Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars aren’t just a healthy breakfast recipe; they make great afternoon snacks, too. Filling, kid-friendly, and packed with a few of my life-long ingredient loves (peanut butter, banana, and honey, I heart you), these easy homemade baked oatmeal bars are yummy, hearty, and guaranteed to keep you powered for hours.
These oatmeal breakfast bars are one of the very first recipes I ever posted on my site. So many of you have written to tell me about how they’ve enabled you to survive long meetings, fueled you after a workout, and become a favorite of your kids. In fact, this recipe is so simple, many of you bake them with your kiddos too!
The origin of these baked oatmeal bars recipe is my friend Elisabeth, who created it in a desperate quest to find an oatmeal breakfast bar that would keep her first-year medical-resident husband full during the long hours he had to endure between breaks at the hospital.
She offered me one while Ben and I were visiting her in Nashville, and I was simultaneously hooked and FULL. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars have been a regular in my recipe rotation ever since.
Fill-You-Up Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
This recipe combines the three musketeers of peanut butter, banana, and oatmeal.
I also took the liberty of swapping out the agave Elisabeth uses for honey, because I love its flavor with the peanut butter and banana. It’s a trio that’s comforting, homey, and classic in the best possible way.
The texture of the banana honey oatmeal breakfast bars is noticeably denser than banana bread, but they are not dry or crunchy like a granola bar either. They are somewhere in between, which it turns out is a very good place for an oatmeal bar to be.
While these oatmeal bars are fine on their own, my favorite way to eat them is warmed up for breakfast with extra sliced bananas and peanut butter.
I also like having these bars on hand to get me through that last two hours before dinner, when it’s still too early to eat a full meal, but I’m hungry anyway.
What Is a Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast?
These delicious bars are not only a healthy oatmeal breakfast, but they’re also EASY.
Elisabeth is a busy mom with two toddlers and the last person you will find fussing over a recipe. Simply stir together the dry and wet ingredients, pour them into a pan, and bake. You can swap the banana for different fresh or dried fruits or try a different nut butter instead of peanut butter. I used this same base recipe to make Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars.
Like my similarly hearty and healthy Granola Cookies, these oatmeal bars can also be frozen for up to four months. Go big and bake them in bulk.
Tools Used to Make These Bars
Whether you are seeking to survive a shift at the hospital, your 8 a.m. meeting, or looking for an easy snack your kids will love, these portable, tasty, and super-satisfying bars are sure to satisfy.
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk I used unsweetened vanilla almond, but any kind will do nicely
- 3 tablespoons honey*
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter creamy or crunchy—I used natural creamy
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 medium banana quartered and diced
- Place rack in the center reheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8x8 inch square pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, egg, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be very wet. Fold in the diced banana, then pour into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until thickened and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, cut into bars, and serve.
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