Breakfast Balls – Handy Little Balls of Goodness for On-the-Go Breakfasts or Snacks

Breakfast Balls – yummy little balls of banana-nut-oat goodness that are a cross between a hearty breakfast and a granola bar type of snack.

Breakfast Balls - High fiber, nutritious breakfast on the go

What fits in your pocket, is sturdy enough to carry around in your purse or backpack, can be eaten with two fingers, fills you right up, is made with pure healthy ingredients, and tastes great?

Breakfast Balls – yummy little balls of banana-nut-oat goodness that are a cross between a hearty breakfast and a granola bar type of snack. They’re not too sweet, yet have that wonderful little burst of chocolate that fools my brain and makes it think I’m having a treat.

I learned this recipe from my daughter Olivia – a university student who gets together with her friend once a week to make a huge batch of these. The girls have honed the recipe until it is absolutely straightforward, easy to make in their simply equipped kitchen, and economical to fit their student budget. They divvy up the batch and live on these tasty little bites for the week, toting them in their backpacks and munching them in lieu of meals or snacks as they study.

breakfast balls - banana and oat high fiber breakfast on the go

I love that the Breakfast Balls are sweetened naturally with bananas, have a great amount of fiber from the oats and coconut, and are full of flavour from the cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate. Way to go, girls.

This recipe is very flexible – Olivia says the original recipe had coconut oil in it, and peanut butter. You could certainly add those in. Olivia and Luiza have streamlined the recipe (for economy and simplicity) and they prefer the taste of the Breakfast Balls this way. Olivia likes to eat hers with peanut butter spread onto each bite as she eats the balls. I have added a handful of ground nuts to increase the protein level, but the girls don’t put the nuts in (student budget restrictions) and like the softer texture of the balls without them.

Either way, three Breakfast Balls contain the same amount of oats you’d get in a bowl of oatmeal – not bad for a snack that’s sturdy enough to survive in a baggie in my purse for a few days.

The only problem in our household is getting bananas to the lusciously sweet and overripe state needed to make Breakfast Balls. I buy two big bunches of bananas almost weekly, and they’re often gone just as I think, Oh good, I can make a batch of Breakfast Balls tomorrow, or maybe even a banana loaf. (As a note – I rarely eat bananas – I just happen to live with monkeys.) I am going to have to confiscate and hide some bananas so they can ripen in the dirty laundry hamper, or maybe in the vacuum cleaner box – someplace nobody will think of looking.

* * * * *

breakfast balls with a mug of tea - great high fiber oat breakfast on the go

Kitchen Frau Notes: I make a batch of Breakfast Balls and keep them in the freezer. It’s easy to toss a few into a plastic sandwich bag and tote them in my purse when I’m heading off to do a day of shopping, or even when I’m off to work and too rushed to eat breakfast in the morning. I relish the thought that at recess time I can nibble on them with my cup of tea. They beat instant oatmeal right out of the race!

I like the denseness of the Breakfast Balls when I add the ground nuts, but they are just as tasty without. I always try to drink something when I eat these, to have the liquid in my stomach for digesting the oats. I think of it as having a bowl of oatmeal on the go.

Since the only sweetness in this recipe comes from the bananas and the sprinkling of chocolate chips, try to have your bananas as ripe as possible – well freckled with brown, or even mostly brown. When the bananas look too ripe to eat, they are just perfect for making Breakfast Balls.

Mini chocolate chips distribute the chocolate more evenly and make the balls easier to form, but normal-sized ones would work well, too. Or you could use raisins or chopped dates instead of the chocolate chips.

