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2-Ingredient Vegan Banana Bars {oil-free, GF}

Power up your breakfasts and snacks with my super-easy, 2-ingredient vegan banana bars! Oil-free, gluten-free, & high in fiber, they can be customized with different add-ins.

overhead shot of embellished 2 ingredient banana oat bars

If you are wondering what I make for my family all the time, without fail…it is these easy-peasy bars. They are the family’s anytime, anywhere, any meal, any snack, any season, grab and go power snack.

They are almost never the same same bars twice. That’s because they are endlessly customizable.

I can mix in vanilla, almond extract, nut or seed butter, spices, or a touch of extra sweetener. Or fold in chopped nuts or seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or fresh berries. Or I can embellish the the baked bars with a drizzle of chocolate or melted peanut butter and a sprinkle of anything I like (nuts, dried fruits, sprinkles).

If easy, frugal, convenient, delicious, and nourishing snacks are your jam, too, I know you will love these bars.

a stack of 3 banana oat bars on white parchment paper.

Recipe Benefits

  • Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
  • Gluten-free (use certified gluten-free oats as needed)
  • Oil-free
  • Added sugar-free
  • High in fiber (5 g per bar)
  • 5 grams protein per bar
  • Perfectly portable (for life on the go)
  • Frugal
  • Super-easy to make and bake
  • Customizable (add-ins, toppings, you name it)

Ingredients for the 2-Ingredient Vegan Banana Bars

The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a white bowl filled with rolled oats and a pile of very ripe bananas

As the name indicates, these bars are made with 2 basic ingredients:

  1. Mashed, very ripe bananas
  2. Rolled oats (certified gluten-free, as needed)

I strongly encourage adding a small amount of salt to bring out the sweetness of the bananas and the toasty-ness of the oats, but it is optional.

As I mentioned at the top, the add-in options are vast. I have a list of options in the FAQ section at the end of the post, as well as in the recipe card.

Instructions to Make 2-Ingredient Vegan Banana Bars

Step One: Finely Mash the Bananas

You do not need to finely mash the bananas when measuring the amount needed for the recipe. I simply shove and mush the bananas into measuring cups.

But once you begin making the bars, place the bananas in a large bowl and finely mash so that no large pieces remain.

white bowl filled with finely mashed bananas and a masher

Step Two: Combine the Bananas & Oats

Add the oats to the bowl of bananas. If using any flavorings (e.g., salt, spices, vanilla, citrus zest), add them now. Stir until completely combined.

Add Mix-Ins As Desired

Once the dough is mixed, stir in any mix-ins (e.g., dried fruit, fresh fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, or seeds).

Let the dough sit while preheating the oven. This allows the dough to absorb the banana moisture and produces a cohesive bar.

a white mixing bowl filled with a banana oat dough

Step Three: Preheat Oven & Prepare Baking Pan

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Spray a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Step Four: Spread Dough in Pan

Spoon and spread the dough in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.

banana oat dough spread in a square baking pan

Step Five: Bake

Bake the bars in the preheated oven for 19 to 24 minutes until golden brown and set. Place the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely.

baked banana oat bars in a square pan on a cooling rack

Step Six: Remove & Cut into Bars

Remove the block of bars from the pan (I invert the pan onto a cutting board and turn right side up). Use a large cutting knife to cut into individual bars.

banana bars on a wood cutting board being cut into bars

I typically cut these into 8 big bars (more of a breakfast size). But you can and should cut the bars into any shapes and sizes you prefer.

cut banana oat bars on white parchment paper

FAQ

How Do the Bars Taste?

The bars are very lightly sweet and have a hearty, firm texture. If you would lo=ike more sweetness, you can always add it. Adding a mere tablespoon or so really enhances the sweetness, but I prefer them as they are.

How Should the 2-Ingredient Vegan Banana Bars Be Stored?

Store the bars in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week, or the freezer for up to 6 months.

What Are Some Ideas for Added Flavors & Mix-Ins?

