Healthy Banana Bread

You know how banana bread is just an excuse to eat cake? Here’s a healthy banana bread recipe that’s actually healthy: and tastes good, too!

Healthy banana bread

Banana bread is usually just an excuse to eat cake, right? Most banana bread recipes are full of oil, refined flour, and refined sugar, very much like a cake. Since that leaves Alex and me with a stomach ache and a sugar crash, we wanted to create a healthy spin on this popular treat. Here’s our healthy banana bread, made with no refined flour and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. And it actually tastes great! You may remember our “famous” Healthy Banana Muffins, lightly sweet and fluffy, made with oats and bananas in a blender. Well, this is the same concept: this time in bread form!

Related: Raspberry Braided Bread Recipe | No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

Easy healthy banana bread

How to make healthy banana bread

The starting point for this healthy banana read recipe is our Healthy Banana Muffins, which have quickly become a fan favorite. These muffins are blender muffins: you whiz oats, bananas, eggs, spices and maple syrup in a blender to make a quick and healthy muffin batter. That makes these muffins 100% whole grain, but they come out light and fluffy! These healthy banana muffins have become so popular that we wanted to try them in another way. Enter: our easy healthy banana bread recipe!

This healthy banana bread uses a blender to blend up oats, banana, eggs, spices, and maple syrup into a delicious batter that’s 100% whole grain. Using only oats makes it naturally gluten free too! The best part about it is that it tastes delicious and satisfying, but it doesn’t leave you with a sugar crash or make your stomach feel funky.

Slices of this banana bread are literally one of my favorite “treats” lately, and it’s made of all good-for-you ingredients. It’s literally like eating a banana and oatmeal, with drizzle of maple and oil drizzled on top. Our toddler Larson also gobbles it up, slathered with a bit of almond butter!

Related: Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas for Everyone

How to make healthy banana bread

Why make this healthy banana bread?

OK, so let’s say you’re a banana bread lover because you love it as a sweet treat. If that’s you: don’t make this recipe! Stop right here and go over to our Chocolate Banana Bread.

But if you’re looking for an oatmeal banana bread that is lightly sweet, 100% whole grain, and full of good for you ingredients, then this one is for you! Remember that it’s not going to taste like the sugary-sweet kind, but lightly sweet in a nuanced way. And it will feel so good on your stomach, too. Oh, and it’s also naturally gluten free and dairy free. We’ve included a flax egg variation to make it vegan, too! One recipe tester tried it that way for us and loved it.

Homemade baked goods

What type of bananas for banana bread?

For this healthy banana bread recipe, it’s best to have very ripe bananas. It’s worth waiting the few extra days for your bananas to ripen. To help the bananas ripen faster, store them in a brown paper bag and fold down the top. You can also add a few already ripe bananas or another piece of fruit to the bag to increase the amount of ethylene gas that helps it ripen.

The riper the better here: you can even use bananas that have turned black! Why do you need ripe bananas for banana bread? The texture and the sweetness of the bread very much depends on the ripeness of the banana. Using an under-ripe banana results in a flat-tasting bread.

What type of oats to use?

This healthy banana bread recipe has no refined flour, so it relies only on rolled oats as the “flour” component. These oats are ground in a blender into what becomes essentially oat flour. So if you have oat flour on hand you could use an equal quantity of oat flour instead of the rolled oats.

Whatever you do, do not substitute steel cut oats for rolled oats. Steel cut oats are very hard with a texture like rice, and will not blend in the same way that rolled oats do.

How long will homemade banana bread keep?

Can you put homemade banana bread in the refrigerator? Yes! Banana bread will keep for 1 to 2 days at room temperature, but you can extend its life by refrigerating it. Homemade banana bread lasts about 1 week in the refrigerator. Make sure to wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container.

Looking for other brunch recipes?

This easy healthy banana bread is perfect for brunch! Here are a few more brunch recipe ideas:

Blender banana bread

This healthy banana bread recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy-free. For vegan and plant-based, try the flax egg variation below.

Print
Healthy banana bread

Healthy Banana Bread


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 14 slices 1x

Description

You know how banana bread is just an excuse to eat cake? Here’s a healthy banana bread recipe that’s actually healthy: and tastes good, too!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mashed very ripe, nearly black bananas (about 4 large or 6 small)
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg white (or 2 flax eggs, for vegan)
  • 6 tablespoons neutral oil (sunflower, vegetable or grapeseed)
  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Use neutral oil or coconut oil to grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mash the bananas and measure out 2 cups.
  3. In a large blender, blend the bananas, eggs and egg white, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and kosher salt until combined. Then add the oats and blend again for a few minutes until a very smooth dough forms (if you’re using a regular sized blender, you may need to blend 1 cup at a time; our Vitamix is very large and could handle it all at once).
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the entire top of the bread with a single layer of oats; use your hands to gently press them down.
  5. Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  6. Let the bread sit in the pan 10 minutes, then run a knife around it and remove from the pan onto a wire rack to cool. Store refrigerated wrapped in aluminum foil or in an airtight container for up to 1 week (we actually like it best cold).

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Healthy Banana Bread, Easy healthy banana bread, How to make healthy banana bread, Oatmeal banana bread, Blender banana bread

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Majora Carter
    April 9, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Hi there! I love your blog!!
    What would happen if you didn’t add oil?

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 9, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Majora! And we love your work! :) The texture might be a little off without oil. We did have someone try substituting the oil for apple sauce in our Banana Muffins, which use the same concept. She said they turned more dense, but still tasted good. So you could try that, but unfortunately we couldn’t promise it would work! :) Oil is helpful for getting that “standard” banana bread texture, but this recipe uses much less than a normal banana bread. Let us know if you try!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      April 10, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Love this!! I will try applesauce and half the oil and let you know the result. Thank you for your vegan recipes!

      • Reply
        Sonja
        April 22, 2019 at 9:33 am

        You’re so welcome! Please let us know what you think after you try!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for another yummy recipe! Substituted aquafaba for eggs & homemade date syrup for the maple syrup. Let sit overnight, toasted & vegan butter for breakfast. Yum!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 22, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Oh so perfect! So glad that it worked out — and nice to know it works with aquafaba!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    April 23, 2019 at 7:53 am

    I was wondering if you have tried with 3 full eggs. I am not sure what to do with just 1 yolk left :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 23, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      You can just discard the extra yolk! The extra egg white is for holding the bread together without adding too much moisture to the bread. If you prefer, save the yolk and add it to another egg for a breakfast scramble!

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        April 23, 2019 at 1:18 pm

        Thanks for the answer. I have already made it 3 times and it is absolutely delicious. So easy too!!!!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    May 16, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Hi! May I use frozen bananas for this recipe? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 17, 2019 at 11:54 am

      Yes! Just thaw them out first.

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