June 19, 2014
Even better than the store-bought versions, these Nut-Free Granola Bars are the perfect quick breakfast or healthy afternoon snack. Made with old-fashioned oats, ripe bananas, and sweet honey, you’re going to love this gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipe!
Finding nut-free snacks at the grocery store can be a challenge. Even if an item doesn’t contain nuts itself, it’s often made in a facility that produces nuts. Or, it’s full of sugar and other processed ingredients. And then once you do find a snack with approved ingredients, you have to make sure it’s kid-friendly. Yikes!
This uncertainty just won’t cut it when it comes to packing allergy-friendly lunches. These granola bars are the latest in a whole list of nut-free school lunch ideas and nut-free snacks that I’ve shared on MOMables through the years.
Nut-Free Banana Granola Bar Ingredients
After years of scanning the grocery store aisles for a nut-free granola bar that both tasted good and contained whole ingredients, I decided to make my own using common pantry ingredients. All you’ll need for these nutless granola bars is:
- Old-fashioned oats: to give these bars a soft, fluffy texture.
- Cinnamon: a little goes a long way!
- Coconut oil: you can also use melted butter or canola oil.
- Honey: a natural sweetener.
- Mashed ripe bananas: another healthy and natural sweetener!
- Vanilla extract: to get that nice flavor we all love.
- Eggs: help bind all the ingredients.
- Chocolate chips: white or milk chocolate, you choose!
How to Make Nut-Free Granola Bars
Baked in the oven in just 35 minutes, you won’t believe how easy these Nut-Free Granola Bars are to make! Double the batch for on-the-go breakfasts all week long. To make these bars, first:
Set your oven to 350 degrees, and while the oven heats up, line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Blend your oats in a food processor or blender and transfer to a large bowl with the cinnamon. Then, blend the coconut oil, honey, banana, and vanilla until smooth before adding the egg.
Pour the ingredients into the bowl with the oats and stir until combined, adding in chocolate chips if desired.
Then, transfer the combined mixture into the previously lined pan. Once in the pan, use a second parchment sheet to press down, spreading the mixture until it is even across the pan.
Finally, place the nut-free granola bar mixture into the preheated oven for 32-35 minutes, until set and lightly golden. After this period, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool down completely.
While you’ve been standing there, smelling them, wanting them, waiting for them to cool, I know you’ve been eating chocolate chips from the bag. Admit it! Okay, maybe that’s just me, but it also gave me the yummy idea to melt some additional chocolate chips and drizzle it over the bars. Mmm…
You don’t have to add the drizzle, but I did. I went there. There’s no going back now; there are never regrets when it comes to chocolate.
Making Bars or Granola Squares
This recipe will come out of the oven in the form of a giant rectangle. It’s up to you to decide what shape to make them. Even better, get the kids involved and practice cutting squares, rectangles, or other fun shapes with cookie cutters.
Which Oats are Best for Granola Bars?
To get the soft, fluffy texture you want in your granola bar, be sure to use old-fashioned oats. While steel-cut oats are perfect for overnight oat recipes and instant oats work great for making homemade instant oatmeal packets you want to stick with the traditional Old-Fashioned variety when making granola bars.
How to Store Nut-Free Granola Bars
If snacks vanish in your house as fast as they do in mine, the best way to store these Nut-Free Granola Bars is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, if you wish to save them for longer, they can be kept in the freezer. When storing them, you can wrap the bars individually in wax paper for an easy grab-and-go snack.
How Long Do Homemade Granola Bars Last?
When refrigerated, these granola bars will last up to a week (if you’re lucky). However, if you choose to store them in the freezer, they will stay fresh up to one month.
Banana Chocolate Chip Nut-Free Granola Bars Recipe
- 4 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats, divided
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup honey
- ¾ cup mashed ripe banana, about 2 medium
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup chocolate chips, white or milk chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper for easy lifting.
- In your blender or food processor, add ½ cup of oats and blend to make oat flour. Transfer oat flour into a large bowl.
- Add the remaining oats, cinnamon to the large bowl.
- In a blender, place the coconut oil, honey, banana, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Add the egg and blend on low speed to incorporate.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the large oat bowl and using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined. Add in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Transfer the thick oat mixture into the prepared pan. Take another piece of parchment paper and place it on top of the oat mixture, press down to spread the oat mixture throughout the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 32-35 minutes, until set and lightly golden. Remove pan from the oven and allow it to cool down completely. Refrigerate pan for an hour before slicing.
- When ready to slice into bars, use the parchment paper to lift the baked bars out of the pan and slice into squares with a knife.
- Refrigerate leftover granola squares in an airtight container for up to one week and in the freezer up to a month.