Healthy Rhubarb Banana Bread
This rhubarb bread recipe is made healthier using whole wheat flour, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, but it’s so soft and tender that you’d never be able to tell! So delicious, you’re going to want to make Healthy Rhubarb Banana Bread all season long!
This post was originally published on May 26, 2016. It was updated on 7/17/19 with new photos and recipe tips.
Rhubarb is one of those intriguing foods you see in recipes here and there, but it’s not wildly popular like blueberries or apples. You can only seem to find rhubarb in a very narrow time period and when you see it in the produce department of your grocery store, you can rest assured, spring is here. I like to challenge myself to try new foods and, in my opinion, everything pairs well with bananas, so rhubarb banana bread was born.
How to Make This Rhubarb Bread With Banana
My daughter loves to get in the kitchen with me when I’m baking, especially when the recipe is sweet and comforting. Baking bread is a great opportunity to get your kids helping in the kitchen. There are great teaching opportunities to be had- measuring ingredients, chatting about the ingredients being used and learning to use common kitchen tools.
This particular recipe was really fun to make with my daughter because we were both new to rhubarb. I did some research and learned that rhubarb has a very short season (April through June), so grab it up while you can. It looks like bright pink celery and has a zesty flavor that is perfect for balancing out the sweetness in pies and other desserts. It freezes well and can be saved to enjoy later in the year.
This recipe is very straightforward. You can use a stand or hand mixer or mix everything by hand. You’ll want to start by whisking all of the dry ingredients together in one large bowl. Next, add in the wet ingredients and gently stir to combine. Last, fold in the chopped rhubarb. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake at 350ºF for about 50-55 minutes. Once the bread comes out of the oven, allow it to cool in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes. Use a butter knife around the sides to help lift the bread out of the loaf pan. Slice and enjoy!
What makes this rhubarb banana bread healthy?
- This rhubarb banana bread recipe is made with 100 percent whole wheat flour, unlike most quick bread recipes that call for refined flour and lots of processed sugar.
- This rhubarb bread is naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup, which offer some trace nutrients that white sugar does not.
- Lastly, this recipe doesn’t call for any oil or butter. The added mashed banana not only naturally sweetens the bread, but it also makes the bread super moist.
As you can see, my homemade rhubarb bread has plenty of redeeming qualities, chief being that it won’t send your blood sugar levels for a loop. You can keep them all to yourself, though. No one will be able to tell that this is healthy rhubarb banana bread!
- Stir a handful of chocolate chips into the rhubarb banana bread batter for a super indulgent treat.
- Try adding chopped nuts of your choice. Pecans, almonds, or walnuts would all be tasty additions.
- If you prefer spelt flour, white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour; those all work great as a substitute for the whole wheat flour.
- Turn this quick bread recipe into a muffin recipe. Shorten the cook time down to 20-25 minutes.
Tips For Storing Rhubarb Quick Bread
This recipe makes twelve slices and only lasted a day and a half in my household. My whole family was pretty fond of the zesty, comforting flavors. My husband and I especially appreciated that it didn’t send us into a sugar coma and paired really well with scrambled eggs for a complete breakfast meal. If you need to store your bread for any length of time, follow the tips below.
- Cover loosely with a tea towel and store at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Like most homemade baked goods, you’ll get the longest shelf life by storing this bread in the fridge. Place the bread into an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap. It should keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can eat the bread straight from the fridge, lightly toast in the toaster oven or warm up for about 25 seconds in the microwave.
- To freeze, wrap in aluminum foil, then plastic wrap and store for up to 2 months. Defrost on counter overnight, remove the plastic wrap, then gently reheat in a 350º oven for 10-15 minutes.
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This rhubarb bread recipe is made healthier using whole wheat flour, no refined sugar, no butter or oil, but it's so soft and tender that you’d never be able to tell! So delicious, you're going to want to make Healthy Rhubarb Banana Bread all season long!
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon all spice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large bananas, mashed**
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup finely chopped rhubarb (about 1 large stalk)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. and prepare an 8x4" loaf pan*** with cooking spray or parchment paper.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all spice, in a medium bowl and set aside.
- ***Use a stand or hand-held mixer to beat eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Mix in vanilla, banana and honey until combined.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture and stir on low speed until just combined. Gently fold in rhubarb. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until loaf is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife and remove from pan. Enjoy!
*Spelt flour and whole wheat pastry flour also work. You can also use a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose.
**You will want to make sure your 3 large bananas, mashed, measures over 1 cup. 1 1/2 cups would be great- this way the bread won't be too dry.
***An 8x4" loaf pan is slightly smaller than the typical 9x5" loaf pan.
****Alternatively, you can beat and mix by hand. However, I find it easier to use my stand mixer.
*****Alternatively, this recipe could be used to make muffins. I'm not sure how many it would make and cook time should be shortened to about 20-25 minutes.
Photos by Sasha at Eat Love Eats.