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. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free.
Why You’ll 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
- Over the top moist!
- Hello (!!) breakfast or snack.
Easy Pantry Ingredients
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.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Look for fresh raw, unseasoned, unsalted sunflower seeds in the bulk bins for best value. If seeds set too long they can go rancid, so taste test before using.
- For a less crumbly bar, rest in the fridge overnight, then cut individual pieces.
- Freezer friendly! Yes please! Freeze individual pieces on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer storage container. Thaw at room temperature
These little oat bars are a delicious addition to road trips, hiking, picnics or for anytime, a simple breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.
More Banana Recipes to Love
- Fluffy Sourdough Banana Muffins
- Banana Nut Muffins – gluten free + vegan
- Banana Pecan Oat Waffles
- Banana Oat Crunch Muffins
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars Recipe
- 3 1/2 C (435g) Thick Rolled or Old Fashioned Oats not quick or instant, gluten free if needed
- 1 C (100g) Walnuts chopped
- 1 C (90g) Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
- 1/2 C (80g) Hulled Sunflower Seeds raw, unsalted
- 2/3 C (140g) Mini Chocolate Chips
- 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 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 so that all the dry ingredients are coated in the wet (undermining can cause a crumbly set). Spoon into the prepared pan, spread the mixture evenly and press firmly into the pan, making sure to push the batter into the corners. 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.
- NOTE: If you find your bars are a bit crumbly, an overnight rest in the fridge will firm the bars up a bit. These bars may also be stored in the fridge, covered for up to six days.
Been looking for a breakfast bar for my 1 yr old so I tried this recipe due to using all natural ingredients. I let it cool for hours before cutting, and while moist, they held up well. I guess my only feedback is to hold off on the sunflower seeds. The ones I used had a very overwhelming taste maybe from being salted, roasted and then sitting for way too long. All I taste is that over the top sunflower seed/oil taste.
Hi Brian…. it sounds like your seeds were rancid. Sunflower seeds should have a nice, nutty neutral flavor.
These were just ok, in my opinion. Great flavor, hearty snack, but in no way are these a portable breakfast. There needs to be something that binds them better as they completely fall apart. Maybe baking them as muffins would be a better idea, as one comment suggested. Or cutting the recipe in half. They are too thick.
Hi Julie, I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you. Muffins sound like a delicious idea!
I made these tonight – a big hit! I wanted to make a half recipe so instead of hunting around for a smaller pan I used a mini muffin tin. I greased some/used paper liners in others & baked them for 15 minutes. They came out easily & held together well. A great new breakfast bite for my fussy morning eaters!
Yahoo! Thank you for sharing your tips and success, Lisa! I love the little bites idea and that your fussy morning eaters are happy! A win-win!
These are really delicious, can’t stop eating them!! I’m curious, have they ever turned green for you? I substituted sunflower seed butter for the almond butter and maybe that created a green result somehow? It really looks like I added spinach…so crazy.
Hey Jessica! Thank you for your note… so happy you’re enjoying the recipe! Thank you for your note on sunflower seed butter – yum! I’ve never seen these bars turn green – but I’ve not used sunflower seed butter in them either. I don’t understand how that would make them green! haha… So glad they still taste good!
Its due to the chlorophyll from the sunflower seeds reacting to the baking soda. Its harmless but if you dont like the green color, try adding lemon juice a 1-2 tsp of lemon juice or another acid such as yogurt or buttermilk. You can also try reducing the baking soda. Hopefully it helps!
Oh wow! Thank you for your note and tip, Julie. That’s so interesting!
These bars are delicious frozen and reheated. It makes the bars gooey and the chocolate all melty!! I think a warm bar with a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be the perfect dessert. Just saying.
Oh goodness…. Stephanie! I’m heading to the kitchen right now to make another batch and to see if I have any ice cream! And I will be reheating them :D ! Thank you for your tip!
Breakfast bars are great, I love keeping some always ready for quick snacks ;)
I made these yesterday and they are so delicious! The only thing I added was sesame seeds. However, even though they cooked beautifully when they cooled I could not cut and remove them from the pan without falling apart a bit. After refrigerating overnight they have firmed up a bit. My question is, was my mixture too wet perhaps? Or do are these bars a bit crumbly? I love them and am, happy I can save myself from finishing the pan with keeping the remaining bars in the freezer. How long do they take to thaw…do you know?
So happy you’re enjoying the bars and thank you for your note! The bars are a bit crumbly by nature, but it looks like refrigerating helps them hold together better (as you and another commentor indicated). I just leave mine out on the counter as I find them to hold together enough for handling. The mixture is very wet , prior to baking – this creates a very moist bar. Just make sure it’s mixed throughly so that every piece of oat is covered and moist. Undermixing may be causing the crumbly, I’m not sure. As far as freezing then thawing, I simply place mine on the counter overnight and they’re thawed by morning. I hope this helps!
