Healthy Banana Bread

This easy, healthy banana bread recipe has it all - it’s moist, nicely spiced, and easy to make. What's better than a slice of banana bread for breakfast?

Healthy Banana Bread

While bananas may not be my favorite fruit, banana bread is a whole other story. When I bake banana bread, I lose all control. Just knowing that a loaf is sitting on the kitchen counter will make me come back for just one more slice all day long. This healthy banana bread recipe is the perfect afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, and I love how wonderful it makes the house smell. Whenever I have a few ripe bananas sitting on my counter, it’s banana bread time!

Side note: this bread freezes well, which is how I was able to exhibit any sense of portion control as we tested loaf after loaf. 🙂

Banana bread recipe ingredients

Why I Love This Banana Bread

I could go on and on about why I love this healthy banana bread recipe. In an effort to show some restraint, though, I’m just listing my top 3 reasons here:

  1. It’s easy to make – simply fold together the ingredients (careful not to overmix!), and pop your loaf in the oven. The hard part is waiting for it to bake!
  2. It has a perfect moist texture and delicious spiced banana flavor. In addition to whole wheat flour, I use almond flour in this recipe, which gives it an amazing moist texture without making it too dense. And in the flavor department, cinnamon & nutmeg add yummy notes of warm spices.
  3. It’s healthy! I sweeten this loaf with coconut sugar (regular sugar works too). This recipe also has no butter because I use (a mild flavored) olive oil instead. A combination of whole wheat pastry flour and almond flour makes this recipe wholesome, nutty, and delicious. Plus, walnuts add a nutty crunch and a boost of omega-3s.

How to make vegan banana bread Easy banana bread recipe

Get Creative with This Healthy Banana Bread Recipe!

Make this easy banana bread recipe once, and you’ll make it again and again. If you want to change it up, feel free to experiment with different mix-ins. Chocolate chips, pecans, or chopped dried fruit would all be delicious in place of the walnuts. You could also vary the spices – try cardamom or ginger instead of nutmeg!

Healthy Banana Bread (Vegan)

How to Freeze Banana Bread

And once you make it, freeze slices to have on hand for busy mornings or on days when you need an afternoon pick-me-up. I like to make a double batch so that I can freeze one loaf and enjoy the other straight out of the oven. You could freeze the whole loaf if you like… I like to slice mine before freezing so that the individual slices thaw quickly. Just be sure to let your loaf cool completely before slicing and freezing.

Easy Vegan Banana Bread

If you love banana baked goods, make these vegan banana pancakes or these banana muffins next! And if you’re a quick bread fan, check out my pumpkin bread, chocolate zucchini bread, and regular zucchini bread.

And if you really love banana bread, you have to make these Banana Bread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies that are in my new cookbook, Love & Lemons Every Day – they’re one of my favorite morning treats!

Banana Bread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies from the (new!) Love & Lemons Every Day Cookbook

Let me know what you think of this banana bread recipe in the comments, and happy baking!


4.8 from 12 reviews
Healthy Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This easy, healthy banana bread recipe is moist, warmly spiced, and full of banana flavor! It's vegan, and it's delicious as breakfast or afternoon snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, snack
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
  • ¾ cup almond milk (or any milk)
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour* (see note)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
topping
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1½ tablespoon rolled oats
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and brush a 9x5-inch loaf pan with a bit of olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas with the sugar, almond milk, olive oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and whisk until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in the walnuts. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and oats.
  5. Bake for 42 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Notes
*I like Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pasty Flour because it’s lighter than regular wheat flour. You could also use a 50/50 mix of regular whole wheat flour and all purpose flour.

 

61 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Caitlin from theveganchickpea.com
    02.22.2012

    what a beautiful banana bread!

  2. What a beautiful blog you two have. I really like the clean design, your photography and the recipes.Good work.
    I try to cook local, organic and vegetarian (not always, but more often). I totally agree, it is hard to stay on track with your scale being a food blogger.
    My kids always enjoy a slice of good banana bread. Thanks for a new recipe.
    Greetings from Colorado.

  3. Gorgeous photo & beautiful recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Your blog is truly inspiring!

  4. Sarah from snixykitchen.wordpress.com
    02.22.2012

    Your banana bread looks beautiful! I was just saying that I hate the texture of bananas also! Seems I’m not alone:)

  5. Happy Banana Bread Day!!!! Love your version of the classic, too! I just made a flourless version last night 😀 gorgeous pic!