You can customize these bars in so many ways! I am sure you will come up with favorite combinations, but here are some ideas to get you started:

Flavor Enhancements

  • Extracts (e.g., vanilla, almond, orange, lemon)
  • Finely grated citrus zest (e.g., lime, lemon, orange)
  • Sweetener (e.g., coconut sugar, maple syrup, or agave; a tablespoon adds a lot)
  • Spices (e.g., cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, ginger)
  • Salt (a pinch to 1/4 teaspoon)

Mix-Ins

  • Nuts or seeds (even tastier when toasted or roasted)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Nut or Seed Butter (one or few tablespoons)
  • Chopped dried fruit
  • Fresh berries (e.g., blueberries or raspberries)
  • Plant-based protein powder

Embellishments

  • Drizzle of melted chocolate (any variety)
  • Drizzle of melted peanut butter (or other creamy nut or seed butter)
  • Sprinkle of finely chopped nuts or seeds
  • Sprinkle of finely chopped dried fruit
  • All-natural sprinkles
banan oat bars shot fro overhead

Tip: Freeze Your Very Ripe Bananas for Future Use

When bananas turn super-ripe (lots of brown on the peel and very soft and squishy), toss them into a freezer bag or container and place in the freezer for future use. Defrost in the refrigerator, on the counter, or speed things along with the microwave.

Important: Do not drain the bananas of their liquid. Use all of the solids and liquid once thawed.

Should I Peel Bananas Before Freezing?

You can peel the bananas (it makes it easer to remove a small amount of frozen banana at a time), but it is not necessary. If freezing the banana with the peel on, defrost with the peel on as well. Once thawed, squeeze out all of the banana (use the liquid and solids).

Happy Baking!

Yield: 8 Big Bars

2-ingredient Vegan Banana Bars (oil-free, GF)

overhead shot of embellished 2 ingredient banana oat bars

Power up your breakfasts and snacks with my super-easy, 2-ingredient vegan banana bars! They are oil-free, gluten-free, & customizable.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mashed, very ripe banana (about 5 to 6 large)
  • 3 cups (300 g) rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • (see notes below for suggested mix-ins and embellishments)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Generously spray a 9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, finely mash the bananas. Add the oats (and any other flavor enhancements, like salt, vanilla, sweetener). Let the dough stand for 15 minutes while the oven preheats.
  3. Stir in any optional mix-ins, if using. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 19 to 24 minutes until golden brown and the center is set.
  5. Cool completley in the pan. Remove the bars from the pan and cut into 8 big bars.

Notes

Storage: Store the bars in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 1 week, or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Tip: Be sure to use really ripe, soft, squishy bananas. You can freeze really ripe bananas ahead of time so they are ready when you need them!

Flavor Enhancement Ideas

  • Extracts (e.g., vanilla, almond, orange, lemon)
  • Finely grated citrus zest (e.g., lime, lemon, orange)
  • Sweetener (e.g., coconut sugar, maple syrup, or agave; a tablespoon adds a lot)
  • Spices (e.g., cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, ginger)
  • Salt (a pinch to 1/4 teaspoon)


Mix-In Ideas

  • Nuts or seeds (even tastier when toasted or roasted)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Nut or Seed Butter (one or few tablespoons)
  • Chopped dried fruit
  • Fresh berries (e.g., blueberries or raspberries)

Embellishment Ideas

  • Drizzle of melted chocolate (any variety)
  • Drizzle of melted peanut butter (or other creamy nut or seed butter)
  • Sprinkle of finely chopped nuts or seeds
  • Sprinkle of finely chopped dried fruit
  • All-natural sprinkles

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 165Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 5gSugar 7gProtein 5g

The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although powerhungry.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands and optional ingredients can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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Jess

Sunday 5th of October 2014

I've been looking for easy, fast, healthy and tasty energy bar recipes. This fit the bill in ways I could not have imagined! Sometimes I add plant protein powder. Other times I make them more dessert-y. Such a great recipe!!!

Erin

Friday 3rd of October 2014

I made the banana bars last night. I added a tablespoon of maple syrup and some chopped dried cranberries. My kids loved them! I will definitely make them again with more additions, maybe coconut flakes and chia seeds. I always have frozen bananas in my freezer, but learned it is better to peel them before freezing. Love your site - I will be back for more! Thanks

Camilla

Thursday 12th of November 2015

Thanks so much, Erin! :)

Tammy

Saturday 5th of July 2014

I am very new to all this and need to know what the "GF" stands for????

Camilla

Thursday 12th of November 2015

Sorry, Tammy--it is my shorthand for "gluten-free"

Sue

Monday 3rd of February 2014

These are fantastic for breakfast. Warm them in the microwave and then crumble them over greek yogurt. I have made seven times, seven different ways. I absolutely love the recipe.

Camilla

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Thanks, Sue!!!

Mary

Tuesday 24th of September 2013

I'm also wondering if I could use quinoa flakes?

Camilla

Wednesday 25th of September 2013

I am sure that you could, Mary :)

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