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Healthy Banana Bread

This healthy banana bread recipe reduces refined sugars by using natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup and incorporates whole grains. It’s also versatile, allowing you to customize it with nuts or dark chocolate chips according to your preferences.

What is healthy banana bread made of?

Here’s a description of each ingredient used in the recipe for healthier banana bread:

  • Ripe Bananas (Mashed): Ripe bananas are the star of this recipe, providing natural sweetness, flavor, and moisture to the banana bread. They also offer essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. The bananas are mashed to a smooth consistency to blend seamlessly into the batter.
  • Honey or Maple Syrup (Natural Sweetener): Honey or maple syrup serves as a natural sweetener to replace refined sugars. These sweeteners add a touch of sweetness while contributing distinct flavors. Honey offers a floral sweetness, while maple syrup provides a rich, earthy sweetness.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce (Moisture and Flavor): Unsweetened applesauce is used to add moisture to the banana bread while reducing the need for additional oil. It also imparts a subtle apple flavor that complements the bananas.
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil (Healthy Fat): Coconut oil or olive oil is added to provide healthy fats that contribute to the bread’s texture and flavor. They also offer potential health benefits, such as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil or medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil.
  • Egg (Binding Agent): A large egg serves as a binding agent in the recipe, helping to hold the ingredients together and provide structure to the bread.
  • Vanilla Extract (Flavor Enhancement): Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the banana bread, providing a pleasant, aromatic note.
  • Whole Wheat Flour or Oat Flour (Whole Grains): Whole wheat flour or oat flour is used as the base of the bread, providing whole grains and dietary fiber. These flours offer a hearty and wholesome texture while adding nutritional value. Oat flour is rich in carbohydrates and contains a high amount of proteins, dietary fibre and fat. 
  • Baking powder (Leavening Agent): Baking powder is used as a leavening agent to help the bread rise and become fluffy.
  • Salt (Flavor Enhancement): Salt enhances the flavors in the bread, balancing the sweetness and adding depth to the taste.
  • Ground Cinnamon (Optional, Flavor Enhancer): Ground cinnamon, if included, imparts a warm and comforting flavor that pairs beautifully with bananas. It’s optional but adds a delightful touch.
  • Chopped Nuts (Optional, Texture and Flavor): Chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almonds, can be added for extra texture and a nutty flavor. They also contribute healthy fats and protein.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips (Optional, Sweetness and Flavor): Dark chocolate chips, if included, provide bursts of sweetness and a subtle chocolate flavor to the banana bread. Dark chocolate is often less sweet than milk chocolate and contains antioxidants.

This balanced and delicious healthier banana bread offers a mix of natural sweetness, whole grains, healthy fats, and optional add-ins for flavor and texture.

How to make healthy banana bread?

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare a small loaf pan by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper for easy removal.

In a mixing bowl, achieve a smooth consistency by mashing 1.5 ripe bananas. Then, add honey, applesauce, your choice of coconut oil or olive oil, a large egg, and vanilla extract to the mashed bananas. Thoroughly blend all the wet ingredients until they are well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour (or oat flour if preferred), baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon (if you choose to use it). Gently combine these dry ingredients with the wet mixture until just incorporated. For added flavor and texture, fold in chopped nuts and dark chocolate chips if desired.

Pour the resulting batter into the previously prepared small loaf pan.

Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. Keep a close watch, as baking times can vary. The healthy banana bread is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached.

Once baked, remove the banana bread from the oven. Allow it to cool in the pan for around 10 minutes. Afterward, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Finally, slice and savor your freshly made, smaller batch of healthier banana bread. This delightful creation makes for a delicious snack or breakfast option. Enjoy!

Do you eat banana bread hot?

Banana bread can be enjoyed both hot and at room temperature, depending on your personal preference. Here are a few considerations:

Hot Banana Bread:
Eating banana bread while it’s still warm from the oven can be a delightful experience. When it’s hot, the bread is soft, moist, and the aroma is at its peak. Many people find the slightly gooey texture and the warmth of freshly baked banana bread very appealing. If you enjoy it this way, you can slice it and serve it right after it comes out of the oven.

Room Temperature Banana Bread:
Banana bread is often allowed to cool to room temperature before serving. This allows it to firm up a bit and makes it easier to slice cleanly. At room temperature, the flavors of the bread have also had a chance to meld, resulting in a well-balanced taste.

Ultimately, whether you choose to eat banana bread hot or at room temperature is a matter of personal preference. Some people like it best fresh out of the oven, while others prefer it after it has cooled down a bit. Regardless of your preference, banana bread is a versatile treat that can be enjoyed in various ways.

If you like this healthy banana bread, check out this Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread (Gluten-free) recipe!

Healthier Banana Bread

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 1 loaf


  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or oat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped nuts (e.g., walnuts or pecans, optional)
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a small loaf pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the 1.5 ripe bananas until smooth. Add honey, applesauce, coconut oil (or olive oil), egg, and vanilla extract to the mashed bananas. Mix well until all the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour (or oat flour), baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon (if using). Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in chopped nuts and dark chocolate chips for added flavor and texture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared small loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs attached. Baking times may vary, so keep an eye on it.
  • Once done, remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy your smaller batch of healthier banana bread. It's a delightful snack or breakfast option. Enjoy!

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