These Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Oat Bars may have a lengthy name, but they are super simple to make for breakfast or any time of the day. The very ripe bananas and applesauce add the perfect amount of sweetness without requiring any added sugar. These little beauties are vegan, gluten free, and oil free.
Every home cook has a go to banana bread recipe. I have several that I typically rotate, but this recipe for Banana Oatmeal Bars from Lauren Kelly Nutrition is one of my favorites. This recipe was created originally by Robin, from Knead to Cook. While the recipe as it is written is absolutely delicious, I was craving something a little different this morning and with a few modifications, these Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Oat Bars were created.
These bars still have a strong banana bread flavor but also has notes of chocolate and peanut butter as well. I love the soft, yet chewy texture courtesy of the oats and hemp hearts. In my version, I eliminated the maple syrup and the chocolate chips in Robin’s original recipe. As a breast cancer survivor, my main goal is to minimize the amount of sugar I take in on a daily basis. Plus, I find that these tasty treats are sweet enough for my palate, especially for breakfast. However, if you like a sweeter bar you can certainly add maple syrup and chocolate chips as Robin did.
These bars are a great protein boost since they contain both peanut butter powder and hemp hearts. Hemp hearts are a complete protein, have omega 3’s, and contain essential amino acids. Their flavor is slightly nutty but is very mild considering how beneficial they are for you. I add them into my smoothies too.
Peanut butter powder has been a new addition to my kitchen since I discovered it at Costco, but so far I am loving it. This powder boasts that it has 90% less fat than traditional peanut butter and a lot less calories as well. I have been using it in smoothies and for baking. You can also add water to make peanut butter, but I have not used it in that way yet. If you do not have peanut butter powder, you can substitute regular peanut butter or omit it altogether.
The bars are a delicious and nutritious start to your day. After eating just one bite you will notice how they are:
- Soft and chewy
- Naturally sweet
- Oil Free
- Gluten Free & Vegan
- Complete protein packed
- Subtly chocolate and peanut butter flavored
- Belly filling but so good you will try to eat them all (I sure did!)
They store well in the refrigerator for up to three days. I have found these to be an excellent treat for a quick pre-workout snack.
Trust me when I tell you that these bars are a perfect use for those ripe bananas that are just waiting to be included in something delicious. If you are looking for some other ideas for your nanas, you can also try these Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins or perhaps this tropical smoothie.
If you make these bars, I would love to see them. Tag your photo #breastcancermaven on Instagram or @bc_maven on Twitter. I love to share your photos with my readers!
Have a healthy and happy Saturday!
- 2⅓ cup gluten free oats
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 very ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup hemp hearts
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- ¼ cup applesauce
- 2 TB peanut butter powder
- 3 TB cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray baking pan with olive oil.
- Add the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse into a flour.
- Pour the flour mixture into a large bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Pour the wet into the flour mix and stir by hand until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared pan.
- Cook on 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
*You can omit the peanut butter powder or sub 1 TB regular peanut butter instead.