The Best Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
This healthy banana bread is truly the best! It’s so moist, full of rich banana flavor and incredibly easy to make.
Your search for the perfect healthy banana bread recipe stops here! This healthy banana bread is everything you’d look for in a banana bread recipe:
- An exceptionally moist and soft loaf.
- Naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and honey.
- It’s made with almost 2 full cups of mashed banana, giving this bread loads of rich banana flavor.
I try not to label recipes as, “The Best,” unless I really mean it. I confidently call this healthy banana bread the best. It has the sweetness, moisture and flavor that you are looking for in a loaf of banana bread, healthy or otherwise.
I can’t even tell you how many times I have tested this recipe to make sure it is just perfect before sharing it here. I’ve tried out different amounts of banana, butter, sweetener and flour. I’ve made this banana bread with and without milk. I’ve found the perfect balance of ingredients and can’t wait for you to try this healthy banana bread recipe for yourself.
Healthy Banana Bread Recipe Ingredients
You’ll love the simple ingredient list for this recipe.
- Butter: I like to use real butter even in healthy baking recipes because you just can’t beat the rich, buttery flavor that it brings to baked goods. In this recipe, I’ve used a modest 5 tablespoons.
- Honey: For sweetness. You can substitute pure maple syrup if desired.
- Ripe Bananas: Be sure to use very ripe bananas for the best banana flavor. You’ll need about 3 1/2 large or 5 medium bananas.
- Eggs: The eggs provide structure and flavor and help the bread to rise.
- Baking Soda: Helps the loaf to rise as it bakes.
- Salt: Enhances all of the flavors.
- Cinnamon: Complements the banana flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: For an extra touch of sweetness.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: This whole grain flour has a milder flavor and texture than regular whole wheat. Sometimes white whole wheat flour can be hard to find; you can substitute regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour if needed.
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread
This whole wheat banana bread is made in one bowl, except for mashing the banana. I always mash my bananas in a separate bowl using a fork. You can also mash the bananas in a stand mixer.
First, whisk together the melted butter, honey and mashed banana. Then, whisk in the eggs.
Once the wet ingredients are well combined, add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla to the bowl. I like to add the vanilla last so that I can use the same measuring spoon that I used for the dry ingredients without washing in between.
Use your whisk to mix the batter up really well before adding the flour. You want to make sure that there are no clumps of baking soda or salt left in the batter.
Finally, add the flour to the bowl. Use a rubber spatula to mix in the flour until it is just combined. Mix until you don’t see any more streaks of flour and then stop. Over-mixing the batter will make your banana bread dense instead of light and soft.
When I bake quick breads like this banana bread, I prepare my loaf pan by cutting a sheet of parchment paper to fit in the pan, as you see in the photo above. Lining the pan with parchment as well as greasing the pan will make sure that your banana bread comes out of the pan easily, without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Healthy Banana Bread Baking Tips
- The key to making the best sweet banana bread with rich banana flavor is to use very ripe bananas. You want your bananas to have lots of brown spots on them.
- If you are using bananas from your freezer, thaw them before proceeding with the recipe. Drain off and discard any excess liquid that separates from the bananas as they defrost.
- To measure the flour, spoon it lightly into your measuring cup and then level off the top. Do not scoop the flour directly with the measuring cup, since this can cause you to pack in too much flour.
- After adding the flour to the bowl, mix just until everything is combined. Overmixing at this point can cause the bread to turn out tough or dense, rather than soft and tender.
- To make dairy-free banana bread, substitute coconut oil for the butter in the recipe.
- To make banana nut bread, mix chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter after adding the flour.
- Craving chocolate? Mix some chocolate chips into the batter to make chocolate chip banana bread. Or try this Chocolate Banana Bread.
- If you like blueberries in your banana bread, try my healthy Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe.
How to Freeze Banana Bread
Banana bread will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months, when wrapped well. Let the baked bread cool completely on a wire rack before freezing.
You can wrap and freeze the loaf of banana bread whole. Or, if you want to be able to grab individual servings of banana bread from the freezer, slice the bread and wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped slices in a larger airtight storage container or zip-top bag for storing in the freezer.
You can thaw banana bread overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter at room temperature for a few hours. Individual slices of banana bread can be thawed quickly in the microwave.
More Banana Recipes
Baking banana bread and Banana Muffins are a few of my favorite ways to use up over-ripe bananas. I like to make both ahead of time for quick breakfasts and snacks for my family. Here are a few more banana recipes to use up those ripe bananas!
The Best Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, or coconut oil
- ½ cup honey, or pure maple syrup
- 1 ¾ cups mashed ripe banana, about 3 ½ large or 5 medium bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 grams) white whole wheat flour, or regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Lay a sheet of parchment paper across the bottom and up the sides of the pan (see photo in post above).
- Melt the butter in a large glass bowl in the microwave (or melt butter in a pot on the stove and transfer to a large mixing bowl).
- Add the honey and mashed banana to the bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs.
- Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla to the bowl. Whisk until very well combined.
- Add the flour and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. You want all of the flour to be incorporated into the batter, but try not to over-mix.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Check on the banana bread after 35 minutes and loosely cover with foil as needed to prevent the top from over-browning.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- To make dairy-free banana bread, use coconut oil instead of butter in the recipe.
- Store banana bread at room temperature/in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow bread to cool completely before freezing.