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Healthy No Added Sugar Banana Bread

The best ever healthy No Added Sugar Banana Bread, bursting with banana flavor and is made with no refined sugar, just healthy, real food ingredients. It’s also dairy-free and has just 150 calories and 6 grams of sugar per slice. Enjoy it plain or add some mix-ins: walnuts, pecans, raisins, or my favorite, chocolate chips!

close up photo of a loaf of healthy no added sugar banana bread with two slices cut

Everyone should have a healthy banana bread recipe in their back pocket–if for no other reason than to put those slightly imperfect bananas your kids won’t touch to use, or to clear out the abundance of overripe bananas hiding in the back of the freezer.

I’ve been making a version of this No Added Sugar Banana Bread for years. In fact, I’ve been making it so long my original recipe lives on a completely different blog that I ever-so-gradually abandoned after having our first baby. Hah! 

Well, I recently revamped the recipe — streamlined a few steps, adjusted the leavening, tweaked the sweetness — and let me tell you, this is by far the best version yet!

Behold, Healthy No Added Sugar Banana Bread. Here it’s pictured with walnuts because… God forbid I put a No Added Sugar Banana Bread on the internet with chocolate chips. 🤯

If I’m being real though, those walnuts are usually semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sure that sort of negates the ‘no added sugar’ aspect but chocolate chip mix-ins are just how we roll around here. Even with chocolate chips this banana bread still has way less added sugar than most banana bread recipes out there. 

overhead photo of a loaf of healthy no added sugar banana bread with two slices cut

Is banana bread without added sugar still sweet? 

It is! The key is using enough overly-ripe bananas. Overripe bananas actually have more fructose (sugar) than the lesser ripe ones we all love to eat which makes them perfect for baking. 

overhead shot of sliced banana bread loaf on marble background with blue napkin

Ingredients for Healthy No Added Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread

  • Mashed overripe bananas: The browner the better. Fresh, or frozen and defrosted both work! More on using frozen bananas below. 
  • Eggs: Regular ol’ large eggs are best. I’ve not tried this recipe with flax “egg” or other egg alternatives, so let me know if you do! 
  • Oil: I prefer to use a neutral- to light-flavored oil like avocado oil or melted coconut oil.
  • Cinnamon
  • Leaveners: A mix of baking powder and baking soda give this quickbread its rise. I used mostly baking powder since there is not a whole lot of acidity to counteract the alkalinity of baking soda. 
  • Vanilla or Banana Extract: I’ve only used vanilla extract but if you want to elevate the banana flavor, you can substitute the vanilla for banana extract. 
  • Kosher Salt: I use kosher salt in all of my recipes, but table salt or sea salt would also work. Since table salt is much finer than kosher salt or sea salt, I’d recommend reducing the amount of table salt just a smidge.
  • Flour: This recipe calls for white whole wheat flour but I’ve also made it using 1 cup all-purpose flour + ¾ cup whole wheat flour and it turned out great! 

Can I use frozen bananas? 

Yes, absolutely! In fact, I rarely have 7-8 overripe bananas at the same time so I typically use ones that I’ve frozen over the course of several weeks.

To freeze bananas, place peeled bananas in an airtight freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before freezing. Frozen bananas can last up to 6 months, maybe longer. 

To bake banana bread using frozen bananas, let them defrost completely in a freezer bag or bowl. Then, mash or puree the bananas (with the liquid!) using a fork, potato masher or immersion blender.

What are the best mix-ins for healthy banana bread? 

Some of my favorite mix-ins include: 

  • Nuts, especially walnuts or pecans 
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate chips (well worth the bump in sugar and calories in my opinion)
close up photo of a loaf of healthy banana bread with walnuts on marble background with a blue napkin
Print
Recipe

Healthy No Added Sugar Banana Bread

This Healthy No Added Sugar Banana Bread is bursting with banana flavor and is made with no refined sugar. Dairy-free and just 5 grams of sugar per slice.

  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Makes:
    12, 3-ounce slices 1x
  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes
  • Total Time:
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Makes:
    12, 3-ounce slices 1x
  • Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups mashed or pureed overripe bananas (from about 78 medium, very overripe bananas, see notes)
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or avocado oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla or banana extract
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour (see notes) 
    • ½ cup mix-ins such as chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins, chocolate chips (optional; see notes)

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven & prepare the pan(s). Set oven to 325F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or 3 mini loaf pans. 
    2. Mix the mashed bananas and oil. In a large bowl, combine the bananas and oil and mix with a whisk. 
    3. Add eggs, cinnamon, leavening, extract and salt. Add the eggs, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, extract and salt, and mix with the whisk just until combined. 
    4. Stir in the flour. Using a big spoon, stir in the flour and any mix-ins just until combined. Pour batter into your prepared loaf pan.
    5. Bake and cool. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes for a large loaf (35-40 minutes for mini loaves) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean. Allow the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool another 15-20 minutes before slicing.  

    Notes

    Favorite Equipment

    Ingredient Notes

    • Bananas: The browner the better. Fresh, or frozen and defrosted both work!
    • Flour: If you don’t have white whole wheat flour you can also use a combination of 1 cup all-purpose + ¾ cup whole wheat flour
    • Mix-ins: Mix-ins generally increase baking time. If adding, expect your loaf to take closer to 70-75 minutes to bake. Chocolate chips contain added sugar so, if you choose to add them, your bread will have some added sugar, but still far less than the average loaf.

    Ingredient Prep

    • Mash the bananas; refrigerate up to 2 days 
    • Measure your dry ingredients; okay to combine pumpkin spice blend, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl

    Little Helpers

    Involving little ones can decrease picky eating and increase appetite and willingness to try new foods. Here are a few ways they can help: 

    • Toddlers: Help with peeling and mashing the bananas, grease bread pan with a paper towel and dollop of oil; whisk ingredients together, stir in flour and mix-ins
    • Little Kids: Peel and mash the bananas, measure ingredients; pour batter into the pan
    • Big Kids: All of the above

    Nutrition Notes

    Nutrition info based on 1, 3-ounce slice made with melted coconut oil; mix-ins not included.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1, 3-ounce slice
    • Calories: 150
    • Sugar: 6 g
    • Sodium: 105 mg
    • Fat: 6 g
    • Saturated Fat: 4 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 22 g
    • Fiber: 3 g
    • Protein: 4 g
    • Cholesterol: 31 mg

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