I used to think the stockpile of ripe bananas that’s ever-present on our counter accumulated by accident, but I know myself better than that now. I overbuy intentionally, because my subconscious is craving healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread.
This wholesome banana bread is perfect for busy, on-the-go mornings and happy afternoon snacks.
It has a subtle, cozy amount of cinnamon, the banana flavor is pleasant and present, but not overpowering. You can fold in walnuts or chocolate chips if you like.
The texture is spot-on too. It’s filling, moist, and hearty, without being dense.
This easy banana oat bread recipe is good for you too.
Thanks to my subconscious’ dedication to banana bread, I’ve baked dozens (hundreds?) of loaves of banana bread over the years. At least one dozen went into the testing of a very special banana bread recipe that will be in my upcoming cookbook.
Other documented banana bread favorites include Zucchini Banana Bread, Pumpkin Banana Bread, Paleo Banana Bread, and this classic Healthy Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips, to name but a few. Don’t even get me started on the collection of banana muffins (Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chocolate Banana Muffins…).
No matter how many banana bread recipes I bake, every loaf has something special about it that makes it worthy of the time and ingredients that I (and more importantly, you) take to make it. This oatmeal banana bread is no exception.
Toasting the oatmeal in the oven before adding it to the bread deepens its flavor and transforms this banana oat bread from one you’ll enjoy very much into one you won’t be able to stop eating. It’s homey and comforting, and the texture is fabulous. This healthy oatmeal banana bread with oats has me smitten. I can’t wait for you to try it too!
A Healthy Oatmeal Banana Bread Recipe
When eaten in moderation and with the right ingredient swaps (like yogurt, less sugar, and whole grains), banana bread can be good for you and even good for weight loss.
It’s a delicious, healthier alternative to other baked goods packed with butter and sugar, and the filling ingredients can help to keep you fuller for longer.
- 100% Whole Grain. Whole wheat flour and rolled oats add fiber and important nutrients.
- No Sugar. This bread is naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey.
- Greek Yogurt. Instead of sour cream, a trick that is often used to make banana bread moist, this recipe is made with yogurt, which is high in protein and low in fat.
- Loads of Bananas. Bananas are packed with potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Ripe bananas make the bread moist and sweet naturally, so you can use less added fats and sugars.
With a lineup of nutritious ingredients and unbelievably scrumptious taste, I like to refer to this as my Super Healthy Banana Bread (it’s like Superman in bread form). It’s here to save the day!
How to Make Oatmeal Banana Bread
The ingredients for this recipe are simple and wholesome. If you have bananas about to go bad, I bet you have everything else you need to make oatmeal banana bread.
- Oats. You’ll always find a bag (or three) of these in my pantry. I use them for healthy whole grain baking like in this banana bread, turn them into yummy warm oatmeal at breakfast, and use them to make no bake Energy Balls and Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats.
- Whole Wheat Flour. This oatmeal banana bread is 100% whole grain, meaning it’s richer in fiber and nutrients and thus can keep you fuller for longer. The lightly nutty flavor of whole wheat tastes fantastic in banana bread. It’s the only way I bake mine now!
- Mashed Ripe Banana. You’ll need 1 ½ cups of mashed banana total, which is about 4 medium bananas.
- Honey or Pure Maple Syrup. Using maple syrup or honey sweetens it naturally. Previously, I’ve made my banana bread with brown sugar, but I love it with one of these two even more. Their flavor is lovely alongside the bananas and oats.
- Greek Yogurt. See notes above—making oatmeal banana bread with yogurt is a fantastic wholesome baking trick.
- Unsalted Butter. Four tablespoons (a very moderate amount comparatively) is all you need to make the banana bread taste rich and satisfying. You can swap it for coconut oil or olive oil if you prefer.
- Cinnamon + Pure Vanilla Extract. To make the banana oatmeal bread extra warm and cozy.
- Milk. Any kind you like. I used unsweetened almond milk. You can use regular dairy milk or even make the oatmeal banana bread with buttermilk if you have some left in the refrigerator.
- Baking Basics. Eggs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. The usual suspects.
No mixer required for this easy recipe! Once you have your ingredients gathered, it comes together in a flash.
- First, toast your oats (trust me, it’s worth it). Lay the oats in a single layer on your baking sheet, and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. They should be lightly golden.
- Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Whisk your dry ingredients together. Add the toasted oats.
- Mash the banana (you should end up with 1 ½ cups). Whisk in the honey, butter, milk, and yogurt. Add the eggs. Lastly, whisk in the vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until the flour disappears. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top, and sprinkle on oats for decoration (a.k.a. photo worthy bread).
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Loosely cover the entire pan with foil, and continue baking for 35 to 45 additional minutes (65 to 75 minutes total). When a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, it’s ready. (I suggest repeating this test a couple times to be sure.)
- Let cool, and enjoy the incredible aromas that will fill your kitchen. Slice, and ENJOY!
Oatmeal Banana Bread Recipe Tips
- Don’t Skip Toasting the Oats. The toasty flavor is nothing short of magnificent. I may never bake an oatmeal bread any other way again!
- Measure Your Banana. It’s important to have 1 ½ cups of mashed ripe banana, no more or less. The amount can look very different when it’s in the mixing bowl, so take time to double check.
