Banana-Oat SuperDad Snack Bars

My dad is one of the most awesome guys I know (have to include the hubby in this one), and he really is my best friend. I can always count on him for anything, including lifting heavy boxes and trucking furniture up and down stairs.

Though he really wasn’t thrilled that we were moving away, my dad showed up on moving day and gave us every ounce of energy he had. That little man did the work of ten (and I even caught him doing sit-ups in between trips!). Seriously, my husband and I were in awe.

I look forward to being in as awesome shape as he is now in my 60’s. While we were taking water breaks, he just kept on going, and going, and going. Okay, he did take a few breaks to snack on these banana oat bars …

Banana-Oat Superdad Snack Bars (Dairy-Free)

Bananas and oats have to be my dad’s two favorite foods, but he shies away from baked goodies since in his mind they are all loaded with sugar and refined flours. So I created these whole-grain, naturally-sweetened snack bars to keep us all powered up and happy.

Admitedly, my husband and grandma (the two sugar fiends) preferred the blueberry-cashew bars I made (still working on the recipe, as I thought they were too crumbly). However, my dad and I were loyalists to these snack bars, which had a dense, but somewhat cakey consistency. In fact, after the pan was gone (that very same day), dad asked me to make more!

Banana-Oat SuperDad Snack Bars

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Free of Refined Sugars, and Optionally Wheat-Free / Gluten-Free (seek out some of those certified gluten-free oats)

  • 1-1/4 Cups Quick Oats (not instant)
  • 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar or Honey*
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted or softened (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Flour (I ground more oats in my spice grinder to a flour consistency, feel free to use the flour of your choosing … AP, whole wheat, or even almond flour)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg (brought to room temperature if using coconut oil)
  • 1 Cup Mashed, Ripe Banana (about 3 small or 2 large)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut (I used unsweetened)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, agave or honey, oil, and vanilla. Briefly set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Briefly set aside.

Returning to your mixing bowl, stir in the egg, banana, and coconut, until everything is well combined. Stir in the reserved flour mixture (since I was using oat flour without gluten, I wasn’t worried about over-mixing. Be careful not to overmix if you are using a wheat-based flour).

The batter will be a little thick. Spread it evenly in your greased baking dish, and pop it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting. Can be stored in the fridge if you like ’em chilled (I do).

* According to our taste buds, these bars were perfectly sweet, but if you prefer a sweeter treat, feel free to up the agave or honey to 1/3 cup or add a couple tablespoons of Sucanat or brown sugar.

Cinnamon Raisin Version

The above recipe is my slightly coconutty version. You can mix up the flavors if you wish. The following changes will give you a cinnamon raisin banana oat bar:

  • Substitute grapeseed oil or other neutral-tasting oil for the coconut oil
  • Substitute 1/2 cup of raisins for the coconut
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more if you like!)
  • Substitute maple syrup for the agave/honey (optional)

Yields about 9 snack bars


Blog Events: I shared this post with Fight Back Fridays.

29 thoughts on “Banana-Oat SuperDad Snack Bars

  1. Bananas and Oats are one of my favorite combinations too! 🙂 These sound great!

  2. Yum and I make raw little banana treats like this…just dont make the batter as wet, skip the egg, form into balls by hand and pop ’em down. I love bars though. Easier to work with than balls but the recipe jumping off point is great! Thx for posting!

  3. Those bars sound great, and so versatile! I’m thinking ground flax seeds would work well here (instead of the egg) to make them vegan. They would certainly be delicious with nuts too! I love a good recipe that instantly makes variations spring to mind. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Averie – sounds awesome!

    Josiane – Yes, I think ground flaxseeds would work well in them (I had eggs to use up!), but you may want to use whole wheat flour for the flour – the added gluten might be needed to help keep them from being too crumbly. Hmm, I had also thought about using nut butter in place of the oil, this might give you a little extra “glue” and some nice flavor, yum!

  5. Oh these look delicious! I’m not much of a sweets person either, but this looks great!

  6. These bars sound really good. They have the level of sweetness I prefer. I only have regular rolled oats on hand and have always used them interchangeably with quick oats. Do you know why one would be preferable to the other?

