Recipe: 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Energy Bars (Zero Added Sugar + Super Easy!)

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend was going to climb Mount Kinabalu and needed to shop for some energy bars as he was afraid he’d collapse without them. I figured maybe I could surprise him with some homemade energy bars as the store bought ones are also packed with additives and sugar.

However, I was busy at work and didn’t have a lot of hours to spare, so when a bout of Googling brought me to this recipe from The Kitchn, I was ecstatic!

The bars looked scrumptious but the ingredients were superbly innocent. You didn’t need any sugar, eggs, or milk, and it was really fuss free. All you needed were some ripened bananas, oats, dates, and nuts. These were definitely good fuel for the body.

What I like about the recipe is that it’s super customisable, and you can add any toppings you like to it to and it’ll work. The boyfriend enjoyed chocolate, and I figured he deserved the treat since Mount Kinabalu was no easy feat, so I added some dark chocolate chips into the mixture.

The verdict? He loved them, and so did all the colleagues he shared them with. The bars really helped provide them with some energy, so these are legitimate.

Banana Oat Energy Bars Recipe


8-10 bars, depending how you are cutting it.


1 cup mashed super ripe bananas (about 3 average-sized bananas)
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped dried dates
1/4 cup chopped nuts (we used cashew and pistachios)
Generous sprinkle of dark chocolate chips (optional; the higher percentage of cocoa the better)
+ any topping of your choice


1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

1. Mash up ripe bananas till it’s all liquidy and no bits are left. Then add in the optional vanilla essence.

mashed banana
I didn’t have a masher, so I used my nifty little cocktail muddler instead. Always improvise! (Chopped dates on the right)

2. Add in the rolled oats into the banana mash and mix well.

mix in oats

3. Add in the chopped nuts, dates, chocolate chips and salt (both optional), and any other toppings of your choice then mix well.

mix in dry ingredients
Okay, maybe I was a bit too generous with the chocolate chips.
mix in ingredients
Mix everything in evenly

4. Spread the mix out onto a baking pan evenly, remember to use a lightly oiled baking sheet so it doesn’t stick.

spread out into tray
Mine is pretty thick, but you can spread yours out thinner for more bars!

5. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until edges are crisp. Your whole house will smell like a good ol’ banana cake.

completed oats

6. Once it’s done, cut into bars and let cool on a kitchen rack. Tadaa! You’ve got yourself a huge batch of energy bars to last you at least a week!

These will last a couple of days on the counter, but will also store well in the fridge or freezer.

PS: These are chewy bars, so if you’re a fan of crunch you should probably not attempt this recipe. However, the boyfriend said it was good and they gave him energy and strength to finish his hike up Mount Kinabalu!

Adapted from original recipe by The Kitchn.


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