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
Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars
- Total Time: 50 minutes + 1 hour cooling
- Yield: 16 bars
These banana bread bars are the perfect way to use up ripe bananas – made with simple ingredients and are completely vegan, gluten free, and naturally sweetened.
- 1 1/2 cups (430g) mashed ripe banana (about 4 bananas)
- 3/4 cup (200g) natural almond butter*
- 1/4 cup (85g) pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (160g) oat flour**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top***
- 3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease and line an 8×8 square baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the banana, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Once smooth, mix in the oat flour and salt.
- Spread the batter in the pan and top with a sprinkle of extra chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. You know it’s ready when the center feels soft but bounces back when touched.
- Chill the bars for about an hour, then slice and serve. Enjoy!
ALMOND BUTTER – You can also use any nut or seed butter you like. I personally think natural sunflower seed butter tastes really good in these bars! Whatever you use, just make sure it’s natural without any added ingredients.
OAT FLOUR – You can use pre-packaged oat flour or grind your own by blending oats in a food processor. Alternatively, you can try swapping it with almond flour. I haven’t tested it with these bars, but almond flour is a great sub for oat flour in most cases.
CHOCOLATE CHIPS – I used stevia-sweetened chocolate chips that are also vegan. Alternatively, you can use 100% cacao chips or any dairy free chocolate chip you prefer.
STORAGE – Keep these bars in an air tight container in the refrigerator and they will keep for up to 5 days.
NUTRITION 1 bar = 186 calories | 25g carbs | 10g fat | 5g protein
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: banana bread bars, healthy banana bread, banana bars, chocolate chip banana bread bars
Made these today and they turned out soooo good!! I used almond butter and milk chocolate chips. Was really excited when I saw this recipe and it did not disappoint. It was also super easy and fast to make and just needed 1 bowl. I love the recipes here and can’t count how many I’ve made now. Thanks for your awesome creativity and sharing it with us 🙂
So delicious!!! Soft, chewy texture and great flavour without being too sweet. I had a ton of ripe bananas and this was the perfect way to use them. Subbed almond butter for peanut butter because that’s what I had. Love these!
I’ve made this recipe twice now, weighing each of the ingredients, and I find the texture a little too moist/gluey. I think the bake time is the issue for me–the first time I made it I baked it for 20 minutes longer and it was still too wet. This time (after checking it again at the recommended bake time), I let it bake for 30 more minutes and it came out slightly lighter and more bread-like. Would make it again bc the flavor is great, just noting the bake time will be twice as long.
I really enjoyed these bars! I used almond flour (because I had some), and I used fewer chocolate chips, but increased the walnuts a bit on top. I think I may have needed to bake them longer – but they are quite tasty!
So delicious and easy to make! A keeper for sure.
WOW. The batter alone tasted amazing. What an easy recipe to put together with ingredients I always have. I just used peanut butter. I added a bit of coconut flakes too. Thanks for the recipe!
This is delicious and so easy! The hardest part is scooping almond butter out of the jar. A slice is great for breakfast on the go in place of a granola bar.
This is by far the best healthy banana bar recipe I’ve tried so far!!
It’s super tasty, moist, the chocolate chips add that extra sweet bitterness which is perfect to taste and the nuts add that perfect finishing crunch.
I’ve tried it with both almond butter and peanut butter, both winners. I also tried homemade almond butter and found it extra tasty. I’ve made this more than six times now!
Every recipe of yours that I have tried, NEVER failed me. Family and coworkers were always thrilled with the outcome.
Obsessed with these! So satisfying and delicious! I used tahini, so creamy and the perfect balance.
Really delicious! I’ve made these with almond butter, peanut butter and tahini. My fav is tahini!