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Crazy for Crust

85
Jan 04

Banana Breakfast Bars

This time of year I’m really trying watch what I eat…and not just as I’m eating it. These Banana Breakfast Bars are helping me do that!

Banana Breakfast Bars are a combination granola bar, banana bread, and blondie all in one. Lighter than all 3, it's a perfect snack!

I don’t believe in the word “diet”. I’ve done so many diets and they all fail, which ultimately leads me to feeling bad about myself. For me it’s about lifestyle: exercise, portion control, making good choices, and satisfying cravings (within reason).

Some people are able to cut full food groups out of their diet with seemingly no problems. My husband has done Whole 30 or some variation off an on for almost a year now. I know some people that give up carbs or dairy or wheat or whatever and are perfectly happy. Others can do juice cleanses and fasts to reset their bodies. I’m not one of those people.

I’ve tried to say “I won’t eat dessert” or “I won’t drink during the week.” Those fail within 2 days, and then I’m angry at myself…again. And giving up carbs? No one wants that. My family encourages me to eat carbs. Carb-free Dorothy is not a very nice person. Also? Why live if you can’t have a cookie now and again? I don’t understand why someone would want to live a life without what they love. Everything in moderation is how I like to live.

Unfortunately, my definition of moderation has changed over the last few months. Ahem.

Therefore, as we get into 2015 and the inevitable weight loss and resolutions hit, I’m going to resolve to cut myself some slack. I’m going to try and eat more fruits and vegetables. I’m going to try and eat more protein. And I’m going to try and limit how many desserts I have in a day (hard, with this job).

But the one thing I can’t limit? My after workout snack. And breakfast. I need breakfast, and after my workout I need to eat. That’s where these breakfast bars come in.

Banana Breakfast Bars are a combination granola bar, banana bread, and blondie all in one. Lighter than all 3, it's a perfect snack!

For a long time I bought breakfast bars at the grocery store. Then I realized that I was paying $4.50 for 5 bars or some ridiculous amount, and the bars weren’t even that good. Also? They’re filled with ingredients I don’t recognize. I’m much more satisfied if I eat something I like, that’s homemade, than something packaged.

So I decided to make my own.

These bars are a cross between a granola bar and a banana bread/blondie. I actually combined my mom’s banana bread with my base blondie recipe to create something a little bit on the lighter side of both.

I reduced the amount of butter and used coconut oil instead. You can also use vegetable oil. Combined with 2 overripe bananas and an egg, you get a good bar base. A little brown sugar goes in for sweetening, and the binding is done with whole wheat flour and old fashioned oats.

Yes, these have sugar and carbs. But even though my husband does whole 30/paleo, I don’t and I don’t think you come here expecting that. These bars are a great way to satisfy a little carb craving without breaking the bank. I mean…if I wasn’t trying to be good I’d reach for a doughnut or a scone. These are way better than that!

They last about 2 days on the counter, or you can freeze them for a quick snack. That’s what I like to do, after my workout, with a cup of coffee and some apple slices. It gets me to lunch, where I’m not so hungry I eat the kitchen.

Banana Breakfast Bars are a combination granola bar, banana bread, and blondie all in one. Lighter than all 3, it's a perfect snack!

I don’t think eating the kitchen constitutes moderation. Oh, how I wish it did. I have lots of chocolate hidden in there…

Banana Breakfast Bars

Yield: 8-12 bars, depending on size

Total Time: 30 minutes

An easy, fast, healthy breakfast or snack! These banana breakfast bars are a cross between a granola bar and a banana blondie!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas (spotted ones that are a little past their prime)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, optional
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8x8” or 9x9” pan with nonstick cooking spray. (Line it with foil first for easy removal, if desired.)
  2. Place bananas in a large bowl. Mash them with a fork or potato masher until just small chunks remain. Stir in oil and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Add egg, vanilla, and salt, and stir until combined. Stir in baking soda. Add flour and oats and stir until mixed, some lumps will remain. Spread in prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 18-22 minutes until browned around the edges and not jiggly in the center. Cool completely. Slice into bars.
  4. Optional drizzle: melt white chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small microwave safe bowl (on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between each). Place melted chocolate in a small ziploc bag with the tip cut off and drizzle over bars.
  5. Enjoy within 2 days or freeze for up to one month. I like to freeze them and then reheat as needed, since they don’t last very long on the counter.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Banana-Chocolate-Chip-Pancakes-5-of-8w

