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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

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This super moist, best ever, banana bread is sugar-free and low-fat, making them the perfect guilt-free snack. You’ll want to munch on this healthy banana bread all day!

slices of healthy banana bread on a wooden cutting board

Banana bread is one of my favorite morning baked treats in the world. There’s just something about it that is absolute perfection, I mean who doesn’t love bananas and walnuts surrounded by doughy goodness?

Unfortunately, most banana breads really should be called banana cakes. They’re loaded with sugar, fat and calories – one slice of bakery banana bread will run you upwards of 400 calories, and 31 grams of sugar!

I’ve been on a quest to find a healthy banana bread recipe for a while now, because I was determined to find a way to enjoy this treat that I love so much. Thanks to a few easy swaps, I managed to recreate this traditional favorite in a way that was lighter, healthier and just as moist and delicious as the original!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Ingredients and Notes

ingredients for healthy banana bread
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: I LOVE this flour because it’s much finer and lighter than whole wheat flour, but has all of the whole grain benefits. I use this as a 1:1 replacement for all purpose flour all the time to get a little more fiber in my baked goods.
  • Eggs: To make this recipe vegan, substitute with flax eggs
  • Bananas: It’s important that you use super ripe bananas so that you can take advantage of their natural sweetness.
  • Buttermilk: Can be replaced with almond milk for a dairy-free or vegan-friendly option.
  • Olive Oil: Can be replaced with coconut oil if needed.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Preheat over to 325. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Beat eggs, bananas, and sugar with an electric mixer until thick, about 4 minutes.

bananas being mixed with wet ingredients

Step 2: Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix again until well combined, about 1 minute.

buttermilk poured into batter

Step 3: Sift in remaining dry ingredients, and beat until blended, about 2 more minutes. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake about 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and fork inserted in center comes out clean. Turn out onto rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy!

finished healthy banana bread recipe, out of the oven

What Makes This Banana Bread Healthy?

  • Low Sugar: I created this recipe to avoid the added granulated sugar that most banana bread recipes have. The coconut sugar has a low glycemic index and isn’t refined. Each slice of this banana bread has only 6.5 grams of added sugar – the rest of the sugar is natural from the bananas!
  • Low Fat and Low Calorie: Avoid the sticks of butter and oils. This recipe keeps fat low with only ⅓ cup of buttermilk and 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Each slice of this banana bread has under 140 calories and 5 grams of fat!
  • Whole Grains: This recipe uses whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Whole wheat flour has more fiber, iron, protein, and calcium than white flour. 

Will Kids Enjoy This Healthy Banana Bread?

This recipe is moist, sweet and delicious – which makes it perfect for kids! They won’t be able to tell it is a healthy banana bread, which makes it a great snack for both of you. You can also add nuts or chocolate chips if they want a little added texture and flavor. 

slices of healthy banana bread topped with butter on a wooden cutting board

Recipe FAQs

Can You Make This Recipe Gluten Free?

Yes! You can use gluten free oat flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour to replace all of the flour in this recipe.

How Long Does Banana Bread Last? How Can I Make it Last Longer?

Banana bread lasts 4-6 days until the texture is less chewy and starts to dry out. I recommend keeping it in the fridge to add freshness and keep it wrapped tightly in aluminum foil. When stored properly, I can get away with eating it up to 5-6 days after baking it!

How to Freeze Banana Bread

To Freeze: Let the banana bread cool completely. You can wrap the loaf whole, or you can slice it and wrap each individual slice for easy serving later. Whether you store it whole or in slices, make sure to wrap the banana bread tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in an airtight zip-top bag in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To Defrost: Thaw overnight in the fridge. You can also thaw it for a few hours on the counter at room temperature. To serve warm, pop a couple slices in the microwave or toaster oven before eating!

Recipe Variations.

I love homemade banana bread plain, but there are so many ways you can mix up this recipe! Here are some of my favorite variations:

  • Nuts and seeds: This recipe already has walnuts, but you can switch out the walnuts for any nut you like! Pecans, hazelnuts or almonds work particularly well. You can also add in pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds on top of the banana bread right before you put it in the oven.
  • Chocolate chips: Which just make everything better! I like using 70% dark chocolate chips or chopping up a dark chocolate bar for even more cocoa flavor. You can fold it into the batter directly, or add it on top of the banana bread before baking (or both!)
  • Spices: This recipe uses cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, but you can always try pumpkin pie spice or even ground ginger for a change of pace.
  • Fruit: Try adding in fresh blueberries or shredded coconut! Dried fruit would work equally well: raisins, cherries, currants would be delicious.
  • For more protein, add split peas: What? Split peas? You’d be surprised, but yes! You can add in 1 cup of split pea puree instead of the bananas, or 1/2 cup instead of 1/2 of the bananas (made by boiling split peas and pureeing with water – should be the consistency of canned pumpkin).

