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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 Without Brown Sugar

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This super moist, best ever, easy healthy banana bread recipe without brown sugar is refined sugar-free and low-fat, making it the perfect guilt-free snack. You’ll want to munch on this low calorie 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?

Latest Recipe Video!

Unfortunately, most classic banana bread recipes 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, easy 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 recipe in a way that was lighter, healthier but just as moist and delicious as the original recipe!

I guarantee this is the best banana bread recipe you’ll ever make — and you can feel good about giving it to your family since it’s much healthier than the traditional version! This is one of my family’s favorite recipes – it makes a regular appearance on lazy weekend mornings!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

ingredients for healthy banana bread

This easy recipe for healthy banana bread requires just a few simple ingredients:

  • 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 and added fiber. A healthier replacement for all purpose flour.
  • Eggs: To make this recipe vegan, substitute with flax eggs.
  • Bananas: It’s important that you use overripe bananas so that you can take advantage of their natural sweetness and get that deep banana flavor in this banana nut bread.
  • Buttermilk: Can be replaced with almond milk for a dairy-free or vegan-friendly option. A good replacement for sour cream in most other banana bread recipes.
  • Olive Oil: Used instead of melted butter, can be replaced with coconut oil if needed.
  • Coconut Sugar: The key to making this banana bread recipe without brown sugar! A great, lower glycemic replacement for brown sugar or white sugar.
  • Walnuts: To add crunch and texture to this quick bread!
  • Spices and Vanilla: A great way to give this bread natural sweetness without having to use a lot of sugar.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Preheat over to 325. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Alternatively, you can spray your loaf pan and line it with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat eggs, mashed 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. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.

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 a wire rack and let cool. Slice and enjoy the most delicious banana bread you’ll ever make!

finished healthy banana bread recipe, out of the oven

What Makes This Whole Wheat Banana Bread Healthy?

  • Low Sugar: Thanks to coconut sugar, it’s super easy to make a moist banana bread recipe without brown sugr. 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: 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 is my kids’ favorite banana bread recipe: it is moist, sweet and delicious – which makes it a great recipe 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?

This healthy banana bread will last up to 7 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, it will still taste great up to 7 days after baking it!

How to Store and Keep

To Store in the Fridge or at Room Temperature: Let the bread cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container. It will keep for 2 days at room temperature or up to 7 days in the fridge.
To Freeze:
Let the banana bread cool completely. You can wrap the loaf whole, or you can slice it and wrap the individual slices 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 freezer bag. 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.
  • 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).
  • Make banana muffins: Simply pour the batter into muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes (checking frequently after that to make sure they don’t overbake).

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! 
  • The key to getting this healthy 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 10 votes

Healthy Banana Bread Without Brown Sugar

This super moist, best ever, easy healthy banana bread recipe is sugar-free and low-fat, making it 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

https://youtu.be/sZBTaU3U3bA

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

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Dessert ·

Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone.

Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

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