Simple & delicious Healthy Banana Bread. Whole-grain, oil-free & perfect for breakfast or snacking!
This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is the perfect way to use up very ripe bananas. I'm one of those crazy people who likes to eat slightly green bananas. Once they get yellow and spotty that's it, I can't eat them.
That doesn't stop me buying too many every week though, just so they can go soft and spotty. I love baking with over-ripe bananas and making Vegan Banana Pancakes and I also like having some in the freezer for smoothies and nice cream.
One of the many reasons I like Vegan Banana Bread so much is that I can fool myself into thinking I am not eating cake. It's bread, and Healthy Banana Bread at that.
This recipe is made with unrefined wholegrain spelt flour which gives it a lovely wholesome flavour. Much better than when made with regular all purpose flour. It only contains half a cup of sugar and no added oil, although if you want to, you can swap out the nut butter for oil.
It's also full of fruit .... Hello? 3 WHOLE Bananas .... It's practically a fruit itself ;O)
I kind of defeat the object of making this Healthy Vegan Banana Bread oil-free, because I like to slather my slices with homemade Vegan Butter. They are so good together! Nut butter is a lovely oil-free spreading alternative though. It works so well on banana bread.
I like to put a little twist on my recipes whenever I can and this one is no different. This Healthy Banana Bread has a tiny touch of cardamom added to its batter. Cardamom works really well with banana and it gives the bread a beautiful subtle fragrance. It really is a good combo. If cardamom is not your thing though feel free to omit it.
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What do you need to make Healthy Banana Bread
To make this banana bread you will be needing:
- overripe bananas – the spottier the better!
- spelt flour – not set in stone though, you can use all purpose or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flour instead
- sugar – any kind you like but as this is a healthier banana bread I like to use coconut sugar.
- nut butter – Adds flavour and healthy fats. And because of those natural healthy fats we don't need to add any oil or vegan butter to the recipe.
- blackstrap molasses or regular molasses – my banana bread secret weapon!
- cardamom - It's optional but recommended. The fragrant flavour works so well with the banana!
- and the usual suspects like salt and baking powder
What makes this banana bread healthy?
Unlike traditional banana bread recipes, this one uses spelt flour instead of all purpose white flour. Spelt flour is whole grain and a much healthier and less refined flour.
Assuming you choose to use coconut sugar when making it this recipe is refined sugar free.
It's got 3 whole bananas in it!
The fat in the banana bread is naturally found in nut butter. We aren't using vegan butter or oil.
Blackstrap molasses contains lots of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6 and selenium.
How it's done
FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
Step 1: Mash the bananas then add the nut butter, sugar, molasses, cardamom and salt and give it all a whisk.
Step 2: Add the flour and baking power and mix gently.
Step 3: Spoon into a pan and bake.
- Weigh the ingredients, particularly the flour, for the very best results.
- Don't over-mix the batter.
- Use really ripe and spotty bananas
What do I do if I don't have overripe bananas?
If none of your bananas are super ripe and spotty, simply place 3 of them in a baking tray with their skins still intact and bake them on 350°F (175°C) for 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven. They will be black. Allow them to cool before going ahead with the recipe.
How to freeze banana bread
Cool the banana bread thoroughly on a cooling rack then wrap really well (either in a freezer safe storage container or a freezer bag) and place in the freezer. You can keep it whole or slice it prior to freezing. Slicing it enables you to pull out a piece or two as needed rather than defrosting the entire loaf.
It can keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost at room temperature. Placing it on a cool rack where air can circulate ensures that it doesn't get damp.
Ways to adapt this recipe
Feel free to make this recipe your own. You could add:
- chocolate chips
- chopped nuts
- toasted seeds
- raisins or other dried fruit
- a vegan cream cheese frosting (there's one in my cookbook)
- switch the banana for pureed sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash
This is why I am loving this Healthy Vegan Banana Bread:
- It's quick and easy to make
- It's full of healthy ingredients
- It uses up your 'past it' spotty bananas
- It's great for make ahead breakfasts
- It freezes perfectly so you can double up on the recipe for another time
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Healthy Banana Bread
- 3 medium bananas , make sure they are very ripe, (plus some extra slices for the top)
- 4 tablespoons cashew or almond butter , or 60mls | 1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid measure)
- 115g / 1/2 packed cup sugar , plus a little extra to sprinkle over the top before baking. Any sugar will do but I like coconut sugar.
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom ,OPTIONAL - can be omitted if you don't have any or don't like cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 230g / 2 cups spelt flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease a loaf pan (I used an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan )and line with a strip of parchment paper along the bottom, making sure it comes up over the ends so you can use it as a handle to lift the loaf out once cooked).
- Peel the bananas then mash them with a fork or use your stand mixer to beat them up into a puree.
- Add nut butter/coconut oil, sugar, molasses, optional cardamon and salt and beat well until smooth.
- Add the flour and baking powder and gently fold it all together. Do not over mix. You want it so that it is just combined and so that you cannot see any dry flour throughout the mixture.
- Pour into your prepared pan.
- OPTIONAL - Top with some sliced banana and a sprinkle of sugar.
- Bake in oven for around 50 minutes or until a tooth pick or skewer comes out clean when inserted through the middle.
- Lift out of pan, remove parchment paper and cool on a cooling rack.
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