Soft and chewy peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars, gluten free, dairy free, and made in one bowl – what’s not to love? Chocolate and peanut butter are perfect together, and these are just sweet enough to feel like a treat while still being filled with whole grains.
I’ve been making these bars for close to a decade now, and return to them again and again for on-the-go snacks. We like to have some on hand in the freezer to grab and take hiking or snack on after a workout.
For a similar recipe that doesn’t need peanut butter, try these cranberry chocolate chip granola bars, also sweetened with honey.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
It’s well worth it to try making your own granola bars at home, and this is an excellent recipe to start with. Not only do you control what goes into them, you’ll also save money and have less plastic waste.
- It’s a one-bowl recipe: banana is mashed in the bowl, and then everything else is mixed right in. Since these are gluten-free, there’s no worry about over mixing.
- They’re very sturdy: the banana and peanut butter make these a bit softer, but they’re also less likely to crumble, especially if kept chilled. Pack them with an ice pack to keep them whole even when moving around in a lunch box.
- Higher in protein: one bar contains about eight grams of protein, which is pretty good for a granola bar that tastes like dessert.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Oats: these should be rolled oats. Quick cook probably work fine, but steel cut won’t.
- Peanut butter: use any nut or seed butter to replace it. Replace the peanuts with the equivalent nut or seed (e.g. if using sunflower seed butter, use sunflower seeds). Make sure the nut butter you’re using doesn’t have oil or sugar added.
- Chia: if you don’t have chia or want to be a bit more budget friendly, it can be replaced with another three tablespoons of ground flax.
- Banana: I haven’t tried this recipe without the banana, and it is key to the texture. Applesauce or eggs can probably replace but this hasn’t been tested.
- Honey: for a fully vegan granola bar, use another sticky liquid sweetener like coconut syrup.
Step by Step
1. Mix wet ingredients: mash the banana, then stir in the other wet ingredients to combine.
2. Add remaining ingredients: stir in the rest of the ingredients until well mixed.
3. Press into a tin: use dampened hands or the back of a soup spoon to firmly press into an even layer.
4. Bake: for about half an hour, or until the edges are golden in colour.
If you can’t see the recipe video in the post, please watch it here.
A chocolate drizzle topping is optional, of course, but does add a bit of flair. If you want these to feel a bit special, melt a handful of chocolate with a smidge of coconut oil and drizzle over chilled bars (not as pictured, which was for dramatic effect, but in a thin drizzle over all bars).
Banana granola bars have a tendency to seem too soft before baking, but don’t worry! The banana acts as a binding agent and adds a bit of sweetness, but it’s balanced out by the dry ingredients to make sure that the bars bake up properly.
How to Store
Storage: while these will keep for a couple days at room temperature, they’re best stored in the refrigerator. Keep in a sealed container, chilled, for about a week.
Freezing: freeze in an airtight container for up to three months and thaw as needed. I recommend freezing individual bars and taking one out when you want it, rather than the whole tray.
- Grind your own flax: it’s well worth doing at home as a lot of store bought ground flax is already rancid. A coffee grinder works very well for this – just clean it by grinding a tablespoon full of raw rice beforehand.
- Think about salt: the amount used is based on salted peanut butter, so you may want to increase it if yours is unsalted.
- Don’t make unlisted substitutions: other types of flour shouldn’t be subbed for oat, especially other GF flours like almond or coconut, which absorb liquid at very different rates. Coconut oil is necessary to keep the bars solid at room temperature.
More Gluten Free Peanut Butter Recipes
If you make these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars or any other snack recipes on Occasionally Eggs, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- 1 large banana
- 120 grams honey (use coconut syrup for vegan)
- 70 grams peanut butter unsweetened natural
- 60 grams coconut oil softened or melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 220 grams rolled oats
- 60 grams oat flour
- 100 grams dark chocolate chips mini if possible
- 70 grams peanuts
- 50 grams chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and line a 20cm (8-inch) square baking dish with parchment paper.
- Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla, and mix to combine.1 large banana, 120 grams honey, 70 grams peanut butter, 60 grams coconut oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add the oats, oat flour, chocolate, peanuts, chia, flax, cinnamon, and salt to the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until very well combined.220 grams rolled oats, 60 grams oat flour, 100 grams dark chocolate chips, 70 grams peanuts, 50 grams chia seeds, 3 tablespoons ground flax, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Use the back of a soup spoon or lightly dampened hands to press firmly into an even layer.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool fully before slicing and store in the refrigerator or freezer.