Healthy Banana Bread
Published Nov 28, 2023, Updated Dec 08, 2023
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This is the best healthy banana bread you’ll ever make. It’s perfectly sweet, made with a blend of regular and whole wheat flour and has yogurt to keep it nice and moist.
This healthy banana bread recipe has been a staple in my kitchen for years! It’s one of those recipes that I make and I know the loaf is going to be gone immediately. When this banana bread is in the kitchen, I’m always sneaking in to get another slice. It’s that good!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make – This recipe is pretty straight forward and made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Moist and fluffy – The loaf comes out perfectly fluffy and super moist thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt.
- Healthier – This is a lightened-up recipe so you can feel good about enjoying it and serving it up to friends and family.
// ★★★★★ REVIEW //
“Wow!!! I am in love. This is the first healthier banana bread that actually does not taste any different than regular banana bread made with white sugar. This will be my go to from now on!!” – Erin N
What Makes This Banana Bread Healthy?
As you probably know by now, one of my favorite things to do is take childhood recipes and make them healthier! This time around I used my mom’s classic banana bread recipe as a guide and made a few simple swaps.
For starters, I replaced some of the processed, all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for added nutrients. And then used less butter and added some Greek yogurt in it’s place. The yogurt works great because it keeps the bread nice and moist and adds a little protein too! For the sugar, I recommend using coconut sugar as it’s a great natural sweetener, but you can also cut back on the amount of sugar used if you want to make a lower-sugar version. See my note below.
Ingredients Needed for Healthy Banana Bread
As I mentioned above, you don’t need any fancy ingredients to make this recipe. You probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now!
- all-purpose flour – provides the base structure for the bread.
- whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour – we’re replacing some of the white flour with whole wheat flour for some additional whole grains. I prefer to use whole wheat pastry flour because it results in a light and fluffy bread that regular all-purpose flour provides, but still has the nutrients of whole wheat flour.
- organic cane sugar or coconut sugar – I recommend using either cane sugar or coconut sugar, both of which are less processed than white granulated sugar. Feel free to use pure maple syrup or honey as a substitute if that’s what you have on hand.
- butter or melted coconut oil – helps to keep this loaf moist. You can use butter or melted coconut oil, whichever you prefer.
- eggs – helps to give the loaf structure.
- ripe bananas – the star ingredient, offering natural sweetness and moisture. Make sure you’re using ripe bananas with brown spots for the best results. The riper the better! Lots of the time I’ll freeze bananas when they’re perfectly ripe so I can use them for banana bread later. Just thaw and use!
- Greek yogurt – this adds some protein and helps to keep the bread moist without the need for more butter.
- vanilla extract – the perfect flavor enhancer.
- cinnamon – adds a nice warming spice to the loaf.
- baking soda – helps the bread rise and become fluffy.
- sea salt – enhances the overall flavors.
- Dairy-free: To make this banana bread dairy-free use vegan butter or melted coconut oil and swap the Greek yogurt with a dairy-free yogurt.
- Gluten-free: I haven’t tested this recipe with a gluten-free flour option, but one reader did make this with a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend and said it turned out well! You could also try my coconut flour banana bread or tahini banana bread which are both gluten-free.
- Vegan: I also haven’t tested a vegan version of this recipe, but one reader did use chia eggs in place of the regular eggs and said it turned out just fine. That said, I’d imagine this recipe would work with flax eggs and then make sure to use a vegan yogurt and coconut oil or vegan butter. You can also just make my vegan banana bread instead. That might be your best bet!
- Low-sugar: If you’d prefer a lower sugar banana bread feel free to reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup. I’ve tested this bread with both 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup sugar and both turned out great!
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread
Step 1: Mix together your dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter/oil using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add your eggs one at a time, mixing well after adding. Then, add your remaining wet ingredients to the mixture and beat on medium speed until well combined and smooth.
Step 2: Gently add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing at a low speed just until the batter is combined. Don’t over-mix!
Step 3: Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan, place in the preheated oven and bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick or butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs.
Step 4: After removing the bread from the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then, transfer it onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Tips For Making The Best Healthy Banana Bread
- Use ripe bananas: Make sure you’re using ripe bananas for the best results. The more brown spots, the better!
- Don’t over-mix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix until just combined. It’s okay if there are a few streaks of flour still visible. Over-mixing can result in a banana bread that’s dense.
- Use room temp ingredients: Using room temperature eggs and yogurt will result in a smoother batter.
- Line loaf pan: Don’t forget to coat your loaf pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper to prevent the bread from sticking to the pan and to make removal easier.
- Cover if needed: If your banana bread is getting too brown on top I recommend covering it with foil while baking to prevent it from burning.
- Check for doneness: Use a toothpick or butter knife to check if the bread is done. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let cool: Let the bread cool completely before slicing. This helps the bread to set properly and makes it easier to slice.
Healthy Banana Bread Variations
I love this recipe as-is, but I know it’s fun to experiment and so here are some ideas on how to switch this loaf up:
- Add nuts: Mix in chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans or almonds for a nice crunch.
- Add chocolate: Add dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate to the batter for a decadent addition that’s absolutely delicious. The combo of banana + chocolate = a match made in heaven.
- Make it fruity: Mix in fresh blueberries or dried fruit like cranberries or raisins.
Ways to Serve Banana Bread
Few things are better than fresh, warm banana bread! I love eating a slice for breakfast toasted with butter or nut butter. Here are some ideas:
- Enjoy a slice for breakfast alongside your morning coffee with a little butter and a dash of cinnamon. Or spread on some jam (this strawberry chia jam would be delish) and nut butter.
- For a more protein-packed breakfast serve a slice alongside two hardboiled eggs, baked egg cups and/or a protein shake.
- Serve this banana bread for brunch alongside my spinach quiche, fruit salad and mimosas. So yummy!
How to Store
At room temperature: Wrap the banana bread in foil or plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Tip! It’s best to slice it as you eat to retain moisture.
In the fridge: For longer storage, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week. This helps maintain freshness and prevents mold.
In the freezer: Banana bread stores wonderfully in the freezer. Wrap the loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or place them in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
The bread is done when a toothpick or bread knife inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If at the 60-minute mark your loaf is still wet in the middle, bake it for another 5-10 minutes and check again for doneness.
If you don’t have any whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour on hand you can use all all-purpose flour instead. The loaf will still turn out delicious, it just won’t have the added nutrients of whole wheat flour.
Absolutely! Stir in about ½ cup of your favorite mix-in like chopped nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips into the batter.
Yes, you can make banana muffins with this recipe. Pour the batter into a muffin tin and adjust the baking time to about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. I haven’t tested this, so definitely keep an eye on them!
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Strawberry Banana Bread
- Tahini Banana Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Vegan Apple Bread
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread
Healthy Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened or melted coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed (1 ½ cups)
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or coat with nonstick spray.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute).
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended.
- Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat at low speed just until moist.
- Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a tooth pick or butter knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Low-sugar: If you’d prefer a lower sugar banana bread feel free to reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup. I’ve tested this bread with both 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup sugar and both turned out great.
- Dairy-free: To make this banana bread dairy-free use melted coconut oil or vegan butter and swap the Greek yogurt with a dairy-free yogurt.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.