Olivia often uses baking soda instead of baking powder because that’s all she has in her cupboards, and says that works fine, too. You can roll the balls small, like I make them, or bigger if you feel like it. The recipe is very flexible.

breakfast balls - high fiber banana oat breakfast on the go

Banana Oat Breakfast Balls

  • 4 large, very ripe bananas
  • 4 cups (400 gms) large flake oats (old-fashioned oats), gluten-free if necessary
  • ½ cup (50 gms) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (50 gms) ground hazelnuts or almonds or more coconut – optional
  • ½ cup (100 gms) mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

ingredients for banana oat breakfast balls

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease it.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl with a potato masher or a fork.

mashed bananas for banana oat breakfast balls

Add all the other ingredients and stir well to combine.

Scoop up about 1½ tablespoons dough at time and squeeze it together to make a rough ball. (I use a size 40 cookie scoop.) I find that squeezing and gently tossing the ball from one had to the other several times helps form it into a neater ball.

banana oat breakfast balls

Place the balls about ½ inch apart on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until when you lift up one of the balls, you can see that the bottom is golden brown.

Cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the freezer for several months.

Makes about 40 breakfast balls 1½ inches in diameter (less if you omit the ground nuts).

*If you make them this size, each Breakfast Ball has 1.6 tablespoons oats, so 3 balls will give you almost 5 tablespoons oats – the same amount in a serving of oatmeal porridge (and more fun and convenient to eat!)

banana oat breakfast ballsGuten Appetit!

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A Warm and Cozy Breakfast – Baked Oatmeal

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44 Responses to Breakfast Balls – Handy Little Balls of Goodness for On-the-Go Breakfasts or Snacks

  1. Elsa says:

    Margaret that is a great idea, I will make the Breakfast balls tomorrow if I find enough
    bananas in the house, there must be a monkey in my house too.
    Have a good week !

    • Margaret says:

      Those monkeys! We’ll have to feed them some of the Breakfast Balls to keep them out of trouble! I hope your monkeys enjoy them. Thanks so much, and wishing you a great week, too!

  2. Vivian says:

    Oh boy! These sound great. Just what I need to be well-fed in my current absence of regular meal planning. I’m researching using a spiralizer for zucchini noodle pasta and have found a real wealth of amazing uses for spiralized and julienned raw veggies and many gorgeous recipes…but it all takes time. Sometimes I miss mealtimes by being on the web too long! Maybe you could investigate this “curly” phenomenon (spiralizing) in the near future?

    • Margaret says:

      My curiosity has been piqued by the spiral veggie noodles, too. I’ve been seeing them pop up everywhere and may have to invest in one of the ‘thingamabobbies’ that cuts the veggies into the curly noodles. It would be fun to play around with – and so healthy! (Especially handy when the garden overflows with zucchini.)


    mmmmmmmmm I’ve got 2 ripe bananas on the counter so I will make half a batch. They look so good. Thanks again.

    • Margaret says:

      You are very welcome! They’re so easy to throw together and half a batch still makes a good amount for the freezer. Wishing you some lovely snackin’ times!

  4. Marie says:

    Thanks Margaret – these will work great as filling and nutritious snacks either before or after our kids basketball / hockey / volleyball / soccer games. Better than McDonald’s drive-thru any day!!

    • Margaret says:

      Thank you, Marie. Yes, they are handy and great for packing along anywhere. And I love ’em for breakfast since I’m often in too much of a rush in the morning. Thanks so much for visiting my site – I hope you have a great week!

  5. Tammy says:

    This looks like a fantastically easy recipe too – easy enough for a 3 year old to help with! Although I know she would be a bit disappointed that there are no eggs to crack for her – LOL.

    I think I’ll try adding some chia seeds and hemp hearts for added nutrition. Do you happen to know how long these would last at room temperature? The only ingredient that would be “perishable” would be the banana, I think. I might try to bring some on our European adventure. I prefer to bring some homemade treats rather than packaged granola bars.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

    • Margaret says:

      Chia seeds and hemp hearts sound great – they’ll up the nutrition even more. I know Olivia keeps them up to a week at room temperature, and they should last even longer since the bananas are baked and get quite dry – kind of like granola bars, which last a long time. I think that’s a great idea for travelling – I’m going to use your idea and make some for our trip, too! Thanks!

