Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
Bake a loaf of banana bread that’s so sweet, light, cakey, and comforting, no one will know it’s a healthy makeover of this classic treat. Our Healthy Banana Bread recipe uses 100% whole grains, whole milk yogurt, plus honey or maple syrup as a natural sweetener (in sensible amounts!)
Is Banana Bread Healthy?
Banana bread is delicious, and easy to make. And though we may WANT to eat it for breakfast, most banana bread has the same nutrition of dessert.
Well, that was the old way. We’ve made classic, addictive banana bread healthier, without compromising on taste or texture! Our recipe is rich with sweet banana flavor and it only has a quarter cup of added honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten it just right.
Plus, we fill this bread with other nutritious ingredients like 100% whole wheat flour, yogurt, and crunchy walnuts. We don’t go crazy with added oils, either. And it still tastes absolutely wonderful, with a texture that perfectly walks that line between moist and light.
Make this Healthy Banana Bread recipe for yourself, for your kids, for your mom, or for a friend. No one will taste this sweet fluffy bread and not think you’re the best human ever for sharing it with them.
Ingredients for our Healthy Banana Bread Recipe:
- Bananas– You want to make sure to use very ripe bananas when making this banana bread. It will enhance the sweetness, improve the texture, and yield a better banana flavor.
- Whole Wheat Flour– to boost the nutrition of this loaf we replaced half of the flour in the original recipe with whole wheat flour.
- White Whole Wheat Flour– replacing half of the whole wheat flour with white whole wheat helps to produce a lighter, fluffier banana bread.
- Baking Soda– baking soda creates a softer, more tender crumb when used in banana bread.
- Baking Powder– baking powder is used as a leavening agent to add nice rise to your final loaf.
- Salt– enhances the flavor of your banana bread. We used kosher salt.
- Maple Syrup– maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this banana bread. It doesn’t add any overt maple flavor. Make sure you are using pure maple syrup, and not pancake syrup.
- Butter– butter adds a rich, delicious flavor to the bread and helps create a more tender loaf. You can substitute coconut or other neutral oil if desired.
- Yogurt– we used plain 4% Greek yogurt here.
- Eggs– this recipe calls for large eggs which adds structure to the bread.
- Vanilla Extract– optional, but adds a yummy flavor!
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread:
Banana bread is pretty low-fuss to begin with, and our healthy banana bread is no exception. Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine them just before baking for a loaf with a fluffy, tender crumb.
More tips for great banana bread:
- Be flexible when it comes to how many bananas you use. If your bananas are on the small side, four is a-OK. If you have three huge bananas, you won’t need a fourth.
- You don’t NEED to use two kinds of whole wheat flour. But we like the balance of hearty and delicate that comes from a blend of white whole wheat and regular whole wheat.
- To cut down on dishes, melt your butter in a big pot, then add the rest of your wet ingredients right to the pot. You can even mix in your dry ingredients in the same pot!
- Don’t over-mix your batter. A few lumps here and there are okay, and actually make for a fluffier bread!
- Use a light-colored or glass loaf pan to avoid excess browning. Make sure to grease it well, too.
- If you prefer “single serving” banana breads, you can bake this healthy banana bread in a muffin tin. Divide the batter into muffin tin wells (we actually got 15 muffins!) and bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.
How Ripe Should My Bananas Be?
The rule of thumb here is pretty much: the riper, the better. Got dark streaky brown bananas falling off their stems? Mash ’em up. It’s banana bread time.
What Can I Add to Banana Bread?
Walnuts are the classic add-in for healthy banana bread. You can also add dried coconut, dried cherries, other nuts (sliced almonds are good), or a half cup of dark chocolate chips for a special treat.
How Should I Store My Banana Bread?
Store banana bread in the fridge for the best flavor. It actually tastes even better on the second day!
You can also freeze extra slices of banana bread in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. They make great quick, on-the-go breakfasts or healthy lunchbox treats.
More Recipes for Banana Lovers:
Healthy Banana Bread
- 1 cup flour, whole wheat
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 medium bananas mashed, 2 cups total
- 1/3 cup honey
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease one standard-sized loaf pan.
- Combine flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Melt butter. Add to a medium bowl with honey, yogurt, vanilla, mashed bananas, and egg. Whisk until well combined.