Healthier Banana Bread

Healthier Banana Bread (4 of 8)w

Banana Breakfast Cookies

Banana Breakfast Cookies by www.crazyforcrust.com #breakfast #cookie @crazyforcrust

Sweets from friends:
Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies by The Lemon Bowl
Morning Breakfast Cookies by Dine & Dish
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

85 comments on “Banana Breakfast Bars

  1. I don’t do diets either. These bars look like a great, healthier way to start off the new year!

    Reply

  2. These look amazing. I find that if I eat something I’ve made I’m more satisfied as well. I’m going to be saving these. I wonder if there is another alternative to butter than coconut oil. I’m allergic to coconuts, eek! Hah. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Yes! You can totally use vegetable oil if you prefer! Enjoy!

      Reply

  3. These bars look fantastic! Way to start the new year! Pinned!

    Reply

  4. Well, you know I’m a firm believer in “everything in moderation. Including moderation.” I really think when you deprive your body of certain foods, you  just crave them that much more. And hello, you’re a desert blogger – you can’t give up desserts! Bananas are one of those foods that if I’m not hungry, they sound like the most unappealing thing ever. But when I am hungry, they are truly the best thing I have every eaten. Lol. I don’t think I would have a problem with these bars either way. YUM. 

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      I have that same problem with actual bananas. Never banana bread, unfortunately…

      Reply

  5. Dorothy, I’m totally with you on this. Diet and I are not good friends. Even slightest thought of diet makes me hungry. My 2015 resolution is portion control and moderation, and overall healthy food and excise. These banana bars look great. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      Yes, exactly!! I’m already having the shakes thinking of no dessert!!

      Reply

  6. These look delicious – I love how moist the banana makes these, since so many breakfast bars I’ve seen in stores are incredibly dense and dry. I’m right there with you about moderation – trying to cut things out entirely just sets me up for failure. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

  7. These look and sound delicious! I could not live without carbs. Just no. Can’t wait to try these – pinned!

    Reply

  8. Diets never work in my opinion. These bars look so delicious!

    Reply

  9. They look perfect! I love bars like this…chewy with the oats and the banana, well, I’m a sucker for anything banana bread-ish! And that PB glaze. PERFECT! And yes, like 1 million percent better than any storebought bars!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Right? You and me both love our banana bread flavors!

      Reply

  10. Yup girl, screw diets and bring on the banana bars – they look perfect. I’ve never been on a diet in my entire life, but this year I’ll turn 34 and the dessert-fest is starting to show! 😆

    The kids go back to school tomorrow, it’s not going to be pretty tomorrow morning after all these lie ins, but I can’t think of a better breakfast to start your day with a bang. Love bananas for the energy boosts, too.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Yes, the dessert fest.. Oh gosh. Not good here! I am so excited for school to start back up!

      Reply

  11. These bars look so SO good, Dorothy! I love the peanut butter chocolate drizzle on top. Perfect topping for a banana treat!

    I was able to really restrict carbs for about 2 months back in 2012. Then I started my blog. The carb restriction went right out the window. Haha. I’m pretty good about staying away from stuff for a while, though. It always makes me feel better physically when I cut back on sugars and unrefined carbs for a month or two. BUT, I always still make room for a few beers and I’d definitely make room for a couple of these bars, too. 🙂

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      LOL, yes, always the wine for me. I’m going to try to only drink on weekends.

