A slice of banana bread is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Why not save yourself some calories with this lower in fat, Healthy Banana Bread recipe! Lots of ways to adapt it to add your favourite ingredients and it freezes well. Grab a cup of tea, a slice of this delicious banana bread and put your feet up for a well deserved break.
I will hold my hands up and say I am not the best baker usually. It is far too much of an exact science, whereas I like to just throw everything in to a pan which is why I love soups and stews so much. But this healthy banana bread is SO easy. It's like the soup of baking in a way.
Seriously, it is impossible to get wrong and a great recipe to start with if you are a novice baker. Very few ingredients are needed and there are is no complicated method. Make it even easier for yourself by using a mixer with a cake beater attachment on it.
Why you will love it
- A really easy bake
- Great for kids to help with
- Easy to adapt to add extra ingredients
- Freezes well
- Lower in calories and fat that most banana breads
- Wholewheat flour - This is one of our healthier swaps, because it is higher in fibre. It does make the banana bread a little more dense though (but not too much), so if you don't want that you can use plain flour instead.
- Cinnamon - This adds a really nice warmth to the healthy banana bread. You could swap it for ginger or nutmeg instead if you prefer.
- Baking powder and soda - This helps it to rise and get lovely and fluffy.
- Walnuts - These are a classic in banana bread, so we couldn't leave them out. They add a nice crunch, but you don't have to use them. Or you could swap them for pecans or cashews.
- Banana - The essential ingredient in banana bread. This is a great way to use up bananas that are starting to go past their best, as really ripe bananas that are starting to brown are best for this recipe. Most of them go in to making the bread, but one is sliced up to go on top for presentation too.
- Maple syrup - We didn't add any granulated sugar in this banana bread, and used maple syrup to sweeten it. It adds a really nice extra flavour too.
- Eggs - These give stability to the batter and help to bind everything together. 2 eggs are just enough to have the perfect banana bread texture.
- Greek yogurt - We used this in replace of butter for another lighter swap.
- Milk - We used skimmed milk, but any milk will work.
- Dark Chocolate Chips - Everything is better with a little bit of chocolate, right? We used dark chocolate for a more intense flavour, but you could use milk or even white chocolate chips.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make banana bread - Step by step
Prep: Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
One: In a bowl, add the banana and mash until smooth.
Two: In a bowl or mixer, add the mashed banana, maple syrup, eggs, Greek yogurt and Skimmed milk and beat until mixed together well.
Three: Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda and mix well. Add the walnuts and chocolate chips and pulse until lightly mixed together.
Four: Pour the batter in to a greased 2lb loaf tin.
Five: Top with banana halves.
Six: Put the loaf into your oven and bake for an hour. Leave to cool before removing from tin.
Health benefits of bananas
You may ask: Is banana bread healthy? Well, bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin B6, fibre and carbohydrate, and some vitamin C too. They do have a lower water content than most fruit, so bananas typically have more calories as well as a higher sugar content compared to other non-tropical fruits.
Bananas are full of potassium, which is one of the most important electrolytes in the body, helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance. It is a key factor in regulating blood pressure.
What makes this banana bread healthier than most is that we haven't used regular granulated sugar in it. You could say it is a no sugar healthy banana bread as we have sweetened it with just bananas and a little maple syrup. Don't worry though, it still has plenty of sweetness in it.
Not only that, but we haven't used any butter in the recipe (just a little to grease the loaf tin) and have swapped it for fat free Greek yoghurt instead. It still have a really rich flavour that you would get from using butter, but lower in fat.
Toppings and fillings
Isn't everything better with toppings? We think so! The topping options here are almost endless, so get creative!
Here are some of our favourites:
- Peanut butter is an obvious, but delicious, choice as it goes so well with bananas. But other nut butters work too.
- Jam! We love some cherry jam on this.
- My favourite topping for this healthy banana bread is our homemade healthier Nutella.
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or any berry really!
- A few oats
- Cream cheese swirls
We use this same recipe to make healthy banana bread muffins too. Just grease a muffin tin and then pour the mixture in. You will only need to bake them for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Making them in to muffins is a great way for little kids to eat them, as they are easier to handle. You could try our Banana Oat Muffins instead.
Banana bread should be wrapped in foil or kept in an air tight container to prevent it from drying out and delaying the spoiling process. It will then keep for around 4-5 days.
Make sure that the bread has fully cooled before wrapping it and putting it in a container. If it is enclosed whilst still warm, condensation will form on the bread and mould will appear a lot quicker.
Yes, it freezes really well. Individually wrap each slice in baking paper and then put them in a freezer bag. They will keep this way for around 3 months. Just get out a slice each time you want one and defrost at room temperature.
We haven't tried this ourselves, but there are some options you could try if you wanted to make a vegan version of this. You could use a 'flax egg' instead of egg, use a plant based milk and yogurt.
• Turn this banana bread in to banana muffins by baking the mixture in a greased muffin tin. They will only need about 25 minutes in the oven.
• We used walnuts in this recipe, but you could swap them for pecans or chopped peanuts instead.
