A deliciously moist healthy banana bread made with whole wheat and no butter. It is refined sugar free and perfect for breakfast or a midday snack!
Why you'll love it
This is a super moist, flavor-packed loaf that is a quick and easy bake. It is the perfect way to use up leftover bananas and give you a delicious breakfast or snack. Banana bread is a great food gift for just about anyone because it is a nostalgic favorite for just about everyone.
It is infinitely customizable, so you can change up the flavors to match your mood. You can even bake it into muffins instead of doing a loaf.
This healthy banana bread is also packed with additional nutrients that you don't find in most others. You can snack away and feel good about yourself while doing it.
What makes this better for you
There are a few reasons this is a wholesome banana bread you'll love eating.
- Whole wheat flour - Using white whole wheat flour gives this bread more than regular all-purpose flour could.
- No refined sugar - The bread is sweetened with bananas and just a touch of maple syrup, which also contains some nutrients in it unlike granulated sugar or brown sugar.
- Roasted nuts - Nuts are packed with nutrients to give this bread its amazing texture and a nutritional boost.
- Small amount of oil - The recipe asks for melted coconut oil. You can use refined or unrefined. Any other better for you alternatives like avocado oil also works very well here.
- Added protein - Using a thick, Greek-strained yogurt is delicious, lower in calories, and gives a good protein boost.
Key ingredient overview
Although this is a healthy banana bread recipe, a lot of the ingredients are what you may expect. This is a great time to review the important ingredients and any alternatives.
- Flour - For the best balance of texture and wholesomeness, white whole wheat flour works the best. You can use a gluten-free baking mix, whole wheat pastry flour, and regular whole wheat flour also works. If you are using regular whole wheat flour, I recommend reducing the amount of flour by a few tablespoons.
- Bananas - For the best results, you want to use the most ripe bananas you can. They should have more brown spots than yellow. If you don't have any available, you can roast bananas to help coax out the flavor and natural sweetness.
- Maple syrup - Pure maple syrup helps sweeten the bread naturally. You can also substitute with honey.
- Yogurt - This helps to add moisture, but it also adds protein. I prefer Greek-strained yogurt, and if you want to get the most out of your bread, you can use homemade yogurt.
- Coconut oil - You can use any good for you oil. I prefer coconut oil or avocado oil.
Expert baking tips
There are a few tips you should know before taking out your ingredients and baking up your first loaf of healthy banana bread. These will help you ensure you get the best loaf of banana bread every time.
- Measure carefully. It is important to measure all your ingredients - namely your flour - correctly. You should give your flour a quick fluff with a spoon or even a whisk or fork. Spoon your flour into your measuring cup and sweet off the excess with a straight edge. This will make sure you do not accidentally pack in the flour and end up with a dry loaf. By packing in your flour, you can end up adding in as much as an extra ¼ cup of flour.
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. This is especially important for the eggs in order for the ingredients to combine well without any of the ingredients separating.
- Coat your loaf pan well. You want to give an even layer of grease (I recommend using a bit of coconut oil) all over the inside of the pan. Shake an even layer of flour so the entire inside has a thin coating. This will ensure that your bread does not stick to the pan and will come out easily. If you want to be extra sure, you can cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit into the very bottom of the pan.
- Toss your nuts and chocolate in a small amount of flour. By coating the nuts and chocolate in flour, you help it to suspend in the batter and not sink down to the bottom as you bake.
- Don't over mix. You want to just combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient. Stir gently just until there are no streaks of flour. If there are a couple of lumps in the batter, that is perfectly fine. Over mixing will result in a tough, rubbery loaf.
Yes. You can freeze a loaf to eat later. Let it come completely to room temperature, then wrap tightly. Store in an airtight container and leave in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw by leaving at room temperature.
Yes, absolutely! You can substitute it with any of your favorite add-ins. You can use berries, coconut, dried fruits, or bake it without any add-ins at all!
Healthy Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour plus extra for chocolate chips
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 medium roasted bananas or overripe
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup roasted pecans or walnuts
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1 sliced banana
- Preheat the oven to 350F grease 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- In a separate bowl mash the bananas and eggs together until they are a smooth consistency. Mix in the maple syrup, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
- In a small bowl, mix together the pecans and chocolate chips (* to keep the recipe refined sugar free, I used specialty chocolate chips from Food 52), plus about a tablespoon of flour. Mix together until the nuts and chocolate are evenly coated.
- Create a well in the bowl with the flour and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together until there are no dry spots, but there are still a few lumps. Fold in the pecans and chocolate.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and create a line of sliced banana along the length of the middle of the pan.
- Bake for about 55 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool for about 20 minutes, then run a knife between the loaf and the pan, then remove the loaf. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
I love the slices of banana on top! I'm all for healthier recipes to start the year off!
Amaryllis @ The Tasty Other says
Such a great post, Amanda, thanks so much for sharing. Your banana bread looks gorgeous and I love all the 'healthy' tweaks you've made. Most of all, I'm super down with: "everyone has a different definition of healthy. This is healthy for me.". Especially at a time when people left and right look for and give healthy eating advice, I think it's so important to do your homework, check with what works for you and then, possibly, make any changes. Thanks again x
Yes, I feel like people get so up in arms about their own perceptions of what healthy is. I think it is something that is on a case by case basis on what works for you. This bread isn't healthy for someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, but it works for me as much as paleo works for someone else. No one is more right than the other. We are all just trying to do what we can to feel good about what we put in our bodies and get through in life. Thank you for stopping by!
Denisse Salinas says
Oh my gosh, this is probably the prettiest banana bread I've ever seen! LOVE the roasted bananas on top, (and the chocolate chips of course)! Bonus that it's better for you!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynn's Sweets and Treats says
Mmmm. Love this. Banana bread is the best and I love that this is healthier! No New Year resolutions for me