Strawberry Banana Granola Bars

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A simple 6-ingredient recipe for skinny snack bars bursting with fresh fruit.
Hearty, filling, and only 105 calories each!


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


Throughout my teenage years, Mom tossed packages of granola bars into her shopping cart every time she entered the grocery store. My brother and I basically inhaled them—the boxes practically disappeared overnight—and we sampled most of Safeway’s entire selection: Nature Valley, Fiber One, Clif Bars, Special K… We normally gravitated towards the softer varieties, which meant Mom maintained a constant stash of Nutri-Grain and Quaker Chewy Bars in the pantry.  


In the mornings, my high school scheduled a 10-minute snack break at the start of 3rd period, so I’d slip a Chewy Bar out of my backpack (normally Oatmeal Raisin or Chocolate Chunk) and slowly savor it while comparing geeky calculus stories with my friends about how we solved the integrals from the previous night’s homework. By the time I swallowed the last bite, Mr. D had already warmed up the overhead projector to start presenting that day’s notes.


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


Then after school, I’d plop down onto the sofa, a Nutri-Grain Bar in hand, and flip open the family laptop. Instead of logging on to check email or chat online with friends, I clicked over to a jigsaw puzzle website and challenged myself to put one together in under 2 minutes. (They only offered the “Easy” 16-piece ones for free, and since they only cataloged about 30 images, I always clocked in at under 1:45 by the end of the semester!)


In between rounds of puzzles, I nibbled on my fruit-filled granola bar. Although a fairly standard size—not a monster like a Clif bar!—I still managed to take about 15-20 bites to finish it. Yes, a mouse would gnaw off bigger pieces than me!


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


Over the weekend, while reminiscing about the good ol’ days before full-time jobs, checkbooks, and social media, a brilliant idea popped into my head. What if I combined my two childhood granola bar favorites into an even healthier snack?


So that’s exactly what I did!


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


My simple Strawberry Banana Granola Bars contain the wholesome oats of Quaker Chewy Bars, the sweet fruit taste of Nutri-Grain Bars, but none of the preservatives or artificial ingredients. Bright banana flavor fills each soft snack, coupled with bursts of fresh strawberries—not sugary jam, like the commercial varieties. With only 6 healthy ingredients, these granola bars are a cinch to make. The hardest part is waiting for them to bake!


The base begins with old-fashioned oats. Although perfect for cookies, instant (quick-cook) oats absorb liquid a little too quickly for these granola bars. Old-fashioned oats soak up just enough moisture to soften while still maintaining their hearty texture. If following a gluten-free diet, you can easily substitute gluten-free oats instead.


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


The wet ingredients include milk, mashed banana, honey, and coconut oil. The milk and mashed banana provide the moisture and “glue” that hold the granola bars together. The mashed banana also contributes most of the natural sweetness, so pick out the spottiest one you can find! I only mixed in an additional 1 tablespoon of honey for all 10 granola bars, but you could omit it if your banana’s peel looks solid brown.


Note: For a vegan version, swap in your favorite non-dairy milk and agave. They won’t affect the flavor or texture.


Granola bars made purely from milk and fruit would turn out gummy, but the tiny bit of fat from the coconut oil prevents that unappetizing consistency. Just like in these oatmeal cookies, you cannot taste it at all—I promise! But if you don’t own any, canola or vegetable oil would work too.


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


I opted for frozen unsweetened strawberries for these skinny granola bars, which means you can make them all year round! Let the berries thaw for a few minutes: just enough so can easily slice through them with a knife, but not so long that they turn slimy as the ice crystals melt. You want to dice the strawberries fairly small; larger chunks would rip apart the oats as you cut through them to form the bars.


These low fat granola bars only bake for 15-19 minutes, so keep a close eye on them! I recommend the lower end of the time frame to ensure they stay soft and chewy. After cooling the bars to room temperature, place the pan in the fridge to help them firm up. Chilling also really makes the fruit flavors pop!


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


Hearty and wholesome, these chewy Strawberry Banana Granola Bars are bursting with fresh fruity flavor. Sweet banana saturates every oaty bite, punctuated by juicy red strawberries. With only 105 calories and under 5 grams of sugar, these snacks are a filling clean-eating treat that you can feel good about enjoying!


A simple recipe for skinny, clean-eating Strawberry Banana Granola Bars. So much better than the granola bars sold in stores!


Strawberry Banana Granola Bars

Yield: 10 granola bars

Serving Size: 1 granola bar

Strawberry Banana Granola Bars

These fruit-filled bars are perfect for breakfast, snacks, or a light sweet treat! Store them in the refrigerator to maintain a firm texture and prevent them from browning.

