Homemade Chocolate Banana Power Bars – Vegan, Grain Free, Dairy Free

Though Spring teases us with it’s appearance every few days, it has not been nice enough for me to get out onto my road bike in the mornings. Skinny little tires and slick roads just means an accident waiting to happen. Luckily I have a trainer for my bike. It’s a neat little device that clips onto my back wheel and allows me to ride indoors – at least until nicer weather appears. The problem is locating that trainer.

Some of you might be asking, why not go out later in the day when the frost is no longer a problem? One thing I know about myself, is that if I haven’t worked out by 10:30 am, it probably won’t happen. Less than a 5% chance for sure. It’s important to know yourself after all. Why fight it? I prefer to work with my patterns and this in turn increases my success rate. When I say success, I simply mean I’m successful at moving more.

Back to the trainer…

I was finally able to connect with the gal that I had lent it too and today was the day we were to be reunited!

Today we drove out to the small community she lives in to pick it up. It’s a town that we often forget about when we go about our normal business. She happens to live in Cumberland, a small community that thrives on outdoor activities, local organic food, art and music. At the foot of the mountains on Vancouver Island nestled by Comox Lake, it’s a charming community with a strong belief in supporting your neighbor and local businesses. Those that live there are die hard Cumberland lovers and you can see why.

The community doesn’t have a ton of stores, but it does have a local organic market. We stopped in to pick up spelt flour and some odds and ends. A snack attack occurred while we were surrounded with all this yummy healthful food. Unfortunately (as many of you know), just because your organic market sells it, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. A quick peruse of the snack bars and their ingredient list left little to be desired. I settled on a LARA bar. The only one with a reasonable list of ingredients. At $2.79 a bar, making protein bars and snack bars at home makes a lot of sense. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but I didn’t think it was $2.79 great. I was certain I could create something better.

Joshua plans to get skiing for the next couple of days, and though I did make a fresh batch of Maple Spiced Candied Nuts, something more substantial was in order before the week started.

Here is what we’re eating for our snack attacks this week. What have you prepared over the weekend to prevent bad food choices from happening to you?

Chocolate Banana Power Bars

  • 1 cup dried pitted prunes (dates can be substitute here)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 Tbsp honey (vegan substitute: use agave or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tbsp Tapioca starch (substitute 1 Tbsp potato starch, cornstarch or Arrowroot powder)
  • 3 Tbsp Chia seeds, ground (possible substitute is ground flax seed)
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100 grams dark organic chocolate (I used Camino’s) or 3.5 oz

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 9×9 with parchment paper.

Put the prunes, banana, coconut oil and honey in a food processor until prunes are well incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients except the dark chocolate. Blend until well incorporated. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. You’ll need to use your hands or a wooden spoon. Pat down until a nice even surface is achieved, pressing the mixture into the corners of the pan.

Bake for 20 minutes. The baking process here is only to firm up the bars. Don’t worry about testing them with a toothpick, it’s not necessary for these.

Remove from the oven and let cool. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of hot water (not letting the bowl of chocolate touch the water) or use the microwave. Spread the melted chocolate in a thin layer over the bars. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into 15 bars.

Calories: 230 per bar

I like to wrap the squares individually and place them in the freezer. We grab what we need before we head out the door or take a bar out before our workout. Alternately they can be refrigerated in an airtight container.

Note: To make your own almond meal simply take whole almonds and process until almost flour like using a food processor. My food processor isn’t of super high quality. The almonds never get quite as fine as the store bought ones but I find it still works just fine for the recipes I make.

Dairy Free Dark Chocolate: There are many brands available out there, just make sure you read the ingredient list before purchasing as they are not all created equal.

One more thing. I know that buying chia seeds can be very expensive, but I don’t want that to deter you from making these because they are REALLY good. First, I bought 200 grams of ground chia seeds for $10.00. I know, crazy right? But in all honesty, we use them quite often and we still have a lot left. I keep them in the fridge and we add a tsp to our yogurt here and there, and occasionally use it in a baking item like this. I absolutely feel that it has lasted us long enough and that we got our moneys worth. Alternately, I think ground flax seed would be a reasonable substitute.

I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Monday, Monday ManiaMy Meatless MondaysSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty TuesdayA Little Birdie Told MeFat TuesdayTraditional TuesdaysThis Chick CooksCast Party WednesdayAllergy Free WednesdaysTasty AlternativeWhat’s Cooking WednesdayReal Food WednesdayGluten Free Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday,  Simple Lives ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayFood FridayFriday Food FlicksFreaky FridayFight Back FridayFoodie Friday, and This Week’s Cravings.

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57 Responses to Homemade Chocolate Banana Power Bars – Vegan, Grain Free, Dairy Free

  1. Koko March 5, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Amazing!! I still haven’t tried using coconut flour… the only coconut product I haven’t tried…!!

    • France Morissette March 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      Koko, you’ve got to try it. It’s lovely!

  2. Renée March 5, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Check out Edible Island’s bulk section for chia seeds, they are far less than $50/kg.

    • France Morissette March 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Renee, thanks for the tip!

  3. Jenn March 5, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    Had one, and they’re DELISH!

    • France Morissette March 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Jenn, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. March 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Love these!

  5. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food March 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    This looks delicious! I don’t use coconut flour, but I’m sure I can work out a substitute to get something pretty close. Thanks for the great idea!

    • France Morissette March 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Hi Debbie. I have no doubt that simply subbing in more almond meal or any other nut flour would work. If you don’t follow a gluten free diet, regular flour would work too. The possibilities are almost endless.

  6. Danielle March 5, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Found you through Monday Mania – these look delish!

