Bake a loaf of banana bread that’s so sweet, light, cakey, and comforting, no one will know it’s a healthy makeover of this classic treat. Our Healthy Banana Bread recipe uses 100% whole grains, whole milk yogurt, plus honey or maple syrup as a natural sweetener (in sensible amounts!)
Is Banana Bread Healthy?
Banana bread is delicious, and easy to make. And though we may WANT to eat it for breakfast, most banana bread has the same nutrition of dessert.
Well, that was the old way. We’ve made classic, addictive banana bread healthier, without compromising on taste or texture! Our recipe is rich with sweet banana flavor and it only has a quarter cup of added honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten it just right.
Plus, we fill this bread with other nutritious ingredients like 100% whole wheat flour, yogurt, and crunchy walnuts. We don’t go crazy with added oils, either. And it still tastes absolutely wonderful, with a texture that perfectly walks that line between moist and light.
Make this Healthy Banana Bread recipe for yourself, for your kids, for your mom, or for a friend. No one will taste this sweet fluffy bread and not think you’re the best human ever for sharing it with them.
Ingredients for our Healthy Banana Bread Recipe:
- Bananas– You want to make sure to use very ripe bananas when making this banana bread. It will enhance the sweetness, improve the texture, and yield a better banana flavor.
- Whole Wheat Flour– to boost the nutrition of this loaf we replaced half of the flour in the original recipe with whole wheat flour.
- White Whole Wheat Flour– replacing half of the whole wheat flour with white whole wheat helps to produce a lighter, fluffier banana bread.
- Baking Soda– baking soda creates a softer, more tender crumb when used in banana bread.
- Baking Powder– baking powder is used as a leavening agent to add nice rise to your final loaf.
- Salt– enhances the flavor of your banana bread. We used kosher salt.
- Maple Syrup– maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this banana bread. It doesn’t add any overt maple flavor. Make sure you are using pure maple syrup, and not pancake syrup.
- Butter– butter adds a rich, delicious flavor to the bread and helps create a more tender loaf. You can substitute coconut or other neutral oil if desired.
- Yogurt– we used plain 4% Greek yogurt here.
- Eggs– this recipe calls for large eggs which adds structure to the bread.
- Vanilla Extract– optional, but adds a yummy flavor!
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread:
Banana bread is pretty low-fuss to begin with, and our healthy banana bread is no exception. Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine them just before baking for a loaf with a fluffy, tender crumb.
More tips for great banana bread:
- Be flexible when it comes to how many bananas you use. If your bananas are on the small side, four is a-OK. If you have three huge bananas, you won’t need a fourth.
- You don’t NEED to use two kinds of whole wheat flour. But we like the balance of hearty and delicate that comes from a blend of white whole wheat and regular whole wheat.
- To cut down on dishes, melt your butter in a big pot, then add the rest of your wet ingredients right to the pot. You can even mix in your dry ingredients in the same pot!
- Don’t over-mix your batter. A few lumps here and there are okay, and actually make for a fluffier bread!
- Use a light-colored or glass loaf pan to avoid excess browning. Make sure to grease it well, too.
- If you prefer “single serving” banana breads, you can bake this healthy banana bread in a muffin tin. Divide the batter into muffin tin wells (we actually got 15 muffins!) and bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.
How Ripe Should My Bananas Be?
The rule of thumb here is pretty much: the riper, the better. Got dark streaky brown bananas falling off their stems? Mash ’em up. It’s banana bread time.
What Can I Add to Banana Bread?
Walnuts are the classic add-in for healthy banana bread. You can also add dried coconut, dried cherries, other nuts (sliced almonds are good), or a half cup of dark chocolate chips for a special treat.
How Should I Store My Banana Bread?
Store banana bread in the fridge for the best flavor. It actually tastes even better on the second day!
You can also freeze extra slices of banana bread in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. They make great quick, on-the-go breakfasts or healthy lunchbox treats.
More Recipes for Banana Lovers:
- 1 cup flour, whole wheat
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 bananas mashed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey, can use 1/3 cup for a slightly sweeter loaf
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup yogurt, plain
- 2 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease one standard-sized loaf pan.
Combine flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in syrup, yogurt, vanilla, mashed bananas, and egg. (Make sure the mixture is somewhat cooled before adding the egg.)
Stir in flour mixture; beat just until blended. Stir in nuts, if using.
Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle extra walnuts on top, if desired, before baking.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
I’m a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.