Banana Oatmeal Bars

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These banana oatmeal bars are easy to make, perfect for meal prep and loaded with nutritious ingredients like rolled oats, walnuts, applesauce and raisins. They’re vegan + can easily be made gluten-free.

If my baked oatmeal bars and healthy banana bread had a baby the end result would be these banana oatmeal bars!

These oat bars are not just delicious, but they’re packed with fiber, natural sweetness, healthy fats and protein, making these bars a well-rounded breakfast or snack option that will keep you energized and full.

Six healthy banana oat bars with a metal serving spatula underneath one.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Nutritious: These bars are made with wholesome ingredients and are packed with fiber, healthy fats and protein. Plus, they’re vegan, dairy-free + can easily be made gluten-free.
  • Simple: With easy steps, these bars come together quickly and effortlessly.
  • Versatile: These bars are great for an on-the-go breakfast, mid-day snack or even a healthy dessert.
  • Great for meal-prep: They’re perfect for meal-prep and make for a great back-to-school snack.
Ingredients measured out to make Healthy Banana Oat Bars: overripe bananas, coconut oil, applesauce, coconut sugar, whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats, vanilla, baking powder, walnuts, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, raisins and cinnamon.

Ingredients Needed

  • bananas – the star ingredient, bringing natural sweetness and binding all the ingredients together without eggs. Make sure you’re using ripe bananas with brown spots on them. The riper, the better!
  • coconut oil – helps keep these bars moist!
  • applesauce – adds moisture and helps in reducing the amount of oil needed. You can make homemade applesauce or use store-bought. Just make sure to grab unsweetened!
  • coconut sugar – a more natural, unrefined sugar that adds a caramel-like sweetness.
  • vanilla extract – enhances the flavors!
  • old fashioned rolled oats – a key component of these bars, rolled oats are hearty and add a chewy texture. Plus, they’re rich in fiber and can help keep you feeling satisfied. Oats are naturally gluten-free but are very likely to be contaminated during processing, so grab certified gluten-free oats if needed. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats.
  • whole wheat pastry flour – whole wheat pastry flour works better than regular whole wheat flour if you’re looking for the light and fluffy bread that regular all-purpose flour provides, but still want the nutrients of whole wheat flour. My go-to brand is Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour.
  • baking powder, baking soda, & salt – essential baking ingredients!
  • ground cinnamon and nutmeg – provides a warm, comforting flavor.
  • raisins – they add a pop of sweetness and chewiness.
  • walnuts – for crunch and a dose of healthy fats.
Collage of four photos showing how to make Healthy Banana Oat Bars: mixing batter and then baking the bars.

How to Make

Prep: Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray an 8″ x 8” baking dish with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Toast walnuts: Spread the walnuts out on an un-greased baking pan and place them in the oven. Let them toast for 5-8 minutes until they become fragrant and toasty. Be sure to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn!

Whisk wet ingredients: In a medium bowl mash your bananas with a fork, then add oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir until everything is smooth and combined.

Mix dry ingredients: In a separate, large bowl, combine your oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Combine: Add the banana mixture to your dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Then, fold in the toasted walnuts and raisins.

Bake: Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the bars are golden browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out nearly clean.

Cool and serve: Let your bars cool completely in the baking dish before cutting them into bars. Now they’re ready to serve and enjoy!

Three healthy banana oat bars stacked on one another.

Substitutions & Notes

  • Oil: You can swap the coconut oil for olive oil, avocado oil or melted butter.
  • Sweetener: Coconut sugar can be replaced with cane or brown sugar if desired. I haven’t tried using a liquid sweetener like honey, maple syrup or agave so I’m not 100% sure if that would alter the recipe in any way. Let me know if you try it in the comments below!
  • Flour: Regular whole wheat or all-purpose flour can be used instead of whole wheat pastry flour. To make these bars gluten-free use a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour.
  • Nuts: If you’re not a fan of walnuts, feel free to substitute them with another nut of choice like almonds, pecans, cashews or hazelnuts. If you need this recipe to be nut-free swap the nuts for seeds like sunflower seeds or pepitas, or skip them all together.
  • Raisins: The raisins can be replaced with any dried fruit of your liking, like dried cranberries, chopped apricots, blueberries or dates.
  • Mix-ins: You can keep the nut and raisin combo or go in a different direction. Some other great mix-in options that would work well with these bars are dark chocolate chips, hemp seeds, chia seeds or toasted shredded coconut.
A woman's hand holding a banana oat bar.

