Healthy No Added Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread

The best ever healthy no added sugar pumpkin banana bread is bursting with fall flavors and is made with no refined sugar, just healthy, real food ingredients. Enjoy it plain or add some mix-ins: walnuts, pecans, raisins, or my favorite, chocolate chips!

Closeup of a slice of pumpkin bread smeared with butter and a drizzle of honey on a marble background

You guys. It’s pumpkin season — arguably my favorite season of the entire year. I mean, the holidays are great, but pumpkin season gives me all of the same warm and cozy feels without having to buy or wrap a single. solitary. gift. Not one! In fact, every bite of this healthy pumpkin bread feels like a gift to myself lately. 

I’ve been making No Added Sugar Banana Bread for a long time. In fact, I’ve been making it so long my original recipe lives on a completely different blog that I sorta unintentionally abandoned after having our first baby. What can I say, #lifehappens.

Overhead view of a slice of pumpkin banana bread smeared with butter and a drizzle of honey on a gray ceramic plate

But when I got my first whiff of fall a few weeks ago, my mind immediately went to pumpkin, and then to this No Added Sugar Banana Bread

I thought: What if pumpkin bread and my favorite banana bread could have a baby of their own? 

I knew I had to make it happen, so I did. And with only one bowl.

Behold, Healthy No Added Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread.

Overhead view of a slice of pumpkin banana bread smeared with butter and a drizzle of honey on a gray ceramic plate

Here it’s pictured with raisins —which are delicious in their own right— but if I’m being real those “raisins” are usually semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sure that sort of negates the whole ‘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. 

Slices of no added sugar pumpkin banana bread with the loaf in the background

Ingredients for Healthy No Added Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread

Pumpkin Puree: Make sure it is 100% pure pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. They are not the same! 

Mashed overripe bananas: Fresh or frozen and defrosted both work! For more info on using frozen bananas, see the section 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.

Pumpkin Spice Blend: If you don’t have pumpkin spice blend on hand, you can make this bread with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice or cloves. I recommend using 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves.

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. 

Flavor Extract: I’ve only used vanilla extract but if you want to elevate the pumpkin and/or banana flavor, you can substitute pumpkin and/or 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!

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, but this makes them perfect for baking. 

Can I use frozen bananas? 

Yes, absolutely! In fact, I rarely have 6-7 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 IMHO!)
Slices of pumpkin bread smeared with butter and a drizzle of honey
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Recipe

Healthy No-Added-Sugar Pumpkin Banana Bread

The best ever healthy no added sugar pumpkin banana bread is bursting with fall flavors and is made with no refined sugar, just healthy, real food ingredients. Enjoy it plain or add some mix-ins!

  • 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

    • 1 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
    • 2 cups mashed overripe bananas (from about 67 medium, very overripe bananas)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil or other neutral-flavored cooking oil
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend (see notes)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla, pumpkin, or banana extract
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour (see notes) 
    • Optional: ½ cup mix-ins such as chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins, chocolate chips (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 pumpkin, bananas,and oil. In a large bowl, mash your bananas if you haven’t already. Then, add the pumpkin and oil and mix everything together with a whisk. 
    3. Add eggs, pumpkin spice, leavening, extract and salt. Add the eggs, pumpkin spice, 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 70 minutes (35-40 minutes for mini loaves), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool another 15-20 minutes before slicing.  

    Notes

    FAVORITE EQUIPMENT 

    INGREDIENT NOTES

    • Pumpkin spice blend: If you don’t have pumpkin spice blend on hand, you can make this bread with ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice or cloves. I recommend using 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice or cloves.
    • 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: 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.

    NUTRITION NOTES

    Nutrition calculated using avocado oil and kosher salt, and without mix-ins.

    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

    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, open canned pumpkin, measure ingredients; pour batter into the pan
    • Big Kids — All of the above!

    FREEZING TIPS

    Make a double batch and freeze one for later! Once the loaf has completely cooled, tightly wrap it in foil and place in an airtight freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Defrost overnight on the counter. Enjoy within 6 months for best taste and texture.

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 3-ounce slice
    • Calories: 154
    • Sugar: 5 g
    • Sodium: 147 mg
    • Fat: 6 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
    • Trans Fat: 0 g
    • Carbohydrates: 21 g
    • Fiber: 3 g
    • Protein: 4 g
    • Cholesterol: 31 mg

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