My family has been on the super healthy breakfast bars train for a LONG time. It started after I’d moved out so I was a bit slower on the uptake, but then became a bit obsessed.
To the point that I can’t make them myself because having an entire 9×13 pan of breakfast bars in my house is incredibly dangerous. I steal a bite, maybe another bite later…and then somehow in like 24 hours the whole pan is gone!
[Also…after I posted this, my mom told me that this originated with one of my sisters. Such is the nature of family recipes! Though “Melissa’s Breakfast Bars” don’t have quite the same cultural cache]
You can easily make them gluten-free breakfast bars, and given my running list of food sensitivity challenges, that’s what I typically do.
In the ingredients list below you’ll see that I’ve noted a few different options and substitutions. I always make this with almond butter and the almond flour/oats substitution.
But this recipe is super flexible to whatever adaptations you need to make based on dietary needs (or whatever’s in your pantry). For instance if you need to sub or leave out different seeds or nuts, use a different nut butter, or just hate coconut, this recipe can go with the flow.
As a bonus, these are naturally unleavened, so make a great breakfast option during the Passover/Days of Unleavened Bread.
And, as noted above, it makes a huge pan, so if you’re only one or two people, you might consider halving the recipe (I feel like after a day or two, move to storing it in the fridge so it doesn’t start to do that slightly funky fermentation-smelling thing that banana-based bakes do).
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, mash your bananas up, then mix the wet ingredients together.
Then add the remaining (dry) ingredients. You’ll have a thick, wet batter.
Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9×13 baking dish.
Bake until lightly brown around the edges, and pull out before the middle is fully firm to avoid drying them out.
On regular heat (not convection), this is usually 25-35 minutes, but definitely depends on what ingredients you used and how wet the mixture was. Start checking at 20 minutes to be safe.
Let it set and cool for a bit (at least 20 minutes ideally). Then cut and serve.
Or just sneak little bites straight from the pan, until you’ve accidentally eaten like 8 slices…
These are—in my humble opinion—the best breakfast bars around, and I love how they’re so packed with healthy grains, seeds, and nuts!
Other healthy breakfast options you’ll love:
- Cinnamon Maple Tahini Quinoa Granola (GF, vegan, almond-free)
- 5-Minute Healthy Breakfast Tacos
- Egg Muffins with Veggies & Chives
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Baked Oatmeal (GF, dairy-free, egg-free)
- Easy Almond Flour Pancakes (GF, keto, low carb)
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins
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- 4 very ripe bananas, well-mashed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of oil (olive, avocado, or melted coconut)
- 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter (or almond or cashew butter)
- 3 cups of rolled (old fashioned) oats
- 1 cup of flour (or sub 1/2 cup almond flour & additional 1/2 cup of oats)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 cup of finely-chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (can omit, or sub with other seeds as needed)
- 3/4 cup of unsweetened shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup of raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Then add the remaining (dry) ingredients. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish.
- Bake until lightly brown around the edges, and pull out before the middle is fully firm to avoid drying them out. On regular heat (not convection), this is usually 25-35 minutes, but definitely depends on what ingredients you used and how wet the mixture was. Start checking at 20 minutes to be safe.
- As you'll see in the ingredients list, this recipe is very flexible. The mixture is quite accommodating to a variety of substitutions depending on dietary needs.
- I always make this with almond butter and the almond flour/oats substitution (which makes it gluten-free). It's naturally dairy-free.