Banana Bread Granola Bars (Gluten-free)

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These chocolate-covered banana bread granola bars came out of an experiment in the kitchen where I was trying to modify my original granola bar recipe by using bananas as the binding agent. They are “cakey-er” in texture (if that’s a word lol) and taste like banana bread, but with bits and pieces of nuts and seeds inside.  They make wonderful snacks for kids’ lunchboxes or for yourself to have on hand when that sweet tooth kicks in. They are full of nutrients, such as protein from chia seeds, vitamins and minerals such as manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron from the oats, bananas, dates, nuts and seeds. Moreover, the healthy fats from coconut oil, walnuts, chia and pumpkin seeds, will help lower bad cholesterol, shed excess weight and give you radiant skin, shiny hair and healthy nails. The fiber, fats and cinnamon will help stabilize blood sugar, minimizing the risk of blood sugar-related diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

These are just some benefits you will get out of enjoying these tasty treats made with high-quality, whole-food ingredients. But as always, moderation is key and we want to make sure we don’t go overboard especially when it comes to sweet treats!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

These gorgeous bars are loaded with flavor from all natural ingredients, like heart-healthy walnuts, seeds and oats, plus potassium-rich bananas and naturally-sweet dates. And with the layer of chocolate on top​, they're a substantial dessert treat​​.​ If you're looking at these for snacky munching, best bet is to go with half since each weighs in at nearly 300 calories and 17 grams of fat ​apiece.

Note: ​​​If desired, cut a handful of calories and ​fat​ grams​ by eliminating the ​chocolate covering​ -- try sprinkling the top with ​plain cocoa powder instead​.

By Heather Goesch

Banana Bread Granola Bars (Gluten-free)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Servings: 12

Ingredients

GRANOLA BAR:

1 cup walnuts
6 dates, pitted
2 ripe bananas
1 ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoons vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract)

CHOCOLATE LAYER:

4 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Pinch of unrefined sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×5 pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges of the pan for easy removal
  2. Throw the walnuts into the food processor and process until you get a doughy crumble
  3. Add dates and bananas and process some more to get a smooth mixture. Then fold in the rest of ingredients and blitz a few times until everything is fully combined
  4. Transfer the mixture into the pan and press down into an even layer. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and let it cool
  5. TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt coconut oil over low heat if it’s not melted already.
  6. Whisk in the cacao powder until completely dissolved. Add the maple syrup and sea salt and stir to combine. You should get a thick chocolate (If it’s not thick enough, add another spoonful of cacao powder)
  7. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the baked granola and transfer to the fridge or freezer and let it set.
  8. Remove after an hour, cut into bars and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×5 pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edges of the pan for easy removal Throw the walnuts into the food processor and process until you get a doughy crumble Add dates and bananas and process some more to get a smooth mixture. Then fold in the rest of ingredients and blitz a few times until everything is fully combined Transfer the mixture into the pan and press down into an even layer. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and let it cool TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt coconut oil over low heat if it’s not melted already. Whisk in the cacao powder until completely dissolved. Add the maple syrup and sea salt and stir to combine. You should get a thick chocolate (If it’s not thick enough, add another spoonful of cacao powder) Pour the melted chocolate on top of the baked granola and transfer to the fridge or freezer and let it set. Remove after an hour, cut into bars and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:
Calories: 296; Total Fat: 17 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 56 mg; Potassium: 335 mg; Carbohydrate: 35 g; Fiber: 8 g; Sugar: 14 g; Protein: 8 g
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C: 3%; Vitamin A: 1%; Iron: 11%; Calcium: 8%;

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Banana Bread Granola Bars (Gluten-free)

  1. Lorrie

    This looks like a good snack but requires maple syrup which is on the NO food sugar detox list.

    Is there a substitute for the syrup?

    Reply

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