      I can see your 3-year-old having a lot of fun helping roll the balls! Happy Easter to your family from ours!

      -Just a thought – if you add extra seeds, especially chia seeds which use a lot of moisture, you might want to use less oats, or add an extra banana.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I am always looking for a new snack idea and am especially happy when it contains chocolate and oats! And, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that GF banana muffins just don’t work for me (they get strangely slimy), so I’m looking forward to using my over-ripe bananas this way — danke!

    • Margaret says:

      Bitteschoen! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do (I think it’s the chocolate that does it for me, too!). I know what you’re saying about the GF muffins – that often happens to my GF baked goods, too, especially when they have fruit in them. Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!

  7. JL says:

    What a great recipe! Folks in our house have problems with yellow bananas, though, and we often just can’t get red bananas. Do you think the recipe would work with apple sauce? Perhaps with some chia to hold them together?

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks – we LOVE these! I think applesauce should work great – and the chia is a brilliant idea to help them stick together! Hope that works for you!

  8. Irma Diesner says:

    Thanks for letting me try a couple, wow they are good!
    Will try to make a batch when I get home.
    My visit with you has been the best.
    Love you, my little sis (niece)

  9. Margaret says:

    So glad you came to visit so I could share them with you. LOVE having you here, sharing tea, coffee and Breakfast Balls!

  10. Julie says:

    How many would you say would be a serving size?

    • Margaret says:

      Hi Julie, Each ball has a little over 1 and a half tablespoons oats in it (1.6 tablespoons oats if you get 40 balls per batch), so 3 balls would be a smallish serving of just under 1/3 of a cup of oats, and 4 balls would be a generous serving of over 6 tablespoons oats. Usually about 1/3 of a cup uncooked oats is considered a serving (how much oats is one serving)
      Happy oatmeal-eating!

      • Julie says:

        Thanks so much! This is the first healthy snack I’ve made and liked. I’m so excited, they’re perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Lori says:

    Any idea what the nutrient and calorie content would be or how to figure it?

  12. Sherry says:

    Hello, and thanks for the recipe. Question; do you think they would hold up as well if I put a dab of peanut butter in them? I love a little taste of peanut butter with anything banana.


    • Sherry says:

      I didnt wait for a reply, but I did add the peanut butter (3/4 cup) and let me say WOW, thanks for the recipe!!!!!!!!!

      • Margaret says:

        Oh, my, goodness! Now you’ve got me wanting to rush out and add peanut butter too! I’ve got a big bowl of bananas ripening on the counter, just waiting to be made into Breakfast Balls. Good call on the addition, Sherry! I’ve added a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil sometimes, just for the extra nutrition, and though they’re a little softer, they’re still quite sturdy. The great thing about this recipe is that it is easy to tinker with and add your touches to. The peanut butter sounds wonderful (and my husband can’t get enough peanut butter – ever). Thanks for letting me know the outcome – and happy times in the kitchen to you!

  13. Megan says:

    I have siblings that don’t like bananas, so I was wondering if you could make this recipe without them.

    • Margaret says:

      I’ve never tried this recipe without bananas, but applesauce is usually a good substitute for bananas in other recipes, or even sweet potato puree, so they may be worth a try. I’d just try a half or quarter recipe first to see if they work. If you use applesauce, it may be a good idea to add a couple tablespoons (for a full recipe) of ground flaxseed or ground chia seed to help make it more sticky. Let me know how it works if you try it – you’ve got my curiosity aroused now. Hope you have fun with it!

  14. Dawn says:

    I unfortunately cannot eat coconut. Do you think these would be okay if that was omitted?

    • Margaret says:

      Yes, my opinion is they would be absolutely fine without the coconut. If you can eat other nuts, substitute the coconut with finely chopped nuts of any kind. If you can’t eat any nuts, I think they’d still be fine by just omitting the coconut, and maybe adding a couple extra tablespoons oats. These balls seem to work out no matter how you make them . . . enjoy!

