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Healthy Banana Bread

I've been waiting to bake this again (which I do almost every two weeks) to share it with you all because it is my all-time favorite banana bread recipe, and without any of the guilt! It's hands down THE BEST banana bread recipe and I'm so grateful I stumbled upon it.

We needed a new breakfast item. Tyler and I have to get out the door pretty quick during the week for work, so we needed a grab and go bite to eat - while still being nutritious and filling. He wanted banana bread, but I didn't want the extra calories that bread recipes often have. I did a quick search on Pinterest for healthy banana bread, and at first, didn't

much. Some recipes didn't sound too appealing, others had pretty terrible reviews, until...I found this little gem from the website Cookie and Kate. It has now become my go-to banana bread recipe.

This recipe has all I could ever ask for. It's on the lighter side - it's moist and delicious. You can add any extras like walnuts or chocolate chips if you want some crunch. It's a one-bowl, super easy recipe to follow and can be whipped up very quickly - which, let's be honest, those are the BEST kind of recipes for those of us who spend most of our days juggling a million tasks at once, let alone finding the time to bake a loaf of bread!

What I love it:

I love everything about this recipe. From it's simplicity (it's a ONE bowl recipe!), to how it lasts about a week and still remains fresh - it is the perfect healthy banana b

read recipe. It also tastes amazing, but is much healthier than a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour, butter, and sugar. Instead, this recipe uses bananas, honey, and whole-wheat flour. It packs all the flavor and moistness or regular banana bread, minus the unhealthy stuff! It can also easily be made gluten free or vegan.

Modifications: We use two small loaf pans instead of the 9x5 inch loaf pan that the recipe calls for. This is just a preference because we typically bake one loaf for friends and the other we keep for ourselves. I also sometimes add walnuts, but the recipe says you can add chocolate chips, extra banana slices, or anything you prefer.

Notes for next time: The riper the banana, the stronger banana flavor you will get. I used extremely ripe bananas last time and it may have been a bit overpowering, at least for me. Next time, I'll use slightly browned bananas.

Here's What You Need:

  • ⅓ cup (75 grams) melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality vegetable oil*

  • ½ cup honey (168 grams) or maple syrup (155 grams)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup (225 grams) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas)

  • ¼ cup (56 grams) milk of choice or water

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder; they aren’t the same!)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top

  • 1 ¾ cups (220 grams) white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour**

  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

Here's What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan (or two smaller loaf pans if preferred).

  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)

  3. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.

4. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.

5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least 10 minutes. You may need to run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread from the pan. Carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool before slicing.


STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This bread is moist, so it will keep for just two or three days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for five to seven days, or in the freezer for up to three months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by letting them rest at room temperature or lightly toasting them.

*OIL OPTIONS: I love coconut oil here. I used unrefined coconut oil and can hardly taste it in the final product. Olive oil might lend an herbal note to the muffins, if you’re into that (I tested with California Olive Ranch’s “Everyday” variety and couldn’t even taste it). Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, so I recommend using cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if possible.

**FLOUR ALTERNATIVES: In place of the whole wheat flour, you can use an equal amount of all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Or, substitute 2 ½ cups oat flour.

MAKE IT VEGAN: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.

MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: Choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water.

MAKE IT EGG FREE: Replace the eggs with flax eggs.

MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use an equal amount of Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free blend or 2 ½ cups certified gluten-free oat flour. Do NOT substitute coconut flour.

MAKE IT LOWER IN FAT: I would argue that this bread contains a healthy amount of fat, but you can replace the oil with applesauce if you’re following a low-fat diet.


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