Made with pantry staples, these peanut butter banana oatmeal bars are full of whole grains, healthy fats and chocolate goodness. It's a simple meal prep snack to kick the 3pm energy slump all week long.
I know meal prepping your snacks might sound a little boring and unnecessary, but here me out: snacks can be a powerful tool for upping your nutrition! That's right, snacking isn't a bad habit- it can actually be incredibly useful in maintaining stable energy levels, adding in extra nutrients, and preventing you from arriving at the next meal STARVING and eating past satiation. The real thing to focus on isn't snacking itself, but what snacks you choose!
Listen, I know it can be easy to reach for packaged snack foods. They're easy, convenient, and tasty- aka the criteria for a go-to snack. But when I'm focusing on snacks as a nutrition tool, I also like to make sure my snacks are balanced and satiating too, so they actually keep me full until the next meal.
Meal prepping healthy snack options like these peanut butter banana oatmeal bars has been a lifesaver. Not only are they ready in only 30 minutes, but they're made with just 5 wholesome ingredients that are packed with nutrition. These oatmeal bars are a mix between a granola bar, baked oatmeal and banana bread, making them an amazing snack or breakfast option. You can also whip these up in one pan, meaning less dishes and less mess.
Grab your ripe bananas and let's get baking!
- Natural peanut butter
- Oats (quick or rolled)
- Baking soda
Optional flavour boosters:
- Vanilla extract
- Chocolate chips
- Flakey sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 6x9 inch rectangular pan.
Directly in the pan, mash your bananas using a potato masher or fork until a smooth paste forms.
Add in peanut butter, milk and vanilla extract (if using) mix until smooth.
Once smooth, pour in oats, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Add mix-ins of choice.
Add any toppings like chocolate chips.
Bake for about 17-24 minutes or until the top begins to brown a toothpick inserted into the center of the baking tray comes out clean.
Sprinkle with flakey sea salt and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats.
To make vegan: Use your dairy-free milk of choice.
To make nut-free: Swap the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter! Obviously this will alter the taste a little, but sunflower seeds still have a great nutty flavour that tastes amazing in this recipe.
This recipe is pretty versatile when it comes to your mix-ins. Chocolate chips or chunks are classic, but you can also try adding nuts, seeds, or shredded coconut. I like adding hemp seeds too for a boost of protein and omega-3s!
- 6x9 inch rectangular pan
These peanut butter banana oatmeal bars can stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. You can also make a larger batch and freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. To reheat, I recommend microwaving them for about 20 seconds, or until warm.
To avoid sticking, ensure you grease your pan thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray or butter prior to mixing your ingredients! If you do this, the bars should come cleanly out of the pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
These peanut butter banana oatmeal bars already have tons of healthy fats and fibre, so all you really need is protein! My favourite way to add protein is crumbling by one of the bars over a bowl of Greek yogurt- it's sort of like a soft granola and so yummy. Other options include serving with eggs, some cottage cheese or sprinkling with hemp seeds before eating!
Yes you can, however the cook time may vary slightly and the thickness of your bars may either increase or decrease depending on the size of your pan! A smaller pan will take longer to cook and a larger pan will result in thinner, quicker-cooking bars. Make sure you keep an eye on them and check frequently so they don't burn.
Yes! You can easily blend the oats before mixing if you don’t like the texture of oats. You can also use 2.25 cups of store bought oat flour instead of the oats if you desire.
Yes of course! I usually mix everything in the baking pan to minimize clean up, but you can easily pour the mixed ingredients into the greased pan after mixing in a bowl.
You could swap it with applesauce or pumpkin puree, but I would really recommend sticking with banana for the best flavour. The bananas also add a natural sweetness, so you may need to add some maple syrup if you swap them out. These are peanut butter banana oatmeal bars after all!
More Easy Snack Recipes
If you enjoyed these peanut butter banana oatmeal bars, you'll be a fan of these recipes too:
- Banana and Carrot Muffins
- One Bowl Banana Bread Oatmeal Cups
- Fudgy Vegan Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these peanut butter banana oatmeal bars, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
One Dish Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- ⅓ cup milk
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 2.5 cups oats quick or rolled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- ½ cup chocolate chips or chunks optional
- Flakey sea salt optional, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 6x9 inch rectangular pan.
- Directly in the pan, mash your bananas using a potato masher or fork until a smooth paste forms. Add in peanut butter, milk and vanilla extract (if using) mix until smooth.
- Once smooth, pour in oats, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and chocolate (if using) , bake for about 17-24 minutes or until the top begins to brown a toothpick inserted into the center of the baking tray comes out clean. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt and enjoy.