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…

Did you make this recipe?

Banana Breakfast Bars

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 8×8” or 9×9” 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.
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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Healthier Banana Bread

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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

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97 comments

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

  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.

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

  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. 

  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!

  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!

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

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

  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!

  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.

  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. 🙂

  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

    • 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!!

  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. 🙂

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

  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

  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!

  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!

  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! 😀

  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!!

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

  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!

  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 

  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!

  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 🙂

  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!

  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

  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!

  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!!

  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! 

  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! 

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

  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. 🙂

  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!

  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!

  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!

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

  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! 

  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 🙂

  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! 

  40. just delicious! Thank you for the recipe. 

  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!

  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!

  43. 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.

  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!

  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!

  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!

  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. 

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

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

  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

  51. I have just made this recipe adding some walnuts and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and it is great! thank you! greetings from Argentina!

  52. I just made these for my boys (5 & 10) and myself this morning…and we ate all of them today! I loved this recipe and love that these are a healthy snack bar I can send with my boys to school. I did have to make modifications due to my sons food allergies. I just substituted gluten free flour for the wheat, sun butter in place of peanut butter and 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt for the egg…oh and I added some ground flax seed for added health benefits. Thank you so much for a great recipe!!

  53. Many more people would probably be apt to try these delicious bars if they could see a star rating system. I typically do not try recipes that have under 4 stars, but decided to give these a try because they seemed simple and I had everything already in my pantry. However along the way, I decided to sub some of the ingredients out for more healthy and family specific liked options. These bars are so easy to make, quick, and not over-poweringly sweet. Exactly what this mom and wife needs to satisfy the whole family, and this mom’s desire to reduce sugar consumption. I was a little hesitant because of the brown sugar, but it is a nice amount and compliments the banana and oats. I think next time though, I am going to try to also sub out the brown sugar for honey, maple syrup or agave. I also used a white and coconut flour combo in place of the wheat flour. And, I actually messed up the recipe in that I added the chips and peanut butter into the batter and they were probably slightly less messy, there was one less step and they were still very good. I also used dark chocolate as no one in our household likes white chocolate. So, with all the subs and my messing the recipe up by adding the drizzle ingredients to the batter, these things still turned out very satisfying and yummy. The balance of sweetness, consistency, and healthiness, for this family, is perfect!!! If there was a rating, I would give them 5 stars because they are simple, easy to sub ingredients out, and not too sweet and are somewhat healthy. Thank you so much for the recipe, we will be definitely making these again. I bet they would be really awesome as a dessert too with some homemade vanilla ice cream.

  54. It’s in the oven and smelling lovely!
    I used gluten free flour and coconut sugar.
    Added 100% choc chips and hazelnuts.
    And a splash of coconut milk as it got a bit thick with the above.
    Planned to add cinnamon but forgot!
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  55. what are the calories on these bars if we make them according to recipe?

  56. I made these bars as part of the Best Recipes of 2016 event @ FF&F. They were recommended by blogger (karenstl) & were delicious. While I made the bar part of the recipe as written, I did not use the drizzle you suggested & opted to dust them w/powdered sugar & top w/slices of banana (a choice made in favor of my hubby’s personal preferences). The texture was more cake-like than I expected, but we esp appreciated the use of oats plus the fact they rely on the sweetness of the bananas vs an excess of sugar. 1 of the bars w/coffee & fruit is the ideal breakfast IMO & I suspect many crowd-pleasing dessert options could be created as well. Thx for sharing this excellent recipe. 🙂

  57. How long do they keep in the fridge? I’m looking for a good breakfast (on the go) and something I can make weekly.

  58. I made these exactly by the recipe, sans topping. They were fantastic, and so easy! This recipe is a keeper.

  59. Thank you so much for this recipe! I often avoid baking because there is so much sugar laced into every recipe..but I used your recipe and omitted the sugar (to see if the sweetness of the banana would be good enough since I also dont have a sweet tooth) and it came out perfect! I love the textures of these bars and recently, I added pumpkin seeds and moringa powder. These bars literally save me from headaches in the morning due to low iron. I can count on munching on these whenever I feel any symptoms of low iron! Thank you so much, I will be using this recipe for the rest of my life.

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