      That’ll probably last until Tuesday. 🙂

      Reply

  12. I have never been a big cooked banana fan, but recently my tastes are changing and I’m loving the thought of these bars. Love the oats in the too, I may try to sneak a scoop of vanilla protein powder in them. Great recipe, Dorothy. (And I just love the way you write!) pinned

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 4th, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      Protein powder would be perfect! I need to get a vanilla flavor; we only have chocolate and I’m not in love with it, which is why I didn’t add any! Thanks for the pin!!

      Reply

  13. Oh, yes these look great. And I bet they stay with you longer than a donut or scone with that oatmeal. Can’t wait to try them. 🙂

    Reply

  14. Healthier, fine. As long as healthy looks like these lovely and moist-looking beauties.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 5th, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Right? Or a piece of chocolate cake.

      Reply

  15. I am totally with you on the not being able to stick to diets…especially elimination diets! I have been most successful when I exercise and then eat everything in moderation and within reason. And I have chocolate everyday. Every. Dang. Day. And I refuse to feel bad about it. Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year, Dorothy! xoxo

    Reply

  16. I’m with you, Dorothy. Diets equal failure, and deprivation is the worst thing you can do to yourself.
    That said, being healthy is important. These bars will do the trick!

    Reply

  17. These bars look amazing, Dorothy! I love anything flavored with banana and would eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could! 🙂 Pinned!

    Reply

  18. These  breakfast bars look amazing, Dorothy! Not a fan of diets, everything in moderation! Thanks for sharing, I cannot wait to try them out! 😀

    Reply

  19. So I’m just like you.  I don’t believe in diets because I fail each and every time.  And giving up dessert is an absolute no no.   I would much rather have one of these perfect little angels!!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 5th, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      That’s why we get along so well! 🙂

      Reply

  20. Love the banana bread flavor! These are perfect to have on hand for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack! 

    Reply

  21. I am with you on the diet stuff. I have never been able to cut food groups or stick to a diet.
    I’ve been struggling this past few months with my definition of moderation too. Feel like I constantly pick at things when I’m photographing, when it’s just come out the oven, when I walk into the kitchen… I always used to have pretty good willpower, but I need to get my butt in gear and start working out more. I know the odd cookie won’t hurt, but I feel like I’ve been telling myself that a little too frequently recently – love how you’ve lightened these slightly and they’re still like blondies, but for breakfast!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 5th, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Exactly – that’s what I’ve been doing too! Here’s to us trying hard to get that willpower back!

      Reply

  22. Thanks for a healthy, homemade version of a breakfast bar!  Aside from the expense, looking at the list of ingredients on the store ones was frustrating (isolated soy protein, maltodextrin,  brown rice syrup, yuck!  – so highly processed!).  These look delicious, and with ingredients I know and use 

    Reply

  23. Dessert my biggest weakness.  I’m that person that can’t end with something savory.  I always have to end with something sweet.  I hate it and love it at the same time.  This recipe is perfect for me!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 5th, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Me either!! I’m so glad I’m not alone. I was dying after lunch today!

      Reply

  24. I’m definitely trying these. I need more healthier snack foods and I’m sure these will do just fine as a dessert while I’m “not dieting”, just changing my behavior 🙂

    Reply

  25. I don’t diet either…I crank up my exercise and stop eating late, and just try to moderate my intake of unhealthy food!  These would be so great for breakfast — healthy, yet still indulgent and tasty!

    Reply

  26. Dorothy, can I just say that I appreciate it so much when you write about how hard it is to lose weight?  You are so real about it and it makes me feel so much better about my own struggles.  (Also, I love everything you write, I’m just horrible at commenting 🙂 )  And hello, everytime I tell myself I’m not going to drink during the week, I just want 40 glasses of wine.  On Monday.  At 4 pm.  These bars look awesome!  Gavin says he wants me to make them for him.  #youwin

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 5th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you Lisa! It’s so freaking hard. And? Today is day one and I want a cookie!! And a bottle…

      Reply

  27. I’m WITH YOU sister! I’m too picky to eliminate whole food groups. These breakfast bars are exactly my kind of healthy eating!

