Healthy Banana Bread
This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is so easy to make and bakes up super moist and tender with the most amazing banana flavor. So delicious that you’d never guess it’s healthy! It’s the perfect snack or dessert option and can be frozen for later use.
This healthy banana bread recipe was a winner for sure! My whole family LOVED it, it didn’t last but one day!— Kelly
We cannot get enough of this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread! It’s supremely moist, perfectly chocolatey and totally indulgent tasting. The best part is — it’s made with wholesome ingredients and filled with nutrients. It’s a delicious, healthier alternative to other baked goods packed with butter and sugar, and the filling ingredients can help to keep you satiated for longer.
Why you should make this recipe
- 100% whole grain. White whole wheat flour and oats add fiber and beneficial nutrients.
- Low sugar. It’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey. We like to add just 1/4 cup brown sugar for extra deliciousness.
- Yogurt. Instead of sour cream (a trick that is often used to make banana bread moist), this recipe is made with yogurt, which is high in protein and low in fat.
- Bananas. The addition of bananas packs this recipe with potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Ripe bananas make the bread moist and add natural sweetness, so you can use less added fats and sugars.
Seriously, this is SO easy to make and always gets rave reviews – even my picky kids can’t get enough! I love to bake up a loaf when I’m craving something sweet and chocolatey. So good!
Quick breads like this banana bread are actually really easy to make healthier. I honesty love this recipe just as much as a classic banana bread and I love that it’s lower in sugar, calories and fat. Let’s talk about those ingredients:
- Eggs. Using 2 large eggs in this healthy banana bread recipe, gives it a tender texture and also adds protein. To make this recipe vegan, you can use flax eggs.
- Yogurt. Yogurt is a great replacement for the oil and/or butter that you would typically find in banana bread. For a dairy-free and/or vegan banana bread, use a coconut or almond milk yogurt variety. Use Greek yogurt for a boost of protein!
- Bananas. Two or about 1 cup bananas add moisture and do a great job of replacing oil in baked goods. For best results, use extra ripe bananas that have some brown spots.
- Maple syrup. Pure maple syrup (or honey) is an all natural sweetener that’s actually sweeter than sugar. There’s only 6 tablespoons in this entire recipe.
- Brown sugar. Adding just a tiny amount of brown sugar provides the perfect amount of sweetness. This is completely optional, though. I actually had some Splenda brown sugar blend on hand and used 2 tablespoons of that. It was perfect.
- Flavor makers. Ground cinnamon and pure vanilla extract give this a wonderful warm, cozy flavor.
- Quick oats. Adds fiber and delicious texture.
- Baking soda. For the perfect rise and texture. You will not need baking powder.
- White whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour works great in this recipe and is a healthier alternative to white flour. White whole wheat flour has more nutrition than regular all-purpose flour. It also adds a nutty delicious flavor to the bread. You can also use regular whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour. All are 100 percent whole wheat. The difference is in the variety of whole wheat.
- Optional mix-ins. We love this loaf with the addition of chocolate chips! You can even add in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans! Feel free to also add in a pinch of salt, if you’d like.
How to make this recipe
This healthy banana bread recipe is super easy to whip up and only requires about 10 minutes of hands-on time. You only need one large bowl and a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. You can also grease with coconut oil or butter, if preferred. Here’s the simple process:
For printable instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs until the yolks break apart. Whisk in the yogurt, mashed banana, maple syrup, sugar, and vanilla; mix until smooth.
- Add dry ingredients. Stir in the oats, baking soda, and cinnamon. Finally, spoon in the flour and gently stir it in until just combined. If you’re adding chocolate chips or any other mix-ins, toss them in about 1 tablespoon flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread, then gently fold them into the batter. Stir with wet mixture until just combined. Do NOT over-mix.
- Bake. Pour batter into loaf pan. For a pretty presentation, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips over the top before it goes into the oven. Bake at 350ºF for about 45 minutes or until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Cool. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Use a butter knife to loosen around the edges and carefully remove the bread from the pan. Cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing. Enjoy!
Pro tip: Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil after 30 minutes of baking to help prevent the top and sides from getting too brown.
This easy banana bread recipe is very simple to make, but here are some tips to make sure it’s incredible every time!
- Extra ripe bananas. To make this perfectly sweet, use bananas that are VERY ripe. The more brown spots the better! However, if they have mold or a strange odor, those bananas are too ripe and unsafe to eat. If your bananas are nearing expiration, but you don’t have time to use them that day, peel and freeze the bananas.
