Naturally sweetened and grab n’ go friendly, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars double as breakfast or snack. Make once, eat all week! They’re freezer friendly too. vegan + gluten free
Ahhhh the ups and downs of comfort food season. On one hand, I want all the rich foods of the holidays, still, and things like pot pie and mac and cheese. I’m enjoying baking sourdough too. All the reason I’m making mini loaves now, else I’ll devour the entire loaf all too quickly.
On the other hand, my body can only tolerate so much. After all, summer will be here before we know it and I’ll be trying to squeeze into shorts again :o. Good thing my bathing suit is stretchy. A black one piece goes a long way in concealing those winter indulgences and my 45+ body.
Despite my efforts.
Yet, while I’d consider these Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars a bit of an indulgence, they’re made of all the good things and a few more, that would go into a bowl of oatmeal, granola or granola bars with a bit of chocolate, of course.
I couldn’t help but add it in.
These bars come together with ease, and using mostly pantry staples. Ingredients such as oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts, peanut butter, bananas, maple syrup, chocolate chips, cinnamon and vanilla come together to make a crave-worthy grab n’ go breakfast or afternoon snack. Simply mash-up and mix all the wet ingredients, then pour them into the dry ingredients. Spoon into a pan and bake.
Why I love this recipe:
- A long shelf life: I’ve squeezed 5 days out of these bars – at room temperature.
- Freezer friendly: this recipe makes a BIG batch and BIG bars. Cut them small and freeze half or more if needed.
- Classic and wholesome ingredients: rolled oats, bananas, walnuts, peanut butter, chocolate
- Naturally sweetened: maple syrup hero
- Versatility: Feel free to play with the ingredients and use what you have on hand. No chocolate? Throw in some diced, dried fruit. Not a fan of walnuts? Toss in some chopped pecans. Have a sensitivity or allergy to peanuts? Give almond butter a go.
- Over the top moist!
- Hello (!!) breakfast or snack.
These little bars have me dreaming of summer… not the bathing suit part. They’ll be a delicious addition to road trips, hiking, picnics or for anytime, a simple breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.
For a little bit of effort, they go a long way.
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
Naturally sweetened and grab n' go friendly, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars double as breakfast or snack. This recipe makes a BIG batch, so make once, eat all week or freeze half because they're freezer friendly! **Start with room temperature ingredients. This makes it easier to mix and incorporate all the ingredients. vegan + gluten free
- 1 1/4 C (440g) Mashed Bananas about 4 medium bananas
- 1 2/3 C (335g) Natural Peanut Butter , unsalted, creamy or crunchy - about one small jar, room temperature
- 1 C (306g) Maple Syrup room temperature
- 1/4 C (50g) Coconut Oil unrefined, melted and warm to the touch
- 1/4 C (55g) Water
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
In 9"x9" baking pan (22cm X 22cm) - or see the link in notes to use a different size pan - use coconut oil to oil the pan making sure the corners are well covered. Use parchment paper to line the pan leaving handles hanging over the edge to lift the 'cake' out of the pan easily after baking. Set aside. Set oven rack in center and preheat oven to 350F (177C).
For the dry ingredients: Reserve a few tablespoons of oats and chocolate chips for sprinkling on top, if desired. In a large mixing bowl, mix the oats, walnuts, coconut, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
For the wet ingredients: Make sure to start with room temperature ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas, then add the peanut butter, syrup, oil, water and extract. Use the masher to mix the ingredients, then whisk vigorously until all the wet ingredients come together and are smooth(ish).
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a sturdy wooden spoon and a strong arm, mix the ingredients throughly. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread the mixture evenly, making sure to push the batter into the corners of the pan. Sprinkle the reserved oats and chocolate chips on top.
Bake the 'cake' for 30-35 minutes, using a toothpick to check for doneness starting at 30 minutes. The 'cake' is done when the top is golden and the center slightly springs back when gently pressed. The toothpick will come out clean or with very few crumbs, yet with some chocolate holding on to it.
Cool completely (very important), then use the parchment as handles to lift the 'cake' out of the pan. (See notes below on cutting). The pieces will be slightly crumbly and very moist.
Store at room temperature for up to five days, covered. These freeze beautifully too for up to two weeks.
*Cutting the Bars: Since this recipe is somewhat crumbly when cutting, I've found they're easier to cut when lifted from the pan whole (although I cut them in the pan when in a hurry - it is messier). Use a serrated bread knife to gently saw through the top crust, then swiftly press to cut all the way down, then slide the knife out while gently holding the rows together. Repeat as needed. Several readers commented (see below) that they refrigerated the bars after they cooled which resulted in a less crumbly bar.
This recipe is versatile! Feel free to play with the ingredients and use what you have on hand. No chocolate? Throw in some diced, dried fruit. Not a fan of walnuts? Toss in some chopped pecans. Have a sensitivity or allergy to peanuts? Give almond butter a go.
All Recipes has a pan conversion chart here if you need. Please note that I've only made this recipe in a 9"x9" pan.
Recipe inspired by Vitamix Create.