Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

An Easy-to-Make, Whole-Grain Banana Bread

Use this recipe to make a delicious banana bread that's high in fiber and low in fat, sugar, and sodium.


13 ounces of peeled and mashed overripe bananas
  (about 3 or 4 bananas)
1/3 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1 handful of chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly mix together all the ingredients in a big bowl, except for the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into a greased 9 by 5 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top. Bake for 65 minutes.

To test for doneness, plunge a popsicle stick or butter knife into the top of the loaf until it hits the bottom, then pull it out and check for wet batter on the tip. If present, return the loaf to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Allow the loaf to cool, then turn the pan upside-down and strike it against a cutting board until the loaf falls out.


The bananas should be very ripe, with lots of brown spots appearing on the yellow skin before peeling. The mashed bananas should be semi-liquid after mashing. If the mashed bananas are dry, try reducing the baking time.

Bananas vary quite a bit in size. If you can, weigh the peeled bananas before mashing and use 13 ounces (370 g). A styrofoam produce tray is a convenient weighing container. If you use more than 13 ounces, you'll need to bake the loaf a little longer to fully cook the batter at the bottom of the loaf. On the other hand, if you bake it too long, the loaf will be too dry.

Healthy Baking

There's no significant amount sodium in this recipe except for what's in one teaspoon of baking soda. The bananas provide a good amount of natural sugar and sweetness. Compared with typical banana bread recipes, this one uses much less added sugar, no salt, oil instead of butter, some whole wheat flour instead of all white flour, and more seasoning (vanilla and cinnamon) to make up for the lack of sugar and salt. The resulting loaf is more bread-like and less cake-like because of the reduced sweetness.

If you and your family are not accustomed to healthier baking, start by using butter or shortening instead of oil, more sugar (1/2 to 1 cup), and mostly white flour (1-1/4 cup white and 1/4 cup whole wheat). If you enjoy the banana bread, next time you make it, try using some vegetable oil in place of butter, a little more whole wheat flour in place of white flour, and a little less sugar. Gradually you can learn to enjoy healthier ingredients and less sweetness. Eventually you might use all vegetable oil, all whole wheat flour, and no added sugar.

Here are some popular conventional banana bread recipes for comparison:

Betty Crocker banana bread recipe
Betty Crocker
All Recipes banana bread recipe
All Recipes
Simply Recipes banana bread recipe
Simply Recipes
Food Network banana bread recipe
Food Network

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