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 85 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

 

128 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Meriem
    03.24.2021

    Hello…first of all I love this site and have tried recipes and thought I would try your Healthy Banana Bread. It looked very close to your pics and smelled great but it was so wet like it wasn’t cooking long enough maybe. I cooked it the full 50 minutes and then left it in another 10+ because it just didn’t seem like it was done :(. The recipe was very wet thin batter…any ideas. I would like to try this again. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.24.2021

      Hi Meriem, did you change anything about the recipe? What type of flours did you use? It sounds like the bread could have baked a little more. It is a moist bread, the batter should be wet, but I wouldn’t say it’s thin.

  2. Ginger
    02.19.2021

    5 stars
    Beautiful bread, thank you!!! Being in high altitude, I cut the sugar to 1/3 and added a little more pastry flour – turned out well. Wish I could share the picture!!

  3. Mallory
    02.18.2021

    5 stars
    This is the BEST banana bread! I’ve made it at least 12 times during quarantine. I split it into two loaves, cut slices and freeze half of it for breakfast throughout the week!

  4. Linda
    11.02.2020

    Love this! So easy to make. I have a peanut and all tree nuts allergy so I used white flour. The top of the bread is an unappealing beige color. Any suggestions to have it resemble your photo? Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.02.2020

      Hi Linda, if you use whole wheat pastry flour (or a mix of white and wheat flours) that would darken the color. All white flour will make it pretty white. Or if you like the taste how you have it you could increase the cinnamon and be sure to use the coconut sugar option.

  5. Shaneeza
    10.11.2020

    Hello can I sub oat flour for the whole wheat pastry flour. Don’t have GF flour on hand and like the nutrition from oats. Would this impact the recipe much if all else remained the same?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.11.2020

      Hi Shaneeza, no oat flour isn’t a 1:1 sub, the bread won’t rise properly.

  6. Liz
    09.14.2020

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe! Tastes amazing right out of the oven. In fact, my family can’t stay out of it. 🙂

  7. Kim G
    09.03.2020

    I’m beginning a no egg , no dairy diet and came across your site. I definitely want to try this recipe. Could you comment on the necessity for the vinegar in the preparation? I found out I have a Brewer’s yeast sensitivity, so trying to avoid vinegar.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.03.2020

      Hi Kim, the vinegar reacts with the baking powder to help get vegan baked goods to rise a bit better. I think it could work without it, the loaf just might be a bit more flat, but would still be delicious.

  8. Cristina
    09.03.2020

    Hi,

    Can I use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.03.2020

      No, coconut flour isn’t a 1:1 swap, it requires more moisture in a recipe.

  9. Andrea Garcia
    08.03.2020

    5 stars
    Hi! Loved this healthy recipe! Would anyone have calculated the calories by chance?

  10. Olia Polymenakou
    06.19.2020

    how many calories are in the banana bread per slide ?

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!😍

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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.

  18. 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 🙂

  19. 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.