When I have sad bananas and no eggs, I make banana oat bars, which are a convenient, portable way to eat banana oatmeal. Banana oat bars take 5 minutes to prepare, require few ingredients and measurements, and dirty very few dishes.
Banana Oat Bars
With 3 bananas, the recipe is 900 calories for the whole pan. Depending on your appetite, you can split the bars into 2 pieces (450 calories), 3 pieces (300 calories), 4 pieces (225 calories), etc. for a quick breakfast or snack.
Looking for a banana bread recipe? I wrote a banana bread guide, which covers how to make soft and fluffy banana bread with ingredients that you have on hand.
- 2 cups of traditional oats
- 2-3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- You can make muffins or a pan. To make muffins, divide the batter equally. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- To make a pan, use a 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Traditional oats: Required for banana oat bars. I used traditional oats. Quick oats may be mushy. Steel cut oats or oat bran may require a longer bake time.
- Bananas: Required for banana oat bars. Adds flavor and helps bind the bars. Use up to 3 sad bananas. If you only have 1 sad banana, you may want to add an egg so the bars don't fall apart. For a different type of oat bar, you can substitute 1 cup of applesauce or pumpkin, but you may want additional sweetener and an egg for binding.
- Water: Required for banana oat bars. Makes the bars softer. Substituting any sort of milk would be okay, but water is free. You should have 2 cups total of mashed bananas + water.
- Cinnamon: Adds flavor. Can add related spices such as 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
- Vanilla extract: Adds flavor. Use up to 1 tablespoon.
- Salt: Add up to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Enhances the flavor of the ingredients.
- Baking soda/powder: Not necessary for this recipe. Oatmeal does not need to be fluffy.
- Butter: Add up to 1/4 cup of melted butter for buttery flavor.
- Sugar: Add up to 1/2 cup of dry sugar, such as white sugar or brown sugar. Add up to 1/4 cup of liquid sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup.
- Wet mix-ins: Add up to 1/2 cup of peanut butter, Nutella, or other spread.
- Dry mix-ins: Add up to 1/2 cup of dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dates), chocolate chips, or nuts.
Step by Step Photos
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. You'll probably be done making the batter before the oven is done preheating. Banana oat bars aren't finnicky, so you can just put the pan in the oven.
Mash the sad bananas. I use a fork, and I mash them in a 2 cup measuring cup, so I can easily measure the water later. If you use 2-3 bananas, you should have roughly a cup of mashed banana.
Add 1 cup of water. I used the lines of the measuring cup.
Add 2 cups of traditional oats and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to a large bowl. If you have any dry mix-ins, add them in now.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. I use the fork from earlier. If you want to evenly distribute wet mix-ins, stir them in now.
Note that we didn't have to stir the wet and dry ingredients separately, and we can stir as much as we want. Over-mixing is only a problem when we use a flour with gluten, such as in banana pancakes and whole wheat waffles.
Pour the raw batter for the banana oat bars into a 8x8 pan. I line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. If you want to create pretty swirls with wet mix-ins, now's your chance!
Here are all of the dishes leftover. I use the 1 cup dry measuring cup to measure the oats. Note that none of the dishes are particularly gross, so clean-up is super fast.
Bake the oat bars for 25-30 minutes until set. Leftover banana oat bars keep well in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze them for a few months.