If you have ripe bananas sitting on our counter but aren’t quite sure what to do with them, make these healthy chocolate chip banana bread bars! They’re soft, sweet, and so easy to make. Consisting of a short list of clean ingredients, these bars are also vegan, gluten free, and naturally sweetened.
How to make healthy banana bread bars
These bars are so easy to whip up that you could probably make them in your sleep. Everything is mixed together in one bowl, and baked into soft banana bread perfection. Better yet, you probably already have everything you need to make them:
- ripe bananas
- pure maple syrup
- natural almond butter (or any nut or seed butter)
- vanilla extract
- oat flour (or whole oats)
- chocolate chips
There’s no special technique or steps. Just mix everything together and bake!
What do these banana bread bars taste like?
These bars are like a mix between a cookie bar and banana bread. They’re moist and sweet like banana bread, but dense and tender like a cookie bar. AKA, they’re absolutely delicious and so addicting!
Chocolate chip banana bread bar substitutions
If you want to make these bars but don’t have the EXACT list of ingredients, here are some swaps you can make:
Almond Butter – This can be substituted with any nut or seed butter like cashew, peanut, or sunflower seed butter. Tahini could also work, but the bars won’t be AS sweet. Whatever you choose to use, just make sure it’s natural and made without any added ingredients like sugar or oils.
Pure Maple Syrup – If you don’t have this on hand, you can also swap with honey, date syrup, or even agave. I haven’t tested it, but coconut sugar may also be a good option.
Oat Flour – If you don’t have oat FLOUR, you can just make your own by grinding whole oats (quick or old fashioned) in a food processor until it turns into a flour. You could also try swapping with almond flour as this is a great substitute for oat flour. But do not use anything outside of these two flours as something like coconut or cassava could completely changed the texture of these bars.
Chocolate Chips – If you don’t have these, they can be left out and nothing about the recipe will change. Although they do add delicious flavor! Chopped walnuts, pecans, or peanuts are also a good option. Just make sure they’re unsalted.
What do I do if I don’t have enough bananas?
If you only have 3 ripe bananas and are just short of 1 1/2 cups, substitute the rest with unsweetened apple sauce or pumpkin puree. These work great as fillers in this recipe, but not as an entire substitution.
Otherwise, if you don’t have either substitution, cut the recipe in half and bake the bars in a loaf pan for about 20-25 minutes.
How to store banana bread bars
Store these bars covered or in an air tight container and refrigerate. They will keep for up to 5 days.
For more healthy dessert recipes, check out my:
- Healthy Brownie Cookie Dough Bars (V, GF, NS)
- Healthy Blueberry Crumble Bars (V, GF, NS)
- Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins (V, GF, NS)
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (V, GF, NS)
- Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Vo, GF, NS)
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make these Healthy Banana Bread Bars. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print