How to Make Healthy Banana Nut Bread (Without Added Sugar!)

Got extra ripe bananas? Here’s a super yummy, healthy, and easy banana nut bread recipe. This moist banana bread has just the right amount of walnuts, and makes a great breakfast or healthy snack.  Plus it contains no added sweeteners!

Healthy Banana Nut Bread Recipe | Easy and delicious healthy banana bread recipe | A Sweet Pea Chef

Do you ever randomly decide that you want to bake something?

You know…if you’re craving something and then suddenly realize you happen to have all the ingredients. And you start going into a baking frenzy. Do you ever do that?  Or is it just me?

Thank goodness for ripe bananas and random cravings because they brought this banana bread with walnuts to life.

And not to spoil things for you but it’s oh-so-good. And quick and easy. And totes delicious.  All my fave things!

Plus is there any better smell than that of banana walnut bread baking in the oven? It’s heavenly, don’t you think? The sweet smell of bananas and walnuts with a touch of cinnamon and bread loaf goodness.

Y.U.M.M.Y.

A bowl of raw walnuts that will be used to make Healthy Banana Nut Bread.

I’m not kidding when I say that this banana nut bread can be prepped and in the oven within 7 minutes.  Seven minutes. Man, I love quick banana bread recipes! Especially the healthy ones.

I’ll share all the secrets of this banana bread including how to make banana bread healthy, how to make low sugar banana bread, how ripe should bananas be for banana bread, how to ripen bananas for banana bread, how to store banana bread, and how to freeze banana bread.  Keep reading!

After this post, banana nut bread will be a piece of cake.

Mashing bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl to make Healthy Banana Nut Bread.Mixing the wet ingredients for the Healthy Banana Nut Bread Recipe including mashed bananas, egg, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

HOW TO MAKE BANANA NUT BREAD

Some people are intimidated by baking recipes. And, to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of baking, either. I get freaked out about baking soda and baking powder or yeast and I don’t want to mess anything up and ruin it.  But I really promise you that this easy healthy banana bread recipe will be a success.  Just follow these easy steps.

To make healthy banana bread:

  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees F;
  2. prep the loaf pan;
  3. mash the ripe bananas in a mixing bowl;
  4. add the egg and vanilla over the mashed bananas and stir to combine;
  5. mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl;
  6. add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients;
  7. stir to combine but don’t over-mix;
  8. fold in the nuts;
  9. pour the mixture in the loaf pan and bake.

Pretty simple, right?

Adding walnuts in the banana bread mixture.Folding the walnuts in the banana bread mixture.

IS BANANA BREAD HEALTHY?

Wait, Lacey… you went on and on about healthy banana nut bread but… is banana bread healthy? Like for realz?

Look, I’m not gonna lie, banana bread is not usually that healthy, despite being made with bananas. And, before I started my clean eating journey, my banana bread wasn’t healthy, either. It had tons of butter and sugar. Plus all-purpose flour.

I know, not that healthy.

But, after experimenting with other healthy bread recipes and even healthy banana nut muffins, I realized I can totally make any bread healthy. Including this banana nut bread!

So yes, this is healthy banana bread. For realz.

A pictures that exemplifies how ripe bananas should be for banana bread by showing 3 different bananas in different stages of ripening.

HOW RIPE SHOULD BANANAS BE FOR BANANA BREAD?

This is a frequently asked banana bread question.  And the answer is – really ripe. Like so ripe that you wouldn’t eat them because they’re too mushy. Basically, bananas are perfect for banana bread when they are almost entirely dark brown or black. This is how ripe they ideally should be. You know why? Because the riper the bananas, the sweeter the taste of the banana bread. This is one of the secrets of this no added sweetener banana bread.

However, don’t be sad if you don’t have overripe bananas. You can still make this low sugar banana bread without adding sugar to the recipe. You just have to learn how speed up the process of ripening bananas!

How to ripen bananas for banana bread:

  1. line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper;
  2. place the unpeeled bananas on the baking sheet;
  3. bake for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the bananas blackened.

OR

  1. un-peel the bananas;
  2. place them on a microwave safe plate;
  3. microwave them for 30 seconds.

You can use these methods to ripen bananas for banana bread, but also for other banana recipes, including banana cake.

Freshly baked Healthy Banana Nut Bread in a loaf pan.Healthy Banana Nut Bread on a cutting board surrounded by banana slices and walnuts.