1 tsp coconut oil, melted
½ c mashed banana (about one 8” banana)
1/3 c skim milk
1 tbsp honey
2 ½ c old-fashioned oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
1 c frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed slightly and diced

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F, and lightly coat an 8”-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut oil, mashed banana, milk, and honey. Stir in the oats until thoroughly coated. Gently fold in the diced strawberries. Press the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake at 300°F for 15-19 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan before slicing into bars. Cover the bars with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Note: For a vegan version, substitute your favorite non-dairy milk and agave.

View Nutrition Information


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  1. Laura@baking in pyjamas says on January 21, 2014 at 3:37 am

    I LOVE granola bars, their like granola in bar form and I love love love granola. Love your healthier version!

    • Amy says on January 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Laura! I love granola too; I’m so addicted that I actually can’t keep it in the house anymore. I refuse to eat anything else until I finish it off! ;)

  2. Hari Chandana says on January 21, 2014 at 4:26 am

    These look so pretty.. loved the first click a lot :)

    • Amy says on January 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you Hari; you’re so sweet! :)

  3. Andrea says on January 22, 2014 at 10:40 am

    These are so happy looking! The specks of strawberry feel spring-like and carefree. :) PS- I’m loving your recent additions of “clean eating” recipes with very little sugar added!

    • Amy says on January 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Andrea! That’s exactly what I was thinking while shooting them; we must be best friends or something. ;) I’m loving these “clean” recipes too! I usually feel healthier after eating them, and it seems like people on Pinterest feel the same way too. Yippee!

  4. Mel G @ Crafty Cupcakes says on January 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I love homemade granola bars. I’ve never made anything fruity before though. I may have to give these a try. :)

    • Amy says on January 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      I’d love to hear what you think if you try them! I usually bake granola instead of granola bars, so it was fun for me to change it up. What mix-ins do you usually add to your granola bars?

      • Mel G @ Crafty Cupcakes says on January 23, 2014 at 4:35 am

        My favorite granola bars to make are ‘smores. :) And I definitely will let you know if I try them! :)

        • Amy says on January 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

          Oh goodness, I loved “splurging” on that flavor of Chewy bars too. Maybe that flavor will come next!

  5. Elizabeth says on January 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

    This recipe looks great! I’ve been looking for a “chewy” make-it-yourself granola bar recipe for a while, and this one looks super delicious and flavorful. I can’t wait to try it out- thanks!

    • Amy says on January 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’m all about chewy granola bars; I absolutely adore their texture. It’s kind of disappointing when you eat the crunchy ones and half of the oats fall to the bottom of the wrapper! I hope you enjoy them, and I’d love to hear what you think! :)

  6. Heather says on February 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Can you use Almond milk instead of Skim milk?

    • Amy says on February 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Of course! You can use whatever milk you’d like. :)

  7. Paige says on March 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I tried these and was very excited because yours look amazing!! Mine did not turn out as well and I am not sure what I did wrong. My were really mushy and not chewy. I guess I was looking for more like what you find in the store but healthier. Do you have any suggestions of what I might have done wrong to have them not turn out right?

    • Amy says on March 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      I’m sorry they didn’t turn out the way you expected Paige; that must have been disappointing. If they were mushy, try cutting back on the milk to just 1/3 cup, and chill them in the pan for at least 45-60 minutes after they cool to room temperature before slicing into bars. The chilling step really helps hold them together. I hope your next batch turns out perfectly!

      • Karen says on April 5, 2014 at 6:20 am

        I am making these right now. at 17 minutes baking time – in my toaster oven which has a baking option –they don’t look like they’ve been cooked at all! I would love to see a picture of what these look like when they come out of your oven, before you place them in the refrigerator. I’m afraid if I don’t see something firmer or browning that it’s not ready to go in the fridge!

        • Amy says on April 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

          Karen, I normally pull mine out around the time that the edges start to look firm — not crispy, but firm. Does that make sense? The bars won’t completely firm up before you put them in the fridge, and even then, they’re a tad bit flimsy. To help combat that, I like to wrap them individually in plastic wrap; it really helps reinforce them. Next time, you can also decrease the milk to 1/3 cup or so, if this batch is still too chewy for your liking. I hope that helps! :)

  8. Morgan says on March 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Is unsweetened almond milk good for a substitute?

