The whole family will love these Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars! They're made with simple ingredients and the best way to combine peanut butter, banana and oats for a fun breakfast or healthy dessert. Have these ready in 1 hour!
As much as I love a quick breakfast bowl full of Overnight Oats, it's nice to switch it up every now and then and these bars are the perfect recipe. They contain the same healthy ingredients as a bowl of oatmeal, the only difference is they're baked into the ultimate chewy, golden brown oatmeal bar. They're seriously addicting!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make gluten free - These bars are naturally gluten free when made with certified gluten free oats. Ideal for celiac disease or gluten free diets.
- Creative way to use up overripe bananas - Most of the time we think of sweet banana bread when we see ripe bananas on the counter. But if you're looking to switch things up, try these banana oatmeal bars. They're equally as delicious, but with a texture more similar to granola bars.
- Requires just a handful of ingredients. This healthy treat is made with just 10 ingredients, many of which you likely already have in the pantry.
Tools You'll Need
- 1 8-inch square baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Potato masher or fork (for mashing bananas)
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- 1 set of dry measuring spoons
- 1 set of liquid measuring cups
- 1 set of dry measuring cups
Ripe, sweet bananas, creamy natural peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and unsweetened oat milk make the creamy base of these bars. You'll notice they're sweetened with natural ingredients, making these oat bars the perfect healthy oatmeal breakfast bars.
Old-fashioned oats, golden flaxseed meal, ground cinnamon, baking powder, kosher salt, and semi-sweet chocolate chips are the wholesome ingredients that add structure and texture.
- Use another nut butter. The creamy peanut butter can be swapped with another nut butter such as almond butter, cashew butter, or if nut-free, sunflower seed butter.
- Replace the oat milk. Any other unsweetened plant-based milk will work well. You can also use regular dairy milk, if preferred.
- Use another liquid sweetener. I love the flavor of maple syrup but you can use another liquid sweetener such as honey, agave, or brown rice syrup.
- Chocolate chip alternatives. Feel free to use your favorite chocolate chips, chocolate chunks or even a chopped chocolate bar. Or, omit the chocolate chips entirely.
How to Make Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars
- Whisk together the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Add in the dry ingredients. Once the wet ingredients are well mixed, add in the oats, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and Kosher salt.
- Rest the mixture. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, allowing the oats to absorb some of the liquid.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Once the mixture has sat for 30 minutes, fold in the chocolate chips, then press the oatmeal bars firmly into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake. Place the oatmeal bars in the oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the mixture is set and lightly browned.
- Cool completely. Remove the cooked bars from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Cut into bars: Slice the mixture in half, then cut each half into 6 pieces.
Prep Ahead Options
Meal prep these banana oatmeal bars ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for the week (up to 7 days!). They can also be frozen, if desired.
To freeze, allow the bars to cool completely to room temperature. Once cool, cut into individual bars, then place the bars on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid, about 2 hours. Transfer the frozen oatmeal bars to a freezer bag or freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
These oatmeal bars are healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast, but the perfect snack-sized bar to pack in school lunches or enjoy as an afternoon snack. They can even be served as a dessert with a scoop of your favorite ice cream!
Oats are a shelf stable item and are typically found near the breakfast foods or baking items in the grocery store. Check near the breakfast cereals or baking items such as flour and sugar. Most large chain grocery stores typically carry several types of oats, so make sure to purchase rolled oats.
These oatmeal bars are naturally vegan so long as the chocolate chips used are dairy-free. Enjoy Life is a popular brand that sells allergen friendly, vegan chocolate chips, but several semi-sweet and dark chocolate chip brands are naturally vegan.
These peanut butter banana oatmeal bars will keep for up to 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Storing at room temperature is not recommended.
Tips and Tricks for Success
- Use natural peanut butter. There's a big difference in consistency between natural peanut butter made from just peanuts and salt and peanut butter made with additives like sugar and oil. In order to prevent your bars from becoming dry, it is important to use natural, runny peanut butter.
- Use overripe, spotty bananas. Just like in my Banana Pudding Brownies recipe, the more ripe and spotty your bananas are, the sweeter and better flavored your banana oatmeal bars will be.
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Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- 2 each ripe bananas mashed
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup oat milk
- ½ cup real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups certified gluten free oats
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add the oats, flax meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and Kosher salt. Mix well, and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, allowing the oats to absorb some of the liquid.
- Once the mixture has sat for 30 minutes, fold in the chocolate chips, and press firmly into the lined baking pan. Place in the oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the mixture is set and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, and let cool completely before cutting into 12 equal bars.
- To cut into bars, cut the mixture in half lengthwise. Then, cut each half into 6 pieces. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.