Easy Healthier Banana Bread

An easy healthier banana bread recipe made with whole grain flour (all purpose will work in a pinch!), extra ripe bananas, and maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.

Slice of Healthier Banana Bread

According to the internet, banana bread is getting a new lease on life! We’re even digging out that elusive can of pumpkin puree to make pumpkin bread. I’m into it! 

Banana bread has and always will be my favorite quick bread. It is comforting, simple, and practical. Since we’re working with limited ingredients, I wanted to share my basic banana bread recipe with you. 

I generally prefer heartier banana breads that are lightly sweetened. First and foremost, I want the ripe banana flavor to shine through in each bite. 

Easy Healthier Banana Bread

Healthier Banana Bread: Favorite Flours and Substitution Options

This healthier banana bread recipe is very similar to my banana walnut bread, but I’ve simplified and streamlined it. Instead of granulated sugar, we’re using pure maple syrup for sweetness.

It is made with whole wheat flour, but I’ve included several substitution options in the recipe below. Whole wheat pastry flour is my favorite choice due to its lower protein percentage.

White whole wheat flour, which is more delicate in flavor than traditional whole wheat, is another great choice.

All purpose flour is easy substitute that will always work. If you do happen to have regular whole wheat flour in your pantry, I recommend equal parts whole wheat flour and all purpose.

Tips for Success:

  • You want to use extra ripe bananas for this recipe! The banana peels should be entirely black and they should be soft and syrupy inside. Lightly spotted bananas have a lower sugar content and won’t yield as tasty a banana bread. 
  • Feel free to adjust and adapt the spice measurements in this quick bread. I prefer a number of baking spices, including  cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. If you don’t have one on hand, just leave it out. 

Banana Bread Loaf with Slice Removed

How to Store Banana Bread: 

Leftover banana bread can stored in a large Ziploc bag at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days. To prevent gumminess, set a paper towel on the top of the crust to absorb any moisture. 

Banana bread can be frozen for 2 to 3 months (once cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap than a layer of foil or sealed Ziploc bag) and thaw at room temperature to enjoy later.

You can also slice the banana bread prior to freezing so that you can thaw and enjoy one slice whenever you want – just be sure to wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap. 

Easy Healthier Banana Bread

Yield: 1 (9 x 5 inch) Loaf

An easy healthier banana bread recipe made with whole grain flour (all purpose will also work in a pinch!), extra ripe bananas, and maple syrup for a touch of sweetness. You want to use extra ripe bananas for this banana bread recipe! The peels should be entirely black and the fruit should be almost syrupy in texture. Lightly spotted bananas have a lower sugar content and won't yield as tasty a loaf.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240 grams) whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, OR unbleached all purpose flour (or equal parts whole wheat and all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (300 grams) mashed extremely ripe bananas (3-4 large bananas *see headnote*)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pure dark maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) avocado oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius) with a rack in the center position. Grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, pure maple syrup, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until ombined. Add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold in with a large spatula until the flour is just absorbed.
    4. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow the loaf to cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
    5. Leftover banana bread can stored in a large ziploc bag - set a paper towel on the top of the loaf to absorb any moisture - at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days.

Notes

Tips for Success:

  • You want to use extra ripe bananas for this recipe! The peels should be almost entirely black and almost syrupy inside. Lightly spotted bananas have a lower sugar content and won't yield as tasty a loaf.
  • Feel free to adjust and adapt the spice measurements to your liking! I prefer a generous amount of baking spices. If you do not have cardamom on hand (or do not wish to purchase it), just leave it out.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 230mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g

A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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