Healthy Banana Cranberry Oat Bars

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 24, 2010


Holy cow Batman, it’s Christmas Eve!

I hope you are having a great day so far. I have been on the go all morning. I find Christmas Eve is always a bit of a rush to fit everything in. I got my hair cut (finally!), did some last minute errands, packing, and now we are off to visit family. I’m blogging in the car right now (blech!).

I did a bunch of baking for our get together this weekend and this is the first of a few recipes I will be sharing.


I made these for three reasons: 1) I had ripe bananas to use up before we left, 2) I wanted a healthy snack on hand for the next few days, and 3) They look so darn cute all tied up in ribbon!!!

The bars are super easy to whip up and include some common ingredients that you probably have lurking in your cupboards. The recipe can easily be adapted to what you have! You can also play around with the mix-ins and use whatever you have on hand. Chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, etc would all be great in these bars!



Healthy Banana Cranberry Oat Bars

Breakfast or afternoon powersnack, these bars are healthy, not too sweet, and pack a wonderful banana flavour. They are easy to whip up and make a great healthy option for holiday travel!

Adapted from Sweet Freedom.

Yield: 8-10 bars.


  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other)
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or other light tasting oil), melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup cranberries or raisins
  • 1.5 cups regular oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or other flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8th tsp kosher salt


Directions:  Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, ground flax seeds, soymilk, oil, and vanilla. Whisk together.

Cut the bananas into chunks and stir into the wet mixture. Grab a fork or potato masher and mash the banana into the wet mixture. It is ok if some small chunks remain. Stir in the cranberries or raisins. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well. Scoop the granola batter into the pan. Smooth out with a spoon or hands and press it down firmly.

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to golden and it is slightly firm to touch. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely. Slice into 8-10 bars.


Start by mixing the Sucanat (or brown sugar), ground flax, oil, vanilla, and milk:


Chop the banana and add it to this wet mixture.




Now mash the banana with a potato masher (or you can use a fork too). You can leave it a bit chunky.


Mix in your dried fruit or other mix-ins!


Set this mixture aside.


Now stir the dry ingredients.


Add the dry ingredients to the wet (or wet to dry) and stir well.


I added 2 tbsp Pepita seeds and cranberries because I thought the red and green looked festive!


Scoop into an 8 inch square pan lined with parchment paper. Spread out the mixture with a spoon or hands and press it evenly and firmly into the pan, making it as level as possible. The more you pack in the mixture, the better the bars will hold together after baking.


Now bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.



Slice into bars or squares and wrap up with a small piece of parchment paper and ribbon if you wish!


I like cute food.

Especially healthy, cute food.


I really enjoy these bars. They are wholesome and not very sweet, but that is what I wanted when I made them. I’m kind of on sweet overload right now and I love that these aren’t very sweet. They also have a wonderful banana flavour! Try them spread with nut butter too.


 Ok, I think I’m starting to get a bit woozy (I’m blogging in the car!!), so I better sign off.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! I wish you a safe, happy, and delicious holiday. I’ll see you on Christmas day!


(Don’t be fooled by my smile, I’m still scared of the holiday creepers!)

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

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Lisa January 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I made these last week and loved them! I wrapped them individually so I can just take one or two out of the freezer as need. Question bf thought they were a little soft for a bar. Could I harden them up a bit by cutting back on the milk or oil? Thoughts?


Siggy May 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I just made these and they are delicious!!! I made some changes, instead of the oil I used applesauce, and my cranberries were sweetened so I put a little less sugar. Also, I didnt have enough coconut so I finished of off with some thinly sliced almonds. I expect them to be gone by 4 pm today! I’m very glad I found this website, I will be baking much more without feeling guilty!


Latoya June 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I was quite lucky to discover this recipe on Pintrest, and decided to try it…verdict is they are delicious! I made a few changes to add to the nutritional value of it, considering I’m trying to lose weight, however it was still very tasty and filling! My changes were: used half of the coconut oil recommended, half of the Sucanat, 1 extra tbsp ground flaxseed, and added 4 scoops of my whey protein. Such a great snack!!! I will definitely be making these again, and use them in place of the granola bars I’ve been buying. These are cleaner, healthier, tastier, and not nearly as tooth-achingly sweet. I used a recipe program to determine the cals (10 bars yielded): 185 cals, 29g carbs, 7g fat, 6g protein, 3g fiber, 13g sugar per bar.


