Banana-Blueberry Bars

My friend and fellow cooking instructor, Katie Mae, came up with these delicious Banana-Blueberry Bars. They are moist and hearty, and contain no salt, oil or refined sugar. They make an ideal breakfast, traveling, or dessert snack.

This is a guest recipe by Katie Mae, whom I teach with at TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA. Katie Mae is a nutritionist and culinary educator. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Bastyr University. Katie Mae’s goal is to support and inspire people interested in adopting a plant-based diet and lifestyle. You can read more about her services and recipes at Plant-Based Katie.

Ingredients
1 cup medjool dates (about 7), pitted and diced
1 1/2 cups apple juice

1 cup oat flour
2 cups rolled oats
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

3 medium ripe bananas, diced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
½ cup walnuts

Directions
1. Place pitted and diced dates in a bowl with the apple juice. Set aside and soak for at least 20 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 baking dish (see note below) with parchment paper, making sure the sides are lined as well (cut slits in the corners of the paper so that it overlaps).

3. Combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Place the diced bananas, vanilla extract, apple juice, and dates into a blender and blend until creamy.

4. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredient bowl and mix with a fork. Fold in the blueberries and walnuts. Pour the batter into your baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 30 minutes. Test for doneness by poking bars with a fork or knife. It should come out clean. The top should be a light brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12-24 bars depending on how you cut them

NOTES

Pan: I didn’t have a 9×9 pan, so I used my 9×13 pan and just cooked them for a little less time (about 25 minutes). Any size pan would work, just be sure to decrease the cooking time as bars get thinner.

Flour: For the oat flour, I grind rolled oats in my high-speed blender, but you can also use store-bought oat flour.

Apple juice: Try to get an apple juice with no added sugar.

Optional: The walnuts and/or blueberries may be omitted. If you do not have apple juice on hand, you can use water; the bars will be a little less sweet in this case.

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Comments

    • says

      Hi Sara, not sure, give it a try. I’m not much of a freezer user. I think they would be fine since bread is easily freezable. Yes, maybe a few more berries would be good :)

    • says

      Hi Sara, these do freeze well – just put them in an airtight container with parchment paper in between the bars. Freezing is a great way to save the bars for another time. If I don’t do this, I tend to just keep nibbling and the next thing I know…they’re gone.

  1. Tari says

    I just made these tonight for dessert. They were a super success with my whole family. I have a 7 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. Everyone loved them!

  2. says

    I’d love to try this recipe, but I’m allergic to dates (ER visit for shortness of breath, so no kidding). Please give a substitute ingredient. Thanks!

  3. Troy Reed says

    I have made a batch of these bars and they are great. What are your suggestions in the storing of these bars?

  4. Jo-Anne says

    Made them this morning with wheat flour, quick oats and wildberry juice as they were what I had (and my blender’s broken, so no home-ground oat flour). They were lovely but (likely because of the wheat flour) a wee bit gummy. Would you clarify what sort of rolled oats you use? Large flake? I thought adding cooked quinoa or hemp hearts might be tasty as well.

    • says

      Hi Jo-Anne, I use regular rolled oats (not “quick” or instant). Yes, maybe the wheat flour did it, but they are rather moist to begin with. You could try a little less banana too.

  5. Barb says

    This is my current favorite dessert/snack recipe. I have been making them to eat at home and to share with others. I plan to take them Tuesday to a monthly “healthy potluck.” I don’t have apple juice right now, but do have frozen pineapple juice concentrate in the freezer, and I add water to that to make 1 1/2 cups juice. The resulting bars taste good. Thank you for the recipe!! I’m dying to try the blackberry/peach cobbler recipe. I don’t have blackberries, but I do have blueberries. I think they would be terrific with peaches, once I get those.

  6. Flavia says

    Cathy, I really enjoy your recipes; lately I discovered that I can actually cook… healthy!
    I have a question: how high you put the oven for the banana-blueberry bars? it might sound silly but I want to get it right from the beginning :-)

  7. Amy says

    I love these! I made them with water instead of apple juice (I was out) and they still turned out sweet enough. They were even more moist than I expected. It’s great to have a dessert recipe without added sugar (even if it is “healthier” like honey or maple syrup). They are great for breakfast too!

    I have been coming to this site for a couple of months now, and I love trying out your recipes!

  8. Janice says

    Hi Cathy,

    I love this combination of ingredients. I made the recipe this morning but I’m not 100% satisfied with the texture – a little too soft and sticky. I used 2 1/2 instead of 3 bananas because the ones I had on hand were kind of large. But maybe that was still too much. What’s your estimate on the best volume of bananas and how would you describe the consistency of the batter? Thanks.

    Janice

  9. Sandi says

    I finally made these…they are great!! I used pomegranite juice, frozen cherries and blueberries, a mix of walnuts, pistachios, and cashews, and oat bran instead of oat flour. Great for breakfast.

  10. Becky Karppala says

    These recipes are a life savor. My 7 year old and I are eating like this now and deserts are the most challenging. We don’t eat oats so do you have a substitution suggestion? Thanks again for all the ideas.

    • says

      Hi Becky, for this recipe the whole rolled oats are a major part, so not sure how I would replace those. I’d have to tinker with it. You could try replacing with a flour that you can eat and see if it still holds up. Maybe some cooked quinoa instead?? :)

  11. Sandi says

    Cathy, I have to thank you for these wonderful bars. I make them for company whenever people are staying over, and they love them. I make them with a berry mix, a nut mix, and sometimes even throw in a few chocolate chips. How do you store them…saran wrap, aluminum foil, refrigerator, freezer? I have been wrapping a couple at a time together in foil and/or saran wrap, but is there a better way?

  12. Kim says

    Cathy, I just recently found your blog and am loving your recipes! Made these bars this afternoon and they are great. I subbed 1 cup unsweetened applesauce for the 1.5 cups apple juice and 1 full cup of blueberries. Consistency was perfect. I’ve already given your blog info to a couple of WFPB-minded friends.

  13. Vaishali says

    Hi Cathy, love your website…. these look delicious, do you think I could half the recipe, sometimes it messes up the recipe if halved. Please let me know…would love to try it.

  14. jenny says

    I would like to try these with a “fig newton” type filling — I’m a sucker for those bulk bin fig snacks! thanks!!!

  15. Pam C says

    I made them last night. OMG. The recipe seems to be fool-proof. Looking for apple juice in our pantry led to a major clean-out of the pantry and then I forgot the bars in the oven…they baked for almost 40 minutes and still had the most perfect texture. Even my carnivore husband enjoyed them! Thanks for this recipe.

  16. says

    My son and I both love these bars. Easy to make. I am making them for a picnic tomorrow. I might make a double batch Thank you for the recipe. Clarice

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