This healthy banana bread is so sweet and delicious that you won’t believe it is actually good for you! We took a classic banana bread recipe and updated it with whole wheat flour, flax eggs and natural sweeteners to make it sweet, filling and satisfying.
Bananas are a cheap and easy snack that you should always have on hand. They can be added to lunch boxes, grabbed while you run out the door or tossed in the freezer for recipes like banana bread, strawberry nice cream and tropical smoothies!
Healthy Banana Bread
Starbucks banana bread is still one of my favorite recipes but I never realized how much sugar was i it until I started making it myself. Adding over 1 cup of white sugar to a bowl will make you pause for a second.
In this recipe we made the following adjustments to make it healthier:
- White Flour – We used whole wheat flour instead of white flour. Not only does this add some nutrition, but it makes the bread denser and keeps you fuller longer. If whole wheat flour is too dense for you, try white whole wheat instead. It has the same properties but the texture is a little closer to white flour.
- Sugar – The sugar was replaced with a mix of honey and maple syrup. The maple syrup has a strong flavor so we balanced it with honey to add sweetness but not overpower the dish. If you prefer a vegan banana bread, replace the honey with an additional 1/4 cup maple syrup.
- Butter – I love grass fed butter but our family is now dairy free and I know many other families are too. So we replaced it with dairy free butter and it works great. I use Miyokos butter.
- Eggs – We used flax eggs in place of eggs. 1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water is the equivalent of one egg.
How To Freeze Bananas
I would recommend keeping a bag of frozen bananas on hand at all times! They are so cheap and can be used to make so many fast and healthy snacks. The only thing to know about frozen bananas is that they stick together so you want to make sure they are frozen before storing them together.
To freeze bananas, peel them and break them into 1-2 inch pieces. Place them on a lined cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for and hour or until frozen. Then store them in an airtight bag or container. I like to use the large Stasher bags.
If you are going to use frozen bananas for banana bread, you will want to defrost them first or they will be impossible to mix evenly into the batter.
Step By Step Photos of How To Make Banana Bread
Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Then mix the wet ingredients (not the bananas) in a large bowl.
Once the wet ingredients are mixed well, add the mashed bananas and mix well with a hand mixer.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Cover with walnuts
How To Make Healthy Banana Bread
- Start by premixing your flax eggs. It is important that the flax and water have time to sit and congeal. Mix the ground flax and water and put it aside.
- Next, mix your dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set it aside
- In a large bowl, mix all the remaining wet ingredients except the bananas. I like to use a hand mixer so the butter is fully incorporated. If you are using dairy free butter it won’t fully incorporate but just blend it as much as possible. You’ll notice a point where the batter looks the same.
- Mix the dry ingredients in to the wet and mix just until incorporated. It is important not to over mix or the banana bread will be dry.
Tips and Tricks for Healthy Banana Bread
- Bananas – Use ripe bananas for added sweetness. This means brown and spotted bananas are better than yellow ones. I like to use the ones that are sitting on the counter and turning almost black. The more ripe they are, the sweeter they will be.
- Eggs – If prefer to use real eggs, substitute 2 eggs for the flax eggs. If using flax eggs, mix the ground flax and water and let it sit at least 5 minutes until it thickens. This is an important step!
- Toppings – Get creative with your toppings! In this recipe I used Walnuts but you could use cinnamon, banana slices, pecans or chocolate chips! Sprinkle them on before placing in the oven.
- Mix-Ins – Try mixing different nuts or seeds in to the batter. Of course the kids love dairy free chocolate chips mixed in!
- Browning during baking – If the top of your bread starts to brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil and continue baking. Take the foil off for the last 20 minutes of baking. This is common when using white sugar but less common with honey and maple syrup which is why I didn’t include it in the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions About Healthy Banana Bread
There are several substitutes for butter in banana bread. In this recipe we used a dairy free butter but you could also substitute applesauce, yogurt, coconut oil or vegetable oil. The butter is the fat in the recipe, so any other fat should work.
Short answer is no! As bananas brown they get sweeter. I actually use bananas that are almost black for banana bread. If you use an over ripe banana, you have the option to decrease the amount of maple syrup that you use. Since the bananas will add a natural sweetness, you don’t need to add as much sugar. If you use yellow bananas, you’ll want to follow the recipe.
You can slow the browning by covering it with foil.
If the banana bread is not moist it is because there wasn’t enough moisture to offset the whole wheat flour. I would try it again and add another banana. I always err on the side of caution when it comes to adding bananas. If a recipe calls for 2-3 bananas, I will always use 3. If I have small bananas, I will throw in one extra one. Whole wheat is forgiving with additional moisture.
First of all, get the big bag from Costco and keep it on hand! It’s cheap and can be used for so many other things like chemical free cleaning. If you don’t have baking soda, you can substitute baking powder. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder in place of the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in this recipe.
Other Banana Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Easy Oatmeal with Blueberries
- Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- Good Morning Tropical Smoothie With Spinach
- Tropical Banana Nice Cream
- Blueberry Banana Muffins
- Spinach, Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe
- Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
- 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Butter Alternative
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 6 Tbsp Water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3-4 mashed bananas
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan glass pan. Set aside
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to mix the butter alternative, maple syrup, honey, flax & water mixture and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
- Mix in the mashed bananas until fully incorporated
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix or the bread will be dry.
- Pour the batter in to the greased pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until set.
- Let cool at least 1 hour or overnight.
If the top of your bread starts to brown too quickly, you can cover it
with foil and continue baking. Take the foil off for the last 20 minutes
of baking. This is common when using white sugar but less common with
honey and maple syrup which is why I didn’t include it in the recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 367mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 7gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate. Please recalculate if you need accurate information.