Real Life Paleo

Banana Bread Balls: Nut-Free Larabar Wannabes

For 3 months now, I’ve been nut-free because I’m only eating Autoimmune-compliant paleo foods. And for 3 months now, I’ve been missing the convenience and tasty treat a Larabar always offered me while on-the-go.

A few weeks ago, however, I saw a Banana Bread Larabar at the store and a light bulb went off (as I stood there, eyes glazed over and frothing at the mouth longing for my long-lost-friend: the nut). With the magic of bananas, I could recreate this flavor of their awesome bars without nuts!

No, seriously, I did. And they’re fan-freaking-tastic. If you were a 20-something, you’d even say we Nailed it. Have you guessed how we did it yet?

Banana Bread Balls
Vegan, Paleo AND Autoimmune-friendly!



  1. ♥ Using your hands, do your best to break the banana chips into smaller pieces (about 1/3 the size, smashing with a rolling pin, is ideal but skipping this step is fine if you have a decent food processor).
  2. ♥ Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until they come together to form a ball when molded in your hand – about 5 minutes and the banana chips will be 1/4″ shards
  3. ♥ Form tablespoon size balls (or mustaches, as the situation may require) and roll them into the coconut flakes. This isn’t necessary, but will make this a less messy, sticky snack.
  4. ♥ EAT!

If you don’t eat them all right away, you can store them at room temperature for probably quite a while – although if more than a few days, we recommend refrigeration – where they’ll stay for months, probably.

Given the fact that these are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, and seed-free as well as being stable at room temperature they make a PERFECT school snack or treat. I have to admit, though, Matt and I happily enjoyed our fair share too!

I can’t wait to figure out new combinations of flavors to make using banana chips instead of nuts; I feel like a whole new world just opened up!

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  • Olivia

    Wow! Cannot wait to try these when my 21DSD is done! 🙂 Good job!! (You could use any fruit chip for these, right?)

    • I plan to try future combinations with other chips, yes 🙂 Apple pie is next on my list!

      • Sarah S


  • Teri

    For the dried whole banana’s would the flat dried banana’s from Trader Joe’s work? I am excited to make this!

    • I’m not familiar with those, they would need to be moist like a soft date. I found these at MOM’s and the link should take you to one you can buy on Amazon if you can’t find them otherwise. You could probably make them yourself in a dehydrator, we just haven’t tried yet.

    • Sarah S

      so excited to try these! I also thought about the TJ flat dried bananas and bought some this morning…they are moist like a soft date so I’m trying them today!!! Can’t wait!

      • Gabriela Calvi

        Can you make this treat with regular fresh bananas?

        • The result would likely be too soft and wet to be a portable Larabar. I’d recommend drying them in your oven beforehand if you could.

  • Audrey Volt

    I see the link for the dried bananas on Amazon, but I’m curious, where did you find yours? I will have to look at my health food store. I’d love to make this. Thanks for posting this. I did the paleo AI protocal and found that I should limit my nut consumption too.

  • frugalportland

    I LOVE banana chips — have you had the freeze dried ones from TJs?

    • I have, but those wouldn’t work for this.

      • frugalportland

        No, they disintegrate too quickly, I’d bet. Thanks for the quick reply — I can’t wait to try these!

  • They actually had banana chips at our Walmart, that only had two ingrediants, bananas and coconut oil. I have been getting these for a snack for my husband for a while now, now something else to try! 🙂 Thanks!

    • robyn

      what brand do you find at walmart? super intrigued, i need to pay more attention!

  • Jaime

    Can you buy regular bananas and just dehydrate them in the oven??? This is a wonderful recipe! You guys ROCK!!!

    • I’m sure there’s instructions on good ol’ Google – let us know if it works out!

  • Awesome! I can’t eat nuts, seeds or eggs which has really made Paleo treats difficult. I have been loving your new recipes! I’m going to bring this to preschool next time it’s our turn for snack (they are a nut free school). About how many servings does this recipe make? I have 16 2 1/2 year olds to feed, and I’ll probably bring some fresh fruit to go with them.

    • I’d double it, although I think with 1 batch you could have 1 ball per kid.

  • Jessica

    Fantastic! I stopped purchasing Lara Bars after I discovered that they were involved with donating money against Prop 37! I can’t wait to make my own! 🙂

  • Sarah S

    Just made these! Yum! I used the Trader Joe’s “Nothing But…Banana, Flattened” (one pack was enough).

    I made 16 balls and cost only $3.80! (probably about 8-10 Larabars worth?)


  • These are fantastic. I’m allergic to tree nuts. This was a great recipie and now I have a great nut free treat to enjoy that is DELISH!

  • I cannot even tell you how excited I am that I found this recipe!! My 5 year old son is allergic to tree nuts and I’m SO incredibly sick of buying the conventional school snacks at the grocery store with all the crap in them. I will definitely be trying these out with him this weekend! THANK YOU!!!! 🙂

    • Awesome! Glad you found it and hope you enjoy making it together!

  • Mrs. Paleo

    I used one fresh banana instead of two dried. As stated in another post, you can’t roll into shapes, but I pressed it into a loaf pan and we ate slices of it with a fork. I also added a 1/4 tsp. sea salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Turned out super tasty! Thanks for the idea:)

  • SSStruessel

    Unfortunately, Amazon is out of them, but I’m wondering if anyone has tried them in their dehydrator yet? I’m going to go throw some in now!

  • Chloe

    i really like the idea of a nut-free larabar! i am on a auto-immune diet because i have a weird rash and i think it may be food related! since you guys are no so much about food do you think it is a food allergy rash? it’s slightly pink, not itchy, and only on my face. its flaky and slightly bumpy to the touch. i have gotten rid of nuts, dairy, legumes, gluten, chocolate (!) etc. its very hard to stick too, except for the gluten (I’m already GF). the weird part is I’m 12! aren;t i a little to old to get a food allergy rash? and i want my dark chocolate! any advice?

    • Hi Chloe! While it is very common for skin issues to be food released, any number of things could be causing it. I would suggest either reaching out to The Paleo Mom consulting or community group, or start with a squeaky clean paleo template or an autoimmune protocol. Good luck!

  • Chelsea


  • Momma2Monkeys

    What else would work — raisins in place of the dried banana? My kids aren’t huge fans of dates.

    • The dates are essentially the gel that holds these together.