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)
- 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
- Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use a silicone muffin pan for easy removal.
- Mash the bananas. Add wet ingredients and cocoa powder and mix well. Add all other ingredients, mix well then press into prepared muffin tin.
- 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.
If you like these, be sure to check out these Strawberry Chocolate Chip Freezer Granola Bars!