  6. Love the nutty crust of this wonderful loaf! And its a vegan bake as well..icing on the cake 🙂 Glad to find this place.

  7. cassie from bakeyourday.net
    02.23.2012

    What a beautiful space you have. I’m already mesmerized by your beautiful photos. Hopping over from Healthy Green Kitchen and I will be back! This bread sounds amazing!

  8. That is one pretty loaf! I totally missed all the food holidays this year. I win the bad food blogger award.

  9. This bread is absolutely delicious! I adapted it for my own blog and boy, oh boy was it a hit at my house!

    Thanks so much for giving me the yummiest way to use up overripe bananas!

    • jeanine
      05.15.2012

      so great to hear, thanks for sharing!

  10. Amber from FettleVegan
    06.09.2012

    This is a perfect recipe. I’ve made this recipe 4 times in 4 days and had complete success every time. I’ve subbed grapeseed oil, brown rice syrup, and hemp milk and still had wonderful results. Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • jeanine
      06.10.2012

      wow, 4 times in for days is really something! Glad you like it 🙂

  11. Rose from ourladyofsecondhelpings.com
    11.26.2012

    Came across this on Pinterest. The recipe looks delicious! I am going to keep it on top of the recipe pile for my next batch of brown bananas. Thank you 🙂

  12. Mo
    02.02.2013

    Mmm this looks delicious, I like the fact that it’s light! Light banana breads are not common things.
    How do you keep your loaf tins so clean? I have the same style as you and the dough gets stuck where the sides join.

    • jeanine
      02.03.2013

      Hi Mo, thanks… the day I shot this, that pan was actually new. I have the same problem you do (not being able to get the corners clean). Let me know if you come up with a solution 🙂

      • Mo
        02.04.2013

        Damn, it did seem too good to be true. I suppose the only solution then is to buy one that isn’t box sided!

  13. Brana
    04.19.2013

    Absolutely love this bread. Gonna make it again tonight. I’ve used coconut butter and mix of coconut sugar paste and barley malt extract instead of sugar. Tonight I might try it with mollases instead. Thank you so much, this is the best banana loaf recipe I came accross by far.
    Fantastic web page. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 🙂

  14. Holly
    07.28.2013

    I’m eating this warm from the oven right now! What a delicious and wholesome loaf. I used coconut oil and coconut palm sugar. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe!

    • jeanine
      07.28.2013

      so glad you are liking it! I love baking with coconut oil – my favorite 🙂

  15. Robin
    09.30.2013

    I made this recipe for a charity bake sale at my mom’s work and it was a huge hit! I baked the bread in an 8×8 pan and cut it into individual squares. My mom said they sold like wildfire! I am vegan myself and thought it would be great to make a vegan item for my mom’s vegan coworkers. I used whole grain spelt+all purpose, 1/4c turbunado sugar+1/4c brown sugar, and I added 1/2c craisins and 1/2c vegan chocolate chips. My only regret is that I didn’t get to try any! We will definitely make this recipe again soon to keep for the family!

    • jeanine
      10.01.2013

      Hi Robin, glad everyone liked it!!

  16. Amadea
    05.26.2014

    Hi! Can I substitute the apple cider vinegar with lemon juice x

    • Cindy
      05.23.2019

      What is on the top of the bread? I see Oats in the picture but they weren’t included in the directions?

  17. kate
    02.11.2017

    Hello! I’m looking forward to making this bread! Quick question: When your recipes call for almond milk, should I be using original (sweetened) or unsweetened?

    Thanks!

  18. Deborah Zak
    03.02.2019

    Hi. What size pan did you use?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.02.2019

      Hi Deborah, the recipe works in 1 standard size loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2)or 2 mini loaf pans (I used these: https://amzn.to/2HerKy7)

  19. Leilani
    03.22.2019

    Looks delicious! How can I make it gluten free?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2019

      Hi Leilani, you could use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose flour in place of the whole wheat flour.

  20. jacquie
    03.22.2019

    i love the idea of a healthy quick bread but not the bananas. Is there something i can substitute?

  21. Eha
    03.22.2019

    Am not a baker. Never have been. But banana bread has always been an exception and this recipe is already on the top of my kitchen pile! Love each and every ingredient and the look of the finished product. Bananas as a fruit . . . could live on them . . . to each their own 🙂 !

  22. Natalie from lilcookie.com
    03.24.2019

    I love banana bread! Looks so delicious!

