Soft and sweet banana bars loaded with tart, juicy raspberries. The perfect summertime snack! Vegan raspberry banana bars are super easy, made with just 5 healthy ingredients, and they’re gluten free and totally fruit sweetened.
Hi friends! How are things? We just got back from Florida yesterday. We took a fun little trip for our first wedding anniversary. The weather was amazing, and I got tons of quality time with the love of my life on the beautiful beach! We even went to an all vegan restaurant, which was SUCH a cool experience. I think it’s so exciting that there are completely plant-based restaurants, and I love supporting them. Anyway, it was the perfect vacation and I’m overflowing with gratitude! Being back home has me refreshed, recharged, and happy to be back in my kitchen!
On our trip I ate almost all fruit, and I feel awesome. I love literally any and all fruit, but if you’ve read the name of my blog, you know I have a special place in my fruit-loving heart for bananas. I eat them every day for breakfast, bake with them, freeze and blend them into nice cream – I love them in all forms. When I travel I usually take a whole bunch of them, so like, 8 all stuck together like that you buy at the store.
Well, this gave me a bit of trouble when I went through airport security. My bag got stopped when it went through the x-ray thing (is there a technical term for that?), so a security guy had to come open it up. After pushing a few other things aside, he pulled out all the bananas, looked super confused and said, “wow, somebody must be hungry.” I fought the urge to be like “yep those are all for me I’m vegan you should eat a lot of fruit too!!!” because ya know, we had a flight to catch, so instead I just smiled and said “yes, I really like bananas!” He sent me on my merry way after that, but I just thought it was really funny. Bananas must be suspicious.
I thought it oh so appropriate to share these bars with you after that incident, as they make my most favorite fruit the star of the show. And there are those pretty little raspberries, too! Two fruits in one sweet treat.
For these vegan raspberry banana bars, we’re using…buckwheat flour!! Honestly I first used buckwheat flour a few weeks back, and I was a little skeptical. It turns whatever it touches slightly gray, and has a pretty strong smell. But I tried it in a few different types of recipes and ohhhhh my goodness. I am in LOVE.
First of all, let’s talk nutrition. While the name is misleading, buckwheat is actually a seed! As a result, it’s naturally gluten free. I’m super happy about that, because while oats technically are gluten free, some with sensitivities still can’t tolerate them in high quantities, including me! While I obviously love baking with oats, sometimes if I have too much I sort of feel like a slug. I’m not sure if I have a sensitivity or not, but I just really try to pay attention to what my body tells me. So, bring on the buckwheat!
Buckwheat flour also has a ton of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s great for blood sugar control, too! It’s full of phytonutrients, one being lignans, which can actually protect you from certain cancers and heart disease. Long story short, you’re getting a LOT of nutritional benefits when you swap out buckwheat for those awful refined flours. Plus, it keeps you full and satiated for a looong time. I hate when I eat and then feel hungry ten minutes later. Not a problem with buckwheat! One other fun fact – I actually made my favorite brownies, banana bars AND my gooey cookie bars with buckwheat instead of banana flour, and it worked wonderfully! I know some of you have a hard time finding banana flour, so you can definitely substitute buckwheat in those recipes.
Another important note about buckwheat is how it actually behaves when baking. It’s definitely not a traditional flour, so there are certain things to expect. First of all, texture. When baked, buckwheat flour gives an amazing chewiness. The outside gets a slightly brown and crisp crust while the inside is chewy and softer. Perfect in these vegan raspberry banana bars!
One last thing about my new favorite flour…the color. You can’t really tell in these bars, but buckwheat flour gives batters and baked goods a gray color, and little gray spots. I know, right?! Such a bummer. Why couldn’t it be like, pink or something? Anyway, the slightly off-putting color is fine by me in exchange for the health benefits.
Now that I’ve professed my love for buckwheat flour, we can talk about the recipe for these cute little vegan raspberry banana bars! The ingredients are simple, as always – chickpeas and almond milk for a gooey, rich texture, lots of ripe, mashed banana for sweetness, and buckwheat flour to hold things together and give the bars just enough chewiness. Oh, and raspberries, obviously! Drop a few on top for gorgeous color and perfect tartness to balance those sweet bananas.
These vegan raspberry banana bars are so lovely for a summery breakfast or snack to hold you over until dinner. Soft, sweet, chewy, and exploding with fruit, they pack a powerful plant-powered health punch. So go grab your buckwheat flour (and some extra, hint hint for recipes to come!), and in about an hour you’ll have a whole pan of these babies to share with your loved ones.
Serious question: what is your favorite fruit? I want to know!
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!