Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bars are made with ripe bananas, oats, dates, and all the delicious add-ins you like in your morning bowl of oats! A portable quick and easy breakfast or healthy snacks idea.
Don’t miss these other healthy snack ideas – healthy oatmeal muffins, healthy apple oatmeal bars, or sugar free oatmeal cookies!
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These healthy banana oatmeal bars are insane! Whether you’re a banana lover, an oatmeal lover, or just love healthy breakfast options, these bars are for you!
They’re similar to banana protein muffins but they don’t contain any protein powder. They do however have flax seeds or hemp hearts instead.
They’re a baked alternative to traditional oatmeal, much like my healthy carrot cake baked oatmeal, and naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and Medjool dates.
When I don’t have any healthy banana oatmeal cookies or chocolate banana chia pudding, these banana oat bars are just as good for a treat!
Looking for more baked oatmeal goodies? Try my baked oatmeal bars with carrots, carrot oatmeal muffins, or healthy apple crisp.
Ingredients for Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bars
Super simple ingredients and most you’ve probably already got.
- Mashed ripe bananas, measure after mashing: The riper the better for optimal sweetness. Give us all the potassium! If you have over ripen bananas, here’s how to freeze bananas to use them later. If you have under ripe bananas, here is how to ripen bananas faster.
- Applesauce: I use unsweetened applesauce to avoid any added sugar. It provides moisture and a subtle apple flavor which is a great pairing with oats and cinnamon.
- Milk: Any milk will do. To keep it dairy free I use unsweetened almond milk. You could try oat milk, cashew milk, or even coconut milk too.
- Oats: Quick or old fashioned rolled oats will both work in this recipe as well as in quinoa granola bars. The texture may be different in the end, but the taste will be the same. Use certified gluten free oats to ensure this recipe remains gluten-free.
- Ground flaxseed: Flax has a ton of fiber and Omega 3s. You could also use hemp hearts for increased protein. When mixed with a liquid it also acts as a binder, since we’re not using any eggs!
- Baking powder and baking soda: We need these to ensure our bars don’t fall flat. We want them nice and decadent! Look for aluminum free baking powder.
- Cinnamon: A delicious warm spice that adds incredible flavor.
- Salt: A little bit of seasoning is needed to enhance the flavor of all of the other ingredients.
- Medjool dates: High in fiber, iron, and magnesium, they also are just delicious. They’re sweet and when chopped they can replace all kinds of dried fruit. Feel free to swap them for raisins or another dried fruit.
- Walnuts: Or any chopped nut like almond, cashews, pecans or even hazelnuts! It’s almost like eating healthy banana bread studded with nuts.
- Cooking spray: I use Misto to create a nonstick surface.
- Chocolate chips: Optional but recommended!
Coconut flakes, peanut butter, pumpkin seed butter, or almond butter can be added to the batter for a little something extra.
You could also sprinkle one half with chocolate chips for children and leave the other half plain for the adults. Just like with a bowl of Instant Pot steel cut oats, make it your own!
How to Make Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bars
This whole recipe is done in one bowl. First, we combine the mashed bananas, applesauce, and milk. Then we add the oats and salt. It’ll become thicker at this point and then the dates and walnuts will add even more texture.
Once you’ve preheated the oven and prepared a baking dish, pour the batter into it and level it out with a spatula. It’ll be thick so it will need a bit of help reaching the walls of the dish. If you are going to be using chocolate chips add them in just before baking.
Bake for 40 minutes and test with a toothpick inserted into the center. If it comes out clean it’s done. Take the bars out and let them cool before slicing.
These bars can be enjoyed hot, warm, or cold. On their own or with a side of yogurt, drizzled with maple syrup or honey, or slathered with peanut butter. However you like your oatmeal, eat the bars the same way!
Yes, you can! It’s a powder, so you’ll need to adjust the recipe with extra liquid. Slowly add some milk to keep it at the consistency of the original recipe. You may also love these protein pancakes.
Technically you don’t. They do help the bars rise to a chewier and heartier texture. If you skip them, which you can, they will be flatter as a result.
Yogurt or any other fruit puree should work. Greek yogurt may work for fructose sensitivities but has not been tested.
They’re thick, and slightly chewy without being too soft. The bananas and the oats balance each other in terms of moisture and dryness, which is nice. It is like a baked bowl of oats!
You may also like these healthy overnight oats for another way to enjoy oats!
Can I Make a Gluten Free Version?
Based on the ingredients listed, these bars are naturally gluten free. Since we do not have anyone with gluten intolerance in the family, I’ve never needed to be extremely careful.
In a case where you need to be, just make sure all of your ingredients are certified gluten free. This means they’re free from gluten but with the added assurance that there’s no cross contamination either.
