Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Energy Bars


Happy Sunday everyone!

Today I have another wonderfully simple, super delicious, and clean, wholesome, healthy recipe for you!

Last year was when I really first got into the “make your own ‘Larabars'” frenzy. Who knew it could be so simple to put together your own clean eating energy bars at home with some varying ingredients and a food processor!? That was when I tested out some Apricot Cashew Bars, which turned out amazing, and led me to invent the delicious PB & J energy bar.. equally as wonderful!

Then, last weekend on my baking extravaganza day, I was at our local Planet Organic store and I stumbled across these “Bananatangs”… or simple dehydrated bananas.

I’d seen banana chips everywhere but those are baked or fried in oil/sugar, and I’m not that big of a fan…these little guys however, are just dried bananas, with lime juice as a preservative. That’s actually all that’s in the bag! Pretty awesome!

I knew right then and there I was going to try to replicate the amazing flavors of banana bread, which we all love and cherish, and attempt to put it into a simple vegan energy bar form!

I thought of what else typically goes into banana bread… walnuts, and mmmm.. lots of the time, good ol’ chocolate chips! So I picked up both, chopped walnuts, and pure dark chocolate chips, the little mini ones!

Then, using dates (as the traditional energy bar base), I went to work.

Actually, it wasn’t really work at all. It was incredibly simple…. throw it all into the food processor, pat it down into a pan, pop in the freezer, and in the time it took me to clean my kitchen, these little delicious bars were done!

Then, it was taste-testing time. I had to hold myself back from diving in, as my plan was to save one for part of my bonus meal! But ooooohhhh my yum, they tasted just how I wanted them to.. like banana bread flavored energy bars! Oh heaven!

I LOVE simple, delicious snacks like this. First of all you save big time money because we all know those energy bars in the store are like $3 a pop! You get to have a little fun in the kitchen and you get to rest in the fact that you know exactly what went into what you are eating and feeding your kids!

Kids will LOVE these by the way, and with zero refined sugars, these are way better than a run-of-the-mill granola bar!

They are also cute too… aren’t they?

Or is that just me being odd by referring to my food as “cute” and “beautiful”, or “pretty” again.. ???

Well, whatever you think they look like, I can guarantee you will LOVE the taste, especially if you are a fan of banana bread!

So enjoy, and have a wonderful week ahead!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Energy Bars
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 9
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, then drained
  • ½ cup dehydrated banana, chopped
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbsp water (if needed)
  1. Soak dates, then drain.
  2. Combine dates, walnuts, and chopped dried banana in a food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until well combined, you may need to add in 1-2 tablespoons of water if the mixture is too dry.
  3. Remove sticky mixture from the processor and place in an 8x8 baking dish, lightly greased.
  4. Pour in chocolate chips and fold into the mixture.
  5. Firmly press the mixture down into the baking dish and cover with saran wrap.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes or more, until hardened, then cut into squares.

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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    • I haven’t tried it with fresh… you may need to use a little extra of the dry ingredients because fresh banana may make it a little too wet, but I’m sure with some experimenting it would work!

  • I absolutely can not wait to try these. 🙂

    I can not find dehydrated bananas and the banana chips are full of sugar….

    Can i use fresh/ripe bananas as a substitute?

    • I haven’t tried it with fresh… you may need to use a little extra of the dry ingredients because fresh banana may make it a little too wet, but I’m sure with some experimenting it would work! 🙂

  • Do I need to soak the dates? Last time I did that for the pb&j bar they came out mushy. I don’t want to have a flop again.

    • Hey Laura, Why don’t you try without soaking! I don’t always soak my dates if I’m rushing, and the mixture tends to be stickier to work with and a little tougher on the food processor – but still turns out good!

  • Hey Christal! These look like a great granola bar alternative for the kids lunches! But do they have to be stored in the freezer or will they be OK at room temp in a lunch kit for half a day?

    • They would be fine in the lunch kit for half a day – they will just be a tad soft, but if you wrap them in saran wrap they would be fine! 🙂

  • Whoa – they look fabulous! I do like some commercial energy bars very much – but you’re right, they are so expensive. Next trip to the organic foods store I will try to get all these ingredients and give it a whirl. Thanks so much!

  • Christal, a couple questions: 1) what do you use to slight grease the pan? And do you recommend doing the same for the PB&J energy bars?
    2) What brand of mini chocolate chips do you recommend purchasing? Or would buying them from the bulk section of Planet Organic work?

    Thanks – Randy

  • These look great. Would love to make them but no dehydrated bananas. Any suggestions on alternate ingredient?

    • Hey Sherry! If you can’t find them packaged you can definitely make your own or as an alternative you could dry banana chips – but I would go for some that are more natural using maybe coconut oil and unrefined sweetener!