• Why maple syrup? Maple syrup is still sugar, however it is lower GI and has more flavour than traditional sugar. We have only used a little to add flavour and some extra sweetness, however you could leave this out if you wanted to.
• This banana bread is delicious when topped with either nut butter, jam our our homemade healthier Nutella.
• Make sure your baking powder and soda aren't over 3 months old, as they won't help the bread to rise.
• Don't over-mix the batter, as this will make a tough and dense banana bread.
More dessert recipes
If you’ve tried this healthy banana bread recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Healthy Banana Bread
- Butter - for greasing the loaf tin
- 200 g (1.5 cups) Whole wheat flour
- 0.5 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- 0.5 teaspoon Baking powder
- 100 g (0.75 cups) Walnuts - roughly chopped
- 0.5 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Baking soda
- 3 Bananas - mashed
- 1 Banana - halved lengthways
- 3 tablespoon (3 tablespoon) Maple syrup
- 2 Eggs
- 5 tablespoon 0% Greek yogurt
- 100 ml (0.5 cups) Skimmed milk
- 50 g (0.25 cups) Dark chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C(fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
- Put 3 Bananas a bowl and mash until smooth.
- In a bowl or mixer, add the mashed banana, 3 tablespoon Maple syrup, 2 Eggs, 5 tablespoon 0% Greek yogurt and 100 ml Skimmed milk and whisk until mixed together well.
- Add 200 g Whole wheat flour, 0.5 tablespoon Ground cinnamon, 0.5 teaspoon Baking powder and 0.5 teaspoon Baking soda and mix well.
- Add 100 g Walnuts and 50 g Dark chocolate chips and pulse until lightly mixed together.
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin with a little Butter.
- Top with 1 Banana (halved).
- Put the loaf into the oven and bake for an hour. Leave to cool before removing from tin.
- Turn this banana bread in to banana muffins by baking the mixture in a greased muffin tin. They will only need about 25 minutes in the oven.
- We used walnuts in this recipe, but you could swap them for pecans or chopped peanuts instead.
- This banana bread is delicious when topped with either nut butter, jam our our homemade healthier Nutella.
This turned out so moist! Family loved it!
so delicious ! i'm definitely gonna try this out
My husband loved it! Banana bread is a must try no doubt. Cheers!
I love how soft and moist this looks!
Lovely recipe -looks delicious - and definitely on the healthier side as far as cake goes. But slightly dangerous to suggest this is a 'no-sugar' cake. Maple syrup IS sugar. It contains almost as many calories and carbs as cane/beet sugar, though it is slightly lower on the glycaemic index. There seems to be a myth that maple syrup and honey are not sugar - they are, it's just in a different form. They do have other health benefits, so are definitely a better overall choice than normal sugar, but still need to be used in moderation (and I realise you've only used a very small amount here), especially those of us trying to drop a few pounds. I love banana bread and can't wait to try this one - got to wait until I am back in the UK next week, as we don't have maple syrup in Turkey. I usually put sunflower oil in mine, so I am intrigued to try your version with the yoghurt. Thanks for sharing all your lovely recipes - my friend and I are trying to stick to Slimming World to lose a few kilos before the festive season, and it's so nice to have some different ideas. I think I small slice of this in the afternoon would be a good use for a few syns!
That is why we say "you could say it's a no sugar banana bread" - because we haven't used traditional sugar, just a tiny bit of maple syrup. We use it because it is lower GI, and we think it adds more flavour. We mention this in the notes section of the recipe :) We are definitely aware that maple syrup and honey are sugar, but thanks for sharing in the comments for people that may not be :)
I hope you enjoy it if you try it :)
This is the only banana bread we eat at our house! We love how healthy it is and so delicious!
I'm so glad you enjoy it :)
We are making banana bread today! So glad I found this recipe. Going to be reviewing how you made it healthy...maybe I won't have to feel so guilty serving it up to the kids this time around ;)
Haley D. Williams
Yum! Love the banana halves on top
I love this idea for a healthy afternoon snack!
Heidy L. McCallum
This healthy banana bread was the BOMB! Boom! I cannot tell you how much my family enjoyed it. Great recipe with fab instructions! You ROCK! I am bookmarking!!!
This sounds delicious! My favorite banana bread topping is just plain salted butter. Yes I'm boring LOL! Can't wait to try this!
I made this with the kids this morning and it was so good. Lovely texture and we added Nutella as suggested and it was a hit.
I'm saving this right now!! Can't wait to try it. Adding chocolate chips has always been a favorite of mine :)
All That I'm Eating
I like your recipe, using wholemeal flour and maple syrup (rather than sugar) and I bet the yoghurt gives it a lovely texture. I'll have to give it a try when I have some leftover bananas soon!
Oh this looks so good. Love the sneaky choc chips in it too. Thanks for sharing
What a nice banana bread has been looking for wholewheat flour recipes and this is perfect. Thanks for all the details on how to make this recipe.
Banana bread is one of my go to brunch recipes! It's just soooo good!