5-Ingredient Healthy Granola Bars come together quickly, and are probably the healthiest granola bar recipe you’ll ever make! Sweetened mostly with banana, these granola bars are customizable to your hearts delight.
If you’re a snacker, I have a thrill of a snack recipe for you!
These 5-Ingredient Healthy Homemade Granola Bars are a bit chewy, a bit crunchy, perfectly sweet, and loaded up with good-for-you goodies!
We’re doing something unconventional here with these granola bars. We’re sweetening them mostly with bananas.
I know. Out of the box thinking!
You’ve seen me employ this trick in my 3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies, Healthy Apple Muffins, 4-Ingredient Flourless Healthy Brownies and more!
Do these granola bars taste like bananas?
I thought the banana flavor would shine through much more than it does. While you can taste hints of banana, the flavors from the oats, peanut butter, and chocolate chips mask it quite a bit.
That said, if you don’t like the taste of bananas, this isn’t the recipe for you as you can taste them, just not overpoweringly so.
I love the idea of this healthy granola bar recipe for kids. The complex carbs and fat help tide them over between meals yet they aren’t getting an enormous boost of sugar.
My Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Granola Bars are also a delicious healthier snack option.
Let’s go over the ingredients, as each serves a special purpose.
Healthy Granola Bar Ingredients:
Ripe Banana: The majority of the sweetness in these granola bars comes naturally to you by way of ripe bananas! Ripe bananas (are mashed until creamy then mixed with nut butter and a touch of pure maple syrup to generate the sticky, liquid portion of the recipe.
If you prefer your granola bars sweeter or if you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, omit the banana and use ½ cup of pure maple syrup.
Creamy Peanut Butter or Almond Butter: Peanut butter (or your favorite nut or seed butter) plays a crucial role in holding these granola bars together. The sticky substance also adds lovely flavor and some fat to make these bars satiating. No one likes a snack that leaves you feeling hungry!
In addition, because the nut butter helps hold the bars together, there is no need for eggs, making these vegan granola bars an easy snack.
Pure Maple Syrup: Just a touch of pure maple syrup is all we need to boost the sweetness of these granola bars without making them loaded in sugar. The way I see it, the goal for any snack is to keep you satisfied until your next meal and not raise your blood sugar dramatically, or else you’re left right back where you started: hungry.
You can leave out the pure maple syrup and boost the banana to ⅔ cup instead of ½ cup. You can also replace it with honey or brown rice syrup.
Rolled Oats: The star of the granola bars! I use gluten-free sprouted oats, but regular old fashioned or rolled oats work too. Toasting the oats ahead of time brings out the flavor and gives them a firm crunch. You can skip the toasting step to save time, and the bars will still be delicious, the oats will just be softer.
Roasted Almonds: For added crunch, roasted almonds bring delicious texture to the granola bars. You can get creative incorporating any of your favorite nuts and seeds.
You can add up to 1 cup of mixed nuts and seeds. Roasted pecans and pumpkin seeds are my top two recommendations for additional add-ins.
For the best tasting results and crunchy texture, make sure whatever nut or seed you incorporate is roasted first. If you have raw nuts and seeds, you can easily roast them yourself in the oven.
This base recipe is very versatile! There are plenty of ways you can change it up to create your own fabulous healthy snack invention.
- You can add up to 1 additional cup of any nut or seed you like, or you can mix and match your add-ins. Consider pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, or even dried fruit like dried cranberries or raisins.
- While chocolate chips certainly level up the deliciousness of the granola bars, they are not mandatory. I will suggest if you don’t use chocolate chips, adding a dried fruit will help boost the sweetness.
- Ground cinnamon and pure vanilla extract make just about any baked good better! Consider adding one or both.
How to Make Healthy Granola Bars:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the oats over a large baking dish and roast for 10 minutes, or until the oats are fragrant and slightly golden. Note: if you’re incorporating any raw nuts or seeds, toast them with the oats to ensure they become crunchy. Remove the oats from the oven and allow them to cool while you’re preparing the rest of the recipe.
Mash the banana into a mixing bowl until it reaches a creamy consistency and most of the lumps are out. Stir in the peanut butter (or nut butter of choice) and pure maple syrup until well-combined.
Pour in the oats, roasted almonds (or additional nuts or seeds), and chocolate chips. Stir well until everything is combined.
Line a 9” x 9” or 8” x 8” square baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the granola mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer (I do this with a rubber spatula, but you can also use your hands).
Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden-brown.
Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Once the bars have cooled for about 15 minutes, you can transfer the pan to the refrigerator to chill the rest of the way if you’d like.
Pull the edges of the parchment paper to remove the bars from the cake pan and place on a cutting board. Slice into 8 bars by slicing the bars down the center vertically, then making 4 horizontal cuts.
Enjoy these easy vegan granola bars any time the need for a snack arises.
If you love granola snack recipes, also try my Pumpkin Spice Granola, Cinnamon Raisin Paleo Granola, or Cherry Maple Almond Granola.
Let me know what goodies you add to your snack bars!
5-Ingredient Healthy Granola Bars
Amazing healthy granola bars made with 5 simple ingredients. There are plenty of options to change up these bars to your heart's delight!
- ½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 ½ to 2 bananas)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup roasted almonds
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Up to 1 additional cup of various nuts, seeds, or dried fruit
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the oats over a large baking dish and roast for 10 minutes, or until the oats are fragrant and slightly golden. Note: if you’re incorporating any raw nuts or seeds, toast them with the oats to ensure they become crunchy. Remove the oats from the oven and allow them to cool while you’re preparing the rest of the recipe.
2. Mash the banana into a mixing bowl until it reaches a creamy consistency and most of the lumps are out. Stir in the peanut butter (or nut butter of choice) and pure maple syrup until well-combined.
3. Pour in the oats, roasted almonds (or additional nuts or seeds), and chocolate chips. Stir well until everything is combined.
4. Line a 9” x 9” or 8” x 8” square baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the granola mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer (I do this with a rubber spatula, but you can also use your hands). Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden-brown. Remove the bars from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
5. Pull the edges of the parchment paper to remove the bars from the cake pan and place on a cutting board.
6. Slice into 8 bars by slicing the bars down the center vertically, then making 4 horizontal cuts. Enjoy any time the need for a snack arises.
Get creative with your mix-ins! Add up to 1 1/2 cups of roasted nuts, seeds, or dried fruit like raisins or dried cranberries. You can use any nut or seed butter you like, so long as it is thick and well=stirred.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving Calories 301Total Fat 16gCarbohydrates 34gFiber 6gSugar 8gProtein 10g
Friday 15th of April 2022
Thanks Julia, this is such a great base recipe for experimenting with. We now have a constant supply of these. Today I doubled the banana and added sunflower seeds, soft dried apricots and cranberries. Plus vanilla extract and extra maple syrup. It still held together really well. Yummy!
Saturday 16th of April 2022
I love that! So happy you enjoy them! The dried apricots and cranberries sound amazing!
Wednesday 16th of February 2022
My bars fall apart a little bit. What can I do to make sure they keep their bar shape, especially as they're packed in lunches?
Thursday 17th of February 2022
Did you make any changes to the recipe? Did you allow the bars to fully cool before slicing them? I ask because my bars held together very well, so I'm trying to determine what is different. :) xoxo
Sunday 13th of February 2022
These are delicious! How should they be stored? How long do they last?
Monday 14th of February 2022
We store them on the kitchen counter in the same cake pan I used to make them for up to 1 week :) You can also store them in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator to make them last longer. xoxo