Easy peasy banana bread granola bars made with oats, seeds and coconut. Naturally sweetened with banana and a tiny splash of maple syrup, these are the perfect snack or a speedy breakfast on the go! This recipe is vegan and nut free (and if you have gluten free oats available, it can be gluten free as well!).
Were you a muesli bar or granola bar kid? I used to love a classic choc chip muesli bar in my lunch box! Chewy, nutty and with little punches of sweetness in there. So yum.
I know these kind of bars get a bit of a bad rap, but there’s so much potential for a granola bar to make a healthy snack. Wholegrains, nuts and seeds are great sources of complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein and healthy fats. Muesli bars, granola bars, all the bars… I still love you.
These banana bread granola bars are a personal fave. Delicious, nutritious and easy to make. There’s really not much to this recipe, mashing the banana is the only thing that involves much effort! Then it’s simply a matter of pressing the mixture into a baking tray.
My banana bread granola bars have the most delicious flavour and are packed with chewy rolled oats, sweet coconut and lots of crunchy seeds. I decided to call them banana bread granola bars because the smell of the bananas and cinnamon baking reminds me of a classic banana bread baking in the oven!
This recipe is vegan and very low in added sweetener, with the bars being mainly held together with mashed banana. It might sound like the mixture will not stick together, but here are my tips to ensure you get the best results:
- Use two LARGE bananas in this recipe. You want about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of mashed banana puree for this recipe. If you have small bananas, you may need three.
- Make sure you add the ground flaxseed to the mixture. Ground flaxseed swells up a little and develops a gel-like texture when combined with wet ingredients, helping to bind the bars together.
- Press the mixture down firmly in the baking tray. I find this easiest to do with my fingertips.
These banana bread granola bars are more chewy than they are crispy. If you like a granola bar with more crisp edges, you can return these to the oven for a bit of extra baking time once you’ve sliced the baked mixture into smaller bars, as this will help to dry them out more, adding a slightly more crunchy edge. Just be careful not to burn them!
For storing the bars, I recommend an airtight container in the fridge. I sometimes freeze them as well, though they become a little softer when defrosted. To freeze them, wrap firmly in baking paper and then a layer of cling film, and pop into a container in the freezer.
I hope you enjoy these easy peasy banana bread granola bars! If you make them don’t forget to take a snap and tag me on Instagram, you can find me over at @moniquecormacknutrition!
- 2 large bananas as overripe as possible*
- 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 160 C and line the base and sides of a square or rectangular cake tin with baking paper (I used a 9 inch square cake tin).
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sultanas and the flaxseed.
- Mash the bananas thoroughly until you have a thick paste. Stir in the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
- Combine the banana mixture with the oat mixture. Scoop into your lined baking tray and press the mixture down firmly (using the back of a spoon or your fingertips) until there are no gaps and the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the edges are starting to turn a deep golden brown and the middle feels firm.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing in to bars.
- If the bars feel a little wet/damp on the underside after the cooking time, remove from the baking tin, place upside down on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for 5-10 minutes extra. This can be done before or after slicing into smaller bars.