Healthy Banana Bread

This easy, healthy banana bread recipe has it all - it’s moist, sweet, and full of banana flavor. I can never help going back for just one more slice.

Healthy Banana Bread

When I bake this healthy banana bread recipe, I lose all control. Just knowing that a loaf is sitting in the kitchen will keep me coming back for just one more slice all day long. I slather it with peanut butter and enjoy it for breakfast, pair it with a cup of coffee for an afternoon snack, and go back for another piece (or two) for dessert. It’s moist, lightly sweet, and filled with rich banana flavor. Best of all, it makes the house smell wonderful. Whenever I have a few ripe bananas on my counter, I make this healthy banana bread recipe as soon as I can. Try it to see why! 🙂

Healthy banana bread recipe ingredients

Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients

You might be wondering, what makes this banana bread so healthy, anyway? Well, instead of using all-purpose flour, I use a mix of whole wheat pastry flour and almond flour. Whole wheat pastry flour has all the nutrients of regular whole wheat flour, but it won’t make baked goods dense or dry. In fact, combined with the almond flour, it gives this banana bread a perfect moist texture.

Next, I make it without butter or refined sugar. I use a mild olive oil (another neutral oil would work too) and swap granulated sugar for coconut sugar. Regular sugar works here too, but coconut sugar adds a richer flavor, and it sweetens this loaf naturally.

Finally, I mix in a handful of walnuts! They add a delicious nutty crunch and a boost of omega-3s.

If you look at the ingredient photo above, you might notice that this banana bread isn’t just healthy – it’s vegan, too! Thanks to the moisture from the bananas and a splash of apple cider vinegar, there’s no need for any eggs (or flax eggs) in this recipe. I usually make it with almond milk because that’s what I keep on hand, but oat milk would work equally well. If you’re not vegan or dairy-free, you could swap in cow’s milk too.

Mixing wet and dry ingredients

And did I mention? This banana bread recipe is also easy to make! Whisk together the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, and fold them together until they’re just combined. Stir in the walnuts, pour the batter into a loaf pan, and pop it in the oven. The hard part is waiting for it to bake!

Healthy banana bread recipe

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe Variations

This healthy banana bread recipe is delicious as written, but feel free to play with different spices or mix-ins. Here are a few ideas to change it up:

  • Switch the nuts. Use chopped pecans or almonds instead of walnuts.
  • Make it fruity. Replace the nuts with dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries, chopped dried apricots, or Medjool dates. You could also use a mix of nuts and dried fruit.
  • Swap the spices. Try adding cardamom or ginger in place of the nutmeg.
  • Or add chocolate chips. Need I say more?

Healthy Banana Bread slices on plates

Storing Banana Bread

Store this banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or freeze slices to have on hand for quick breakfasts or snacks. I like to make a double batch so that I can freeze one loaf and enjoy the other straight out of the oven!

To freeze your banana bread, allow it to cool completely before you slice it. Then, freeze slices in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Allow individual slices to thaw in the fridge overnight, or microwave them for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Find more tips on freezing meals and baked goods here!

Healthy Banana Bread

More Favorite Baking Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these healthy baked goods next:

And if you still have ripe bananas, make banana pancakes, banana muffins, or a strawberry banana smoothie!

Healthy Banana Bread

rate this recipe:
4.97 from 27 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Serves 8
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.

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar, or regular sugar
  • ¾ cup almond milk, or any milk
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 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
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon rolled oats

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and brush a 9x5-inch loaf pan with a bit of olive oil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas with the sugar, almond milk, olive oil, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and whisk until combined.
  • In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

75 comments

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  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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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. 5 stars
    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

    4 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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. 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.

  40. Ashley
    10.20.2019

    5 stars
    This was great! It’s healthy but doesn’t “taste healthy,” so my boyfriend was very happy. I used a mini loaf pan and baked for about 30 minutes.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.23.2019

      Haha, I’m so glad you both enjoyed it 🙂

  41. Marc
    11.01.2019

    5 stars
    Great recipe. Made this a ton of times, sometimes use more almond flour in ratio or sub spelt flour to use less wheat but it always turns out amazing. Love that it has no butter, milk or eggs. Also use other nuts and seeds like sunflower, depending on what we have.

  42. Alina
    11.16.2019

    That’s a great recipe! love olive oil in it, not coconut oil that everyone seems to be using this days in alternative baking. I don’t use any coconut products (except for coconut sugar) due to it’s high sat. fat content with is better to be avoid in my situation.
    I’m about to start baking right now! Just need to alter the recipe a bit due to high altitude (We are in Denver, CO). I do that only for recipes I find really exciting! That’s what this recipe is! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.18.2019

      Hi Alina, I hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  43. Lisa
    12.26.2019

    Hi,
    I’m excited to try this recipe but was wondering if the recipe would work if the whole wheat flour were substituted for a gluten free flour? If so, what would you recommend?

    Thank you!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.28.2019

      Hi Lisa, others have made it using Bob’s Gluten Free Flour.

  44. Jess
    01.13.2020

    5 stars
    Made a second batch the first day!!!! This was so tasty and wholesome. My parents loved it too and it’s nicely not too sweet for people who need to watch their sugar intake. This is the first recipe I’ve ever written feedback for because we absolutely love it! Going to check out your other quick bread recipes now. Thanks so much for sharing.

  45. Lucy
    01.14.2020

    Just fantastic!! Thank you so much🙏me and my love are making this bread for our lazy Sundays and completely love it!😍

  46. Karishma
    04.15.2020

    Hi,
    Can I use normal wheat flour instead of pastry flour? And, can I substitute oat flour or almond meal for almond flour?
    Thanks,

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.15.2020

      Hi Karishma, you can replace the pastry flour with a 50/50 mix of wheat and all-purpose flour. You can’t sub oat flour for the almond, the bread won’t rise properly without changing other measurements.

  47. Chris
    05.01.2020

    5 stars
    This is the best banana bread recipe that I have tried. Everyone who has tried it loved it. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.03.2020

      Hi Chris, I’m so glad you loved it!

  48. Olia Polymenakou
    06.19.2020

    how many calories are in the banana bread per slide ?

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.