  7. Yum! These sound very much like an oat bar I blogged about a while back, also with banana/oats/coconut. I think that particular mixture of flavors is awesome!

  8. Mmmm these sound fabulous! I must make some!!

  9. This is a great combo! I have been working on my granola recipe and haven’t gotten it just right yet.

    I have to agree with your concept of sweetness. I gear most of my cooking to have the least amount of sweetness because the other flavors taste so good – there is a natural sweetness even to oats and the banana adds lots of sweetness, too. Food is so much more satisfying when it’s not covered with too much sweetness.

  10. Aren’t dads the best? They truly are one of the few guys that a girl can depend on.

    I’m so glad your dad liked these and I understand why – they sound amazing! They are definitely going on my to-bake list.

  11. Andrea – Rolled oats will definitely work, but they don’t absorb the moisture as well as the quick oats, resulting in a more contrasting texture. In cakey items and in no bake treats, my family prefers the quick oats. If we only have rolled oats on hand, I often pulse them in the spice grinder for just a few beats before adding to the recipe to break them up a bit.

  12. These look so moist and delicious–yum!

  13. these sound amazing! I have a few bananas “ripening” on my counter that would be perfect for this. And I think I have all the ingredients … YUM!

  14. These look great, I am new to a dairy/egg and wheat free diet…looking for “treats”. I will try this for sure.


  15. Christi

    These are delicious! I also made a pumpkin version. Just substituted pumpkin for the banana and added a bit of extra honey and some pumpkin pie spice. YUMMMMMMM!!!!

  16. There a few guys in my family that would go ape for this. Yum. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.

  17. Erin

    I made these last night and they are amazing! My two year old and I both LOVED them! Having liked them so much (plus the fact that I love experimenting), I did another variation of them today that was great – I added 1/4 cup of peanut butter instead of the oil, and chocolate protein powder instead of the flour. The banana/chocolate/PB combo was awesome – Not allergen free, but I’m sure even more modifications could be made to make it friendly 🙂

  18. Erin

    Hi Alisa! I just wanted to let you know that I tried the cranberry and Greek yogurt combo I told you about. Instead of the oil, I subbed almond butter. I used plain Greek yogurt in place of the banana, and about 1/4 cup dried cranberries in place of the coconut. I also used vanilla whey protein powder in place of the flour. They turned out great – Slightly less “cakey”, but still definitely good. In fact, I just made more this morning.. along with your cinnamon spelt bread recipe I am trying for the first time. My kitchen smells fabulous!

  19. Alisa mmm these look really good. I think I will try these with pumpkin as your commentor, Christi, suggested since I’m allergic to bananas. May you be nourished and blessed as you are a blessing.

  20. Marie

    I was wondering about the coconut oil… do you have any suggestions for baking with it, since it is fairly solid at room temperature? Or do you just mix it in and not worry about it being “chunky” since it will melt? I’ve tried melting it before (put the mixing bowl in the oven while it preheats), but then I find when I take my melted coconut oil and mix it with other ingredients (i.e. eggs) it just solidifies up again.

  21. Marie – thanks for pointing out this question. I will add some notes to the recipe to clarify. If using coconut oil, you will want it to be softened or melted (it was hot when I was making these, so it wasn’t a problem). Make sure your other ingredients (probably just the egg in this case) have been brought to room temperature before adding them to the recipe … lest the coconut oil re-solidify. The recipe should still work even if there are bits of solidified coconut oil, but I like to try to prevent it where possible.

  22. Jamie

    These are cooking as I type and smell amazing! Does anyone know how they’d freeze?

  23. Jamie – They freeze pretty well.

  24. Marie

    Just thought I’d come back and say that lately, we’re making these weekly! My son loves them. I reduce the oats to 1 c and added 1/4 c of ground flaxseed. For flour, I use Buckwheat. And I add some Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips 🙂

    I bought a bag of the cheap, ripe bananas and mashed them and froze them in pairs. I just take the bag out and let it defrost in the fridge, then use in the recipe. Easy!

    • My husband would adore this recipe even more if I added chocolate chips – great idea Marie!

      Thanks for the tip on banana freezing, too. I hadn’t tried that method.

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