- Ripe but Not *TOO* Ripe: While lots of dark spots are delish for banana bread (put those natural sugars to work!), if your bananas have mold or a strange odor, those bananas are too ripe for banana bread and unsafe to eat. If your bananas are nearing expiration but you don’t have time to bake banana bread that day, peel, chop, and freeze the bananas instead.
- Don’t Over Mix. As soon as the flour disappears, your bread is ready to bake.
- Make It Pretty. After you pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top, sprinkle a few extra oats (and/or chocolate chips or nuts) onto the top prior to baking. It will taste delicious no matter what, but I do love the sprinkle.
Recipe Variations + Banana Bread Additions
Make this banana bread your own! Some of my favorite things to add to banana bread are chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit such as cranberries or cherries, and fresh or frozen blueberries.
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Right after you’ve folded in the dry ingredients in step 4, fold ½ cup dark chocolate chips into the batter.
- Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread. Right after you’ve folded in the dry ingredients in step 4, fold ½ cup toasted and chopped walnuts for a banana oatmeal walnut bread. Pecans would also be a delicious addition (this is how Jamie Oliver makes banana bread).
- Gluten Free Oatmeal Banana Bread. Swap the whole wheat flour for a 1:1 GF baking flour. Be sure to use certified gluten free rolled oats.
- Oatmeal Banana Bread Muffins. For oatmeal banana bread muffins, use a muffin tin like this one, and place paper liners in the wells. Pour the prepared batter into the paper liners. I suggest checking them after about 20 minutes, and then continue to bake longer if needed. Keep an eye on them, and once your muffins turn golden brown on top, check them for doneness.
- To Make Egg Free. I’ve never tried this as an oatmeal banana bread no eggs, but other readers have successfully used chia eggs and I suspect a flax egg could work also. If you also decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments below!
- To Make Vegan. For a vegan oatmeal banana bread, follow the instructions above for making it egg free, use maple syrup, and a non-dairy yogurt.
Oatmeal Banana Bread Storage and Serving Tips
Here’s what to do with leftover banana oatmeal bread, plus a few serving ideas:
- Serving Ideas. This bread is delicious spread with a nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter. I also love it topped with Slow Cooker Apple Butter.
- To Store. Once the bread has fully cooled, place it in an airtight storage container lined with a paper towel. Lay another paper towel over the top of the bread. Seal, and keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Place the oatmeal banana bread slices in an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months. I like to freeze this bread in individual slices and thaw as needed for a delicious treat.
- To Reheat from Frozen. Let the bread thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Rewarm gently in the microwave until warmed through.
- For more tips and suggestions about storing and freezing muffins and breads, check out my How To Store Muffins and Other Quick Breads guide.
Recommended Tools to Make Oatmeal Banana Bread
- Best Ever Loaf Pan. No sticking, even baking, perfect corners.
- New Favorite Spatula. It’s great for folding thick batters, smoothing the top of quick breads, and is super easy to clean and heatproof.
- Mixing Bowl. Stackable, microwave safe, and perfect for preparing our oatmeal banana bread.
No matter how many loaves of banana bread you’ve tried in the past, I promise you will love this simple, oatmeal banana bread recipe.
It’s cozy and familiar, but a little bit unique; healthy without tasting like it’s skimping. Warm up a slice, spread it with some peanut butter or almond butter, or just enjoy it as is. You won’t be disappointed!
If you try this recipe, please let me know how it goes in the comments below. Your reviews are so helpful to me and to others. I strive to respond to every single one!
Oatmeal Banana Bread
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling on top (do not use instant oatmeal; quick oats will work in a pinch)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas about 4 medium bananas
- 2/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 1 ½ cups oats in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, until very light golden and fragrant, stirring once halfway through. Set aside to cool. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so that two sides overhang like handles. Lightly mist with nonstick spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the toasted oats. Set aside.
- Mash the banana in the bottom of a large mixing bowl and double check to make sure you have 1 ½ cups. Whisk in the honey, melted butter, milk, and Greek yogurt. If the butter resolidifies, warm the bowl in the microwave in 10-second bursts, just until it melts. One at a time, whisk in the eggs. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the banana-honey mixture. By hand with a rubber spatula, stir very slowly and gently, stopping as soon as the flour disappears. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the batter with remaining 1 tablespoon oats for decoration.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then loosely cover the pan with foil, making sure that the foil shields both ends of the pan (because the bread is sweetened with honey, it will caramelize and become dark at the corners). Continue baking for 35 to 45 additional minutes (65 to 75 minutes total) or until a small, thin knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out without any wet batter clinging to it. Repeat the test once or twice. An even easier way to tell is to use an instant-read thermometer. When the bread reaches between 200 to 210 degrees F at the center, it’s done.
- Place the pan on a wire rack, and let the bread cool in the pan for 1 hour. Using the parchment paper handles, lift the bread and set it out on the rack to finish cooling completely. Slice and enjoy!
- TO STORE: Once the bread has fully cooled, place it in an airtight storage container lined with a paper towel. Lay another paper towel over the top of the bread. Seal, and keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- TO FREEZE: Place the oatmeal banana bread slices in an airtight freezer-safe storage container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
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