5 Healthy Hacks For The Best Banana Bread Ever

One of the most viral recipes on the internet just got healthier.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Banana bread is one of those classic dishes that can do no wrong. It can be enjoyed as a hearty breakfast, a tasty snack, and even as a delicious dessert. And the good news is that it can be both delicious and nutritious! Not to mention, it’s simple to make, easy to customize, and can even be prepped in advance. With just a few wholesome ingredients needed (think: oats, bananas, and maybe even some superfoods), you can whip up a healthy banana bread recipe with ease. Whether you’re craving a gluten-free or vegan option, looking to reduce sugar intake, or simply want to make a more nutritious version of Grandma’s classic banana bread, we’re sharing the top healthy hacks for the best banana bread recipe yet.

Get ready because healthy banana bread recipes and tips are coming your way — and they’re more delicious than ever.

Is Banana Bread Healthy?

But first, is banana bread healthy?

While not all banana breads are created equal, by making your own at home and opting for healthy ingredient swaps, banana bread can indeed be a healthy treat! 

If you’re looking to make a better-for-you banana bread recipe, it’s important to consider the ingredients. Avoid refined grains and sneaky sugars, and opt for whole foods and natural sweeteners instead. Healthy baking is all about choosing nutritious ingredients while keeping dietary preferences and allergies in mind. 

The best part? Healthy banana bread is just as delicious (if not more) as sugar-filled, calorie-laden baked banana goods.

Plus, there’s something for everyone. Healthy banana bread recipes can easily be adapted to cater to various dietary needs, allergies, and flavor preferences. Including:

  • Gluten-free or grain-free recipes using gluten-free oat flour or grain-free almond flour
  • Vegan recipes made with flax eggs or dairy-free milk
  • Allergy-friendly recipes (for example, made without nuts or eggs)
  • Low-sugar recipes made with natural sweeteners or simply sweetened with bananas
  • Protein-rich recipes boosted with add-ins such hemp seeds, chia seeds, nut butters, or protein powders such as collagen or pea protein
  • Various flavor options for all your cravings (think: chocolate chip, blueberry, cinnamon walnut, and nut butter swirl)

5 Tips to Make Healthy Banana Bread 

#1 Use Ripe Bananas As The Star Sweetener

There’s a science to making the most mouth-wateringly delicious banana bread, and it all starts with ripe bananas! Yep, our number one secret to the best banana bread is as simple as choosing overly ripe bananas. At the very least, they should be spotty — the riper the banana, the sweeter it is. This allows you to reduce added sugars and calories (since the bananas are doing the sweetening for you!). 

So, before you compost those “too far gone” spotty bananas, know there’s a healthy banana bread recipe calling their name. 

Don’t have any overripe bananas? You have options!

  • If you have a few days: Place your unripe bananas in a brown paper bag to help speed up the ripening process.
  • If you have 30-60 extra minutes: you can ripen your bananas in the oven! Simply bake them (with the peel on) at 300°F for 30 to 40 minutes until the bananas are dark brown or blackened. Let cool, then use as normal!
  • If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand: Add an extra tablespoon or two of coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, or raw honey for that added sweetness you would normally get from those super ripe bananas.

#2 Add Some Superfoods 

Superfoods are a game-changer for enhancing banana bread nutrition and transforming your banana bread ingredients into a healthy treat. 

Some of our favorite add-ins include superfoods such as: 

  • Raw cacao powder or cacao nibs 
  • Flax, chia, hemp, or pumpkin seeds
  • Shredded coconut 
  • Chopped nuts, including walnuts and almonds
  • Nut or seed butter, including tahini, cashew butter, almond butter, or pumpkin seed butter
  • Spices such as cinnamon or ginger
  • Collagen peptides
  • Fresh or freeze-dried berries
  • Goji berries

#3 Make it Allergy Friendly 

One of the benefits of healthy baking? Banana bread ingredients can easily be customized for any dietary needs or food preferences. 

Looking for a dairy and gluten-free alternative? We got you. Healthy baking made simple.

Make it Gluten-Free 

  • Make a gluten-free banana bread by swapping out regular wheat-based flour for an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour blend (like Bob’s Red Mills). Or, try a homemade 1-ingredient gluten-free oat flour!
  • Need a grain-free alternative? Try almond flour! 

