A new twist on an age old favorite, these Peanut Butter & Jelly Banana Bars are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan!
Did you guys know that April 2 was National PB&J Day?
I didn’t, which was super upsetting to me when I found out on April 3rd. Gosh darn food holidays – I can’t keep up with them all! 😉
Thankfully I was able to celebrate post holiday with these peanut butter & jelly banana bars, of which I am currently head over heels in love with. True story – I actually had to freeze the remainder of my third batch to keep me from eating them all. I seriously couldn’t keep my hands off these things!
The inspiration behind these bars actually came from my No-Bake Vegan PB&J Bars, of which I am also pretty obsessed with [as well are you based off its number of repins! 😉 ]
I was looking to create a baked version of the pb&j combo, however I didn’t want it to be your normal, everyday pb&j bar. I went back on forth on whether or not I wanted them to be oat based like a granola bar or fluffy like a baked good, which ultimately led me to these peanut butter & jelly banana bars.
It was a solid decision, folks. As was my decision to freeze the remainder. #savetheabs
But can we pause and take a second to really appreciate the PB&J combo for all of its goodness? Whoever first thought up this combination deserves a dang Nobel Peace Prize. For real though – think of all the problems in the world we could solve with a basic sandwich combo! Kidding, guys. Totally kidding.
[But just think about it – have you ever seen anyone upset when eating a PB&J? Just food for thought..]
I mean really – just look at that tower of perfection!
Now in case you hadn’t realized it yet, these bars also contain banana, another key ingredient in a perfect PB&J sandiwch in my eyes. Now of course the banana doesn’t yield much of a flavor as the peanut butter is pretty overpowering, however I did get a slight hint of banana flavor in every bite. The banana in these bars is more for sweetness and texture – it really does give these bars the oomph I was looking for!
I mean really, what could be better than a bite of peanut butter, jelly and banana? I say not much!
The real question though [and the one I’ve been struggling to answer] is this: Are these peanut butter & jelly banana bars for breakfast? Are they a snack? Do they work pre-workout? What about as a dessert?
Well friends, since I’m such a well-rounded blogger I went right ahead and tried these bars in each and every category. Just for you! Really, I went above and beyond here guys. Y’all should be thanking me 😉
All jokes aside though, I really don’t see why you couldn’t enjoy one of these beauties at any time of the day. They are pretty low in sugar thanks to the natural sweetness from the bananas and they are loaded with a good amount of fiber. Win – win, right?!
Now for the hard part – not eating the entire batch straight from the pan. I didn’t do very well with that challenge but perhaps you’ll have better luck. Make a batch for yourself and let me know how it went!
- 1½ cups oat flour, gluten-free
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup all natural jelly flavor of choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat together the bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract until smooth.
- In another bowl, whisk together the oat flour, oats, baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Batter will be thick.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Warm the jelly for 20 seconds in the microwave, then spread on top of the batter. Using a knife, swirl jelly around so that it settles into the batter.
- Bake bars for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow bars to cool for 20 minutes before slicing into 12 bars.
What do you add to your PB&J sandwich? I love bananas or honey!