No-Bake Banana Nut Protein Bars

9 large pitted Medjool dates
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (such as MCT LeanĀ®)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
2. Combine dates, banana, and vanilla extract in a large food processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup oats, walnuts, almonds, flax seed, cinnamon, and salt; blend.
3. Scrape sides down and add remaining 1/4 cup oats and protein powder; process until mixture is well combined and thick, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan; press into pan using wet hands until even.
5. Freeze until solid, at least 2 to 3 hours. Slice into 10 bars.