This is a popular recipe from my personal blog and my free e-book, Smart School Time Recipes. The original title is SuperDad Snack Bars because I originally made these banana oat bars for my dad when he helped us on moving day. I’ve since created a Maple Cinnamon Raisin version, too!
Bananas and oats have to be my dad’s two favorite foods, but he shies away from baked goodies since in his mind they are all loaded with sugar and refined flours. So I created these whole-grain, naturally-sweetened banana oat bars as a snack to keep us all fueled and happy as we labored away.
My dad (and husband, and grandma (yes, she helped too!) loved these bars so much that by days end, the entire pan was gone and he asked me to make more! In terms of texture, these banana oat bars are like a cross between a snack bar and a snack cake. They aren’t overly sweet, but just sweet enough to call a virtuous treat.
I changed the name, because I didn’t want you to think that these banana oat bars are just for dads; kids and moms will enjoy them, too! Plus, they are great for breakfasts on-the-go and lunch box treats. You can adjust the sweetener to taste and modify the add-ins. I’ve even included a cinnamon-raisin option in the recipe.
Reader Raves: Banana Oat Snack Bars
I originally shared this recipe on my old blog, where it received a ton of helpful feedback:
These are delicious! I also made a pumpkin version. Just substituted pumpkin for the banana and added a bit of extra honey and some pumpkin pie spice. YUMMMMMMM!!!! ~ Christi
I made these last night and they are amazing! My two year old and I both LOVED them! Having liked them so much (plus the fact that I love experimenting), I did another variation of them today that was great – I added 1/4 cup of peanut butter instead of the oil, and chocolate protein powder instead of the flour. The banana/chocolate/PB combo was awesome – Not allergen free, but I’m sure even more modifications could be made to make it friendly 🙂 ~ Erin
Just thought I’d come back and say that lately, we’re making these weekly! My son loves them. I reduce the oats to 1 c and added 1/4 c of ground flaxseed. For flour, I use Buckwheat. And I add some Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips 🙂 I bought a bag of the cheap, ripe bananas and mashed them and froze them in pairs. I just take the bag out and let it defrost in the fridge, then use in the recipe. Easy!~ Marie
Special Diet Notes: Banana Oat Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.
If making these banana oat bars egg-free, feel free to experiment with your favorite egg replacer (perhaps even increasing the banana by 1/4 cup and adding 1/8 teaspoon baking powder for extra-banana love!). I’ve included one egg-free option in the recipe, which will work best if you are using a wheat-based flour.
- 1¼ cups quick oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- ¼ cup honey or agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted or softened (or baking oil of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup flour (your choice of flour; I ground more gluten-free oats in my spice grinder to a flour consistency)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg (brought to room temperature if using coconut oil) or 1 Ener-G Egg Replacer
- 1 cup mashed, ripe banana (about 3 small or 2 large)
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, agave or honey, oil, and vanilla. Briefly set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Briefly set aside.
- Returning to your mixing bowl, stir in the egg, banana, and coconut, until everything is well combined. Stir in the reserved flour mixture (since I was using oat flour without gluten, I wasn’t worried about over-mixing. Be careful not to overmix if you are using a wheat-based flour).
- The batter will be a little thick. Spread it evenly in your greased baking dish, and pop it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before cutting. Can be stored in the fridge if you like ‘em chilled (I do).