Healthier Banana Bread

Banana bread is so good – I love eating it for breakfast. For snack. For dessert.

Sometimes I eat it for lunch and I pretend I’m eating salad.

This Healthier Banana Bread is my new addiction because I feel like I can eat it for snack (or lunch!) without as much guilt.

Less guilt makes me happy.

Healthier Banana Bread Recipe |

This has nothing to do with banana bread, but watching my husband watch the NFL Draft is kind of like watching Good Will Hunting. Or maybe A Beautiful Mind. The guy is obsessed.

{If he were to read this he’d be thinking, One word: Scandal. Pot, Kettle, Black.}

Last Thursday night was the first night of the draft. (Yes, it’s on for multiple nights, didn’t you know? I know, because I didn’t get to watch Scandal for OVER 2 DAYS.) Jordan had theatre, so Mel set the DVR. But it was on at the place we had dinner, so he and all the guys in the restaurant stared slack-jawed at the TV.

He’d make a call before each pick, and except for 2 times, he was right. In fact, whenever we watch a sporting event Mel makes a call and the announcers say it two seconds later. (And when I say “we watch” I mean he watches and I read Twilight.)

Like I said, Good Will Hunting. But football.

I didn’t complain too much about not being able to watch Scandal for TWO WHOLE DAYS. I owed him one; during the NFL 2014-2015 line-up special (yes, that’s actually a thing on TV) I saw the 49ers were playing some important team on Thanksgiving and thought I was doing a favor and told him.

You should have seen the look he gave me.

So anyway, Banana Bread. I love it, like I love Scandal and he loves football.

I love it even more when it’s healthier. Because then I can eat more of it.

Healthier Banana Bread Recipe |

My all-time favorite banana bread recipe is my Mom’s Banana Bread. It’s perfectly sweet and soft, full of banana flavor, and is coated in a crunchy sugary exterior.

It also has 1/2 cup of butter and a full cup of sugar, plus that exterior. It’s a special occasion bread because I can’t stop eating it when I make it. One slice? Not so bad. The whole thing? #dontweighme

So I set out to make my mom’s recipe a little healthier. That way I can eat it more often. How is this healthier banana bread? Well:

  • There is no butter in this bread. To compensate, I added some unsweetened applesauce and an extra banana. I added one tablespoon of vegetable oil for some fat. (I haven’t done it, but I’m sure coconut oil or olive oil could be substituted.)
  • I cut the sugar down to 3/4 cup. That’s still a lot of sugar, but it’s better than a full cup!
  • I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you can substitute non-fat. (Unsweetened vanilla almond milk has less calories than nonfat milk.)
  • I used a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour (equal parts of each).

I also added chocolate chips, but really that was to make it prettier. And, er, because I love chocolate. But they’re optional if you don’t want the added calories.

This bread bakes up beautifully. It’s a deep golden in color with a slight crack down the middle. You can sort of see from the pictures that mine still has a small river of gooey-underdone bread along the crack. That’s how I like my bread. If you want it more done, you can cook it longer (as mentioned in the recipe).

Healthier Banana Bread is the perfect recipe to make when you want something sweet and homey like banana bread…but you want it better for you. I love to slice this bread and freeze the individual slices in ziploc baggies. They’re the perfect grab-and-go breakfast or quick snack.

I may go eat some while I watch Scandal tonight, because the draft is over!

Healthier Banana Bread Recipe |

Don’t anybody ruin it for me. I’m only on the second season!

Healthier Banana Bread

Healthier Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 medium tired bananas (brown spotted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk or nonfat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together sugars, applesauce, and oil. Set aside.
  3. Add bananas, eggs, milk, salt, and baking soda to a blender jar and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour half the banana mixture into the sugar mixture with 1 cup of all purpose flour. Stir until just incorporated, then add the remaining banana mixture and 1 cup whole wheat flour. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in mini chocolate chips if using them. Pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs. The top will be a nice golden brown. I like mine to have an underdone river along the top, so I bake it closer to 45 minutes. If you want it to be done throughout, cook it towards the longer time.
  6. Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.
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Mom’s Banana Bread

Banana Bread (7 of 7)w

Avocado Banana Bread

avocado-banana-bread (5 of 5)w


Skinny Chocolate Muffins



Sweets from friends:
Scotcheroo Banana Bread by Something Swanky
Toffee Sprinkle Banana Bread by Confessions of a Baking Queen
6 Banana Banana Bread by Averie Cooks




  1. How can it be healthy if it looks so darn good? :)
    This is a great recipe! I’m going to try it later!
    Have you ever tried banana bread with oat flour? That’s another healthy fix that actually works out pretty well. Makes the crumb a little nuttier and denser.
    Mir recently posted..Nutella Magic BarsMy Profile