FYI, these banana oat bars are also vegan. You do not need any eggs here.
Are These Bars Healthy?
Oh boy, are they ever! Tons of protein, fiber, iron, potassium, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the list goes on! No refined sugars, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and sweetened naturally with nutrient dense ingredients.
Go ahead, enjoy a bar and then have another!
How to Store
I usually make a double batch so I can refrigerate half and freeze the other half.
Baking it in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish means I can place the whole thing in the fridge. Sliced up and ready to go for the taking!
More Banana Sweetened Recipes
- Healthy banana muffins
- Healthy banana oatmeal muffins
- Healthy banana chocolate chips muffins
- Healthy banana zucchini muffins
- Healthy banana pancakes
- Oat flour banana bread
Check out these 10 healthy banana snacks or all of my favorite healthy snacks for more ideas.
Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bars
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas 2 large bananas
- 1 cup applesauce unsweetened
- 1/2 cup any milk I used unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups quick or old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed or hemp hearts
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 Medjool dates pitted & chopped (or 1/3 cup any dried fruit)
- 1/2 cup walnuts or any nuts chopped
- Cooking spray I use Misto
- Chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, line 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, add bananas, applesauce, milk and stir to combine. Add oats through salt and mix well to combine. Add dates and walnuts, stir enough to incorporate.
- Pour into prepared baking dish, level with spatula and top with chocolate chips if desired (I usually sprinkle half for the kids). Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and cut into 8 bars. Serve hot, warm or cold with yogurt, peanut butter or whatever you like for breakfast.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Freeze: In resealable container for up 3-4 months.
- You could also use a non-stick muffin tin or BPA-free silicone baking cups.
- I also like to double the recipe, bake in 9″ x 13″ baking dish and freeze for later.
- Please note, baking time could increase by about 15 minutes, depending on your oven.
- I used unsweetened homemade Instant Pot applesauce.
Looks very filling! Would you please suggest a substitute for applesauce? Maybe yogurt or coconut oil? Thank you!
Yogurt or any other fruit puree should work, not coconut oil.
Hello,i was wondering what the baking soda and baking powder do to the “oat bar recipe? Do I need them?
They help bars rise. You could skip but bars will be more flat.
Hi there: does your nutritional info include the optional chocolate chips? I know the numbers can vary depending on ingredients, but I’m getting a much higher fat number in my macro app. I made your Kodiak cake chocolate banana protein cakes and the nutritional info came out very close to what you had. Thanks for any help.
It does not include chocolate chips. We use Nutrifox to calculate. Only ingredients with fat are walnuts and flax seed so it’s easy to check and compare what your app is calculating for those and google them online vs. that.
And I don’t have Kodiak cake recipe, I don’t use Kodiak…. Maybe some other recipe it was?:) Anyways whatever it was would be the same app. I checked and there was no mistake.:)
Thanks. Sorry about the mix up. Anxious to try these regardless.
Hi there 🙂 I am going to try your recipe today! Very excited and curious how it will turn out! I do have a question about the flax seeds: do you make a flax egg out of them or just add them to the dough? Many thanks!
Sorry for delayed reply. You make a separate flax egg first.
Great fulfilling bars. I like them cold. Another way to utilize ripen bananas. Very handy.
do you think using fresh fruit— chopped apples—blueberries?— would change the requirements flr other ingredients? increase the flax to soak up any liquid put out from the apples?
Definitely would. Not sure how though. Haven’t tested it. Sorry.
Hi Olena, Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t tell how many times I have already made it and every time it’s just perfect. I’m so glad to find such a healthy and easy recipe. Irina
Hi Ira. You are so welcome!
Good morning. I am making these banana oat bars this weekend and have a question. I like to add veggies to things as often as possible as long as they don’t seriously affect the finished food product. Would the addition of a cup of grated carrots make these bars too wet or affect the rising of the bars?
Morning Wendi. I honestly don’t know BUT I have these carrot oatmeal bars recipe.:)
Thank you for the additional recipe, Olena. Will be trying that bar soon. As I have a late teen son who is a terrible vegetable eater, I try and sneak veggies into things as often as I can. For these Banana Oat Bars, I DID add 1-1/4 cup (packed) of finely grated carrots. The bars came out fine — moist without being “wet,” held together well, and the little pieces of orange looked so pretty — and healthy, but we won’t tell veggie-hating son! Thanks for a great grab-and-go breakfast bar.
🙂 Welcome. Glad you made it work.:)
Any ways to add protein powder to this recipe? ‘Would you need extra liquids if one was to do that?
Yes you will need to add extra liquid. You can do so if you add protein powder and and then slowly add some milk to keep it at the consistency of the original recipe. Considering you are sort of even tiny bit experienced cook, you can do it.:)