Healthy Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars are healthy enough to enjoy with breakfast and delicious enough for dessert! Made with 5 basic ingredients and one bowl, this easy recipe requires zero baking experience.
For me, these gooey chocolate banana oat bars are one of those perfectly sweet treats I’m bound to put on repeat.
They feature all wholesome ingredients with a decent nutrient profile, leaving me with a feel-good snack that I’m cozy enjoying each and every day.
At a minimum, we need 5 basic ingredients to make this double chocolate banana oat bar recipe: ripe bananas, almond butter, oats, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips.
They turn out soft and chewy with a lovely balance of banana flavor and chocolate richness. The concept is similar to baked oatmeal but in the form of a chewy bar.
There are many ways you can customize the recipe based on your dietary preferences or taste buds, so be sure to read through all of the options.
The bars taste sweeter after they have sat out of the oven for over an hour. In this sense, they taste even better the next day.
If you have the patience, make the bars the night before and enjoy them the next morning or afternoon to allow the flavors to develop.
If you aren’t into bananas but you’re still interested in making chocolate oatmeal bars, make my Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars.
Let’s discuss those five wholesome ingredients in detail, as each one serves an important purpose.
Ingredients for Chocolate Banana Oat Bars:
Ripe Bananas: Put your overripe bananas to use in this healthy treat recipe! Be sure to use brown bananas because spotty bananas taste sweeter and have great moisture content, which makes these bars so delightful.
The majority of the sweetness in these oatmeal breakfast bars comes from the natural sweetness of the bananas.
Unsweetened Almond Butter: Used to add richness to the bars with a dose of healthy fats, we need some form of nut butter. I like using almond butter the best because the flavor is easily masked by the other ingredients.
Creamy peanut butter, cashew butter, and sunflower seed butter work too although you will be able to detect the flavor strongly.
You can also make my Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars for a non-chocolate peanut butter version of this healthy snack.
Quick Oats: Taking the place of flour, we need some quick cooking oats, or instant oats to make these chocolate banana oatmeal bars.
Rolled oats or old fashioned oats work too but you will notice the bars require more chewing because the texture is noticeable.
To make the bars gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats. I use sprouted gluten-free oats in all of my recipes calling for oats.
Cocoa Powder: The rich chocolatey goodness in these bars comes from cocoa powder. I recommend using raw cacao powder if you have it on hand for the creamiest flavor.
Unsweetened cocoa powder works too but it can taste fairly bitter unless you add additional sweetener like coconut sugar, brown sugar or cane sugar.
Chocolate Chips: Creating fudgy texture and pockets of delightful chocolate goo, the chocolate chips are important for adding sweetness, moisture, and chocolatey flavor.
If you want to lower the sugar content, use sugar-free chocolate chips. I don’t recommend skipping the chocolate chips but you certainly can to lower the calories and sugar content. If you go this route, I do recommend adding some form of sweetener.
Sea Salt: The ingredient that doesn’t count as an ingredient because we add it to everything! Don’t skip the salt! It makes the bars taste sweeter, richer, and enhances the chocolate and banana flavors.
There are plenty of ways you can customize this recipe to fit your nutritional needs and your personal palate! Here are some options.
Pure Maple Syrup (Optional): If you prefer sweeter treats, consider adding some pure maple syrup or brown sugar to these chocolate banana chocolate chip bars.
When the recipe is followed as written, a perfectly sweet bar with chewy texture results. Level up the sweetness as your heart desires.
Vanilla Extract: A splash of pure vanilla extract brings warm flavor to the bars. It isn’t mandatory, but it sure is tasty!
Ground Cinnamon: Warm spices like cinnamon add a sweet and enticing flavor that makes baked goods so addictive.
Chopped Nuts: For nutty oat bars, add ⅔ cup of chopped raw walnuts or raw pecans. You can also add seeds like hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, or pumpkin seeds for added nutrition.
Coconut Oil: Add one to two tablespoons of melted coconut oil for added richness and flavor.
Now that we have the simple ingredients for these dark chocolate banana bread bars down, let’s bake a batch of these healthy oatmeal bars!
How to Make Healthy Breakfast Bars:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 8-inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper.
Mash the ripe bananas in a large bowl until creamy. Stir in the almond butter (and pure maple syrup if adding) and mix until the wet ingredients are well-combined.
Add the quick oats, cocoa powder, sea salt (and cinnamon if adding) to the mixing bowl (the dry ingredients).
Mix until a thick batter forms. Stir in the chocolate chips if you’re adding them.
Transfer the chocolate banana oat mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer. If desired, sprinkle with extra chocolate chips.
Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the sides have firmed up (I bake mine for 15 minutes).
Allow the chocolate oatmeal bars to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Store leftover bars in an airtight container or zip lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the bars in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
The only hard part is waiting for the bars to cool before sinking your teeth into the gooey melted chocolate deliciousness.
And that’s it! The next time your sweet tooth is speaking to you and you have super ripe bananas on hand, whip up a batch of these lovely chocolate breakfast bars.
A delicious way to start the day, this healthy breakfast bar recipe is ideal for all your grab-and-go needs.
Make a double batch to enjoy as a quick breakfast or healthy snack during the week. They are the perfect sweet treat for the whole family and make a lovely after school snack for kids.
If you enjoy healthy treats like this, also try out some of these reader favorites.
More Healthy Treats:
- 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy Morning Glory Muffins
- Oatmeal Blueberry Banana Bread
- 5-Ingredient Healthy Blueberry Cookies
- Double Chocolate Oatmeal Zucchini Bread
- 5-Ingredient Healthy Granola Bars
- Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Banana Muffins
If you enjoy the combination of bananas and chocolate, you’re bound to love these healthy chocolate oatmeal breakfast bars!
Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 8-inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper.
- Mash the ripe bananas in a large bowl until creamy. Stir in the almond butter (and pure maple syrup if adding) and mix until the wet ingredients are well-combined.
- Add the quick oats, cocoa powder, sea salt (and cinnamon if adding) to the mixing bowl (the dry ingredients). Mix until a thick batter forms. Stir in the chocolate chips if you’re adding them.
- Transfer the chocolate banana oat mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it into an even layer. If desired, sprinkle with extra chocolate chips.
- Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the sides have firmed up (I bake mine for 15 minutes).
- Allow the chocolate oatmeal bars to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
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