With just five ingredients and a texture and flavor that’s similar to a soft oatmeal cookie, these Banana Oatmeal Bars are a nutritious (and yummy!) make-ahead breakfast or snack.
Banana Oatmeal Bars
I am so happy to share this recipe today because it has become a new staple weekday breakfast in our house. It’s been amazing to have this option to make ahead and stash in the fridge to grab on mornings when the kids need a little more time to sleep…and still need a substantial breakfast.
These are easy to take on the go, you can cut them into sticks or squares, and they can be eaten chilled out of the fridge or warmed up slightly.
It’s basically like eating a bowl of oatmeal, but in bar form!
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Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to have on hand to make this recipe so you know what to grab from the pantry or store.
- Bananas: Very ripe bananas are key to the sweetness and flavor in this recipe. They should have lots of brown spots, which indicates natural sugars.
- Instant oats: You can use store-bought instant oats or quickly grind up rolled oats in a blender or food processor. You can also use oat flour. All work to make an oatmeal bar with a nicely uniform consistency.
- Peanut butter: Peanut butter adds protein and beneficial fats to help the bars keep us satisfied. It also helps the bars hold together easily without using egg. To make these nut-free, use sunflower seed butter. (You can also use almond butter if you prefer.)
- Milk: I usually use whole milk in my baking, but any kind of plain unsweetened milk will work here.
- Chocolate chips (or dried fruit): We love these topped with chocolate chips, but you could also use dried fruit or fresh or frozen blueberries if you prefer.
Below is an overview of the process involved in making this recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full amounts and timing.
- Preheat the oven and line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper. (I allow 2 inches to hang over the edges on either side so the bars are easy to lift out and slice.) Add the ingredients to a medium bowl.
- Stir well to combine thoroughly.
- Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly. Add chocolate chips.
- Bake until firm to the touch and lightly golden around the edges.
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Enjoy cold or warmed slightly according to how you prefer to eat them. (We like them both ways!)
Best Tips for Success
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Preheat the oven to 350 degree F and line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper. (I allow 2 inches to hang over the edges on either side so the bars are easy to lift out and slice.)
Add the ingredients to a medium bowl. Stir well to combine thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until firm to the touch and lightly golden around the edges. Let cool fully in the pan, then lift out onto a cutting board and slice.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Enjoy cold or warmed slightly.
- Use rolled oats that have been ground up in the blender, instant oats, or oat flour.
- Leave out the chocolate chips or add dried fruit instead if you prefer.
- Use gluten-free oats to make this gluten-free.
- Use sunflower seed butter to make this nut-free.
- Add ¼ cup honey or maple syrup to make this sweeter if your family prefers.
Calories: 164kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 235mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 34IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg