These gluten free, vegan banana bread granola bars are so easy to make and they’re completely sweetener free, too!
These granola bars have the most delicious banana bread flavour and are packed with lots of crunchy seeds for added protein and healthy fats, meaning that they’ll keep you fuller for longer (and they’re better for you, too). There’s absolutely no sweetener in this recipe except for the bananas, which do an amazing job of holding together the mixture and giving them a beautiful flavour at the same time.
The smell of these banana bread granola bars baking is just SO good! Once you slice them, wrap a few up firmly in baking paper and then a layer of cling film, and pop them in the freezer. They will last a few months in there and are sure to save you when you need a nourishing breakfast or snack on the go!
Banana Bread Granola Bars
These gluten free, vegan banana bread granola bars are so easy to make and they're completely sweetener free, too!
- 2 large bananas as overripe as possible
- 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a small baking tray or a square cake tin with baking paper (I used a 9 inch square tin).
- Roughly chop the dried apricots in to small pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, desiccated coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried apricot pieces and the flaxseed.
- Mash the bananas thoroughly until you have a thick paste. Stir in the coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger 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 of the bake are starting to turn a deep golden brown and the middle feels firm.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing in to bars. NOTE: If you would like them to be more crunchy, after you have removed the bake from the oven, before you slice it - wait ten minutes (so you don't burn yourself), flip the baked mixture over and place upside-down, on a large tray, back in to the oven to bake for 5 - 10 minutes more, which will crisp up the other side. Then, allow to cool completely and slice into bars.
*the use of a 1/2 cup each of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried apricots is a guide only – you can use whatever nuts, seeds and / or dried fruit that you like! To keep the sugar to a minimum, I would recommend using no more than a 1/2 cup of dried fruit at the most, and making up the rest with seeds and nuts. I like to use organic, un-sulfured apricots because they add a nice subtle sweet touch plus they are a great source of iron, too. If you’re using nuts, as they are a bit larger than seeds the bars will work best if you roughly chop them first, so they’re nicely distributed throughout the bars and the bars hold together well.