These naturally low sugar Banana Granola Bars are easy to make, and are simply one of the best baked granola bars recipes ever!
Start those busy days with a boost of healthy, homemade goodness! Need an afternoon lift or recharge? Here’s a DIY for the best Banana Granola Bars you’ll ever try! You’ll never go back to store-bought again. Unlike no-bake bars, ours bake up in the oven, but will still stay soft and chewy once they’re cooled and ready to eat!
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Why We Love This Easy Granola Bar Recipe
These simple baked granola bars are great for young chefs to practice their skills learning how to make nourishing breakfast and snacks. Our recipe makes soft granola bars that are easy for everyone to eat, they’re the ideal after school snack. Add a bowl of our easy Instant Pot Yogurt for dipping and a pitcher of mixed berry smoothies. Healthy and wholesome never tasted so good!
Are Granola Bars Good for You?
Some store-bought granola bars can be “healthy-ish.” However, most are loaded with artificial sugars, flavorings, and binders, not to mention preservatives. Few, if any, are made with no sugar added. These banana granola bars are made with oats and honey, natural flavors, no added sugar, and just a hint of maple and vanilla.
Baked Granola Bar Ingredients
The most important ingredients in our ‘junkless’ granola bars are ones that are crunchy, sweet, and then something to hold it all together.
OATMEAL Make the most delicious bars that you can feel good about eating with old fashioned oats that are loaded with nutrients and prebiotics!
NUTS Pepitas are super healthy, but feel free to sub with other favorite nuts and seeds.
SWEETENER Maple syrup and chocolate chips lend a touch of sweetness that pulls all the flavors together.
BINDERS Peanut butter and mashed bananas hold all the ingredients together and add extra protein, vitamins and minerals.
- Nut allergies? Use sunflower butter or soy nut butter in place of the peanut butter. Make nut-free banana granola bars by adding extra flax seeds, or a combination of hemp seeds and chia seeds.
- We also recommend adding a little bit of whey powder or other protein powder for a protein boost as well.
- Switch out the mashed bananas for applesauce or pumpkin puree. Toasted coconut can be sprinkled on the top before baking for an extra boost of natural sweetness.
- Or drizzle with melted chocolate before cooling in the refrigerator for an extra special treat! It’s fun to get creative and make signature granola bars that you feel good about serving to your fam!
How to Make Granola Bars
- In a large bowl, mix together bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, honey.
- Add oats, quinoa, pepitas, chocolate chips (optional), and flax seeds. Mix well.
- Press granola bar mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined dish. Press down using the back of a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Bake banana granola bars until they are golden brown on the top.
- Allow the granola bars to cool in the pan then carefully remove them with the parchment paper using a spatula.
- Cut into bars and let them cool completely. Store them in the refrigerator.
Tips and Tricks
- If you are switching out ingredients, it’s okay to add a little more of this or that. Ultimately, you want a thick, cookie-dough like texture before pressing into the pan.
- Line the pan with parchment paper that overlaps by about 4 inches on the 13” side. This will create ‘handles’ when it’s time to lift the bars out.
- Once the bars are completely cooled, wrap each one in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a grab-and-go, portable snack.
How to Store
- Keep these baked granola bars in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container and they’ll last about two weeks.
- Freeze individually wrapped banana granola bars and put them in a zippered bag with the date labeled on the outside. They will keep in the freezer for about two months (if they last that long)!
- Pop one into a backpack or a briefcase, and they’ll be thawed in less than an hour.
Other Easy Recipes To Try!
- Blueberry Bran Muffins – ready in less than an hour!
- Peanut Butter Energy Balls – a delicious snack.
- Simple Banana Bread – a classic!
- Pumpkin Energy Balls – perfect to grab and go.
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – so moist!
Banana Granola Bars
- 2 cups mashed banana
- 1 ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups old fashioned oats (rolled oats)
- ½ cup quinoa uncooked, or other chopped nuts
- ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), or other chopped nuts
- ½ cup chocolate chips optional
- 1 Tablespoon flax seed or chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Add oats, quinoa, pepitas, chocolate chips if using, and flax seeds.
- Press firmly into prepared 9x13 pan using a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes (or more). Lift using parchment paper and a spatula. Slice and allow to cool completely.
- Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Drizzle with melted chocolate for an extra special treat
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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