Top Tips For Making The Best Healthy Banana Bread

  • Let the banana bread cool before cutting it into slices! Otherwise, it will crumble and fall apart! 
  • Make sure to keep the wet ingredients separate until you mix in the dry ingredients. This helps the ingredients to fully mix together and be nice and chewy when the bread is out of the oven
  • The key to getting this banana bread super sweet is to use extremely ripe bananas – this means bananas with LOTS of brown spots!
  • To make this recipe vegan friendly, use flax eggs instead of the eggs and unsweetened almond milk instead of the buttermilk.
  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you mix them.
  • Make sure your baking soda is fresh (that means not more than 3 months old!)
  • Don’t overmix the batter — if you do you will end up with a tougher banana bread that isn’t as moist and fluffy.
slices of healthy banana bread on a wooden cutting board

Check out these other healthy bread recipes!

If you have tried this healthy banana bread recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

slices of healthy banana bread on a wooden cutting board
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Healthy Banana Bread

This super moist, best ever, banana bread is sugar-free and low-fat, making them the perfect guilt-free snack. You’ll want to munch on this healthy banana bread all day!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Baking, Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 137.8kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat over to 325. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
  • Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a fork. Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick, about 4 minutes.
  • Add bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix again until well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Sift in remaining dry ingredients, and beat until blended, about 2 more minutes. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake about 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and fork inserted in center comes out clean. Turn out onto rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Recipe Variations
I love homemade banana bread plain, but there are so many ways you can mix up this recipe! Here are some of my favorite variations:
  • Nuts and seeds: This recipe already has walnuts, but you can switch out the walnuts for any nut you like! Pecans, hazelnuts or almonds work particularly well. You can also add in pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds on top of the banana bread right before you put it in the oven.
  • Chocolate chips: Which just make everything better! I like using 70% dark chocolate chips or chopping up a dark chocolate bar for even more cocoa flavor. You can fold it into the batter directly, or add it on top of the banana bread before baking (or both!)
  • Spices: This recipe uses cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, but you can always try pumpkin pie spice or even ground ginger for a change of pace.
  • Fruit: Try adding in fresh blueberries or shredded coconut! Dried fruit would work equally well: raisins, cherries, currants would be delicious.
  • For more protein, add split peas: What? Split peas? You’d be surprised, but yes! You can add in 1 cup of split pea puree instead of the bananas, or 1/2 cup instead of 1/2 of the bananas (made by boiling split peas and pureeing with water – should be the consistency of canned pumpkin).
Top Tips For Making The Best Healthy Banana Bread
  • Let the banana bread cool before cutting it into slices! Otherwise, it will crumble and fall apart! 
  • Make sure to keep the wet ingredients separate until you mix in the dry ingredients. This helps the ingredients to fully mix together and be nice and chewy when the bread is out of the oven
  • The key to getting this banana bread super sweet is to use extremely ripe bananas – this means bananas with LOTS of brown spots!
  • To make this recipe vegan friendly, use flax eggs instead of the eggs and unsweetened almond milk instead of the buttermilk.
  • Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you mix them.
  • Make sure your baking soda is fresh (that means not more than 3 months old!)
  • Don’t overmix the batter — if you do you will end up with a tougher banana bread that isn’t as moist and fluffy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 137.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.4g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 4.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 23.5mg | Sodium: 87.3mg | Potassium: 138.4mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 10g

Posted In…

Breakfast ·

Whether it’s a quick smoothie or indulgent (but guilt-free) pancakes, my breakfast recipes have everything you need to start your day off right.

24 responses to “Healthy Banana Bread Recipe”

  1. I love banana bread and would like to try this healthier version. About how many cups will “4 very ripe to overripe bananas” make? Thanks.

    • Thanks Denden! I think it’s about 2 cups, but it really depends on how big the bananas you’re using are. Hope that helps! I’m sure you’ll love this recipe!

    • Haha that is weird! At least you can enjoy the flavor of bananas when they’re cooked 🙂 Thanks for tagging me – I can’t wait to create my own list! Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

    • Aw thank you! 🙂 Great idea to add in chocolate chips btw – you can make it even healthier by using cacao nibs or 72% dark chocolate pieces!

    • Thanks for the recipe! I’d probably substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose to amp up the fiber, and maybe replace half the oil with applesauce to make it even healthier!

  2. I relish the moment when I get to eat a hot piece of banana bread straight from the oven. Top it with peanut butter and some banana slices and you have a tasty little snack. This looks scrumptous

    • Omg yes! Peanut butter on warm banana bread is the BEST. I also like topping it with some marmalade or blueberry preserves. Yum!

      • Haha nice! Yes – it ends up tasting just like a peanut butter and banana sandwich! Enjoy!

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