HEALTHY LITTLE VITTLES is a food blog created by certified health coach and published author, Gina Fontana, that focuses on gluten-free + vegan + plant-based recipes that anyone can make and everyone will enjoy! Here you'll find simple, flavorful meals, many made in 30 minutes or less. All eaters are welcome!
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These gluten-free, vegan Maple Tahini Banana Bread Bars have all the flavor of banana bread in bar form, topped with a delicious maple tahini protein frosting. These snack cake-like bars are naturally sweetened with bananas and maple syrup and perfect for lazy weekend mornings or for a nightly treat, you choose!
If you’ve ever run into making banana bread that is gluten-free and vegan and you end up with a big ol’ sunken middle that’s underbaked, #1- you’re not alone. And #2, there’s an easy work around to that problem- making banana bread in bar form is the best solution! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner… they’re so good, so easy to make and NO giant cave in the middle. And enjoying banana bread this way takes a lot less time to bake.
To make these Maple Tahini Banana Bread Bars, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Bananas. Duh. haha 😉 I used 3 small overly ripe bananas- you know, the bananas that are turning way too brown and mushy to eat… those are perfect for banana bread.
Gluten-free flour. You can use your favorite gluten-free flour, I suggest using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour or if you’re looking for a grain-free flour you can use Beth’s Blends Grain-Free Flour Blend, which is actually what I used in this recipe. Both should work fine.
Baking powder & baking soda. If the flour you use has baking soda in it, omit that ingredient. But you’ll still want to add the baking powder (well, I guess unless your baking mix also has that in it too).
Cinnamon. I add cinnamon to nearly all of my baked goods. It’s probably my favorite spice 🙂
Plant milk + apple cider vinegar. This combination creates a vegan butter milk that allows the baking soda to rise, but also allows the banana bread to remain fluffy and moist. The best plant milk to really create those vegan milk curds is flax milk, but oat milk is also a good option. You can use whatever milk you’d like, however.
Pure vanilla extract. Make sure it’s pure, not imitation, imitation vanilla is not gluten-free. I like Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract.
Unsweetened applesauce. I like to buy the applesauce cups instead of buying a big jar of applesauce that might sit in my fridge and go bad. I find the cups to be perfectly portioned out, so no measuring is needed either! Anywhere I can cut a small step I do it.
Maple syrup. My go-to sweetener in my gluten-free bakery is almost always maple syrup. In these Maple Tahini Banana Bread Bars, it’s the perfect refined sugar-free option because it pairs so well with tahini! In fact, that’s why I named these banana bread bars Maple Tahini Banana Bread Bars- because these flavors are just divine together.
Tahini. It’s also quite common for me to use a nut/seed butter in my gluten-free, vegan baking. I use sunflower seed butter a lot for a nut-free option, but when you bake sunflower seed butter and let it cool it releases the chlorophyll and turns your bakery green! It’s actually a really neat natural phenomenon, but I get maybe why you wouldn’t want these banana bars to be green 😉 So aside from choosing a nut-free option, the tahini doesn’t turn green and it tastes so amazing in this banana bread paired with the maple syrup and bananas. My tahini of choice is always Soom Foods Tahini.
I decided to top these Maple Tahini Banana Bread Bars with a naturally sweetened frosting that take these banana bread bars to the next level. The frosting is made with a smashed banana, tahini, maple syrup, cinnamon, and protein powder! It’s naturally sweetened with the banana and maple syrup, so no added sugar is needed in this guilt-free frosting.
I added 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to keep the banana from turning brown, but that’s optional. The protein powder I used in the maple tahini frosting is Natural Plant Fusion Complete Protein Powder. It not only gives the frosting a plant-based protein boost, but also thickens up the frosting a bit so it’s not too runny. You can visit my Amazon store to purchase, or click on the link above.
If you watch the video you’ll see just how easy it is to make these Maple Tahini Banana Bread Bars! This banana bread recipe only requires 10 minutes of prep time and 30-35 minutes of baking! They make the perfect weekend breakfast that can also double as a grab-n-go breakfast or dessert throughout the week! Basically what I’m trying to say is that they are perfect, haha.
This banana bread is so moist, but you can still pick it up with your hand and eat it like traditional banana bread, or you can eat it with a fork… it’s really not how you eat it, but that you enjoy every bite and get all those nostalgic banana-bread-in-my-oven feels 😉
I hope you love this take on traditional banana bread! My whole family loved this recipe! Let me know what you think down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a five rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ so that others can discover this healthy, gluten-free, vegan banana bread recipe! Tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest!
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Spread the frosting over the COOLED banana bread, slice into squares and enjoy! Store leftover banana bread in an airtight container on your counter for up to 3 days.
The Healthy Little Vittles blog provides general information and discussions about health, health foods, nutritional content and value, and related subjects from time to time. The information, recipes, or other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended to and should not be taken as medical advice, nor should it be a substitute for seeking the advice from a medical professional or replacement of treatment.
If you or any other person has a medical concern, please consult with your health care provider, and don’t disregard medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. Always discuss the use of supplements, herbal ingredients, and those of the like, with your health care provider before incorporating into your diet.
The opinions and views expressed on the Healthy Little Vittles blog have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, health practice or other institution, and are simply provided on a health coaching basis.
HEALTHY LITTLE VITTLES is a food blog that focuses on gluten-free + vegan + plant-based recipes
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