Banana Breakfast Bars

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Banana Breakfast Bars are an easy breakfast or snack with real ingredients and flavor. They’re a copycat of the bars you buy, but homemade so they’re better for you and cheaper too!

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!

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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 a new year 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.

Banana Breakfast Bars are an easy breakfast or snack, made with real ingredients and flavor.

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 oil instead. You can also use vegetable or coconut 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!

Banana Breakfast Bars with a peanut butter drizzle in a single layer on a platter

How to make copycat Banana Breakfast Bars:

  1. By substituting butter for oil, I’ve made these a bit heart healthier. Vegetable oil is recognized as a healthier fat than butter by the American Heart Association.
  2. Using whole wheat flour makes these better than anything with white flour.
  3. The old fashioned oats give a nice texture.
  4. The bars you buy have a peanut butter drizzle, so I added that to these. You can skip, of course, or add some peanut butter chips or mini chocolate chips to the bars for extra flavor.

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.

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

4.34 from 15 votes
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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! Banana Breakfast Bars are an easy breakfast or snack with real ingredients and flavor. They're a copycat of the bars you buy, but homemade so they're better for you and cheaper too!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 9 -12 bars, depending on size
Calories 208 kcal
Author Dorothy Kern

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

Instructions

  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.
Nutrition Facts
Banana Breakfast Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 bar (1/9 of recipe))
Calories 208 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 148g 49%
Dietary Fiber 28g 112%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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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105 comments

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

  2. 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!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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. 🙂

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. I love everything you said about food, moderation, diets, etc. I think that rings true for lots of people! Cutting out wine or desserts is not on my plan ever 🙂 I love banana bread and I know I would love these!

  11. Hi Dorothy, these banana bars sound delicious!! Like you, I was eating lots of the store bought protein/granola bars until not long ago when I stopped as they’re processed with so many things in them I have no idea what they are! Thank you for this recipe! I hope to make it soon. Always need refueling after exercise too! Happy New Year to you and your family!

  12. Carbs 148g?

  13. Banana is one of my all time favorite breakfast flavors. These look like the perfect AM treat for me!

  14. These sound delicious ! Thank you for the motivational posts this year, they’re really helping me !

  15. Fun and easy to make! Excited breakfast is in the freezer, ready to grab. I doubled this recipe and it baked perfectly in a Pyrex (I think it’s 10×17) & it baked about 25 minutes. I used parchment on the bottom and greased the corners and sides, easily removable after a few minutes to a cooling rack. I substituted several ingredients for what I had on hand: butter, spelt flour, palm sugar (only a 1/3 cup), dash of stevia, added a little cinnamon and ginger. In my haste, I used a Magic Bullet blender to blend all the wet ingredients. I even added a handful of spinach and no one noticed. (Yes, I’m one of those. lol) I actually melted my butter but turned it into “browned butter” because I think the extra nutty flavor adds to bananas. The icing idea is genius! The white chocolate melted with PB and I poured it on as directed. Looked professional. My sister and her kids came over as I was steaming the icing on them and they were so excited to help and eat them. My sister says she’ll make these from now on to keep in the freezer instead of buying already packaged granola bars. These are way healthier and fresh. Thank you! (What will be my next tweak…hmmm…pecan praline icing?…)

  16. These are SOOOO delicious. Will be a go-to recipe for me. Always seem to have extra bananas lying around. The perfect breakfast to help get you out of bed in morning.

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