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Healthy Banana Bread (Naturally Sweetened)

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This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is naturally sweetened, made with whole grains, and is tender, moist, and absolutely delicious. No excuses are needed for snacking on this favorite treat. It’s everything you love about banana bread– without the guilt!

Side view of sliced healthy banana bread on parchment paper

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Banana Bread is a classic treat all year, but it’s delightful when the weather turns chilly and baking quick bread seems even more enticing. Especially when sipping warm tea, cider, or coffee.

And this healthy treat is perfect for snacking, lunchboxes, gifting, or breakfast!

What to Love About Healthy Banana Bread

There are so many things to love about healthy, guilt-free banana bread. Here are a few of my top favorite reasons you should definitely try this recipe:

  • Made with healthy whole-grain flour
  • Naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey (no processed sugar here)
  • It is so delicious, you won’t even know it’s healthier than your favorite banana bread!

If you want to eliminate processed sugar in your diet, substituting natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, or agave is a delicious and healthier choice. It adds a hint of mild sweetness to the bread without compromising your healthy goals.

Natural Sweeteners

This recipe includes options for natural sweeteners. While I’ve chosen maple syrup for flavor, the others are good choices too. Here’s a bit about all three.

  • Maple syrup is a natural sweetener with added minerals.
  • Honey contains antioxidants and folic acid.
  • Agave nectar has a low glycemic index.
Top view of Healthy Banana Bread in a glass loaf pan with sliced bananas on top

Healthy Banana Bread Ingredients

Exact ingredient measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick list of what you’ll need to make this healthy banana bread:

  • Cooking oil: Use a neutral oil like melted coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil.
  • Natural Sweetener: maple syrup, honey, or agave
  • Large eggs
  • Mashed ripe bananas
  • Liquid: dairy or nondairy milk or even water
  • Greek Yogurt: For texture
  • Whole wheat flour: I’m using stone-ground whole wheat in this recipe but white whole wheat is a great choice as well. You can even use all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour if you prefer.
  • Leavening: As in traditional banana bread, we use baking soda and salt for flavor.
  • Flavoring: It wouldn’t be banana bread without vanilla extract and ground cinnamon because, in my book, banana bread isn’t banana bread without cinnamon! However, when the leaves begin to turn or the holidays are around the corner, I like to add a pinch of ground cloves or nutmeg to warm up the flavor even more.

Kitchen Tools

I prefer to bake this bread in an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan but you can also use a 9 x 5 inch pan too. The batter is easy to make in one bowl with a spoon and spatula to transfer to the loaf pan. Then a serrated knife works well for slicing after the bread has cooled slightly.

More Banana Bread Recipes

Banana Bread is a staple at my house. It’s comforting, it’s warm and cozy, not to mention utterly delicious. You will find several recipes on the site for banana bread, including Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Banana Oat Bread, and even a Pineapple Banana Bread recipe.

I do often hear from readers, though, about how much they love Maple Apple Banana Bread in the fall!

Horizontal side view of sliced Healthy Banana Bread with sliced bananas on top

Healthy Banana Bread (Naturally Sweetened)

This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is naturally sweetened, made with whole grains, and is tender, moist, and absolutely delicious. No excuses are needed for snacking on this favorite treat. It's everything you love about banana bread– without the guilt!
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil (melted coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (dairy, non-dairy, or water)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves or nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan (or 9 x 5 inch pan) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Then add the oil and maple syrup and combine. Add the eggs, milk, yogurt, and vanilla; whisk until fully combined.
  • Stir in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and optional spice (like cloves, nutmeg, etc). With a spoon or spatula, fold in the flour until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan.
    Top horizontal view of unbaked Healthy Banana Bread with sliced bananas on top
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Depending on which loaf pan I use, my bread is usually done in about 52 minutes). Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool before slicing.
    Top horizontal view of just baked Healthy Banana Bread

Notes

Storing the Bread

Cover and store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate for 5 to 7 days. It also freezes well and can keep for up to 3 months. Consider freezing individual slices for quick, healthy snacks (I have some in my freezer now!)

Flour Alternatives

Instead of whole wheat flour, you can use white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or gluten-free-all-purpose flour blend. 

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Quick Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana bread, healthy banana bread

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4 Comments

  1. Made this bread today with my 2.5 year old – I’ll just say a couple friends came over and we all finished it by the end of the day! It was the perfect sweetness and very moist – delicious! We have an egg allergy so I replaced the eggs with chia seeds and water (egg replacement) which worked well.

    1. Hi Maria! I’m so glad you enjoyed this banana bread! I have a sliced loaf in the freezer and love to have a healthier snack at the ready. Thank you for sharing your recipe adaptations, especially the egg replacement you used!

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