Banana Nut Bread No Bake Energy Bars – all the flavors of your favorite homemade banana bread recipe packed into a healthy snack
All the flavors of your favorite homemade banana bread recipe packed into a healthy snack the kids will love to find in their lunchbox. It’s super easy to make a batch of these Banana Nut Bread No Bake Energy Bars.
Hi Princess Pinky Girlfriends! My name is Brianne, and you can usually find me over on my blog Cupcakes & Kale Chips, but I’m super excited to be here to share some recipes with you too. I’m a former Chemical Engineer who now spends my days trying to keep up with two crazy busy little boys while I create recipes that reflect my “cupcakes and kale chips” philosophy on balance. We eat fairly healthy most of the time, which means it leaves room to indulge in decadent desserts now and then.
If you spend any time with me, whether in person or via the interwebs, one thing you will quickly learn is that my boys are perpetual eating machines. Human garbage disposals. Snack monsters. Call it what you want, but they seriously could eat from morning to night if I let them. And no, they aren’t teenagers. They are two and five. I fear for my future grocery bill. Literally, within ten minutes (sometimes seconds) of finishing a meal you start hearing the shouts of “I want a snack!” or “I’m still hungry!” or “I need something to eat!” echoing through our house.
Luckily they eat well – lots of fruits and veggies and protein and all that good stuff – so giving in to these pleas does not typically lead to mealtime battles. Because of this, I obviously need lots of healthy snacks on hand. And I need to be able to make lots of snacks in not a lot of time, because these boys also keep me busy!
That’s where these bars come in. I love energy bars and energy balls because they can be made in minutes and they are packed with all sorts of good for you ingredients like dates and oats and nuts, plus they are easy to make gluten free or vegan, and even nut-free, if needed. I’ve made everything from Cinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Balls and Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Energy Balls to Mango Coconut Chia Energy Bars and Cherry Crumble Energy Bars. For this batch, I thought I’d take inspiration from traditional banana bread chock full of walnuts, and even some optional chocolate chips. Though really, are chocolate chips ever optional? And for some extra nutritional punch – flax seeds and chia seeds. Yay for superfoods!
Banana Nut Bread No Bake Energy Bars
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup uncooked oats gluten free, if needed
- ¼ cup ground flax seed or flax meal
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips vegan, if needed, optional
- Line a 8x8 or 9x9 square pan with wax or parchment paper.
- Place all ingredients except walnuts and chocolate chips in a high-powered blender (such as a Blendtec) or food processor, and process until the mixture forms a thick mass.
- Break up slightly with a spatula, add walnuts to the mixture, and pulse until the nuts are slightly chopped and distributed.
- Break up the mixture one more time, add chocolate chips and pulse a few times to distribute the chips, or simply stir in the chips.
- Press the mixture into the prepared pan. You can cover the top with more paper and press an equal sized pan to roll the top with a glass to flatten completely.
- Place in freezer until firm, as this will allow you to slice them easier. Otherwise they are quite sticky. Slice into bars or squares and store the bars in the refrigerator.
If you like these, then you might enjoy some of my other snack bar recipes…
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