Banana Oatmeal Bars. Vegan. Gluten Free.


This recipe has been morphed from an old recipe that I’ve had for years to now accommodate my daughter’s newly adopted diet of being gluten and dairy free due to allergies.  They turned out moist and delicious and were devoured by my whole family in rapid speed!  This recipe also has no added refined sugars.  This is a snack you can totally feel great about.  Plus I added some extra protein to these for building or repairing muscle (which I need after running 13 miles yesterday).


2 1/3 cups of gluten free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill rolled gluten free oats)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3-4 bananas (very ripe is best)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or paste
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup of maple syrup, agave or honey (for vegetarian option)
1/4 cup of hemp hearts (optional for extra protein)
1/4-1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life) – use as many as you prefer.  I made half with and half without as my husband is allergic to cocoa.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your 8×8 or 9×9 glass pan with baking spray with flour and set aside.

Into your Vitamix or food processor, add your oats and blend down until a fine powder.  See photo:

Then add the flour to a bowl along with your cinnamon, soda, powder and salt.  Whisk to combine.

In your stand mixer, blend your bananas, vanilla, apple sauce and maple syrup.


Then add your flour mixture and hemp hearts (optional):


Blend to combine.   If using chocolate chips, add them by hand.  Then pour into your prepared pan and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely and slice.  Cover in an airtight container until serving.

Update on running, training and life – while I remember.  Yesterday I tackled my longest run of this year and my training for 2014.  Last November I ran my fastest half yet – sub 2 hour and as happy as I was with that accomplishment the race killed me.  Well, I felt like it did.  I was overdressed.  It was hotter than expected once I got started and there were killer hills and gravel on the course which made the race a struggle for me.  My heart rate exceeded 195 for over 3 miles (not good).  That one “bad” run, if I call it that, left many demons in my head.  I have three races coming up and have been training incessantly for them.  Actually a bit too hard and too much, not allowing my legs to rest at all.  Not good.  It wasn’t till I got a text from my friend Lottie (from who reminded me to do my long run 1-1.5 minutes slower than my race pace. Her words resonated with me and I finally gave myself a break.  I went out early Sunday morning and in the darkness I started running.  I tackled hill upon hill.  Ran and prayed the entire time.  I kept a close watch of my time, which I’m not good at pacing myself.  I would speed up and then slow down… then too much.  I kept focused.  The miles passed by so quickly that I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying this run.  This never happens!  I’m using pushing so hard that I can’t wait till its over.  I finished, actually faster than my half in November!  I felt so good.  So at 42 I’m still learning… even though I knew better and I’m so thankful for Lottie and her voice of reason.   Yes, hard to believe I’ve been running for years and years and even did a marathon.  Sometimes we need reminders about resting our bodies and I’m proof of that!  Monday I did weight training and abs.  Today I walked the treadmill for an hour.  Tomorrow I hit the road again for a moderate run.


— Knead to Cook

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  1. These look great! Thanks for the recipe! I just hope that baking spray with flour didn’t affect your daughter that can’t eat gluten 🙂

  2. My boyfriend is obsessed with these bars. Now my roommate’s boyfriend is too. I make them on a weekly basis for him now. He also suggested the addition of some almond butter, and they turned out well! Thanks so much for the recipe!!!!

  3. Hi! I just recently found your website and I have to say your story is very inspirational. I LOVE all of your creative recipes, I’ve been trying some of them out and altering them when I need to to fit my specific dietary needs. This recipe in particular is one of my favorites! I have Crohn’s Disease, so the fact that this recipe is oil-free, dairy-free and uses no refined sugars is so convenient. It’s been difficult finding a dessert recipe that fits my dietary needs that actually tastes good, so I just wanted to thank you for sharing this. Keep doing what you do, you’re amazing! 🙂

    1. Summer, Thank you for reaching out to me. I’m so happy you found my website and hope you continue to find perfect recipes that you love. Sending you lots of love. Robin oxo

  4. Thanks for an awesome, adaptable recipe! I am forever hoarding over-ripe bananas in my freezer, and was looking for a spin on the old banana chocolate chip muffin recipe that I usually use. I didn’t have applesauce and am not vegan, so I subbed an egg and it worked out just fine. I also subbed the last 1/3 cup of oats for wheat bran to add a little more fiber. The flour ended up a little grainier, but the texture is perfect — closer to a bran muffin in bar form. I threw in some almond butter but, flavor-wise, it didn’t make a huge difference; I might try peanut butter next time for a more nutty flavor. The not-too-sweetness of the batter is a perfect match for chocolate chips, and makes for an excellent breakfast or snack. Thanks again!

    1. Chelsea, You made my day with that comment. Thank you and I’m so glad you experimented with the recipe. Wishing you a wonderful weekend. You’re version sounds heavenly 🙂 oxo