  15. Jessica says:


    I love the recipe. Do you know how much of coconut oil has the original recipe?

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks so much. No, sorry, we don’t have the original recipe anymore, but I did make a batch with a big, heaped spoonful of coconut oil that I scooped out of the jar and added, so I’m guessing about 3 to 4 tablespoons worth, and it turned out really well – not quite as sturdy, but nicely moist and soft.

  16. Teresa says:

    Hi Auntie, I was searching Pinterest for something to feed my kids on the bus when I happened across your recipe, I have to say that was really cool when what I was looking at ended up being one of your recipes. My big question for you is, do you think there is a different fruit I could put in instead of bananas, they are my one allergy?

    • Margaret says:

      Aw, thanks Theresa, you’ve made my day! Glad to know someone’s reading my recipes!

      The only thing I think might work instead of bananas might be applesauce, since it also provides a kind of ‘sticky’ factor in baking, though I haven’t tried it in this recipe. Maybe let it sit for a while before you form it into balls so it has a chance to soften up the oats to get more sticky, too, and maybe add a touch more cinnamon, since applesauce doesn’t have as strong a flavour as bananas. I’d try a half-recipe first to see how it works.

      Now you’ve got me curious. Let me know how it works if you do try it. Happy rest of the week to you, and give your kiddies a squeeze from us!

  17. Hannah says:

    You know you can brown bananas instantly by putting them in the oven for a short amount of time or you can freeze em! My mom always had that query and I was happy to find that solution on Pinterest! Just buy an extra batch and do em up! 🙂 happy baking! This is a great find for me! Thank you! 🙂

    • Margaret says:

      Sounds like a great tip, thank you! And thanks for stopping by to read. Hope you have some great times in the kitchen too!

  18. Claire says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I’ve been looking for something breakfasty, healthyish and sturdy to eat on the bus to college or work (busy schedule!!) and these look like the perfect addition to my chai tea!!! I’m going to try them with ground cashews instead of the almonds or hazelnuts because I’m totally addicted!!

    • Margaret says:

      That’s the beauty of this recipe – it’s so customizable. Ground cashews sound great – I really love using them in recipes, too – they have such a lovely smooth texture. Wishing you a great fall season with your busy schedule of school and work! I can see you need fast recipes packed with nutrition. 🙂

  19. Kelly K says:

    Hi! These look delicious, the only thing I was wondering was if you thought they would work without the coconut. There are 2 of us here who are pretty allergic to it, and one who isn’t allergic but has a very hard time digesting them. We have a secret when we are looking for over ripe bananas, we have a fruit and veggie store that has a section of over ripe stuff specifically for baking purposes.

    • Margaret says:

      I wish I had a secret stash like that for my baking – I wouldn’t have to hide fruit to ripen it anymore! If you can tolerate other types of nuts, I think these Breakfast Balls would work great with finely chopped nuts as a substitute for the coconut – the recipe is very adaptable and seems to work well with different amounts and types of ingredients. If you can’t tolerate nuts, maybe try seeds, like hemp hearts, or sesame seeds, or chopped sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Hope you have fun experimenting.

  20. Jolene says:

    Every time I see these cute little oat ball recipes they remind me of a Carebears episode I watched as a kid teaching a similar recipe. Ah, nostalgia! I’ll have to make this cute little recipe for my own kids! They’ll love it 🙂

    • Margaret says:

      I love that you associate these little breakfast balls with Carebears – makes them seem more fun somehow! The kids might have fun helping make them, too!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Hi! I’ve made these twice now and loved them!!! My family bee keeps and I’ve added our natural honey and they are just as healthy and a little less dry!!! A lot of my friends and family are trying them now too!!!

    • Margaret says:

      That makes my day – I’m glad to know you like them. Lucky you, to have your own fresh, raw honey to use. What a gift! Thanks for dropping by, and Happy Spring to you!

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