Use these step-by-step directions with pictures to make some no-bake banana bread protein bites that are a delicious and healthy on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack!
These banana bread protein bites are gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, and have no added sugar!
Being a no-bake version means no oven is required, which make these a great summer snack!
And even better is you can whip these up A LOT faster than actual banana bread.
So let’s make these tasty bites!
Step-by-Step Picture Directions to Make Banana Bread Protein Bites
1. Put all of the ingredients except for the shredded coconut in your food processor.
Process until mixture is smooth and the banana chunks are completely pureed.
Empty the mixture into a bowl and add the shredded coconut. Add the mini-chocolate chips, if using.
Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to portion out the dough. If you are using a spoon, you will want to roll the dough into balls. The dough will be sticky, so if desired, roll in additional shredded coconut to coat the outside of the ball. The shredded coconut on the outside will make the bites less sticky, but also a little messier to eat. I let my toddler eat these, so I prefer the stickiness over the mess. However, if I was just making these for myself, I would totally roll them in the extra coconut. So do what’s best for you!
Once all of the dough has been turned into beautiful banana bread bites, let them firm up either in the fridge or the freezer. Refrigerate them for an hour or freeze them for about 20 minutes. Don’t forget them (like I have before), or else they might get a little dried out!
Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container for up to a week. These banana bread protein bites can be eaten anytime throughout the day – as breakfast, a snack, or dessert!
Can I Make Banana Bread Protein Bites Without a Food Processor?
If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make these banana bread bites!
The next best thing would obviously be a blender.
But even without a blender, as long as your bananas are fairly ripe, you could just use a fork to mash up the bananas.
You will probably want to use a combination of a spoon and a rubber scraper (or spatula) to mix in the rest of the ingredients, as the dough gets thick and sticky.
Should My Bananas Be Green or Really Ripe?
Either! But they will result in different flavors.
The riper the bananas, the more “banana” flavor these bites will have.
The riper the bananas, the stickier these bites will be.
If you use brown bananas, you may need to add 1/4 cup of additional shredded coconut to offset the stickiness or consider adding one of the mix-ins suggested below!
Also, keep in mind that if you are mashing the bananas up with a fork, a very ripe banana will be much easier to mash up.
But these bites taste great with yellow bananas – you don’t have to wait for them to turn brown!
Nutritionally, you can’t go wrong with the color of banana you use (get the full scoop here).
The less ripe or greener the banana, the more gut-friendly resistant starch it will have.
In fact, the carbohydrate content of a green banana is 80-90% starch!
And as a banana ripens, the starch turns into free sugars (something for keto folks to consider – if you want a banana, eat them green!).
That’s why they taste sweeter!
But with all that sweetness also comes higher antioxidant levels.
The riper the banana, the easier they are to digest as well.
So green to brown and every color in between, you can’t make a wrong choice!
What Protein Powder Should I Use?
The type of protein powder you will use depends on the diet that you are following.
For our family, we are mostly concerned about eating organic, responsibly sourced food. We also like simple ingredient lists, so we like the Tera’s Whey, which only has 4 ingredients and is sourced from cows raised in Wisconsin!! That’s the least amount of ingredients I have seen for a flavored protein powder!
We also use the CERTIFIED truly grass-fed Garden of Life sport protein powder. What does the truly grass-fed certification mean? You can check out the full program details here. In summary, these cows are raised on small farms in Ireland and they are checked every 18 months to ensure the farmers adhere to best practices in animal welfare, sustainability, product quality, traceability, and soil and grass management.
But these protein powders won’t meet your needs if you are on different diets, so let’s list out some others options!
If you eat an AIP diet, you are probably more used to using an unflavored collagen or gelatin powder. I prefer the Great Lakes collagen. Since I use a vanilla flavored protein powder in this recipe, just add a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla powder to add that vanilla flavor back in! NOTE: it is NOT recommended to use vanilla extract since this will not be baked (which would cook off the alcohol).
If you are on a vegan diet, I would recommend using the Orgain organic plant based protein with the vanilla bean flavor. Orgain is not only organic, but also low net carbs, non-dairy, gluten-free, lactose free, no sugar added, soy-free, Kosher, and non-GMO!
Another great choice for those eating vegan would be Vega protein & greens powder, which is a plant based protein powder that is keto-friendly, gluten-free, non-dairy, non-soy, and non-GMO!
What If I Just Want To Leave Out the Protein Powder?
I hear you – processed foods of any kind mean that they are just that – PROCESSED!
So if you are eating an unprocessed food diet, you might want to just leave out the protein powder all together and that’s fine!
Here’s how to make that happen!
- The obvious: leave out the protein powder
- Increase the coconut flour by a 1/4 cup (so put in a 1/2 cup total of coconut flour)
- Add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- Taste test the batter at this point and see if you want to increase the vanilla or cinnamon, or if you need a little sweetness.
- Feel free to sweeten with your sweetener of choice! Some great options would be to add a touch of honey, molasses, or maple syrup.
Taste testing is going to be your best friend here so that you can tweak the flavor to how you want!
Have you noticed that there are different “mix-ins” for banana bread?
Well you can do the same for these bites!
Change up the flavor with one or multiple of these mix-ins!
Shredded Coconut: As mentioned above, feel free to roll these bites in more shredded coconut (or use toasted coconut for a little crunch).
Dried fruit: Stir in a 1/4 cup of a dried fruit such as raisins, dried cranberries, or dried blueberries when you stir in the shredded coconut!
Nuts: Stir in a 1/4 cup of your choice of chopped nuts when you stir in the shredded coconut. I hear that walnuts and banana bread go well together, but I can’t speak from experience since I’m allergic to nuts!
Nut-Butter: Add 2 Tablespoons of your preferred nut-butter. Stir in an additional 1/4 cup of shredded coconut to help counterbalance the extra stickiness!
- 2 bananas
- 1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
- 2/3 cup vanilla protein powder (see above for what brands to use depending on your diet)
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Optional: Mini chocolate chips (for sugar-free chips, use Lily’s chocolate chips or for paleo or dairy-free chocolate chips, use Enjoy Life chips)
- Optional: More shredded coconut to roll the bites in
- Add all of the ingredients except the shredded coconut to a food processor (see above for how to make these without a food processor). Run the food processor until the mixture is smooth and the banana chunks are fully incorporated.
- Scrape the gooey banana mixture into a bowl and stir in the shredded coconut and the optional mini chocolate chips (if using). The mixture will be sticky!
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to make balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. You should get about 20 protein bites.
- If desired, roll the banana bread protein bites in more shredded coconut to coat the outside (to make them less sticky).
- Refrigerate for an hour and then enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge (or freezer! see Notes below).
Storage: Cut bananas have a shelf life of 3-4 days by themselves, however, I have found that these balls can last a bit longer than that. I would recommend eating them within 1 week.
Freezing: These banana bread bites are also great for freezing, so if you have concerns about eating them before the banana gets weird, just freeze them! Store in an airtight container and eat within 3 months for best results.
My Advice: I like these best out of the freezer! Just set out a little bit prior to eating to let them thaw a little (about 15-ish minutes).