Maggie June 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Hi Angela,

I was wanting to make these granola bars to send to some friends who have recently been deployed. Do you think these would keep for a couple of weeks? Would one of your other granola bar recipes be better for shipping overseas?



Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Hey Maggie, I don’t think they would last that long…a week tops probably? I would think they would dry out. My high protein last minute bars would probably hold up a couple weeks so you might want to check those out:


Maggie June 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm



Sooz July 25, 2012 at 5:46 am

Omgosh these were so easy and yummy! I added sunflower kernels, pepitas, linseeds and because I’m a chololate fiend, dark choc chunks mmmmm thanks so much for sharing ;D
I’ve got rice bubbles in the pipeline for next time, mwahaha


Clarissa August 20, 2012 at 8:43 am

Hi there! I made these today and they are really moist and soft since I skipped the half cup of shredded coconut. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I hope I don’t gobble up the entire batch!


Justine Raymond August 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

These sound delish and easy to adapt for my GF kids. One question: what would you recommend as a substitute for the bananas? I have one who refuses anything with bananas but am unsure what would be a good binder other than eggs?


GGS May 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I made these successfully subbing half a cup of unsweetened applesauce for the two bananas.


Gem December 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Tried these today and subbed 1 cup of pumpkin puree for the bananas. I made them yesterday with half cup of store-bought apple sauce plus one medium apple grated. Delicious both times.


Herbivore Triathlete November 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

I’ve been working on a healthy granola bar recipe and this one is helping me find the perfect recipe! I’d like to make it without bananas as well, any suggestions for a substitute, or do you think I could just leave it out?


Norma December 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Thank you so much for this post. I have been making a batch per week for the last six months and have a bar for breakfast every day. They are amazing.


Danielle February 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Made this today and what a hit with the family! I subbed applesauce for the oil and added 1/4 cup walnuts. So, SO good!


Sirle Oder May 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Wow. I just made them and they are super delicious! Nice, moist and maybe a bit too sweet. Next time I’ll cut down on sugar for sure. I added as well some almonds, goji berries and chia seeds. And the super good news is that even my boyfriend likes them. Finally I have found something healthy and full of fiber for him to munch on. Thank you!


Laura August 12, 2013 at 6:55 am

Hi there,
How did the consistency turn out on these for you? We made them last night and they are very good, but they are moist and soft, and not crunchy like granola…
Let me know.
Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

yes they are very soft granola bars, most likely due to the fruit and lack of oil. Hope they were still enjoyed!


Laura August 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

thanks Angela! we did enjoy them! thank you….where you are based out of. We are a local vegan catering company from Cleveland called Cleveland Vegan! we love your blog!


Naomi October 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Hi Angela,
Just trying out yet another one of your nut free recipes for the kids to take to school. I really don’t love the taste of flax…could I just omit it from the recipe?
The girls’ favorite so far is your last minute protein bars. I use hemp protein, which is kind of green in color, so they love bringing their “monster” bars to school.
Thanks for all the recipes…can’t wait for the cookbook!


Amy January 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

How long do these stay good for?


Stacey February 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Delicious!! I made this recipe today and it came out better than expected. I need a snack to go with my grab an go breakfast; so this recipe is perfect. Thank you for sharing!!!


Deirdre April 27, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I made these today and they were AMAZING! Wasn’t expecting them to be so sweet and tasty. Maybe I used too much brown sugar or vanilla extract, Oh well! I’ll definitely be making these again.


Florence July 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Made those couple of days back. They are so rich and taste awesome with dried apricot instead of cranberry, never got used to it.
However, mine had more of a cake consistency (so I have to control myself even more not to eat the whole thing). I have to convert every measure into grams because we don’t have cups measure in France and depending on the website, it can vary from single to double quantity. You are using Canadians cups right (not US cups) ?


Jeanette December 1, 2014 at 8:37 pm

How do I make this for a 9×13 pan?


Laura April 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

I’d love to try these, but I need a substitute for the sucanat/sugar. Would honey or agave syrup work?!


Gretchen Thomas December 19, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Looks Yummy!
Do you think I could I use “Almond Flour” as opposed to a wheat flour?


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