MAKING LOW SUGAR BANANA BREAD

This low sugar banana bread is everything you want in banana bread…

  • it’s dense;
  • it’s moist;
  • it’s flavorful;
  • it has texture from the walnuts;
  • it’s healthy;
  • it’s definitely a keeper.

Curious how to make how to make healthy banana bread that is low sugar? Here’s what you should do:

  • replace all-purpose flour with whole-wheat flour;
  • replace butter with coconut oil;
  • use really ripe bananas and skip adding any additional sugar or sugar alternatives, which is exactly what I did with this healthy banana bread and it turns out perfectly and sweet enough despite being sugar-free.

Considering just how much sugar banana bread usually calls for, I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised to see how sweet this banana nut bread actually is.

Healthy Banana Nut Bread on a cutting board. 3 slices were already cut.Close up of a serving plate with 2 slices of banana bread garnished with slices of fresh bananas and walnuts.

HOW TO STORE BANANA BREAD

Believe me, it WILL be hard to resist eating the entire banana nut bread in one sitting.  But if you do, you have to store it properly. Which means wrapping it in plastic to maximize shelf life and to keep it moist and dense.

You can store banana bread…

  • at room temperature (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) for 1-2 days;
  • in the fridge (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) or about a week;
  • or in the freezer (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap) for up to 3 months.

2 serving plates with 2 slices of banana bread on each plate. Slices of bananas and walnuts are placed on and near the plates for garnish and as decoration.

3 MORE HEALTHY BREAD RECIPES

I hope you’re excited to try this banana nut bread recipe, and I can’t wait for you to try it and tell me how you like it. In the meantime, I’ll share 3 more healthy bread recipes because you deserve all the healthy and yummy breads in the world.

ONE BOWL HEALTHY PUMPKIN BREAD

A favorite healthy bread recipe of mine, besides the healthy banana bread (doh!), is this One Bowl Healthy Pumpkin Bread.

One Bowl Healthy Pumpkin Bread | This super yummy Healthy Pumpkin Bread is moist, healthy, and so easy to make.  Made with homemade pumpkin puree and other healthy ingredients, the Pumpkin Bread has perfect Fall flavors, and it is ready in less than an hour! | A Sweet Pea Chef | #pumpkinbread #pumpkin

This pumpkin bread is another low sugar bread recipe that makes moist, healthy, and delicious bread. With amazing pumpkin flavors. Plus it’s super easy to make and ready in less than an hour. Get the recipe.

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD

Healthy, simple, delicious, and perfect for chocolate cravings. That’s how I’d describe this Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread | This easy chocolate zucchini bread is amazingly simple to make and uses several healthy substitutions. Plus it’s so incredibly delicious and a great way to satisfy your chocolate cravings and still live a clean eating lifestyle. | A Sweet Pea Chef

Zucchini in chocolate bread? Yes. Zucchini is good in chocolate bread and the taste of the bread is totes amazing. I promise you that. Get the recipe.

APPLE PUMPKIN BREAD

The last recipe on today’s healthy bread recipes shortlist is my Apple Pumpkin Bread. Perfect for cold months and with amazing pumpkin and apple flavors, this bread is definitely yummy.

Apple Pumpkin Bread | This easy and healthy Apple Pumpkin Bread is perfect for Fall.  Make the most of your clean eating lifestyle and make this delicious homemade apple pumpkin bread recipe using whole, unrefined ingredients! | A Sweet Pea Chef

Of course, it’s also healthy and clean eating approved. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Get the recipe.

4.47 from 15 votes
Healthy Banana Nut Bread Recipe | Easy and delicious healthy banana bread recipe | A Sweet Pea Chef
How to Make Healthy Banana Nut Bread (Without Added Sugar!)
Prep Time
7 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
57 mins
 
Got extra ripe bananas? Here's a super yummy, healthy, and easy banana nut bread recipe. This moist banana bread has just the right amount of walnuts, and makes a great breakfast or healthy snack.  Plus it contains no added sweeteners!
Categories: Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Clean Eating, Dairy-Free, Dessert
Difficulty: Easy
Keyword: banana bread recipe no sugar, banana nut bread, healthy banana bread
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 202 kcal
Author: Lacey Baier
Ingredients
  • 5 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil, for greasing loaf pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, holding it steady with a little coconut oil, if needed.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas using a fork or potato masher.