    Reply

  28. Oooh I’m loving the sound of these! I could never just give up a food group either, in my life it’s all about moderation. I think I would have to freeze these though, or my self control would fail me and I’d eat the whole batch!!

    Reply

  29. I have to admit that when it comes to breakfast I am pretty boring… I’m usually just an eggs or yoghurt and granola person. This year,  I think I definitely need to broaden my horizons.. and will start by making these banana breakfast bars. They do look delicious Dorothy! 

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 6th, 2015 at 7:04 am

      Thank you Thalia!! They definitely make breakfast more fun. 🙂

      Reply

  30. Those look a thousand times better than the breakfast bars at the store.  And way healthier too, I’m sure.  That would be the perfect post workout snack I think, definitely making some soon! 

    Reply

  31. HAAHAH! I don’t think I want to meet carb-free Dorothy! LOL. But I would like some of these breakfast bars!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 6th, 2015 at 7:02 am

      No, you really don’t!! 🙂

      Reply

  32. Haha! You make me laugh! I can totally understand about eating the whole kitchen as I myself have done it many times. I lost 10 lbs. just  by not snacking in between meals, and reducing my potions and dessert. It has proven the best “diet” for me since I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself of all the good stuff . This girl can’t live without dessert. 🙂

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 6th, 2015 at 7:01 am

      That’s exactly what I’m doing. No fads, no eliminating, just smaller portions and better choices!!

      Reply

  33. You know how I feel about banana in everything 🙂  These sound absolutely amazing!!!  I’m not one to give up a food group for an extended period of time, but I do think a few days or a week can be good for a detox or jump start.  I’m on day 2 for no processed sugar, but it’s not something I’m willing to give up forever.  Moderation and exercise is definitely key to healthy living!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 7th, 2015 at 7:19 am

      Yeah, I’m baking today. But now the trick is to limit to 1-2 bites!

      Reply

  34. Life without carbs… That’ll only happen when I’m 6 feet under. 😉 And how people can go for days without dessert, I’ll never know. It’s basically a necessity, at least one or five times a day! Loving these healthier breakfast bars — pinned!

    Reply

  35. These look really yummy! I love banana bread – I could easily eat it for every meal. This would make a great make ahead breakfast (or dessert) option. Yum!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 7th, 2015 at 6:59 am

      Yes, for sure! I think I ate it for both of those. 🙂

      Reply

  36. These banana bars look incredible, Dorothy!! I can’t give up on my breakfast either and making these lighter and healthier sounds perfect!

    Reply

  37. These look so tasty, and I can’t believe how healthy they are!  I don’t do diets very well, so these are the best case scenario for healthy breakfast treats! 

    Reply

  38. Oh where do I begin?…. These bars ARE amazing! I just finished a batch, and it’s like midnight. They’re moist and not too sweet. The glaze on top adds an extra little umph. I had a lot of glaze left……so I just dumped the rest on top! Shhhh. I made these to have something quick to grab in the mornings but I can’t stop picking at them, and now I have heartburn 🙁  I don’t know if the bars caused that or the fact that I’m 37 weeks pregnant. Anyway, thanks for a great recipe, I will make these over and over again. Oh and my 2 year old loves them and she hates bananas 🙂

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 15th, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      Oh gosh when I was pregnant EVERYTHING gave me heartburn even if it didn’t normally. It might be the bananas, weirdly enough. I’m so glad you like them!!

      Reply

  39. Hi! Had a craving and made these tonight! Delicious ! Decided to experiment with a couple alternatives and to my surprise it turned out amazing!! Used date paste instead of brown sugar, coconut oil and added half almond flour to the 1/2 cup of flour ( gave it a nice nutty taste!) oh and since I’m a huge dark chocolate fan, I swapped it instead of white chocolate. Thanks for sharing this recipe! My craving was very satisfied! 