- To quickly ripen bananas. If your bananas aren’t quite ripe enough, you can ripen them quickly by wrapping them in foil and popping them in a 350°F oven for 10-15 mins!
- Measure the flour correctly. Too much flour can cause baked goods to be dry and crumbly. Whisk the flour first, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top (without shaking the measuring cup). If you have food scales, use those for even more precise measuring.
- Do NOT over-mix batter. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together by gently folding them with a large spoon or spatula and mix just until moistened. Do not use a whisk. Over-mixing the batter can produce tough bread that sinks in the center.
- Do not over bake. Ovens can vary so be sure to check the bread after about 40 to 45 minutes. It is done baking when a skewer, butter knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
While this is delicious as-is, you can add other ingredients to switch up the flavor profile. Here’s some options:
- Banana nut bread. Mix in your favorite chopped nuts. About 1 cup of chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts would give this a delicious nutty crunch.
- Chocolate chips. While I really like semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe, feel free to use dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or even mini chocolate chips.
- Dried fruits. For bursts of chewy sweetness throughout, add one cup of cranberries, raisins or chopped dates.
- Flour. Spelt flour or all purpose flour are great substitutes for white whole wheat flour. If that’s what you have on hand, give it a try!
- Banana muffins. Turn this quick bread recipe into a muffin recipe. This will make 12 muffins and you can shorten the cook time down to 20-25 minutes.
- Dietary restrictions. I have successfully made this recipe vegan, dairy-free, egg free, and gluten free. See the notes in the recipe card (below) for details.
Frequently asked questions
The nutrition of banana bread varies depending on the ingredients used. It can be as healthy or as indulgent as you’d like. Most traditional recipes make a delicious dessert that’s high in carbs, added sugar, and fat. However, this specific recipe is made with more wholesome ingredients and less fat and sugar. Each slice contains 149 calories, 31 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein and just 1 gram of fat.
Moisture is key when it comes to delicious banana bread, and the ratio of flour to banana makes all the difference. If you use too much flour, you’ll end up with dry bread. If you don’t use enough, your bread will be too wet. When measuring the flour, be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off the top without shaking the cup for more precise measuring.
Absolutely! You can use gluten-free flour such as King Arthur Measure for Measure to make gluten-free banana bread.
Use a fork or potato masher to mash your bananas or, to get the bananas mashed really well (so you don’t end up with big chunks in your bread), try mashing them with a blender or an electric (hand or stand) mixer. Not only do they get completely mashed up, it’s quick and easy.
- Storing leftovers. This will stay fresh covered at room temperature on the counter for up to about 2 days. For longer storage, place slices in an airtight container or bag and place in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days. If you want to enjoy it warm, you can heat it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds or in a toaster oven for a short time.
- Freezing. To store in the freezer. Tightly wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap, then place it in a resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, when you’re ready to enjoy it. The other option is to wrap up individual slices in plastic wrap and store them in a resealable bag. You can then thaw your slices at room temperature or microwave them for about 20-30 seconds.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Healthy Banana Bread
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (115g) plain or vanilla Greek yogurt*
- 2 medium-size (200g or 1 cup) ripe bananas, mashed
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, coconut sugar or 2 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (60g) quick oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) white whole wheat flour**
- Optional add-ins: 1 cup chocolate chips, dried fruit or chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (176ºC), and lightly grease a 9 x 5" loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs until the yolks break apart. Whisk in the yogurt, mashed banana, maple syrup, sugar, and vanilla; mix until smooth.
- Stir in the oats, baking soda, and cinnamon. Finally, spoon in the flour and gently stir it in until just combined. If you're adding chocolate chips or any other mix-ins, toss them in about 1 tablespoon flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the bread, then gently fold them into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it out evenly. If you're making chocolate chip banana bread, add some extra chocolate chips to the top for a pretty presentation.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil after 30 minutes to help prevent the top and sides from getting too brown.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Cover and store banana bread at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Banana bread tastes best on day 2 after the flavors have settled together. See notes below for freezing instructions.
Vegan banana bread: Use maple syrup (not honey), use flax eggs and choose non-dairy yogurt.
Gluten-free: I like to use Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1-to-1 flour blend or King Arthur gluten-free measure for measure flour.
Flour options: An equal amount of all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour can be used in place of the white whole wheat flour. You can also use an equal amount of whole wheat flour, but the texture may change some.