RELATED: What You Really Need to Know About Baking With Gluten-Free Flour

Make it Dairy-Free

  • Use coconut oil in place of butter 
  • Or, try nut and seed butters like granola butter, sunflower seed butter, or macadamia butter (the brand Milkadamia is delicious) 
  • If using milk, opt for a dairy-free option such as almond or oat milk

RELATED: A Dairy-Free Milk Comparison: Here are the 7 Best Milk Alternatives

Make it Vegan 

To make easy healthy banana bread that’s vegan-friendly, use the dairy-free swaps above, and instead of eggs, use flax eggs. Here’s how to make a flax egg to use in vegan banana bread. 

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal 
  • 3 tbsp warm water 

Whisk the flaxseed meal and water together and allow it to sit out for 10-15 minutes or until it forms a gel-like consistency.

#4 Up the Protein

To make banana bread healthy and filling enough to eat for breakfast, consider upping the protein a bit by adding a scoop of collagen peptides. Seriously, you won’t taste it, and your gut health will thank you. 

And if you want to keep it vegan while up-leveling your banana bread nutrition, try mixing in these plant protein additions:

  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts 
  • Nut or seed butter like pumpkin or almond

#5 Get Savvy With Sweeteners 

While traditional banana bread is delish, we can make it a tad healthier by getting creative with sweeteners. Feel free to mix some of these together, like using 50% coconut sugar and 50% maple sugar… yum! 

Here are some of our go-to healthier sweetener picks for banana bread: 

  • Coconut Sugar: Use at a 1: 1 ratio with sugar. 
  • Maple Sugar: Use at a 1: 1 ratio with sugar. 
  • Honey & Pure Maple Syrup: For each cup of sugar your recipe calls for, cut it in half with a liquid natural sweetener to make sure the bread doesn’t come out too moist.  

Or, keep it low-sugar by subbing 50% of the added sugar for equal amounts of ripe mashed banana or unsweetened apple sauce! For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of coconut sugar, use ½ cup of coconut sugar and ½ cup of applesauce or mashed banana.

3 Additional Ways to Enjoy Your Banana Bread

The benefits of banana bread? Leftovers!! You can totally deconstruct your healthy banana bread ingredients and transform them into some delicious healthy breakfasts or snacks. 

Here are some of our go-to ways to use up leftover banana bread. 

Crumbled Banana Bread Smoothie Or Yogurt Bowl 

Cut calories and skip the heavy pour of granola — instead, crumble some banana bread on top of a smoothie or yogurt bowl

Banana Bread French Toast 

Indulge in healthy baking and cook banana bread slices in coconut oil to create a healthy French toast.

Banana Bread Sandwich 

Make a gluten-free banana bread nut butter sandwich by swapping out bread.

Bonus Tips to Make Sure Your Banana Bread Turns Into Perfection!

If you’re looking for a way to add some extra moisture to your banana bread, try using coconut oil in place of butter and use a liquid natural sweetener like raw honey or pure maple syrup. 

Oh, and if you’re feeling fancy, feel free to top your banana bread with a slab of coconut or almond butter, and enjoy it for breakfast with your morning cup of coffee or matcha tea — if you aren’t a morning person, banana bread + a healthy pumpkin spiced latte is an excuse in its own to get out of bed early!

Here’s The Only Healthy Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Need

Don’t think we’d leave you hanging without sharing our very own healthy banana bread recipe! Here’s how we like to take our banana bread nutrition up a notch.

Easy Blender Protein Banana Bread 


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 banana, ripe
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, to grease
  • Almond butter, to serve


Step #1: Preheat the oven to 160°C or 320°F and lightly grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.

Step #2: Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Step #3: Pour or spoon the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the banana bread is cooked through and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step #4: Allow to cool.

Step #5: Slice and enjoy with a slab of almond butter.

Perfect Your Banana Bread Game 

Use these tips to take your banana bread game to the next level. By adding some superfoods, making some healthy swaps, and topping off your healthy banana bread recipes with a slab of nutter butter, you have yourself a nourishing and wholesome breakfast or snack the whole family can enjoy. With these healthy tips, bite into all the benefits of banana bread!

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