    • Amy says on March 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Yes! That would work perfectly. :)

  9. Tessa says on March 31, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I’m looking forward to making them!! Just a quick question though. I’m going to try the recipe unaltered, but wondered if I could substitute anything else for the banana, dates maybe? I’m not a huge fan of banana “in” stuff. I really like bananas, just not mixed into anything.

    • Amy says on March 31, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Of course! I actually created another recipe that’s almost exactly the same, using applesauce instead of the mashed banana (it’s here). You might like those granola bars slightly better! If you do try these bars with the banana, I’ve found it really helps if you chill them before slicing to help them stick together better. I hope you enjoy them Tessa!

  10. Sherie says on April 16, 2014 at 6:35 am

    these look amazing! I’m always trying to find something that is healthier. Would frozen blueberries work instead of strawberries? I have a huge bag of them in the freezer and want to use them up. I’m sure they would work right? I just didn’t know if i needed a different amount then what the strawberries call for. these blueberries are tiny ones but yummy!

    • Amy says on April 16, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Yes, frozen blueberries would work perfectly! I love the tiny wild blueberries; I have 2 bags in my freezer right now. :) Use the same amount, and you should be fine! Just remember to chill the pan after baking and before slicing them into bars. That really helps them firm up and stick together better. I hope you enjoy them Sherie!

  11. Sherie says on April 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks! I can’t wait to make them. I’ll report back in and let you know how I like them.

    • Amy says on April 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Wonderful; I’m excited to hear how they turn out!

  12. Megan says on April 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I was wondering if I could add protein powder to these?

    • Amy says on April 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m fairly certain that would work! I’d recommend stirring it into the wet ingredients before adding the oats. I’d love to hear how that goes if you try it Megan! :)

  13. Lynda says on May 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Can you use fresh berries instead of frozen? How would you go about doing that substitution? These sound great!

    • Amy says on May 6, 2014 at 12:11 am

      Thanks Lynda! Yes, you may absolutely substitute fresh berries! When I made these, the fresh berries were three times as expensive as frozen; that’s the main reason I didn’t use them. :) Just use the same amount and you shouldn’t need to change a thing!

  14. Mary says on May 16, 2014 at 9:51 am

    These look delicious and I can’t wait to make them for my children. Do you know about how long they will keep in the frig before spoiling? Also, because I am not good in the kitchen, why does the oil need to be melted? It is already a liquid, is heating it up the purpose of “melting” it? Hope that’s not a really dumb question!!

    • Amy says on May 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      That’s not a dumb question at all Mary! Coconut oil is the oddball of oils; it’s actually a solid at room temperature. It has a lower melting point than other oils, which is why it’s solid around 60°F and necessary to actually melt it. That really surprised me the first time I baked with it too! When I wrapped the individual granola bars in plastic wrap, they lasted for at least a week in my fridge. I really hope your kids enjoy them, and that’s so sweet of you to bake the bars for them! :)

  15. Xena says on May 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    I had some fresh strawberries that needed attention, so I made these granola bars tonight.
    Instead of a 8X8 pan, I used a round cake pan, so when I cut the bars I ended up with Granola Bar Pizza. :D
    Added some fine coconut to the top and next time I might add a few handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips, I may even try using cranberries, dates and a various nuts in the future too. My tastes tend to run towards the sweeter side, so I’ll likely up the honey and add some coconut sugar.
    Such a nice versatile recipe, so easy to swap out the strawberries for whatever you are in the mood for or whatever you’ve got on hand.

    • Amy says on May 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Oh my goodness Xena, I absolutely love the sound of a granola bar pizza! I really want to try that now! I’m a big fan of sweet things too, so I’d love to hear how your chocolate chips and coconut sugar modifications turn out. So happy you enjoyed the recipe! :)

  16. Becky@TheSavedRunner says on May 23, 2014 at 5:57 am

    These look amazing! I am so glad that I found your blog! I can’t wait to read more!

    • Amy says on May 23, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Thanks Becky! I’m so happy you found me too, and I really hope you enjoy the recipes you find! :)

  17. Audrey says on June 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I’m sooo sad. These really did not turn out well. They were super mushy and they had zero flavor other than straight up banana. :(

    • Amy says on June 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      I’m so sorry Audrey; that must have been incredibly disappointing! Did you chill the bars after baking? I find that really helps them stick together better, and if my banana is on the larger side or my strawberries look particularly icy, I’ll decrease the amount of milk to between 1/4 to 1/3 cup instead. That should help with the mushy texture!

  18. Matea says on August 14, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve never made granola bars before (I thought they would be too hard), but these are easy to make and the strawberry-banana combo–yum!

