Chocolate chip peanut butter banana oat bars are the perfect portable breakfast or healthy snack, anytime! Made with 4 simple ingredients, they are vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and 80 calories each.
Perfect 4-Ingredient Breakfast/Snack Bars
I’ve come down with a tenacious strain of spring cleaning-itis. So yesterday, the refrigerator and floors were scrubbed, the cookbooks were codified (and dusted), the equipment was polished and systematized, and last, the walk-in pantry (which was approaching nightmare status), was given a massive overhaul.
In the process of that final activity, I discovered not three jars of peanut butter and 2 and 1/2 large containers of oats. Combined with the two bunches of very ripe bananas on the countertop, the writing was on the wall: time to bake!
The result is a perfect breakfast bar or snack bar that everyone will love: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bars!
No Oil, Eggs, Dairy or Gluten
The bars are so delicious–soft, sweet, flavorful–but also packed with wholesome goodness and super-simple to make. Specifically, they are:
- Vegan (no eggs, no dairy)
- Made with only 4 familiar ingredients
- Made in one bowl (in about 2 minutes)
- Love by kids and adults alike
Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Oat Bars
I mentioned three of the four ingredients above (my accidental hoard). They are rolled oats (any variety, but use certified gluten-free oats if you need these to be 100% gluten-free), very ripe bananas and creamy peanut butter.
An equal amount of other creamy nut or seed butter–such as almond, cashew, or sunflower seed– can be used in place of the peanut butter.
The last ingredient is chocolate chips. Use dairy-free chocolate chips to ensure these bars are 100%; if that is not necessary, any variety of chocolate chips (or chunks) will do. You can also sub them for dried fruit or nuts (or add all three! More is more).
How to Make the Bars
To make the bars, mash enough bananas to measure 1/2 cup. I prefer to go by cup measurements rather than stating banana size, size bananas can vary tremendously. Most times it take abotut 1 and 1/2 medium bananas to equal 1/2 cup.
The banana should be very ripe and squishy (an indication that the starches have converted to sugar). Mash them with fork until they are almost liquid.
Now that the bananas are mashed, combine them with the peanut butter (or the nut/seed butter of your choice) in a medium bowl until blended.
Add the dry oats and chocolate chips to the bowl.
Stir until everything is combined and the oats are universally moistened.
That was easy, right?
Spread the dough in an even layer in a prepared 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan. I like to line the baking pan with parchment paper (for extra-easy removal after baking), but a spritz of cooking spray, or a light oiling of the pan, will also suffice.
Bake the bars in a preheated 350 oven for about 15 minutes until the surface looks and feels (to the touch) dry and the edges are golden brown.
But now comes the hard part: waiting for these to cool (about 45 minutes to an hour) before cutting. It requires significant will power, but it is so worth the wait.
If you lined the pan with paper, use the overhang to lift the bars onto a cutting board to cut into 16 squares. Otherwise, cut the bars directly in the pan.
Happy baking, everyone!