  2. I never used to like banana bread…had a bad childhood experience. Then I married my hubby (who is also like yours when it comes to anything sports. I only like figure skating..THE SPARKLES!) and he is obsessed with banana bread, and nooooww I am too! LOVE that this is healthier! Pinned!
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness recently posted..A Gluten Free Cupcake with Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter Frosting + HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO FFF + A GIVEAWAY + BIG NEWSMy Profile

  3. I am so impressed that you took your beloved recipe and healthiefied it w/out compromising taste. Bravo! Because I can eat a half loaf of banana bread the day I make it. It’s one of very few things where I totally have zero control. Loooooove banana bread way too much :) pinned

    And here’s to gooey cracks :)
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..Creamy Ranch and Cheese Bread Bowl DipMy Profile

  4. Yum! I’m always looking for banana bread variations, and this one looks great. Love all the chocolate chips on top! :)
    How to Philosophize with Cake recently posted..French fry pizzaMy Profile

  5. I love finding new recipes for healthy banana bread! Unfortunately, I’ve had some bad experiences with them tasting too blah, but this recipe looks like a winner! Can’t wait to try this!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted..Crispy Cinnamon Sweet Potato FriesMy Profile

  6. Now this is banana bread! It looks so fantastic Dorothy! I would never guess this was healthy!
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) recently posted..Orange Creme Yogurt Shake on PillsburyMy Profile

  7. I love healthier versions of breakfast treats (my favorite) because then I can eat them for breakfast or a snack without guilt! This loaf looks just perfect, especially with the chocolate chips. Those are totally not optional- chocolate has all sorts of health benefits, right?
    Kristine @ Kristine’s Kitchen recently posted..Ham and Cheddar Sliders with Honey MustardMy Profile

  8. I’m the same! Whenever I make banana bread it gets eaten all day long. I pretty much hoard it :) Love that this is a healthier version!! Pinning :)
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron recently posted..Enchilada Taco Casserole + Le Creuset Cookware GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Healthier banana bread? Sounds like heaven. Love hearing about the draft, that is too funny! My boys and I are sports fanatics too and had a blast watching it.

  10. I love that you took a favorite family recipe and healthified it! That’s always fun, and impressive when it works out!
    Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen recently posted..Chocolate Frosted DonutsMy Profile

  11. WHY didn’t I see this sooner? I literally have banana bread in the oven – and yours looks incredible (aka better ;) ) And this is even dairy free! Seriously, I need to learn the art of patience because I am now out of bananas. Oh well, pinning this because it is definitely happening! It looks just like your moms; never would’ve guessed it was healthy! (And I can totally hashtag relate #dontweightmeeither )
    Mary Frances recently posted..Funfetti Mug Cake with Raspberry Ice Cream ToppingMy Profile

  12. You’re a good wife!!! I don’t think I could do it-Michael has videogames instead of sports and I’ll take those any day lol.

    I am also SO HAPPY that you made healthier banana bread! It looks so amazing, I can’t believe all the healthy subs you used!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..50 Years of Stories: NutellaMy Profile

  13. Heather says:

    I was so excited to see this that I decided to make it right away! I am currenltt making it ans got to step 4 and am confused, there is no butter in this recipe, so am I just pouring the banana mixture in the flour, not into a butter mixture? Help!

  14. This looks delicious, Dorothy! The healthier changes are great! I love a recipe like this where there isn’t much guilt involved!
    Kathy recently posted..Mexican Grilled ChickenMy Profile

  15. You know, I’ve been following a diet {read healthy eating} routine wherein I need to keep eating something or the other every 2 hours and it’s not just to lose weight but to also stay healthy. I’m thinking eating a slice of this SCRUMMMMMMY banana bread every 2 hours! I’m sure I won’t be able to resist! <3 I mean, look at THAT!!!!! I.CAN'T.EVEN!!!!!!! That is sooooo good and so much healthier! And I wouldn't skip those chocolate chips EVER! <3
    Samina | The Cupcake Confession recently posted..Orange Butter Coconut Cinnamon SconesMy Profile

  16. I love banana bread! I’m so pinning this and it will be used a ton this summer haha. Thanks for sharing!
    Leslie recently posted..Countdown In StyleMy Profile

  17. I love banana bread! Even though it’s healthier, this version still looks delicious! Yay for Scandal and the draft being over! My husband was pretty glued to it too :)
    Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar recently posted..Caramel Pretzel Nutella BrowniesMy Profile

  18. Years ago I conducted a blind taste test with banana bread. I prepared one traditional loaf and one healthy loaf. In the blind taste test, the healthier loaf won 4 out of 5! This looks divine (i have a thing for banana treats)
    Risa recently posted..The Best No-Churn Ice Cream Ever!My Profile

  19. Love it! Looks like a delicious banana bread recipe. Your photos are so sweet too!
    Jessica @ Sweet Menu recently posted..Red Velvet Whoopie PiesMy Profile

  20. I’ve been obsessing over banana bread lately .. seems so random! I’m definitely trying this recipe out. I’d like to use only whole wheat flour … I hope it works.