  3. Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
  6. Fold in the walnuts.
  7. Pour the mix into the prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and top is golden brown
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Healthy Banana Nut Bread (Without Added Sugar!)
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 202 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 202mg8%
Potassium 385mg11%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 75IU2%
Vitamin C 6.4mg8%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

52 thoughts on “How to Make Healthy Banana Nut Bread (Without Added Sugar!)

  1. 5 stars
    LOVED the bread!

    I made it sheet cake style in two 9 by 9 sheet cake pans (doubled the recipe).

    It took 20 min total to bake and 10 min to prepare it. (Much of that time was spent ensuring my whole walnuts were in small pieces)

    I omitted the salt, since I find that ruins desserts, and there is no health benefit from including it. The salt takes away from and even masks other flavors.

    I mashed the bananas, put in all the other ingredients just as the recipe said.

    I then added some unsweetened chocolate drops (1/2 cup per recipe) and blueberries (1 cup per recipe). I cooked it until golden brown and toothpick came out clean.

    Since it was supposed to be a treat for my mom’s birthday. She is turning 100 in October, and it will be cold and rainy in October, and due to COVID 19, we cannot have indoor guests. I solved this by announcing to everyone that we are celebrating my mom’s 100th birthday all Aug, Sept and October! To make the dessert fancy and fun, I put a glaze over it: 1/8 cup of coconut oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, big shake of extra cinnamon) per recipe. I melted the glaze and poured it over each pan of bread. I spread the glaze over it with a butter knife and left it overnight.

    The next day was the first of what will be many parties. It was very hot outside (high 90s) so only a few showed up. We are glad of that because in just one day, we eaten one of the pans of bread by ourselves. It is so great since it tastes wonderful and except for the maple syrup, and the fruit, there is no sugar. I had some for breakfast wtih some herbal tea! Wonderful sweet tasty healthy meal!

  2. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this recipe, and my three adult daughters are making it too. We love the rich flavour without the sugar and oil. It’s a chance to have a treat without having to wear it for years! 😀 And my toddler granddaughter loves it. To those who think the loaf lacks flavour, I’d say add another quarter teaspoon of vanilla and that your bananas are super ripe. That’s where the flavour punch lies.

  3. I made it and looked really good. Rose nicely. However, it just doesn’t taste like good banana bread. I know the secret is loads of oil and sugar. But I think the recipe needs a little of both. At least oil maybe. I will make it again with more oil and some extra sugar and see if it tastes any better.

    1. I was looking for a super healthy banana bread with zero sweetener. I ended up using almond and coconut flours instead of wheat or AP, and flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. For oil I used coconut for that extra hint of sweetness in addition to super ripened bananas. I also tossed in a Tbsp of leftover cacao nibs and walnuts.

    1. 3 stars
      Just to clarify my comment was the one where it remained raw no matter how long I baked it for. It was quite like a pudding like another commenter said and sunk so it was very wet and dense. I used sliced frozen bananas so I searched up the weight of medium bananas and followed that measurement, please help me on where I went wrong.

      1. I’m not sure exactly where your comment went, but I’m happy to help solve this problem. I’ve never tried using frozen bananas – frozen foods tend to break down quite a bit more than fresh fruits, so I’m guessing that’s where the problem is. The recipe is written for fresh bananas – perhaps if you tried again with non-frozen bananas, you’d have a different, better result? 🙂

        1. All right, I’ll try that and see how it goes. Could I also ask, how much do you think your bananas weigh? I personally thought an average banana according to the internet was quite large and that may have been the issue. Online it says that a medium banana is 118 grams, but mine are often only 70-80.

          1. According to an online search I just found, an average banana weighs approximately 4 ounces without the skin and measures between 7 and 8 inches in length. This equates to approximately 118 grams.

      2. Sorry your bread didn’t work out. Frozen bananas don’t work as well as fresh in banana bread. Even if the loaf bakes it will be gummy, and as it ages it will get gummier. .

  4. 4 stars
    this is delicious! i added some maple syrup, olive oil (forgot to measure 3-4 Tbsp?), tony’s chocoloney (slave-free chocolate) in generous large chips! with 1 cut walnuts. Also made a few changes and used almond & coconut flour instead. And orange zest! Wow! Yum!

