Healthy Banana Bread

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

Healthy Banana Bread

When I make this healthy banana bread recipe, I lose all control. Just knowing that a loaf is sitting in the kitchen keeps 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 snag another piece (or two) for dessert. It’s moist, lightly sweet, and filled with rich banana flavor. As an added bonus, it makes the house smell like vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg while it bakes. I mean, seriously. What’s not to love?

If you have ripe bananas on your counter, you have to try this healthy banana bread recipe. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it just so happens to be good for you. I think you’re going to love it!

Healthy banana bread recipe ingredients

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe 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 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.

Mixing wet and dry ingredients

And did I mention? This healthy 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!

Hand using spatula to fold walnuts into batter

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

How to Store Healthy Banana Bread

Store the healthy 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 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!

Loaf of healthy banana bread on a cooking rack

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 next!

Healthy Banana Bread

rate this recipe:
5 from 62 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! Totally vegan, it's a delicious 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
  • 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.
If you want to make gluten-free banana bread, you can find my gluten-free banana bread recipe here

 

110 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Stacey
    08.02.2021

    What are your Vegan ingredient recommendations, specifically for Olive Oil, Thanks! Love your books!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.02.2021

      Hi Stacey, this banana bread recipe is vegan – most olive oils are vegan.

  2. mel
    07.21.2021

    May I please know nutrition info. and calories?
    Thanks so much!
    Mel

  3. Jen
    07.08.2021

    Hi! I don’t have whole wheat pastry flour. Is it possible to make this recipe without the pastry flour using just normal whole wheat flour?

    Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.08.2021

      Hi Jen, use a 50/50 mix of all-purpose plus regular whole wheat. They’ll be too dense with all whole wheat but I use this ratio all the time.

  4. Linda
    07.04.2021

    5 stars
    This is delicious! My first time using coconut sugar. I was skeptical because I found the batter tasted bitter – Well who cares about the batter when the banana bread tastes this good?? This is a winner! Mixed in a few chocolate chips and I did not add nuts as my husband is kinda weird and doesn’t like nuts it baking. (He has other great qualities.) I also did not use the topping. Thank you for the terrific treat!

  5. sara
    05.29.2021

    5 stars
    this is our go-to banana bread—delicious and so versatile/forgiving of flour and oil substitutes in a pinch. i even cut down on the sugar slightly and it was still awesome. we add hemp hearts and some dried fruit most times, fresh berries worked as well. thanks for such an amazing recipe!

  6. Alma
    05.22.2021

    5 stars
    This banana bread came out perfect1 I did make a few changes. I used only 2 T. of maple syrup and 1/8 c. of olive oil. I placed the batter in parchment paper in a Pyrex bread loaf. I love the texture and taste.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.23.2021

      I’m so glad it worked out well!

  7. Maleshah
    05.15.2021

    Hi! Would it be possible to do this recipe in a muffin style vs a loaf?

  8. Sara
    05.09.2021

    5 stars
    I have tried so many banana bread recipes but none of those was good. They usually are heavy and don’t rise. This one is PERFECT! I love that you add almond flour in it! Thank you so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.09.2021

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Fernanda Gomes
    05.08.2021

    5 stars
    My better-half is not very found of banana bread but after trying a slice the comment was that was very good. This says everything about this banana bread!!

  10. Ramya
    04.27.2021

    I don’t have apple cider vinegar can I leave it out?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.28.2021

      You can, it might not rise quite as much but should be fine.

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.