    Reply

  40. just delicious! Thank you for the recipe. 

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 11th, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!!

      Reply

  41. These are VERY good.  I doubled the recipe and used flax rather than eggs (my daughter is allergic).  Also, the coconut oil went unnoticed by my husband who very much dislikes coconut!  As for a quicker way to get the white chocolate chips on top without making the glaze, I sprinkled the chips on top when the bars were fresh out of the oven and mashed them down with the silicon spatula-easy, although not as pretty.  Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 24th, 2015 at 6:45 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! And great tip about the white chocolate topping!

      Reply

  42. These are delicious! I cut the sugar in half and added a good squeeze of honey. I also used vegetable oil, because that is what I had on hand. The kids loved them!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 13th, 2015 at 6:39 am

      I’m glad you liked them and great substitutes!

      Reply

  43. Christina Dolley Reply

    I’m always looking for great recipes to try!  Like so many I’m also a firm believer in moderation.  Over 10 years ago I was 100 pounds heavier but I was able to lose the weight and keep it off for several years now.  The key to that is not dumping whole food groups and enjoying the foods I love.  I also run marathons, that helps 🙂  I find people that cut things out of their diet entirely usually end up on a binge later but if you use moderation you’re not depriving yourself.  So for this recipe, do you think I could use unsweetened applesauce instead of the coconut oil?  I use UA quite a bit when I bake but with using bananas already I wasn’t sure.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 27th, 2015 at 8:30 am

      I think you could do a 50/50. Since there is already the banana you will probably need a little oil at least. Vegetable oil can be used too!

      Reply

  44. Oh my gosh………these are SO good!! I came across your website for the first time a few days ago and the picture of these banana bars is what sucked me in! 🙂 I’ve had some bananas going bad and I wanted to make something other than regular banana bread. I found this recipe and tried it last night, and it was SO tasty! Wow! It was like dessert! I did half applesauce/half canola oil. The only other change I made is that I added in about 1/4 cup of finely pulsed spinach!! I know, I’m totally weird, but I seriously add spinach to almost anything because I can never taste it and I love the nutritional benefits. And I honestly will probably add more spinach to this next time because all the delicious sweetness will drown out any possible spinach taste. My husband loved these too. Will make again. I’m really excited to try your Zucchini Pie bars next!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on July 29th, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Wow, spinach. That’s an awesome addition, great to know that works!

      Reply

  45. Mine are in the oven right now! I added an additional egg and threw in some dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and granola… Boy do they smell yummmmy!

    Reply

  46. Just made these and they’re great! I used semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter for the topping instead of white chocolate and peanut butter, like a Reese’s topping! A great alternative to brownies too! Boyfriend liked them and doesn’t even know they’re healthy! I used coconut oil and only 3 Tbs of brown sugar instead of 1/4 cup since my bananas were very ripe and sweet. Great recipe!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 1st, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      I’m so glad you like them and thanks for the substitution tips! 🙂

      Reply

  47. Made these yesterday and tried them this morning—these are fabulous!  I will be making these often. I will just have to make sure I hide a couple bananas from my son (they are his favorite fruit so they don’t last long in our house). Thanks for the great recipe. 

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 11th, 2016 at 6:33 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

      Reply

  48. I made your banana bars and cake a big hit thanks

    Reply

  49. I made these yesterday, and they are awesome. I love the fact that they are low in added sugar.  Thank you.

    Reply

  50. These Banana Breakfast Bars are genuinely delicious!!! I have made them every week for about 6 weeks now and both me and my boyfriend adore them. We have tried them with and without the chocolate/peanut butter drizzle (obviously the chocolate makes them feel more like a treat) but they are just as nice without. I added a few crushed peanuts recently and this week I added a tablespoon of good quality cocoa powder and it’s like eating a healthy brownie. I’ve also tried thinly sliced banana on top which is great too. Loads of ways to mix these up. Great for an on the go breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Just perfect! x

    Reply

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