- Stir in flour mixture; stir just until blended.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
I have a healthy one similar to this….and I add flax seed….theyvdont even know its in there! Vand that stuff is super healthy! 🙂
This looks delicious! Do you know if honey will work rather than agave? 🙂 thanks!
Love that Colleen! Plus, the dark flecks would blend in beautifully with the colors in banana bread!
Kendra- If you try it, let me know! We didn’t have enough honey to try it ourselves.. next time I get some, I’ll try too.
Is it so wrong that I want BOTH loves of naner bread? You can send me my loaves through the food teleporter.
I love love your recipes. Can I use only whole wheat pastry flour? Would I need to add more liquid? How much flax seed do you add?
Thanks for all the yummy recipes and love your new site!
Thanks! I did use whole wheat pastry flour- no extra liquid needed.
And, we didn’t add flax seed to this one, but it’s a great idea!
Banana bread actually became one of my favorite things to eat ever since I first tasted it. It’s an awesome idea!
The healthy banana bread recipe is to die for! I just made it yesterday and it is soooo moist and yummy! I have tried several recipes and this one is by far the best and my go to banana bread recipe from now on. I used chopped pecans instead of walnuts or almonds though.
Thanks for both recipes. I particularly loved that you mentioned Dole ; I’ve been a huge fan of them for a while now. My question : can I use pecan nuts instead of almonds or walnuts? I also like to add a dash of rose water as a sweetener in my pastries. Just thought you could try that out next time. Happy New Year in advance!
Thanks Jessica. Pecans would work great.
Where do you find rose water?
You can find it in your local health food store, or on Amazon – there’s a great brand on there, but I don’t quite remember its name(all I know is that it has great ratings). Just head on to Amazon and look for rose water. Thanks!
edit : just found it ; Cortas. Let me know how it goes!
Amy: We LOVE banana bread in our household.
My UBER picky son who eats NOTHING at all will gobble up slices of banana bread. What I did was I combined both your banana recipes into one mega delicious one plus i made a few changes in addition.
I used whole wheat and all purpose flour, added 4T of butter, used less than 1/2C of honey+ agave sweetener mixture. Added 1/2 C of 2% Fage Yogurt, 2 eggs, 3 Super ripe bananas and 1/2 C grated carrots, 1/2tsp Vanilla extract and 3/4 C of mixed finely chopped nuts plus the baking powder and baking soda. It was a HUGE hit! Thank you! My son now eats protein packed ‘treat’ without even realising it!
I love it! Thanks for sharing your changes!!
You can also find it in Middle Eastern food stores and sometimes in that section of a big grocery.
We used pure maple syrup instead!
I don’t keep as much Whole Wheat Pastry Flour on hand because it’s more expensive. Could I use 2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour instead or would it turn out too heavy?
Can’t wait to try this recipe. Please be cautious with Dole. Many of their products are from China.
I can’t wait for my bananas to ripen and make this yummy bread. Please be cautious of Dole (they are not the only one) many of their products are from China
Yes Rachel, I use regular flour and whole wheat flour all the time!
You had me at banana! I love banana anything!
Thanks for the recipe for the healthier banana bread, I am eager to try it. Kids are always the best judge of taste. I’d encourage you though to rethink your opinion on Dole produce. I provided a few links which can explain concerns better than I in this space. Happy Baking. 🙂
i love your recipes however most of these recipes contain nuts and im allergic to nuts. do you have anything for healthy snacks/meals that don’t contain nuts. plus most schools now a days are nut free.
Great idea for a category! I only put one recipe in it, but we’ll have to go back through and find more. I know we have lot’s!
the recipe was amaze balls! loved it cx
I decided to make this delicious sounding healthy banana bread for my 15 month old but 1 hour and 40 minutes later I’m still waiting for the inside to cook! I use an oven thermometer which states 350. Any idea why?
Could you use honey instead of the agave .
@Kristin- That does not seem right! I don’t know what to tell you about that= ours only took an hour and it was all cooked through.
Erin- you could, but watch the cooking. Honey browns/burns faster than agave.
I am having same problem as Kristin, I have tried 3 times and every time the inside is still so wet its inedible hour.. Hour and half.. Two hours in oven, it just does not cook properly and im quite upset at all the ingredients I have wasted :'( I follow the recipe exactly..
Have tried loads of your recipes this is only one to fail big style. Any tips much appreciated..
of all “my” recipes, this one should actually be the most fool proof, because it was designed in the Dole test kitchens. ha ha.. other recipes have just been done in my personal kitchen.
