Easy no-bake Banana Bread Protein Bars naturally sweetened with banana make the perfect nourishing snack to fuel you all all week!
Hi, I’m a new mom and now I can never have enough bars.
I go to pump and I MUST HAVE thirty seven snacks. The bedside table is bursting at the seams with portable sustenance.
The breast feeding hunger is so real. And the thirst…Woah, Nelly! I’d heard that these feelings came on strong and that is indeed the truth.
If you’re a Hummusapien regular, you may already love my Matcha Cookie Bites, Mint Chocolate Protein Bites, Cookie Dough Protein Bars, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars. There is no shortage of snack recipes around here.
Oy, so much goodness!
I originally posted these banana bread protein bars in 2014 (who remembers??) and the recipe was a bit different. In an effort to simplify and make them a bit better the second time around, I messed with the ingredients to make an all new, equally delish bar.
She’s packed with nutrients for super easy, handheld nourishment. Walnuts, oats (hooray for foods that boost breast milk production!), hemp seeds, coconut flour, a smidge of plant protein, and a bit of chocolate for good measure. Never a bad call, that last one.
The “dough” tastes quite a lot like banana bread batter, and there’s no baking required. You do have to whip out the ol’ food processor but hey, no turning on the oven. Small wins!
I love that these bad boys aren’t super sweet. Cuz you know a brownie or three is happening later.
Ingredient tips and substitutions
Old fashioned oats: Lotsa oats for texture, nutrition, and toasty flavor. Use certified gluten free if needed. Don’t use instant or steel cut here!
Walnuts: Super nutty and loaded with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. Here for it!
Vanilla plant protein: For a protein boost and extra sweetness. My favorites are blends of brown rice and pea protein like this or this. I have not tried these with whey. If you don’t have protein powder, you should be able to sub any combo of oats, ground flax or almond flour, but they will be a lot less sweet. These bars are not super sweet as it is!
Coconut flour: I love this stuff because it’s so high in fiber. It’s crazy absorbent, like a sponge. Since it’s so unlike any other flour, I don’t recommend subbing it out. Ground flax may work since it’s absorbent too, but I haven’t tried it!
Hemp seeds: A complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. Booya! If you don’t have hemp seeds, you could try chia seeds or coconut.
Honey: For a hint of extra sweetness. Maple syrup or agave will also work, but I like that honey is thicker and a bit sticky. Totally optional.
Banana: Very necessary for banana bread protein bars! Use extra ripe ones since they’re the main sweetening agent.
Vanilla extract + cinnamon: For authentic banana bread flavor!
Chocolate chips: I never make banana bread without chocolate chips. Do you?? Chocolate is a must. You can drizzle or just dot with the chips if you’re going for easy breezy.
Which protein powder is best?
I always go with plant-based protein powder so I can’t vouch for how they’d taste with whey. If you try it, holler in the comments! This and this are my favorite plant-based protein powders.
You want one that’s sweetened versus unflavored, as that contributes to the overall taste of these bars. If less sweet bars are your jam, feel free to try unsweetened protein.
If you don’t have protein powder, you can try swapping it out for more oats, or even throw some ground flaxseed in there!
How to store bars
I like to store my bars in the freezer because I think the texture is amazing. If they’re too hard right out of the freezer, let them sit for a bit at room temp to soften up.
You can store a few at a time in the fridge, but know that they’ll get more brown since the banana will oxidize.
You can also roll these into balls if ya like! The sky is the limit, frands.
Craving more snack greatness? Don’t miss my other go-to recipes:
Easy no-bake Banana Bread Protein Bars naturally sweetened with banana make the perfect nourishing snack to fuel you all all week. They taste like banana bread in bar form!
- Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper hanging over the sides and set aside. To help the parchment paper stick, you can spray the pan with cooking spray first.
- Place walnuts, oats, protein, coconut flour, hemp seeds, cinnamon and salt in the food processor and blend until the walnuts are broken down into small pieces. Add banana, honey and vanilla and process until a dough forms, scraping down the sides as needed. It will be very thick and slightly sticky and may seem wet at first but the coconut flour and oats will quickly thicken it. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
- If desired, you can press a handful of chocolate chips into the bars like the photos, or make a chocolate drizzle. Make drizzle by placing chocolate chips and oil in a small bowl. Melt in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Use a fork to drizzle chocolate on top of bars.
- Freeze for 1-2 hours, or until set, before slicing into 8-10bars. Store in the freezer and let them sit a bit at room temperature before eating to soften up if needed.
*Do not substitute coconut flour for another flour–it is very unique and absorbent and not a 1:1 sub. This is what helps thicken the bars. If you don’t have coconut flour, ground flaxseed may work but I have not tested it! I have not tested this recipe with whey protein.
This recipe was originally posted on April 6, 2014 and updated on March 2, 2021. Original recipe: 1/2 cup pitted dates, 1/2 cup mashed banana, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup almonds, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup protein powder, 2 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Directions: Blend dates, banana, and vanilla in food processor until very smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and proceed with the directions above.
Keywords: banana protein bars, banana bread protein bars