Banana Granola Bars

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

These banana granola bars are super easy to make, are no-bake and can be made vegan and gluten-free!

There are two things that are important to parents of small children.  Fast and easy snacks and a readily available bathroom.

We’ve mostly gotten past the need to have a bathroom within 20 seconds of us at all times but the need for snacks is one that may never go away.  Seriously?  Who doesn’t love having snacks waiting in the freezer or cupboard for you whenever you may need them?

These banana granola bars are a great healthy option. There’s only 2 tablespoons of sweetener in there, plus whatever’s in the chocolate chips (which you don’t even really need to add!).

If you want a granola bar recipe that tastes more dessert-like, try my no-bake coconut granola bars.

While these don’t travel well, these healthy no-bake granola bars are super fast and I find they’re a good size for my 3-year old.  Not to mention they are so adaptable.

Whatever sounds good to you… try it!  I’m betting they’ll turn out amazing. They are rather hard when they first come out of the freezer, but after a few minutes they’ve warmed up enough that they’re easy to eat.

They’re especially awesome on a hot summer day. But don’t let them sit too long! They get very soft and gooey pretty quickly.

Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, 5-15 minutes is probably what you need to defrost these no-bake granola bars to a good eating temperature.

I used natural nut butter but you could probably use the regular stuff. The bananas make the mixture quite liquidy so I’m guessing a firmer peanut butter (or whatever nut / seed butter) you want to use works great.

And make sure to use overripe bananas! You want them super sweet since that’s the main source of sweetener. I don’t think these banana granola bars would be sweet enough with just ripened bananas.

I hope you’ll enjoy these! I’d love to hear what you think about them.

Photos updated September, 2019. Here’s the original:

Banana Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan gluten-free)
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

These banana granola bars are super easy to make, are no-bake and can be made vegan and gluten-free!

Servings: 10 -12
Author: Heidi @ Food Doodles
Ingredients
  • 2 large overripe bananas (240 grams total, without peel)
  • 1 cup (92 grams) rolled oats (Use GF oats, if needed)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy cereal granola or nuts
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or any other sweetener you use, if using a granulated sweetener add 2 tbsp liquid such as almond milk
  • 2 tbsp (28 grams) natural peanut butter or other nut or seed butter
  • 2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (make sure to use vegan, if desired)
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries or other dried fruit
  • 2 - 4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use a silicone muffin pan for easy removal.
  2. Mash the bananas. Add wet ingredients and cocoa powder and mix well. Add all other ingredients, mix well then press into prepared muffin tin.
  3. Freeze at least 60 minutes before enjoying. We like keeping them in the freezer for easy snacks. In the past we've used a homemade cereal that stays crunchy but more often than not I'll use homemade granola or even an equal amount of nuts but use whatever you have. I've even used toasted buckwheat before and it works really well and stays crunchy.
Recipe Notes

Since these are no bake granola bars feel free to experiment, there's not much you can do to ruin these. Little pieces of fresh fruit are a great addition, any nuts, seeds even coconut are delicious addins. Let me know in the comments below what you've tried and how they turned out! Adapted from Oh She Glows.

If you like these, be sure to check out these Strawberry Chocolate Chip Freezer Granola Bars!

DSC_0094_01

Frosty No Bake Granola Bars

Leave a Comment

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cheryl malik October 14, 2019 at

What?! These are amazing. I am so excited to make these to have on hand all week long!

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2 Hope Pearce October 13, 2019 at

I was looking for some new snacks ideas for my little boy for kindy this week and these are just perfect! He will love them, great idea using muffin pans to make them into a different shape.

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3 Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica October 12, 2019 at

I am going to make these with my niece who lives vegan lifestyle.
I know we are both going to love them!!

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4 Jean Choi October 11, 2019 at

Love the idea of using muffin pans to make granola bars. They look so much more fun! Also, can’t wait to try out this with some overripe bananas I have sitting on the counter.

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5 Raia Todd October 10, 2019 at

Fun treat! My kids are going to love these!

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6 Don Baiocchi October 10, 2019 at

Whoa, this is so much easier than normal granola bars that you have to bake! Can’t wait to try all the different versions you mention.

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7 Megan Stevens October 10, 2019 at

Such great snack food for my boys who are always hungry! 😉 Thank you!

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8 ChihYu October 9, 2019 at

These are so fantastic! Easy to make and so delicious!

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9 Sue May 16, 2015 at

the chocolate ones are good…..I’ve just tried them with white chocolate chips and malt powder instead of cocoa…..delicious! I think that they’d be even better with butterscotch chips……

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10 J.Darling June 5, 2014 at

I can’t say enough good things about this recipe! Thank you!!!

Just made my first batch of the summer with kids. Original with my girls & coconut chocolate chip with my boy.