    • France Morissette March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Danielle!

  7. Teresa March 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Made these today and they are really good

    • France Morissette March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

      Hi Teresa, We’re finding them almost too good:)

  8. Amber March 6, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    My lovely cousin sent me this page and I’ve got them in the oven right now. I only had organic coconut flakes but they blended up into a beautiful flour. Looking forward to these;) Thank you.

    • France Morissette March 6, 2012 at 2:35 am #

      Amber, I’m excited to hear your feedback.

  9. Linda March 6, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    I actually have all these ingredients!! I’m so excited that I can make these this week!! I try to have at least one healthy type of treat around the house so I don’t get tempted on anything bad!! I like the idea of your trainer – I think I had something like this a long time ago and wish I still did!

    • France Morissette March 6, 2012 at 2:34 am #

      Hi Linda, Let me know what you think. We’re keeping ours in the freezer at the moment. They don’t freeze solid so I can eat them without thawing. Bonus!

  10. The Cafe Sucre Farine March 6, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Frances, I’m thrilled to have this recipe! My daughter and son will LOVE it and I’m just starting to get back on my bike again for the season – Spring is starting to spring in my neck of the woods! They will be perfect to tuck in my basket for a treat along the ride!

    • France Morissette March 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Chris, Ahhh a fellow rider. There’s just nothing like a ride on a crisp spring day….

  11. Jenn March 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I didn’t have tapioca starch so I used moistened flaxmeal, and it held things together fine.
    Also, I added ground coffee beans to the top chocolate layer because it’s one of my favourite combos.
    This is a great recipe, France! I love non-finicky recipes that let you mess around with them. =)

  12. Katie March 8, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    Those bars sure do look tasty! I’m just getting into starting to cook with coconut flour as I am avoiding wheat products for the time being.

    • France Morissette March 8, 2012 at 5:46 am #

      Katie, coconut flour is great. You should also check out almond flour too. It’s another great one.

    • France Morissette March 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Katie, coconut flour is so fun to cook with. I think you’ll really love the taste.

  13. Michaela March 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Looking forward to trying these!

  14. Leslie @ Real Food Freaks March 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Oh… nice! I’m going to make a batch of these for my freezer this weekend!

  15. maiylah March 11, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    oh wow…loving this! a must-try!

    thanks so much for sharing over at Food Friday, France

    • France Morissette March 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Thanks Maiylah and thanks for hosting Food Friday :)

  16. Jean March 11, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    Would it be possible for you to put measurements in ounces too? Grams don’t translate in the U.S. Thanks!

  17. Miz Helen March 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    These are awesome Power Bars, they look delicious! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    • France Morissette March 12, 2012 at 3:19 am #

      Thanks so much Miz Helen. See you again next week :)

  18. JJ March 15, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    I love these! They immediately became my go-to breakfast. =] I’m doing up another batch tonight.

  19. Neveen March 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    These look awesome! Would I be able to substitute the prunes for dates?

    • France Morissette March 21, 2012 at 5:08 am #

      Absolutely Neveen. Dates are a little sweeter so you may want to adjust accordingly.

  20. Ela April 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    I haven’t tasted these myself for various reasons, but just made them for a second time because two of my friends loved them so much. I tweaked the recipe a few ways–just blogged about it now.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes–I’m always looking for good energy bar ideas.

  21. Ela April 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Whoops–second try commenting–I haven’t tasted these myself for various reasons, but just made a version of them for a second time because two of my friends loved them so much. I tweaked the recipe some–here’s my post about it:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!

    • beyondthepeel April 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      I’m glad they liked them. My husband devoured them!

  22. Faye x April 9, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    Hi there,

    I made this recipe and reviewed over at my blog. http://www.rawlawyer.com/2012/04/homemade-chocolate-banana-power-bars.html

    Great bars! They’re a new favourite! I look forward to following your blog.

  23. Fathers day chocolate April 15, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    Dont you think butter can be a better substitute for coconut oil. I have never seen coconut oil being used in making bars and brownies. I feel it can provide a somewhat different taste which most of the people wont like.

    • Ela April 15, 2012 at 6:33 am #

      I’d have to disagree with this. I can’t stand the taste of butter, and coconut oil works great. If you use expeller-pressed coconut oil, it has no coconut flavor. That said, I’m sure butter would work in this recipe too…

  24. Good Girl Gone Green May 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    I guess technically I don’t have to bake this, right? I mean I could just put it in the freezer. I make treats with raw coconut flour and no baking. These look yum!

    • beyondthepeel May 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      Technically you could just throw them in the freezer. I haven’t tried it so I don’t know exactly how they’ll turn out that way. Let me know!

  25. Mrs.C. Burella January 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    IS the chocolate dairy free? Also, why would honey be in a vegan recipe? I’m thinking of swapping the dates for the prunes. Any thoughts?

    • beyondthepeel January 17, 2014 at 1:52 am #

      You’ll easily be able to find dairy free dark chocolate, just read the label to make sure before buying. I’ve added the vegan sweetener substitutes to the recipe and dates can be substituted but you may want to decrease the amount of sweetener since dates are quite a bit sweeter than prunes. Hope that helps.

      • Mrs.C. Burella January 17, 2014 at 1:57 am #

        So nice to find a blogger that actually is on top of their comments. Thanks for your quick reply. I’m hoping to make these tomorrow. I was going to skip the sweetener altogether and use dates.

  26. Happy Mom February 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    These looks so tasty and I want to try and make these, but my son can’t have almonds. Any suggestions for an almond meal substitution? He can’t have hazelnuts either. Will any ground nuts work?

    • beyondthepeel February 22, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

      Any ground nut will work.


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