Sweet, soft and hearty Healthy Breakfast Bars made with wholesome ingredients plus a spattering of chocolate chips ... Because CHOCOLATE .... But you can easily just use more nuts or seeds instead if you prefer. Perfect for grab and go breakfasts or for stuffing into lunch-boxes!
I have strong opinions about breakfast bars. I like them to be full of good for you ingredients, with a bit of indulgence too because you have to start your day the way you mean to go on, and what is life without a little indulgence?
I like them to be slightly chewy, soft but dense and hearty, transportable so you can grab and go if necessary or stuff them into lunchboxes, and they should taste like dessert even though they are secretly healthy. Kind of like my Healthy No Bake Bars.
And I am really liking this Healthy Breakfast Bars recipe because it checks all those boxes.
Hanging out in them you will find all of these wholesome and filling ingredients:
- wholewheat flour (or gluten-free flour if you prefer)
- natural peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
- nuts (or seeds instead if you prefer)
You won't find any refined flour, refined sugar (except in the optional chocolate chips), or any added oil.
How to make Healthy Breakfast Bars
FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
They are really quick and easy to make. The most difficult part happens when they come out of the oven and cool down and you have the really difficult decision of whether to cut them into reasonably sized bars or ridiculously huge bars. No judgement here no matter what you decide!
Here's how it's done ...
In a food processor or a blender (you could probably get away with a stick blender or even do it by hand), blend up the bananas, nut butter vanilla and maple syrup until completely smooth.
Add all of the dry ingredients, including the dates to a bowl and stir them all together.
Then pour the wet into the dry and stir it all together.
Spoon into a pan and sprinkle over some optional chocolate chips. You can omit them or replace them nuts or seeds if you aren't a fan of chocolate for breakfast.
Bake and allow to cool before cutting into bars.
You must use really ripe bananas. Soft and very spotty. The riper they are the better.
Don't use nut butter that's too dry. It should be soft and drip off the spoon if you let it. You know sometimes you get to the end of the jar and it's all gone a bit dry and hard. That won't work well in this recipe because the nut butter is what brings the dry ingredients together into a dough.
Other than that it's all very straightforward and pretty fool proof.
Ways to adapt my Healthy Breakfast Bars
They are perfect as they are but you could:
- switch out the wholewheat flour for gluten-free flour, oat flour, all purpose flour or spelt flour.
- use any chopped nuts you like, or a mixture of your favourites. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans all work well.
- to keep the bars nut-free, use pumpkins seeds or sunflower seeds instead of the nuts, or just omit the nuts.
- omit the chocolate chips or use more nuts instead. Or use cacao nibs instead for a more bitter crunch.
- add a handful of dried fruit like raisins, sultanas, apricots or cranberries.
Eat the breakfast bars as they are, or serve them with a dollop of vegan yogurt on the top. The tartness of the yogurt works really well with the soft bars and makes them feel and look even more like dessert!
You're going to be needing to make these Healthy Breakfast Bars.
Healthy Breakfast Bars
- 2 cups / 200 g rolled oats , sometimes called old-fashioned oats. Use certified gluten-free oats for GF
- ½ cup / 63 g wholewheat flour , see notes for alternatives *
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup / 70 g chopped nuts , or seeds (see notes for suggestions) **
- ½ packed cup / 90 g finely chopped pitted dates , (about 12 to 13 dates)
For Topping (optional)
- ½ cup / 90 g vegan chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175 °C) and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.
- Add the wet ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth. If you don't have a blender or food processor, mash the bananas really well with a fork, then beat in the peanut butter, vanilla and maple syrup until they are all smooth and well combined.
- To a large bowl add the oats, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and stir together to combine. Add the chopped dates and the nuts and stir them through. If the dates get a bit clumpy, break them apart with your fingers.
- Add the blended liquid mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir them together well, then spoon into the pan, pack it down and even out the top with a spatula.
- Sprinkle over the optional chocolate chips, press them just a little with your hands, then put into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the pan, then cut into bars.