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!
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.
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.
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:
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees F;
- prep the loaf pan;
- mash the ripe bananas in a mixing bowl;
- add the egg and vanilla over the mashed bananas and stir to combine;
- mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl;
- add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients;
- stir to combine but don’t over-mix;
- fold in the nuts;
- pour the mixture in the loaf pan and bake.
Pretty simple, right?
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.
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:
- line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper;
- place the unpeeled bananas on the baking sheet;
- bake for approximately 20 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the bananas blackened.
- un-peel the bananas;
- place them on a microwave safe plate;
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of course, it’s also healthy and clean eating approved. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Get the recipe.
- 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
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.
In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas using a fork or potato masher.
Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
Fold in the walnuts.
Pour the mix into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and top is golden brown
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69 thoughts on “How to Make Healthy Banana Nut Bread (Without Added Sugar!)”
Love this! It’s just the right amount of sweetness with no added sugar – yay! Very moist with a nice crunch from the walnuts. Thank you for sharing!
Life changing! I’ve made it 3 times so far. I stay away from sugar and white flour so this was perfect and so yummy! An added bonus is that my sugar obsessed husband LOVES it too. Thanks
Woohoo! So glad you enjoy it, I will pass the compliment to Lacey!
I like it! It has a moist, kinda springy texture and it’s not very sweet, which is exactly what I wanted. Baked 1 hour, and it was cooked through although it deflated a bit as it cooled. Yummy toasted w/ some cream cheese. My husband liked it too, so this is a keeper!
This is just soooo amazing! I followed the recipe and it came out perfectly. Thank you for the recipe, Lacey! Glad I found your website 🙂
This is just soooo amazing! I followed the recipe and it came out perfectly. Thank you for the recipe, Lacey! Glad I found your website 🙂
I’ve tried making this recipe with a few modifications. I used 1 cup of 100% whole wheat flour instead of 1 1/2 cups of pastry flour because I wanted this bread to be high in fiber and protein. Also I used 2 eggs instead of 1 egg to boost the protein content. I used super ripe bananas and folded the dry ingredients carefully, without overmixing. The batter looked thick and consistent enough. However, even after baking at 350 F in the center rack for more than 75 min, the outside came out burnt and the center was still undercooked.
I was really fascinated by this recipe because it omits added sweetener and added fat which are 0 protein and 0 fiber ingredients. Could you please offer some suggestions to fix my modifications.
Have you tried baking it with tin foil covering it, then removing the tin foil near the end once the inside is cooked? That always helps me when my banana bread is burning on the outside but not cooking inside.
I loved this bread! I don’t like sweet stuff much so this turned out perfect for me. It’s got great banana flavor and is moist and chewy. Next time I might add just a few more nuts and maybe a little bit more cinnamon but otherwise I think it’s perfect.
I agree! It’s wonderful the sweetness is all from the ripe bananas. I added some raisins to mine and gorgeous eating!
I added raisins, instead of an egg a 1/2 cup of home made yogurt, baking powder. It came out wonderful.
i made mine in my Instant one pot, full pressure 60 mins and and 15 mins natural release pressure. Superbly moist. I added dates rather than walnuts
Love it–it has all I require: no sugar, honey or syrup, wheat flour, bananas and cinnamon. I also added 1/4 cup applesauce and chopped up a large apple and folded that in with the nuts. So mine is super moist, as I like it.
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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!
How wonderful the you mom is 100! I hope the bread was a hit. Good health to you and your mom!
How many grams is one slice ?
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.
Totally love this recipe. My toddler cannot get enough of it.
Used oat flour instead, and came out great. Thanks!
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.
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.
To make it sweeter, try my glaze idea. See my comment. Just look for Toby. –That is my name!
I made it and it was amazing! New family favourite. Thanks, very much!
Um, did you delete my previous comment? I would still like some help as I’m not sure what could have gone wrong.
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.
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? 🙂
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.
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.
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. .
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!
If using coconut flour and almond flour how much do you use. Do you use he same amount?
There’s no need for any oil in this recipe other than for greasing.?
Can I use plain whole-wheat flour instead of whole-wheat pastry flour?
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!
Correction. I did not add syrup. 🙂
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.
I’m actually missing one banana. I’m thinking of replacing one banana with chopped dates?
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
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.
SO GOOD, I added a chopped banana on top for some extra sweetness and texture. So glad I did. Banana bread turned out amazing!
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
Can I use spelt flour in place of whole wheat flour?
Can I use regular flour?
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.
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.
Have you ever used frozen bananas (that have been thawed) in this recipe?
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!!
can you make this banana bread using almond flour?
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.
Can you use almond flour instead?
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.
Could I use almond or oat flour instead?
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!
It’s hard to stay away from, right???
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
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out 🙂
Yay indeed! P.S I’ll hold you responsible for the inches added to my waist line!
P.p.s 23 rd Feb also happens to be my birthday*
lol! You’re the one who added the chocolate chips! 😉
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!
How interesting – I’ve never had that happen before. I’m glad you still enjoyed it, though 🙂
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.
So glad you enjoyed it, Derek. Thanks for the feedback.
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 🙂
Made the banana bread yesterday and used Whole wheat flour. After about 60 mins in the oven it raised well but too was dark brown. I allowed it to cool down before slicing it . Slices were hard and not moist. I even added 1/2 cup of sour cream while adding walnuts to make it moist .
Any suggestions ?
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…
You’re kitchen is beautiful and I’ll bet there will be lots of yummy stuff coming out of there.
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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