Healthy Banana Oat Power Bars

Banana oatmeal energy bars made with chopped walnuts and raisins. These bars made for a perfect pre-workout snack.

Have you ever made a “healthy” bread/bar/muffin recipe and after one bite said, “hmmm… this is good but it’d be much better with some almond butter.” Yeah… I’m pretty sure we’ve all done it. Am I right?

Nut butters do make everything better, but I’m going to start this by saying that this is not one of those recipes. These bars are delicious — no peanut/sunflower/almond butter necessary.

Healthy Banana Oat Power Bars

I made them for two reasons: 1.) I’m going glamping this weekend for a friend’s bachelorette party and wanted to bring a little snickety snack to share with the girls and 2.) Isaac will be on his own this weekend and sometimes he forgets to eat. <— I know, I don’t understand it either. That said, I thought it might be a good idea to leave him with a few bars to snack on while I’m away. Such a good wife.

Healthy Banana Oat Power Bars

I first learned about this amazing recipe at the Runner’s World Half & Festival. For one of the blogger lunches we ate a bunch of different things from The Runner’s World Cookbook and these Banana Oat Energy Bars were on the menu. They were one of my favorite things I ate that weekend! Once home I made a batch of the bars for my cousin right after she had her baby since she and her husband needed all the energy they could get.

Given that this was my second time making the bars, I decided to experiment a little by switching up some of the ingredients to make them a bit healthier. As you’ll see in my version of the recipe below, I used less oil, less sugar, less dried fruit and whole wheat pastry flour. I also cut the batch into 16 bars instead of 12. With these changes, they came out having about 125 calories, 7 grams of fat and 17 grams of carbs LESS than the original bars. Not too shabby.

Healthy Banana Oat Power Bars

Despite the changes, the bars turned out to be just as good as the original recipe. They have a nice hearty texture and thick (almost crunchy) edges, yet they’re still plenty sweet and moist. Speaking of the crunchy edges — they’re my favorite part about these bars. I’m almost tempted to buy a just the edges brownie pan so I can make them in it.

Like I mention, these bars are absolutely delicious on their own (no toppings necessary). And they’re great for snacking or fueling a workout because they’re portable and packed with healthy ingredients (unlike many store-bought energy bars). While I don’t have any children around to test out this theory, I’m almost certain that kids will gobble them right up. If you make them and share them with your kiddos, be sure to let me know if my hypothesis is right. 🙂

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Banana Oat Power Bars

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 16


Banana oatmeal energy bars made with chopped walnuts and raisins. These bars made for a perfect pre-workout snack. 


  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat an 8″ x 8” square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the walnuts on an ungreased baking sheet or stone and toast in oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until toasty and fragrant.
  3. While the walnuts are toasting, mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining wet ingredients: oil, apple sauce, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Add the banana (wet) mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the toasted walnuts and raisins, being careful not to overmix. 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.


  • Category: (vegan & dairy-free)


  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 172
  • Sugar: 13
  • Fat: 8
  • Carbohydrates: 24
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 3
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Recipe rating

    1. Jennie
      October 16, 2020 AT 8:49 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 17, 2020 AT 3:20 pm

        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. Lisa
      April 1, 2020 AT 6:57 pm

      I would love to make these, curious though, can they be frozen? thanks!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 1, 2020 AT 9:37 pm

        Hey Lisa! Yes, they are freezer-friendly!

    3. David
      July 26, 2014 AT 8:57 pm

      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!

    4. Grace
      July 10, 2014 AT 4:46 am

      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!

    5. Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      April 8, 2014 AT 10:38 am

      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!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 8, 2014 AT 11:18 am

        Thank you Davida! It’s great to “meet” you.

        Oh boys! 🙂

    6. Tammy
      April 7, 2014 AT 8:01 pm

      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!

    7. Lauren @ LoveChocolateLife
      April 7, 2014 AT 5:08 pm

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

    8. Garage Gyms
      April 7, 2014 AT 2:35 pm

      lol glamping? hadn’t heard that before… cute.

    9. Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living
      April 7, 2014 AT 2:28 pm

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

    10. samantha
      April 6, 2014 AT 7:16 am

      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)

    11. Beth @ Tasty Yummies
      April 6, 2014 AT 1:07 am

      These look so amazing.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 6, 2014 AT 5:25 pm

        Thanks Beth!

    12. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
      April 4, 2014 AT 7:56 pm

      LOVE LOVE LOVE these! Look delicious

    13. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
      April 4, 2014 AT 5:26 pm

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

    14. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon
      April 4, 2014 AT 3:26 pm

      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!

    15. Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
      April 4, 2014 AT 1:54 pm

      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. 😉

    16. Linda @ running4two
      April 4, 2014 AT 1:26 pm

      I think I ate about 4 of those bars during that lunch. 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 4, 2014 AT 1:27 pm

        Oh, me too lady!! 🙂

    17. Chelsea
      April 4, 2014 AT 11:00 am

      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!

    18. Francesca
      April 4, 2014 AT 10:59 am

      Heavenly! Leftovers?

    19. Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen
      April 4, 2014 AT 10:53 am

      LOVING these!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 4, 2014 AT 1:28 pm

        Thanks Monique!

    20. Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa
      April 4, 2014 AT 10:38 am

      This is like banana bread in bar form…aka amazing 😀

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 4, 2014 AT 1:30 pm

        Yes, exactly!!

    21. Kylie @ immaeatthat
      April 4, 2014 AT 10:25 am

      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.

    22. Leah
      April 4, 2014 AT 10:02 am

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 4, 2014 AT 10:06 am

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

        1. Leah
          April 4, 2014 AT 10:20 am

          He can! What about sunflower seeds and/or flax seeds?

          1. Brittany Mullins
            April 4, 2014 AT 1:27 pm

            I didn’t even think about sunflower seeds but I think those would work perfectly.

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