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.
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.
- Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
- Gluten-free (use certified gluten-free oats as needed)
- Added sugar-free
- High in fiber (5 g per bar)
- 5 grams protein per bar
- Perfectly portable (for life on the go)
- 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.
As the name indicates, these bars are made with 2 basic ingredients:
- Mashed, very ripe bananas
- 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.
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.
Step Three: Preheat Oven & Prepare Baking Pan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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)
- 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
- 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
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).