Super Banana Oat Snack Bars

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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 The original title is SuperDad Snack Bars because I originally made these banana oat bars for my dad when he helped us on moving day.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!

Banana Oat Bars - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Superdad Snack Bars

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

Banana Oat Bars - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Superdad Snack Bars

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.

4.9 from 10 reviews
Super Banana Oat Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
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If you have gluten-free needs, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. Also, we found these bars to be just sweet enough, but if you want them a touch sweeter, you can increase the honey or agave to ⅓ cup, or add a couple tablespoons of coconut sugar or brown sugar.
Author:
Serves: 9 snack bars
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, agave or honey, oil, and vanilla. Briefly set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Briefly set aside.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Let cool completely before cutting. Can be stored in the fridge if you like ‘em chilled (I do).

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

57 Comments

  1. Wow! This recipe is amazing. My dad has ulcerative colitis and a sweet tooth so he’s always on the hunt for something naturally sweet. I made this recipe with cocoa powder instead of flour and emitted the baking powder.
    The resulting product is like a spongy, chocolatey flapjack with the sweetness of the banana in every bite. I can see I’m going to be baking a lot of these! Thank you so much.

  2. I made these for my daughter (who won’t eat anything unhealthy) and my nephew (who won’t eat anything healthy) . I switched the oats for oat bran 1:1, and when I finished baking them, I melted some white chocolate buds, mixed with icing sugar and spread a very thin layer across the top, then melted dark chocolate buds and did fine squiggles on top just by dipping a chopstick in the melted chocolate and slowly waving it above the slice. When the chocolate set, I cut into smaller slices, it made 16 and both fussy eaters were happy with it.

  3. These were yum. I added self raising flour to make it more cake like. Put less honey and they turned out great. My 18 month old who very fussy enjoyed them. Next time I’ll add grated apple and cinnamon

  4. Karen MacKellar on

    Wow just made these – they are absolutely delicious! My wee guy has CMPA and is also allergic to anything Soya related so you can imagine the nightmare as soya flour is bumper into everything these days. These will be a lovely little treat for him thank you!

    • The recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. You can use wheat flour, but the bars in the photo are made with oat flour. See the ingredients with notes. You can use another gluten-free grain flour if preferred. Just don’t swap in almond flour or coconut flour – those don’t work 1:1.

  5. Wow, wow, wow! This tastes AMAZING. I used chickpea flour instead of regular flour, an egg substitute and maple syrup instead of honey to match my dietary needs. I also crumbled a loving earth creamy coconut mylk chocolate bar over the top before I popped it in the oven to be a little extra. I am definitely saving this recipe and it will be a lunch box go-to for university. Thank you!

    • Coconut flour does not swap 1:1 for other flours in recipes – it’s too dry and sucks up a lot of moisture. If you were to use coconut flour, then you would need to make quite a few other modifications to the recipe to make it work.

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