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11 Krystyna May 4, 2014 at

Could you (in theory) bake these?

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12 Amber January 14, 2014 at

Yes, I noticed that after I wrote the reply.

Thank you. I just have to find a store that has the rice version as I’ve only seen the flax and chia versions.

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13 melissa January 14, 2014 at

They also have a crunchy rice version…check that out and see if it would work for you. 🙂

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14 melissa January 13, 2014 at

Well, again, look for the Perky ‘ cereal. It’s gluten free and quite crunchy. It worked well!

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15 Amber January 14, 2014 at

I forgot to mention that I can’t have Flax seeds.

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16 melissa January 13, 2014 at

Yes I think it does….I was just using it as a comparison for size and crunchiness. I haven’t always been gluten free.

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17 Amber January 13, 2014 at

Any recommendations for gluten free cereal that would work and stay crunchy???

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18 melissa March 3, 2013 at

Another option for the “crunchy” cereal is Perky’s Crunchy Flax (with or without Chia added). I’ve used that in this type of recipe before and it works nicely – and it’s a healthy boost too! The little balls are about the same size as Grape Nuts, but I’m pretty sure the calorie difference is substantially less……as I remember that Grape Nuts were always really high in calories & I don’t think Perky’s is.

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19 Amber January 12, 2014 at

Doesn’t Grape nuts contain gluten?

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20 Kristie February 10, 2013 at

Do you use quick cooking oats? Can’t wait to try these!

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21 Karli January 24, 2013 at

These sound great! I made some similar to these that my kids LOVED!! instead of banana I used 1/4 cup homemade applesauce and instead of cocoa powder I used chocolate whey powder. Honey instead of syrup too….was awesome!

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22 Heather January 21, 2013 at

So glad that I found this recipe! I made my second batch last night and a double batch at that 🙂 Delicious!

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23 k January 11, 2013 at

Steel cut oats have a chewier texture. Do you use unsweetened cocoa powder?

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24 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 23, 2013 at

Yes, I use unsweetened cocoa powder.

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25 Deb January 2, 2013 at

I made these yesterday and, needless to say, they are already gone. They are sooo good. I also used just one banana and left out the cocoa powder. They were delish!!

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26 Lois November 26, 2012 at

how many calories would each one be and how much sugar.

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27 blackhuff September 14, 2012 at

How long does these keep fresh in the fridge?

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28 Meghan August 5, 2012 at

what about using steelcut oats? do you think they would work or do you always need to cook them before eating them. I would think they’d be super crunchy if that’s a cooking “go ahead”

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29 Heidi @ Food Doodles August 7, 2012 at

I don’t think steel cut oats would work very well. They might be a little too hard. You should use something that you enjoy eating as-is.

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30 meghan October 27, 2012 at

tried steel cut and we like them 🙂

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31 Leslie W July 31, 2012 at

When you say they don’t travel well, since they are frozen, do you think they would survive in a lunchbox with icepacks for any amount of time?

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32 Heidi @ Food Doodles August 1, 2012 at

They might survive for a short amount of time. We really don’t enjoy them thawed so I’ve never tried. If you try it, let me know!

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33 Gail Smith July 29, 2012 at

I was wondering what brand of “Crunchy” cereal you refer to.

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34 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 30, 2012 at

Well, I’ve used a crispy rice cereal but it loses it’s crispiness. I’d recommend something with a crunch like Grape Nuts if you want it to be crunchy after being mixed into the bars and frozen.

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35 Gail Smith July 30, 2012 at

Thanks, I’ll try that!

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36 Kim Sytsma July 22, 2012 at

Is there anything I can substitute for the bananas as I am allergic to them.

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37 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 23, 2012 at

I’m really not sure of what you could use instead. You could try applesauce but they wont be as creamy and you may need to add more sweetener. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Let me know if you find something that will work!

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38 Tracy August 6, 2012 at

I use canned pack pumpkin or cooked smashed butternut squash as a substitute for bananas in a couple recipes – that might do the trick for you. Mmm… pumpkin with golden raisins and pepitas. I’m going to have to try that!

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39 JJ July 13, 2012 at

I find that two bananas are a little much. I would suggest using one and adding a little honey or more syrup or chocolate to boost the flavour.

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40 Romi July 13, 2012 at

I don’t like bananas, any fruit I can use as a substitute?

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41 veronica March 24, 2011 at

these look great and i love that it only uses ingredients i already have! thanks for the recipe!

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42 Trudy ~ veggie num num March 24, 2011 at

Yum! These look so goooood! The pics remind me of chocolate crackles that all time Aussie kids party favourite but these look a hundred times tastier and healthier, must try them soon.

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43 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 25, 2011 at

I had to look those up, I’ve never had them 😀 They do look similar, but these are waaay healthier 😀

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