How to Store Banana Oatmeal Bars

These banana oat bars are perfect for meal prep!

After the bars have cooled, cut and store them in an airtight container (like a Stasher bag or glass container) in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I like to store them after being cut so they’re ready to grab and go! If you do freeze them, just thaw them in the fridge or at room temperature before eating. I love drizzling these bars with a little nut butter or seed butter before serving. Almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter would all be delicious!

Twelve healthy banana oat bars close together on the counter.

More Bar Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of the snack recipes here at EBF!

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

5 from 3 votes

Banana Oatmeal Bars

These banana oatmeal bars are easy to make, perfect for meal prep and loaded with nutritious ingredients like rolled oats, walnuts, applesauce and raisins. They're vegan + can easily be made gluten-free.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8" x 8” square baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Spread the walnuts on an un-greased baking sheet and toast in oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until toasty and fragrant.
    Chopped walnuts on a baking tray.
  • While the walnuts are toasting, mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining wet ingredients: oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
    A large white bowl with the combined wet ingredients for the healthy banana oat bars.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
    A large bowl with the dry ingredients for the healthy banana oat bars mixed together.
  • Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the toasted walnuts and raisins, being careful not to over-mix.
    A large mixing bowl with a silicon spatula featuring the mixed batter for the healthy banana oat bars with walnuts and raisins ready to be mixed in.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted comes out nearly clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
    A square baking dish containing baked uncut banana oat bars.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1 bar | Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast/Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana oatmeal bars
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
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Recipe Rating




32 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Banana Oat Power Bars Are delicious. I didn’t have applesauce so I used pumpkin and they still are moist and tasty.

    1. Yay!! So glad these bars were a hit. Thanks for making them and for sharing that pumpkin worked as a sub for the applesauce. It’s super helpful for other readers, so I appreciate it!

  2. I made this with my 4 year old niece. We added coconut flakes, used almonds as well as walnuts, used wheat germ as well as flour (which she and I both like), and went heavy on the applesauce and banana. She (and I) absolutely loved it in the mixing bowl, and afterward when it had cooled from the oven!

  3. Used the beautifully browned bananas that have been sitting on my counter to make these tonight! Love the combination of nutritious vegan ingredients you chose – coconut oil, oats, applesauce, and my new favorite find… coconut sugar! They came out thick and moist with a wonderful caramel-y flavor. I didn’t have any raisins so I put in a tablespoon of dark chocolate chunks and a few peanut butter chips, which I know the kiddos won’t mind 🙂 Perfect energy-packed snack for my daughter to take to her 6 hour gymnastic practices. Thank you!

  4. Lee told me to come by and I’m so happy I did! These look awesome. Also I totally feel ya on feeding the boys when you’re not around. Like it actually blows my mind when my bf tells me he forgot to eat lunch that day. I’m like whaaaat? I think I would die if I ever did that!

  5. Hi! I made this recipe yesterday and they turned out fantastic and soo tasty! I substituted apple butter for apple sauce because I didn’t have any and along with the walnuts I added sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and cranberries. I’m definitely making this again, thanks so much for the recipe!

  6. These look SO GOOD.. i always want to put almond butter on anything so maybe I should give these a shot !! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. These banana oat power bars look like such a delicious snack! How long do these typically stay good for?

  8. Definitely had that nut butter experience with home made power bars before! I’ll never forget my first experience with making them with protein powder added. Was like eating banana flavoured chalk. These look MUCH yummier! Think I will have to make a batch for this work week =o)

  9. Ohh those look delicious! Love things like this that I can pack to take with me to work!

  10. Great recipe girl!:) I love power bars like these that are clean and healthy:) I love that you mentioned “glamping”:) My mom is going this week and she’s in love with it! Have a great weekend!

  11. I think my kiddos would for sure gobble these up and I know I would. I might try subbing mini chocolate chips for the raisins to make them EXTRA special. 😉

  12. These look AMAZING! I’m glad you mentioned unrefined coconut oil. I just started oil pulling and have been researching what a big difference having unrefined coconut oil makes. I am looking forward to making these!

  13. glamping!? hahahaha I’ve never heard of that before! But I’m with you on making healthy bars and then adding almond butter…totally do that all the time. These bars would be a nice change…and maybe I wouldn’t go through my nut butters as fast lol.

  14. These look awesome but my husband is allergic to nuts. What could be a good sub for the walnuts?? Thanks!!

    1. hmmm.. good question. Can your husband do coconut? I feel like unsweetened coconut flakes might work well.