Healthy Banana Bread is my forever faithful friend. I’ve made this recipe dozens of times over the years. Whatever my mood or motivation, it comforts me in the most genuine, judgment-free fashion, the way a true friend does.
Healthy banana bread, you make me feel seen!
- This healthy banana bread with yogurt is 100% whole grain.
- It’s naturally sweetened with honey or pure maple syrup.
- It’s marvelously moist, fluffy, and easy to make.
- It uses just ONE BOWL. You don’t even need a mixer!
You may find yourself subconsciously stockpiling bananas, just so they can turn spotty and you have a new excuse to whip up a loaf.
While I’ve certainly baked my share of different banana breads (Pumpkin Banana Bread, Zucchini Banana Bread, and Paleo Banana Bread are but a few) when I’m craving a simple, classic banana bread recipe, this one is my go-to.
Of course, if you feel the urge to turn it into a healthy chocolate banana bread with chocolate chips, or go the banana nut route with walnuts, I certainly won’t stop you.
5 Star Review
“This was THE best banana bread I’ve ever made! Definitely a redo in our household. Thank you for this amazing recipe!”— Nat —
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread
To me, banana bread is the embodiment of homeyness and warmth, in baked breakfast form.
This healthy banana bread recipe is good for you and made with nutritious ingredients, but it doesn’t sacrifice the pure comfort you long for when you reach for a slice.
You can enjoy it for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or try warm it in a toaster oven, then top with a scoop of Banana Ice Cream for dessert.
- Ripe Bananas. Forget healthy banana bread with 1 banana! We’re making banana the delicious star of the show. Bananas add wonderful moisture, natural sweetness, and nutrition. They’re packed with potassium and fiber.
- Whole Wheat Flour. To keep this bread on the wholesome side, I used whole wheat flour. It works perfectly in this recipe and adds a light nuttiness.
- Greek Yogurt. Adds protein, moisture, and helps to tenderize the bread.
- Brown Sugar + Maple Syrup. While this isn’t an exclusively no sugar healthy banana bread, it uses just the right amount of brown sugar to create a moist texture. The rest of the flavor comes from maple syrup, which helps reduce the amount of refined sugar in banana bread and adds rich flavor.
- Canola Oil. Just 2 tablespoons are all this recipe needs; the rest of the moisture comes from the bananas and yogurt. I would not recommend making this healthy banana bread with applesauce instead, as the bread will be too dry. I’ve cut down on the oil as much as possible.
- Vanilla + Cinnamon. Two cozy, must-have ingredients that make this bread taste truly special.
- Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk in the egg, yogurt, and oil.
- Whisk the brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla into the banana mixture. Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the wet ingredients.
- Stir in the flour to complete the dry ingredients. Fold in any mix-ins. Transfer the batter to a loaf pan (line the pan with parchment paper if you like). Bake the healthy banana bread at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes. Banana bread can be undercooked, so make sure to check it before letting it cool. DIG IN!
How to Know When Banana Bread is Done
Banana bread can be undercooked easily, and unfortunately, once the loaf has cooled, even if it is gooey in the middle you cannot put it back into the oven.
- You can tell banana bread is done when a butter knife inserted in several places in the whole loaf comes out with a few crumbs clinging, but no wet batter. It can be very hard to judge.
- My favorite way to know when banana bread is done is to use an instant read thermometer. Once banana bread reaches 200 degrees F in the center, it is fully baked.
- Healthy Banana Bread Muffins. You can bake this exact recipe as healthy banana bread muffins. For more detail, please see the notes in the recipe directions below. (You can also try my Healthy Banana Muffins or Banana Bran Muffins.)
- Healthy Banana Bread with Oats. Looking for a recipe that uses oats? Check out my Oatmeal Banana Bread.
- Banana Bread with Glaze. Looking for a more decadent banana bread experience? Top your finished banana bread loaf with the glaze from these Coffee Cake Muffins. (Don’t miss my Banana Bread Brownies with brown butter frosting.)
- To Make Vegan. For a vegan recipe, try these Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Or, you can experiment with using dairy-free yogurt and flax eggs.
- To Make Gluten Free. Try my Paleo Banana Bread, which is grain free and gluten free. Or, another option for gluten-free banana bread is to swap the whole wheat flour in this recipe for a 1:1 gluten free flour substitute meant to replace all-purpose flour like this one.
- To Store. Store bread at room temperature in an airtight storage container lined with paper towels for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftover bread in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. For extra protection from freezer burn, wrap the loaf in aluminum foil. Let thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.
Cut your leftover bread into slices and individually wrap in plastic wrap before freezing. Then, you can thaw and enjoy slices as desired for a quick treat.
Recommended Tools to Make Banana Bread
- Loaf Pan. Easy to use and clean.
- Measuring Cups. High-quality cups that are easy to store.
- Measuring Spoons. These spoons are double-sided, meaning you’ll have fewer dishes to wash.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, almond flour cannot be swapped for regular flour, as the two have completely different weights, fat contents, and baking behaviors. Check out my tasty Almond Flour Banana Bread instead.
While some banana breads are high in sugar and fat (why banana bread is so high in calories), this healthy banana bread is good for you. It’s packed with nutritious ingredients like whole wheat flour, egg, Greek yogurt, and bananas. Plus, this recipe proves you can use less sugar in banana bread by swapping in some maple syrup.
While we love this as a healthy banana bread with whole wheat flour, it will work just as well with all-purpose flour. Simply swap the whole wheat flour for an equal amount of all-purpose flour, or do a 50/50 blend.
Healthy Banana Bread
- 1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas about 11 ounces or 3 large
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt I used nonfat. OK to substitute vanilla, though the bread will be a bit sweeter.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil or melted cooled coconut oil*
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (optional)
- Place the rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Mash the bananas in the bottom of a large bowl until mostly smooth.
- Whisk in the egg, then the yogurt and oil.
- Whisk in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt over the top, then stir until combined.
- Gently stir in the flour until barely combined, then fold in any mix-ins.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check at the 35-minute mark and tent with foil if the bread is browning too quickly at the corners. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place on rack to finish cooling completely (for neat slicing), or enjoy warm and don't worry if the slices are messy.
- *If using coconut oil, be sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature and the coconut oil has cooled, or it will resolidify when it touches the cold ingredients.
- TO MAKE MUFFINS: To bake this recipe as 12 muffins instead of in a loaf pan, lightly grease a standard muffin tin, then divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the muffins spring back lightly when touched.
- TO STORE: Store bread at room temperature in an airtight storage container lined with paper towels for up to 1 week.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftover bread in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.
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