  5. 4 stars
    I made this even though I only had 3 ripe bananas on hand. I reduced the flour (used white flour) to 1C, added 1/4 C flaxseed meal for a fiber boost abbd replaced the oil with unsweetened apple sauce. Baked in 8×8 pan for 40 min. Turned out great! With the applesauce, maple syrup and walnuts it’s plenty sweet.
    I can’t wait to try out your other recipes!

  6. 3 stars
    I found it too bland, but I have a sweet tooth. I made muffins out of it and cooked it for 30 minutes and they were a little hard. Maybe next time I’ll add some date syurp for a little sweetness and cook them for 25 min.

  7. Hi thank you for the receipe. I enjoyed it. But the top was so burnt what could have caused it. And how to avoid it next time i bake. Thank u

    1. Sometimes sweet breads can burn a little at the top depending upon your oven. I have solved it by putting on a cover made from aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes of a 60 minute bread.

  8. 5 stars
    So easy to make and delicious! I substituted the egg with a flax-egg (1 tbsp flaxmeal + 2 1/2 tbsp water) because I’m vegan, it turned out fantastic, my parents loved it and I’m already setting aside other bananas to do it again

  9. Have you ever used (thawed) frozen bananas in this recipe? Would you have any advice on how to use them? I’ve made this recipe many times with ripe bananas and it’s fantastic! But I have a bunch of frozen bananas that I’d like to try in this recipe. Just wondering if they would work well in this recipe.

    1. I use frozen bananas all the time. Same as using fresh. I constantly get hundreds of bananas and I freeze them all, I bought a freezer specifically to store them. The good thing is that the frozen bananas turn them overripe perfect for bread.

  10. 5 stars
    I made my recipe gluten free by replacing the whole wheat flour with almond flour. Then, I used two eggs instead of one, and I doubled the amount of vanilla extract. I didn’t have walnuts in my pantry, but it was great without it. For fun, I sprinkled 100% cacao chocolate on a tiny portion of my loaf, and raspberries on another tiny portion of my loaf. I blended my bananas with a hand mixer, as well as the rest of the ingredients. This made for a really fluffy loaf. This recipe is so healthy and amazing! Thanks for the incredible recipe Lacey!!

    1. Yes! Substitute almond flour in a 1:1 ratio as the amount of flour used in the recipe. Use two eggs instead of one. You won’t even be able to tell it is almond flour. I used a hand mixer to make my batter really fluffy, but I was careful to not overbeat. I also doubled/tripled the amount of vanilla extract, which led to a loaf with more flavor.

  11. 5 stars
    Made this today. Very delicious alternative to traditional banana bread. Thank you for a healthier alternative. I used egg beaters to lower the colesterol a little more and it turned out great.

  12. 5 stars
    I just made 3 loaves of this wonderful delicious bread. I too used half brown sugar. I had to wrap it up so I wouldn’t eat a whole loaf. Thank you for sharing!

  13. 5 stars
    Awesum awesum awesum, so easy and soooooo yummy! I tweaked it a bit, adding half brown and half white sugar, adding some semi sweet cchocolate chips, baking in mini loaf tins, out-of-this world!! Keep it up Lacey

  14. Hard to say if this is banana bread or banana pudding, it is so moist and creamy hot out of the oven. I thought I had ruined it since 60-65 minutes is a bit long and mine had turned dark brown after about 45 minutes, but with all that banana in it it was still moist inside while the outside is caramalized. I did a few changes, I used half whole wheat flour/half white flour, a teaspoon of vanilla, plus a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Definitely good enough to let bananas get over ripe on purpose!

  15. This is a delicious cake! Mine also overflowed by about 1/3 cup in the 9×13 inch pan, but I will make it again and just not fill it as much. I did do the freezer trick, but was a bit concerned about the hot cake raising the temp of the freezer and leading to decreased food quality. Anybody with any info on this? I omitted the walnut topping but added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon…YUMMY! Thanks for a keeper recipe.

  16. The recipe that I have been handed down is almost identical to this, which is awesome, but if you add a couple teaspoons of cinnamon it brings a whole new dynamic 🙂

  17. I love the aura in your kitchen, it’s so nice to be there and prepared delicious recipe like this banana bread, I really love banana…

  18. I’ve been wanting to make banana bread (I have more than enough ripe banans) but I thought it’d be a long and complicated recipe but I was wrong! I’m going to try one this very soon.

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