Thanks, I appreciate the follow-up!
I’m pretty sure I mixed the batter well but the 4 bananas are probably a bit of a guess factor as bananas vary quite a bit in size. But these bars did not disappoint and over time I am sure I will get a “feel” for what the recipe needs.
Bring on another recipe!
Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
Can’t wait to try these Traci! Now I just need to keep bananas in my house long enough to let them turn brown, hah. I’m just heading to the grocery store and put the ingredients for the bars on my list <3
I hope you enjoyed them, Alexandra! I’ve been buying two bunches of bananas lately… one for turning brown and the other for freezing (smoothies). Then I don’t have to think about bananas all the time – lol!! We use a lot of them!
I made these over the weekend…I couldn’t resist the ingredient combo. They are pretty darned easy to make and you need just to keep an eye on these (as noted) at the 30 minute mark. Mine actually needed 35 minutes to return a clean toothpick. I only had an 8″ x 9″ square, so I used the “overflow” batter in a small round baking dish…so I got 2 for the price of 1! Definitely let them cool all the way. They were slightly crumbly as described but actually served up nicely on a plate once they were cool to the touch. My teenage son (who can never seem to eat enough) was surprisingly (albeit temporarily) satisfied after eating one square. I recommend storing in the fridge as they firmed up nicely overnight and I was able to leave this morning with one in a napkin, yielding very few crumbs. Bonus, they are indeed as delicious as they sound.
Oh my Gennis! Thank you so much for your detailed notes… I love the refrigerator, no crumbs part and two for the price of one. I lol about your teen! That makes me happy, Gennis as does your note. Hooray!
OMG! Aren’t these bars too pretty to eat! I can see myself licking the plate clean in one go. Bye Bye slim waistline. ;)
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
I do NOT want to think about bathing suit weather, Traci – this past holiday I definitely overindulged – too much comfort food and wine for me. So, yes, it’s time to buckle down and think healthy – lots of salads and soup – but we all need something yummy like this gorgeous breakfast bar. I’m always running late for work so this would be a perfect breakfast grab and go for me!
These look delicious. With my son from college coming home today for a visit, we will have to make them. We both love coconut so we might toss some in. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Heide! I hope you and your son enjoy these treats!
Nothing wrong with both salads and baked goods this time of year! Baking is so soothing to the soul and little treats like this are such a delight on a cold winter day. PB + chocolate + banana are heaven, and these squares look so soft and moist. Always love seeing what you’re up to in your kitchen, Traci!
LOL – salads AND baked goods – balance, right? Indeed, baking is SO soothing and since there’s so much time spent indoors, it’s a perfect time for it anyway! And I always love seeing what you’re whippin up in your kitchen too, Emily xo
I just “invented” something very similar. Great minds! 💜💜💜 Now if only my photography would magically look like yours!
Yeah! Great minds Deb ;) Hahah! I’ll share everything i know with you! xo
I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to have with my morning cup of coffee. I’m loving the ease of this recipe and the fact that I have all the ingredients on hand to make the bars. Plus being able to freeze a few will save me from choosing something less bathing suit friendly to eat! Thanks, Traci!
Hooray for having ingredients on hand! That’s the best and quite frankly is a motivating factor for me when I get the urge to bake. I hope you enjoy the recipe Jean!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
My kids would love the idea of these healthy cookies for breakfast and I love that they are more wholesome. Don’t remind me about bathing suit season please!
I lol at your comment, Karen! Okay, we’ll just forget about bathing suits for now. I hope you and your kiddos enjoy these bars!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
They look so great, Traci! And I agree – January is a tough eating month. I’m trying to be good, but dang it’s so cold and I just want all the melty cheese! These squares have all my favorite ingredients, so I know I’m gonna love them!
It IS! I generally eat pretty clean most of the time, but dang it, I just want to BAKE and hibernate! lol! Indeed, melty cheese flips my switch too. I’m folding. I hope you enjoy the bars Liz! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Lol Traci! Great minds right?, I long for summer too, but my bathing suit figure has seen better days!! These look absolutely scrumptious. And they would certainly be a hit with Tom too. It’s reminding me of granola all baked up in a tasty bar. And you know my love for granola! I’ll definitely be giving these a go. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for sharing and have an awesome weekend!
Lol! Indeed! Now I just need to break out the suntan lotion :D ! Yeah, kinda like a granola cake.. soft, moist. I hope you and Tom enjoy these Mary Ann! I mean, if Tom loves them, well then, that is everything! xo