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.

20101223-IMG_6994 20101223-IMG_7000

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, and Pinterest

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Lana December 24, 2010 at 3:23 pm

These look delicious!! I make granola bars almost every Sunday for the busy school week ahead and these look like a perfect addition to the recipe line-up!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Do you have a wireless card that allows to you blog while traveling?!

Y’all travel safe!! No blogging and driving, lol


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 24, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Eric has one when he is on call for work…score! lol


grocery goddess jen December 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I never think to do cute things with my food, but those do look adorable all tied up like that!


Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons December 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm

These are GORGEOUS! Merry Christmas Eve!!!! <3


Tiffany @ Conor & Bella December 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Those look great! I have everything to make them, too.


Lauren December 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

These look tasty and easy to make!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty December 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Merry Christmas!!

i am going to make these right now!! I was just looking up a recipe right now when your post popped up, so now baking for me!


Katy (The Singing Runner) December 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Wow! These look amazing! I love cranberries! I almost have all of the ingredients so I will be making these soon! :)


Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

These look awesome! Totally my thing! They have been bookmarked :)
Have a great Christmas Angela! :D


Healthy Chocoholic December 24, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Those look soo good! Thanks for the recipe!
Merry Christmas to you, too!


Mary @ Bites and Bliss December 24, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I love the addition of the mashed bananas- it’s hard to go wrong with that!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm

mmm the bananas are awesome in these and they keep the bars so moist too!


Caley December 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

These look amazing! I had some bananas to use up too before leaving for a couple of days so this recipe couldn’t have had better timing! The bars are in the oven right now and I can’t wait to try them! They will be perfect for snacks in my purse for when we are travelling to visit family! Thanks and Merry Christmas!


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Merry Christmas, Angela! I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing holiday weekend!

Judging from the looks of your bars here, you haven’t been doing too much ‘relaxing’ but I hope so :)

The bars look awesome! I make some nobake bars with bananas, oats, dried fruit, just throw it all together and hope it works. Usually does…lol.

Merry Xmas!!!!!!!


Miriam December 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Merry christmas to you Angela!! :) Hope you’ll have a good one!!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty December 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I just made these and they are to die for! Might eat the whole thing, rather than turkey dinner! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm

glad u like them! Everyone here enjoyed them too :)


Dani @ Body By Nature December 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm

These bars are beautifully wrapped!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!


Babs December 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Yum! Those look so adorable. I definitely think “cute” food is more fun.


Lauren at KeepItSweet December 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm

you are right, they do look cute tied in ribbon!


laura December 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm

What a dedicated blogger you are!
Great recipe, imma try it, along with the strawberry-oat bars… so many varitations.


Kris | December 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Merry Christmas Ange!! I hope you and Eric have a very Merry Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous New Year!

Love the bars :)



Bronwyn Coyne December 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Looks delicious! And healthy. Sigh how I miss healthy (well mostly). Oh well I’m gonna enjoy Christmas while I can.
Merry Christmas!


Lisa Fine December 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

These look delicious – thanks for sharing the reicpe. (And they are awfully cute.) I’m curious: do these have a cookie consistency, or more of a granola bar consistency?

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Hmm they are a mix between a cookie and a granola bar I’d say. Everyone commented that they are quite moist too (from the bananas mostly!). They taste a bit like banana bread. Next time I might add some nutmeg too.


[email protected] December 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Wow, I don’t think I have seen creepier dolls.
Merry Christmas to you too!


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm

I love experimenting with making my own bars. These look awesome!

Merry Christmas to you and Eric! :)


Camille December 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm

These are just too cute!
Merry Christmas, Angela!


Jil @ Big, City, Lil Kitchen December 25, 2010 at 12:07 am

Love the wrapping!!


Roz December 25, 2010 at 2:41 am

I hate to be a copycat, but I’m going to do the parchment ribbon thing next time I bake “giveaways”. They look gorgeous!!!! Merry Christmas to you, your husband, adorable Sketchie and the rest of your family! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to more of your posts and photos in the new year!!!!


Cara Craves... December 25, 2010 at 4:28 am

Those dolls are a little creepy :)
Love your oatmeal treat.


Leia December 25, 2010 at 6:18 am

OMG, these look amazing! I’m going to try these asap. I love the way you’ve wrapped them up with a ribbon! So cute! I’ve been looking for healthy snacks for me and my family to nibble on and these look absolutely perfect.


Wei-Wei December 25, 2010 at 9:03 am

These look great! I love that your baked goods aren’t usually really sweet – but they sound amazing nonetheless.


Crissie December 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

The bars look great! I’m always looking for a healthy nut-free granola bar (my daughter has severe allergies), and these look perfect. Merry Christmas!


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 25, 2010 at 10:27 am

I love how you make everything look so cute! These may need to happen this afternoon. I am on chocolate overload at the moment. I have a ton of fresh cranberries… wonder if they will work here?

Merry Christmas to you, your family, and the creepy holiday dolls. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

not sure…I would think fresh cranberries would be too tart…the dried ones I used are sweetened :) Merry Christmas to you too!


Amber K December 25, 2010 at 11:17 am

Merry Christmas! Those bars are beautiful, and they look so yummy!


iheartvegetables December 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Those bars look delicious! Merry Christmas!


Brynn December 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Merry Christmas! I made your snickerdoodles for Christmas Eve. I made them a day in advance and they were so delicious right out of the oven but the next day they were hard and dry. They are still great dipped in coffee like biscotti but kind of a bummer since I liked them soft and chewy. Did you have this problem? I followed the recipe exactly.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 25, 2010 at 6:49 pm

They are a firmer cookie, but I don’t think they were hard or dry the next day…strange! Sorry you experienced that…I’m not sure why that would have happened.


Paige December 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Just wanted to wish you a very merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing your wonderful spirit with us this year!



Kim December 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I’m going to make these! I actually do have all the ingredients on hand, and since it’s blizzarding out… what better way to spend the day? I love how you tied these with ribbon. Adorable.

Happy Holidays!


[email protected] All Ways Nutritious December 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm

these look delicious…love the ingredients!! i’m going to making these for yummy, healthy snacks. thank you


Celena January 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Yum! I adapted these a little and wound up with banana, chocolate chip bars. Just finished baking the second batch in as many weeks.


Bridget January 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

These were awesome, even though I found out mid-preparation that I only had 1 cup of oats. I threw in dried blueberries instead of the cranberries, and also some almond pieces and chocolate chips. I took them on a retreat this weekend because I was afraid there wouldn’t be many vegan options. I was right, and ate them all within 3 days ;)


Danielle January 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm

These are Awesome!! thanks so much for the post. They are a new favorite here. I would say they are moist. The first time I used mixed dried berries and I kind of like it that way best. They are also good plain, with no berries, seeds or nuts. My kids like them better plain.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

glad you enjoy them!! :)


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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