Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Banana Oat Granola Bars

As a diabetic, I have to always have some kind of food to carry around with me.  For the last couple of years, my food of choice has been granola bars, mostly because they're delicious and can also substitute for a meal.  Since I've been eating them, they've become some of my favorite things.  To demonstrate, I would  like to show you part of a picture that my roommate Stacey drew before I ran a half-marathon in October.  I stored granola bars in my leggings as I ran, as you can tell...

Anyways, now that you've seen that embarrassing proof of my obsession with granola bars, on to the story.  Last year I bought 8 boxes of granola bars on a really good sale (but you had to buy 10 items on the sale...), and I got more over the summer from home.  However, even that abundance has to come to an end at some point.  I have a few left, but when I came across this recipe, I decided to try it.  And I'm glad I did!  I have tried and will continue to try other granola bar recipes, because variety is the spice of life.  But this is a good starter recipe, calling for ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and no complicated cooking instructions.  Plus they're vegan, sugar-free, and delicious!  Enjoy!

Banana Oat Granola Bars
From the Zupas Cafe Blog
Makes one 9x9 pan

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (or substitute sweetened shredded coconut)
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped fairly small (so it all sticks together better; maybe use some mini chocolate chips?)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 large ripe bananas, or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Combine all ingredients.  Press into a 9x9 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Cool in pan and cut.  I cut it in half one way and in five the other way.  

Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 275 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until crispy.  

Wrap in plastic wrap or put in an airtight container to store.  To keep longer, wrap them in plastic wrap, put them in a plastic bag, and freeze them; take out and carry one with you in the morning when you go out.  The freezing will actually stabilize the bars, making them less crumbly.

Cut long...

Or square.  Your choice!


  1. Um, these look DELICIOUS, and I love the idea of sugar-free, vegan granola bars you can make yourself! However, I have one request, and you're perhaps the only one who can fulfill it: how can I substitute the coconut?? I HATE coconut. I know you and Megan are hardcore believers, but I'd really appreciate it if there was some other way. I'm sure it holds it together, though...is there anything else I can use????

  2. You really can't taste the coconut as long as you use the unsweetened kind, but you could probably just omit it. I don't think it would have too much of an effect on the finished product, but I'm not sure...

  3. These would actually be perfect for my middle son's preschool class. We rotate who's in charge of snack and I really like to try and keep it healthy and low in sugar. Thanks so much for the delicious idea, I'll definitely be trying these!

    Have a great weekend!

  4. I've always wanted to make my own granola bars, I'll save this recipe...


Did this recipe work for you? Tips, suggestions, or advice?