It is true. A healthy banana bread recipe does exist! And it tastes good too.
I love bananas. The problem is, I only enjoy them when they’re yellow, not when they start getting brown spots. But did you know, the window of a perfect banana is very small? It’s a day! So the bananas end up getting brown spots before I can eat them all, which means I make a lot of smoothies, banana bread, and muffins.
But did you also know that it is really hard to find a healthy banana bread recipe? Some supposedly healthy banana bread recipes have ¾ cup of sugar, instead of a whole cup! This is why I had to do a bit of tweaking and a lot of experimenting.
What makes this a healthy banana bread?
Way less sugar but still very sweet – Adding a cup of sugar (or more) to one bread is tasty but it’s just not healthy. Instead of a cup of sugar, this recipe has only 5 tablespoons of sugar. However, it is still sweet and tasty. The trick is to wait until your bananas are overripe. Overripe bananas are at their sweetest, thereby adding natural sugar to your recipe.
Adding half whole wheat flour – By cutting your all-purpose flour in half, and adding whole wheat flour instead, you are adding more healthy grains.
Use good all-purpose flour – If you look at the ingredients of a pack of all-purpose flour, you will often see lots of ingredients. Stay away from that because it is not clean-eating. Clean eating, and therefore healthy eating, is minimally processed food. Under ingredients, it should have 1 ingredient! Yes, clean flour is a little bit more expensive but really not that much more. Also, you can buy clean all-purpose flour from almost anywhere, including Walmart! (That’s where we get ours).
What's to love about this recipe
- It doesn’t taste like cardboard. It is moist and flavorful.
- It’s sweet and tasty without all the added (unhealthy) sugar.
- You can make it with ingredients you probably already have in the house. I am all for banana bread recipes with greek yogurt or pastry flour, but I don’t keep things like that in my home, so it would cost me an extra trip to the store.
- It’s customizable. You can have plain banana bread this week, banana nut bread next week, and banana chocolate chip the week after. You can even make banana muffins.
Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
Prep Time: 10mins | Cook Time: 60mins | Servings: 6-8 | Difficulty: Easy
Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients
4 overripe bananas
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts for a banana nut bread
½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips for a banana chocolate chip bread
1 teaspoon espresso powder + 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips for an espresso dark chocolate banana bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a bread pan, or line it with parchment paper to prevent the bread from sticking.
In a large bowl, mash your bananas with a fork or potato masher. (Do not blend it in a food processor—I’ve already made that mistake for you.)
Once fully mashed, add the egg, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, salt, and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
Add the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Stir until combined, but do not overmix.
If you are adding extras, do so now.
Pour the banana bread batter into your prepared pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove it and transfer it to a wire rack to complete the cooling process.
How to store banana bread
Cover your bread in plastic wrap or a large ziplock bag. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
If you are hoping to keep it for longer, store it in the refrigerator.
How to freeze banana bread
Wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap before you place it in a reusable freezer bag. You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months.
To thaw, leave it at room temperature until fully defrosted.