Bummer though, I wish I knew what was happening..
No worries 🙂 its odd its so dense and weighty.
Will get trying other recipes instead! Maybe come back to it . Thanks anyway, love the site.
Any way of making this version gluten free?
Prefer the first recipe if margerine was replaced with grass fed butter. Agave is not at all healthy:-(
Can you tell me how many cups of pureed banana would that be? Bananas are all different shapes and I have about 10 in my freezer to be used right away and they are large in size. So a weight or cup measurement would be.so much help. Thank u so much
This looks yummy…. but no way would one loaf be cut into 24 servings!! ??. Maybe 10. Maybe. Even the way your picture shows is definitely not 24 slices. I’ll try it in mini-muffin pans for self control.
Good call Yvette! You are so right- I was just copying from the original recipe from Dole!
What is the measurement for bananas? 5 small 5 medium? If it was a per cup measurement it would turn out ok for everyone. I think those with issues of undercooked middle loads may be using too much banana
I was wondering the same as others…a cup measurement on the bananas would be super helpful
I made these as muffins and they turned out great! I halved the receipe and made about a dozen muffins at 350 for 35 mins.
Sounds delicious. Have you made it gf without using the generic gf flour? Or have any recommendations?
Hi Nat! We haven’t tried this recipe using gluten free ingredients, so I’m afraid I can’t make any recommendations on how to alter it. I found this recipe that might work for you: https://minimalistbaker.com/one-bowl-gluten-free-banana-bread/
Congratulations on the recipe! Our children loved it!
you have whole wheat flour and white whole wheat. I’m confused. Is white whole wheat the same as white flour?
Hi Jennifer, great question! White whole wheat flour is a type of 100% whole grain flour that’s simply made from a softer, more delicate type of whole wheat than regular whole wheat flour. (It’s kind of like apples… there are multiple varieties and they all have slightly different flavors and textures.) You CAN use all purpose flour in place of white whole wheat flour, but we like the white whole wheat because it retains the fiber and nutrition of whole wheat. Almost all grocery stores sell white whole wheat flour in the baking aisle or the natural foods aisle. I hope this helps!
This recipe looks great! Thank you for all of the awesome recipes posted at Super Healthy Kids!
This is a very nice banana bread. I used all whole wheat flour (I think it was white-bought in bulk) then I used honey and instead of the yogurt (cause I only had fat free) I added 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk. Very moist and delicious. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing, Maureen!
Delicious bread, thank you very much for kneading amounts.
Just made it. I used sugar free maple syrup and we couldnt even tell that we used no sugar!! We also added chocolate chips and it was so very delicious!!! Definitely keeping this one. Thanks for sharing.
What is the difference between whole wheat flour and whole wheat white flour
Hi there! White whole wheat flour and “regular” whole wheat flour are both 100% whole grain flours, they are just different varieties of wheat. (Almost like how there are different kinds of apples. 🙂 White whole wheat flour is more delicate, soft, and mild, so baked goods that use white whole wheat flour often turn out similar to those made with all purpose (white) flour. I hope this helps clear things up!
I didn’t have whole milk yogurt so used Mountain High lowfat vanilla and my loaf turned out amazing. Such a great recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Tawnya!
Halved the recipe since I only had 2 ripe bananas and 1/5 cup of honey only since instead of plain yogurt, I used half a vanilla flavored baby yogurt which was what I had on hand. Made it in a 24 cup mini muffin pan for 15 mins at 350 degrees for my son as a snack option and it was super successful – just sweet enough and plenty moist! Will def be making this again!
When you say “beat” is that with an electric mixer or just with the spoon?
We did not use an electric mixer with this recipe- a spoon or whisk will work just fine!
Is the calorie counter loaf or per serving size or per/100g?
It’s per serving, based on 8 servings per loaf. So you can adjust accordingly, depending on how you cut your loaf. 🙂
I have made this at least a dozen times now, and it is perfect every time. I use regular whole wheat flour and pure maple syrup. I add mini chocolate chips to entice the kids – they don’t have any idea it’s 100% whole wheat. Thanks for this super easy and super yummy recipe!
Thank you so much for the wonderful post.
I’m lactose intolerant what else could I use besides Greek yogurt?
You could try replacing it with applesauce.