Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars offer all there is to love about a moist slice of banana bead in a grab-n-go bar. Gluten free, made with wholesome ingredients, and perfect for weekday breakfasts or snacks.
If you also find immense excitement out of watching bananas sit on the countertop until their skin becomes freckled with brown spots, you're in good company. As much as I love a good loaf of banana bread, I highly suggest switching it up and making a batch of bars.
If the photos aren't convincing enough, these banana bread bars are:
- SUPER moist thanks to the magic combo of mashed bananas, nut butter, and almond flour.
- Just sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Studded with chocolate chips and walnuts for a boost of antioxidants and heart-healthy fats.
- Free of refined sugar and grains.
- Super convenient for weekday morning breakfasts or snacks -- just grab n' go!
- Made in ONE bowl. Less dishes = less hassle.
How to Make Banana Bread Bars
To me, these banana bread bars are the embodiment of comfort and warmth, in breakfast bar form.
They're a great option to prep at the start of the week and enjoy on repeat for weekday breakfasts. And, they're just the right dose of fueling fiber, healthy fats, and natural sugars to energize you.
Plus, they don't need to be refrigerated and can last for days at room temp.
- Bananas: The more freckled with brown spots, the better! Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium, fiber, and even vitamin C. You need 1 ½ cups mashed banana, which amounts to 3 medium-large bananas.
- Nut Butter: Use any nut butter you like or have on hand. My go-to is almond butter, however peanut or cashew butter also works great. If you avoid nuts, you can also use sunflower seed butter.
- Egg: 1 egg makes the bars desirably fluffy. *Note: I have not tried this recipe with a flax egg.
- Oat Flour: Made from 100% whole-grain oats, oat flour is a great gluten free alternative to all-purpose flour. You can either purchase it ground, or grind oats yourself in a food processor.
- Almond Flour: My go-to alternative flour for gluten free baking, almond flour makes these bars ultra moist. Plus, its chockfull of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
- Maple Syrup: Offering rich, well-rounded sweetness, a touch of maple syrup is all you need. Alternatively, you can use honey.
- Add-Ins: I love adding chocolate chips and walnuts to these bars. Alternatively, you can add chopped pecans, coconut flakes, or simply enjoy the banana bread bars as is.
Step 1: Mash Bananas
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly coat with non-stick spray.
Place bananas in a large bowl and use a potato masher or fork to throughly mash until the bananas are pureed.
Step 2: Combine Wet Ingredients
Add egg, nut butter, and maple syrup to bowl with bananas; whisk well to combine.
Step 3: Add Dry Ingredients
Add oat flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; stir to combine. Fold in ¾ cup chocolate chips.
Step 4: Bake
Transfer batter to prepared baking dish, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips and chopped walnuts overtop.
Bake for 31 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Slice into 12 bars and enjoy!
- Measure Your Banana - It’s important to have 1 ½ cups of mashed ripe banana, which can amount to either 3 or 4 bananas, depending on size. Be sure to measure it with dry measuring cups before adding the remainder of the wet ingredients.
- Use Ripe but Not *TOO* Ripe Bananas - While lots of dark spots are desirable for banana bread recipes (put those natural sugars to work!), look out for strange odors or mold. If you see or smell anything suspicious, the bananas may not be safe to eat.
- If your bananas are teetering on the edge but you don’t have time to use them that day, peel, chop, and freeze them for later use.
- Reserve Chocolate Chips for the Topping - I like to mix most of the chocolate chips in the batter, and reserve a few for the topping. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it lets people know they're about to bite into some chocolate-y goodness.
How to Serve, Store, and Freeze:
- To Serve: These bars are delicious spread with extra nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter. You can also top them with a dollop of full-fat yogurt or smear of cream cheese.
- To Store: Once the bars fully cool, store them in an airtight container lined with paper towels at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Freeze leftover bars in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.
More Healthy Breakfast Recipes to Try:
If you give these banana bread bars a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars
- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan
- 1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana (from 3 to 4 brown specked bananas)
- ½ cup creamy almond butter (sub peanut or cashew butter)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks, divided
- ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place bananas in a large bowl and use a potato masher or fork to throughly mash until the bananas are pureed. Add almond butter, eggs, and maple syrup; whisk to combine.
- Add almond flour, oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; stir to combine. Fold in ¾ cup of the chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish; smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips and chopped walnuts overtop.
- For 8x8" baking dish, bake for 32 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. For 9x9" baking dish, bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Slice into 16 bars.*Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. (The bars get even better and more moist as they sit!)