeal, flaxseed, and coffee granules together, then add your almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Once combined, add chocolate chips and cranberries (swap the chocolate for dried fruit for some extra angelic points) and stir.

Leave in the fridge for 20 minutes, roll into balls and you're done! Store them in an airtight container in the fridge, and don't keep them longer than a week (we're sure you'll manage!).

Peanut Butter and Banana Energy Bites

energy bites power balls

Bananas are often referred to as nature's energy bar - they're high in carbohydrates, in two different types. The glucose and fructose they contain are quickly absorbed, whilst sucrose acts slowly and keeps energy levels stable.

This recipe from The Cookie Rookie adds in peanut butter for a protein punch and slow release carbs via oats.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1½ cups old fashioned oats
  • ⅔ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon Monk Fruit In The Raw Sweetener (we'd use honey!)

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl using a fork. If you find your mix is very sticky, add some extra oats - you'll probably find you fine-tune your own preferred consistency over time.

Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes, then roll the mixture into balls ready to wrap up and pop in your jersey pocket!

Key Lime Coconut Energy Bites

energy bites power balls

There is a tendency for these energy bites to be very sweet, so we were pleased to find this option from Spoonful of Flavour which will go down well with those more into zest and zing than sweet chocolatey notes.

Almonds and cashews mean these will contain a good balance of protein and carbohydrates which will keep you full, as well as good fats for a healthy heart. Super-nuts almonds are high in vitamin E, which will help keep your immune system running smoothly, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates*, pitted
  • zest and juice of 3 key limes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

Method:

Use a food processor to blend the almonds and cashews until finely chopped, but don't blitz them for so long they become a paste. Add the dates, lime juice and zest and blend until the mixture forms clumps.

Shape into balls, roll in coconut and pop in the fridge.

Ginger Energy Bites

energy bites power balls

Here's another one for those who don't want their energy bites to be sugar sweet. This vegan option from One Green Planet uses ginger, which is often used for helping to aid digestive issues. It's also a known inflammation buster - so is a common symptom soother for colds but can also be used to treat achy muscles.

The almonds, cashews and dates will combine to provide quick release carbohydrates, protein and sugar, whilst that pinch of salt could be the real secret ingredient making this ideal for cyclists as it can help prevent cramp.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup each raw almonds, cashews, and pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2-inch- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, depending on how much gingery kick ya want
  • a pinch of sea salt

Method:

Combine all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until the mixture starts to form a ball. Roll into tablespoon sized balls and refrigerate or freeze for later.

Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Truffles

energy bites power balls

We spotted this recipe created by Juicy Lucy Food and WOW. How could you not fall in love?

Not all of the ingredients are staple cupboard fodder, but we're promised they are all available from Tesco and Amazon. The nuts mean these are high in protein, to kick-start muscle repair before you hit the gym, as well as healthy fats plus. For that instant kick, natural sugars from the dates and cacao will certainly shine through.

Suggested Reading: Can Dark Chocolate Make You Go Faster?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of hazelnuts
  • 12 dates
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp date syrup

Decoration (optional):

  • Roasted chopped hazelnuts
  • Bee Pollen

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the nuts on the baking paper and toast them in the oven for 20minutes, keeping an eye on them to ensure they don't burn. Once golden, remove them from the oven and allow to cool before rubbing between kitchen towel to remove the skin.

Melt the cacao butter, then remove from the heat. Place the hazelnuts into a blender until smooth, and add the cacao powder and blend. Add the melted cacao butter and date syrup, then blend again. Remove pits from your dates and add to the blender.

You should now have a sticky mixture. Roll it into balls and add the decorations if you wish, and you're done. Kept in the fridge, these can last up to three months.

Liked these? Check out:

Recipe: Pistachio and Apricot Powerballs

Healthy Treats: Nut Butter Cup Recipe