This Oatmeal Banana Bread is a total family favorite. Similar to baked banana oatmeal, it comes together in the food processor (or right in the pan)—and once cooled and wrapped, the bars store amazingly well in the fridge and freezer. It’s totally delicious for snack time or breakfast.
Oatmeal Banana Bread
This quick bread is soft, moist, and sweet— yet firm enough for little fingers to hold without it falling apart. But the thing I love most about this recipe? It’s so packed with nutrients and it tastes great. It’s a win-win. Plus, it’s just so easy to make, even if your kitchen is crazy with the kiddos running around!
We love this healthy banana bread for snacks or breakfast because it’s really good with coffee or milk.
I find that baking this banana bread in an 8×8-inch pan ensures that the whole thing cooks evenly and in about half the time as a standard loaf pan. That means you can spend less time waiting for the oven timer and more time enjoying your life. Plus, the recipe comes together in the food processor, so it’s easy to mix up, even with kids underfoot.
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Ingredients You Need
To make this banana recipe you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand.
- Very ripe bananas: You’ll want them to have brown spots to ensure the most flavor and natural sweetness.
- Rolled oats: We use “old-fashioned” rolled oats here as the base of the bread. I love the texture this gives the final recipe, and it’s a yummy way to offer whole grains.
- Eggs: Eggs help bind the bread together and add tenderness to the texture.
- Butter (or nut butter): You can use melted unsalted butter or peanut butter or almond butter in this recipe to add moisture and beneficial fats.
- Cinnamon: The flavor of cinnamon pairs so nicely with banana, so we use it here.
- Baking powder and soda: The combination of these ensures that the bread bakes through and rises nicely.
- Pure vanilla extract: A little vanilla enhances the rest of the flavors in the bread.
- Maple syrup: I sweeten this banana bread with maple syrup, though you could swap in honey for kids over age 1 if you prefer.
Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this banana bread recipe. Scroll down to see the full recipe at the bottom of the post.
Below is a preview of how to make this recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the specifics on the amounts and timing.
- Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and grind.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.
- Pour into the prepared pan. (To do this without a food processor, use instant oats, mash the bananas right in the pan, and then stir in the rest of the ingredients.)
- Bake! Let cool fully in the pan before slicing and serving to make sure it holds together well.
Flourless Banana Bread
The base for this banana bread recipe is ground-up rolled oats, but you can pick up a bag of oat flour if you want to skip that step. It’s easy to make gluten-free (just buy certified gluten-free rolled oats), and it has similar nutrition as oatmeal.
The bread is similar to baked oatmeal and is packed with fiber and complex carbohydrates to fuel the kids with balanced energy until the next meal or snack time rolls around. It also stays moist for days when stored in the fridge, so you can make this on the weekend and enjoy it throughout the week.
How to Store
You can keep this bread, once fully cooled, in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also put half of the batch into a zip-top quart-size freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the whole bag or one slice at a time overnight in the fridge or in 15- to 30-second bursts in the microwave.
Best Tips for Success
- Use very ripe bananas with a lot of brown spots for the best flavor and natural sweetness.
- We like the bread plain or topped with nut butter or with a simple frosting made with combination of maple syrup and cream cheese.
- You can make this dairy-free by using nut butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter, instead of the butter.
- You can make this gluten-free by using certified gluten-free rolled oats.
- You can use honey instead of maple syrup (but avoid honey for babies under 12 months.)
I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe, so please comment below and give it some stars!
Oatmeal Banana Bread
- 2½ cups rolled oats
- 3 cups sliced very ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup almond or peanut butter (OR melted and cooled butter)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Grind the oats in a food processor for about 30 seconds, or until they resemble a coarse flour.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process for about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor as needed, until the batter is smooth.
- (To do this without a food processor, use instant oats, mash the bananas right in the pan, and then stir in the rest of the ingredients.)
- Pour into prepared pan, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until the edges are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan before slicing.
- Serve chilled, at room temperature, or slightly warm.
- To store: Place in an airtight container or storage bag in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- If you like coconut, you can sub ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut for ½ cup of oats.
- Increase the maple syrup to ¼ cup to make this sweeter.
- Be sure to use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best flavor.
- You can add ½ cup of chocolate chips or blueberries to the top of the batter once it’s in the pan if you’d like.
This recipe was first published June 2018.