    • Amy says on August 14, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the granola bars Matea! I thought they’d be pretty hard to make too before I created this recipe, but I was really surprised with how easy the whole process was. :)

  19. Rose says on September 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I made these and they did not turn out well. I snuck one out of the fridge and it tasted great, however, the banana “chunks” turned black after about an hour. I had just bought the bananas the day before and they were beautiful and delicious. I never cook with banana except for banana bread. Also, there was a lot of condensation from the plastic wrap. It was a gooey, black, wet mess! What went wrong?

    • Amy says on October 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

      I’m sorry Rose, that must have been very disappointing! I’m not entirely sure why there were chunks of banana because it was supposed to be mashed, but if it was more of a smooth purée, that might reduce the amount of black color. Also, how tightly did you wrap the bars with plastic wrap? If just loosely covered, there will be a lot more condensation build-up, but if you wrap each individual bar very tightly, there shouldn’t be any condensation at all. I’m guessing that the condensation may speed up the blackening process too, so that could help as well. Hopefully we get this figured out so your next batch turns out perfectly! :)

      • Rose says on October 3, 2014 at 6:58 am

        Thanks for the reply. Well they weren’t really chunks per se, I just couldn’t think of the proper term. They were definitely mush. And yes, I had loosely covered them with the plastic wrap. I will try again in the future, thanks.

        • Amy says on October 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

          You’re welcome Rose! I really think that wrapping them tighter should help. I have my fingers crossed for you! :)

  20. Ashley says on October 3, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Can I sub olive oil for the coconut oil? Will it change the flavor?

    • Amy says on October 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      That should be just fine Ashley! I’ve done it before and haven’t noticed a thing. I hope you enjoy the granola bars!

  21. Esti says on November 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    These were delicious, so fresh tasting! Next time I’ll add a few dashes of cinnamon for a cookie taste and smell…. Yum! Thank you!

    • Amy says on November 24, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the granola bars Esti! I love your idea of cinnamon. I need to try that!

  22. Ashley says on February 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Followed recipe exactly & bars are falling apart! Cooked to room temp, chilled in fridge, then cut…..falling apart :-( any suggestions??

    • Ashley says on February 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      I meant Cooked for 17mins then cooled to room temp

      • Amy says on February 5, 2015 at 12:43 pm

        I’m sorry Ashley; that must be disappointing. It could be that the strawberries were juicier than the ones I used and added too much liquid to the bars, so try reducing the milk by a few tablespoons and that should help.

  23. Nada says on February 5, 2015 at 2:18 am

    Hey! Another oatmeal bar recipe said to bake for 20 min then STIR then bake for another 20. What’s the difference if i didn’t stir? :)

    • Amy says on February 5, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      I’m not entirely sure of what’s going on in the other recipe Nada, but if those directions said to stir in the middle of baking, then it sounds like it was actually for granola instead of granola bars. Stirring the mixture would disrupt it and turn it into clusters instead, so you wouldn’t end up with bars.

  24. Amanda says on February 9, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Sounds delicious! How long will these stay fresh??

    • Amy says on February 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks Amanda! If individually wrapped and stored in the refrigerator, they should last between 5-7 days. I hope you enjoy them!

      • HilaryS says on March 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        I was wondering if its possible to made a lot then freeze them? Or would they not taste as good after thawing out again?

        • Amy says on March 28, 2015 at 9:43 am

          I haven’t tried freezing these Hilary, but I think that should work! I’d decrease the milk by just a touch to help them freeze better. I hope you enjoy them!

  25. Kentuckylady717 says on March 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Amy, this sounds like a great recipe, I will have to try it…and pass the recipe on to my daughter who is eating healthy and passing it on to a friend whom I think will like it too….can’t wait to make them, but do have a question…..I always buy quick cook oats, if I use these what should I do different in this recipe ? Thanks

    • Amy says on March 28, 2015 at 9:42 am

      I’d suggest decreasing the milk to no more than 1/4 cup if you’re using quick oats. I hope you, your daughter and your friends enjoy the bars!

  26. caitlyn says on April 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    I tried this recipe and cooked it for 15 minutes with quick oats and the bars turned out really crumbly and started to fall apart. But it tastes great and I really want to try this recipe again. Any advice on what I can do to get it right next time?

    • Amy says on April 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      I’m sorry that the bars didn’t turn out how you expected Caitlyn; that must have been disappointing. If you switch to old-fashioned oats like the recipe calls for, that should help them hold together better. If the bars were wet yet crumbly, try reducing the milk by a tiny bit. However, if they were dry and crumbly, increase the milk by a bit more instead. I hope your next batch turns out perfectly!

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