  23. viosa
    03.24.2019

    Do you think using spelt flour would work well?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2019

      yes! I’ve made it with spelt flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour with great results.

  24. TJ Reardon
    03.25.2019

    Gorgeous photo & beautiful recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Your blog is truly inspiring!

  25. Elizabeth
    03.25.2019

    Is there a flour you would recommend to sub for whole wheat to make it gluten free?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2019

      you could use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. Hope that helps!

  26. Beckie
    03.26.2019

    I’ve used this recipe a few times over the past few weeks and ut appears that it has recently changed. Is this true? If so, can you share the original recipe?

  27. Ginny Fox Dougan
    03.26.2019

    Can’t wait to make this recipe.

  28. Lisa Ellsmore
    03.26.2019

    This is really good. I really like consistency and flavor the half-cup almond flour gives it. I was also craving chocolate so threw in a small handful of chocolate chips in addition to the walnuts—soooo good. Very moist, too.

  29. Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to try out this banana bread recipe on the weekend, It looks so yummy. Something I don’t make to often so super happy to have found your recipe, Thanks for sharing.

  30. Cait
    03.30.2019

    I made this bread for the second time today with my two daughters and realized that vegan baking is perfect for kids because it allows them to taste what we’re making as we go without worrying about raw eggs.
    Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.31.2019

      Aww, I love that they get to taste the batter 🙂

  31. Megan
    03.30.2019

    YUM! So thankful I had some super ripe bananas laying around this weekend to make this. I topped a slice with peanut butter and honey and it was absolutely perfect. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.31.2019

      Yay, I’m so glad you loved it!

  32. Beth C
    04.05.2019

    This was SO good! I just made it this morning but swapped out the wheat flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour. I am new to gluten-free baking so wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but WOW – so delicious!!

  33. Arlene
    05.09.2019

    I love the banana bread recipe and made it few times. I want to make the gluten free version . I was wondering which gluten free flour do u recommend.
    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.10.2019

      Hi Arlene, a few people have successfully used Bob’s Red Mill GF flour in place of the all-purpose flour. I really like Pamela’s GF flour as well.

  34. Cindy
    05.23.2019

    What is on top of the loaf? I see Oats in the picture but they weren’t in the directions?
    Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.23.2019

      Hi Cindy – a few extra chopped walnuts and a small sprinkle of oats. Thanks for pointing that out to me!

  35. Olivia
    05.25.2019

    OMG! Moist banana bread!!!! The banana flavor is amazing. I have tried millions of banana bread recipes, and this one takes the cake. Everything is right about it. I might eat the whole loaf. Also, the banana quinoa breakfast cookies in your cookbook were soft and perfect.
    You know banana treats so well! Thank you!

  36. Klara
    06.01.2019

    Hello , I never made banana bread before and just wanna ask if I can use wholemeal rye flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour? And coconut flour instead of almond flour? 😀 thank you :-)))

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.02.2019

      Hi, Klara, I’d stick to the original recipe – I think rye might taste funny in banana bread and coconut flour isn’t a 1/1 swap (it’ll make your bread very dry unless the liquid amount is altered). I hope that helps!

  37. Shannon
    06.01.2019

    Made this recipe this morning! I had 4 bananas that were past their prime, so I made a double batch. I did half walnuts and half chocolate chips for my mix ins. The only thing I did differently is added an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on the top with the oats.

    I ate my slice with a smear of peanut butter. Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.07.2019

      Hi Shannon, I’m so glad you loved the banana bread!

  38. Nancy Perine
    06.09.2019

    Hi there! I had fun cruising around your website/blog. Your healthy banana bread recipe caught my eye. We here in Hawaii are blessed to have apple bananas available all months of the year. I love, love, love anything with bananas in it. I had everything on hand except whole wheat pastry flour and almond flour. Our close by specialty food store fixed me right up. I made the banana bread and it was delicious. I even managed to save enough for friends to have. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ll be back.

  39. Kate
    07.28.2019

    Gave this recipe a shot last night, but couldn’t get it to bake thru after an hour in the oven. Great flavor, but not quite done.

    We didn’t substitute and measured carefully. How can I troubleshoot? Oven temp issue? Wet-dry proportions?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.28.2019

      Oh no, that’s so strange, I’ve never had this happen. It’s possible that humidity is making a difference if it’s a hot summer night? I’d make sure the mashed bananas equal 1 cup so it’s not too wet, but it sounds like you did that. You could check your oven temp, or try turning it up a bit to 375.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.