  21. Can your husband and I watch sports together sometime?? My dad does the same thing where he says whatever the announcers do 15 seconds earlier, and I’m always tempted to just put the TV on mute and listen to my dad instead. Sounds like it’d be the same awesome experience with Mel! (Although I am sorry you had to miss Scandal; I know how addictive TV shows are!) Hmm, maybe we could go to a Rivercats game sometime… Do you think Jordan could be convinced if I promised to buy her a churro and show her how to “color” a scorecard? :) And you know me — this banana bread is SO right up my alley!! I love all of your healthy swaps, especially the chocolate chips (they’re a vegetable, right?) and that you still left in a little oil. As much as I adore low-fat baked goodies, fat-free ones tend to have a strange texture. I bet between the two of us, this loaf would disappear in less than 24 hours!
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking recently posted..Chocolate & Peanut Butter Breakfast CheesecakesMy Profile

  22. Yah, I can’t control myself with banana bread either. My moms is made with a crunchy sugar topping too- more sugar the better LOL then we toast it and spread a big ol slab of buttah on it. Wow maybe I should stick with healthier banana bread too!!! Love that you used both flours and applesauce! And thank you for linking my unhealthy banana bread haha!
    Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen recently posted..Caramel Coffee Chocolate CupcakesMy Profile

  23. Laurie F. says:

    Just in time for summer, and all the swim parties! Yea! I, too, got soooo tired of hearing all the yakking the commentators did during the interminable wait between picks ( and I kept hearing, ” who the hell is Mel Keiper? “, evidently a classic moment in draft history). I even went to see the movie about the draft. (It actually was interesting).

    • It was so funny watching Mel know he couldn’t watch it live b/c of Jordan’s theatre shows…but sensing he’d really rather be at home…or watching on his phone.

  24. Such gorgeous photos!!! Loving this recipe ;)
    Ashton recently posted..Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

  25. I will take healthy banana bread anytime because I love banana bread will eat a whole loaf in a day. This looks amazing!
    Tieghan recently posted..Cajun Shrimp ‘n’ Chips Po Boy Salad with Avocado Tarter Sauce.My Profile

  26. I guess I lucked out in that the only sport my boyfriend watches is snowboarding :) but he does love banana bread and we are kinda on a health kick right now so perhaps I need to try this bread soon!
    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting recently posted..Circus Animal Cookie Dough Truffle BarsMy Profile

  27. Lately I have been playing with sugar amounts. Slowly cutting back until you can tell. It is crazy how much you can leave out and still make something delicious. We love banana bread. Biggest problem is making sure we get enough bananas to actually have extra for the bread.
    Emily @ Life on Food recently posted..What I am reading lately…My Profile

  28. I’m loving everything about this healthy banana bread !! I can’t seem to get enough banana bread in my life :D Pinned!!
    Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen recently posted..Healthy Spring Vegetarian White ChiliMy Profile

  29. I love banana bread, and this healthier version still looks moist and delicious. It’s one beautiful loaf! :)
    marcie recently posted..Zucchini and Roasted Corn Fritters with Cilantro Jalapeño Lime Greek YogurtMy Profile

  30. I love banana bread and your healthy version looks so delicious
    Chichi recently posted..No Bake Blueberry CheesecakeMy Profile

  31. I totally read while any sports activity is on at my house. The joy of sports for me comes in making the yummy food before hand… ! Right now I’m addicted to Game of Thrones… so that was what I was reading during the draft :)
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Tomato Basil SpaghettiMy Profile

  32. We had that on too but in intervals not constantly :)
    This bread looks delicious!
    I am thinking cinnamon chips would be good to use too.

  33. I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only wife with a football-obsessed husband. Our basement is decorated from ceiling to floor in Raven’s colors. We even have a purple Christmas tree. I feel your pain. I love that this bread is guilt-free; it looks amazing. Pinned!
    Jennie @themessybakerblog recently posted..Summer Berry SmoothieMy Profile

  34. Kristyn says:

    This look so stinkin’ good, Dorothy!!

  35. Crystal says:

    I love banana bread, but it is sooooo unhealthy. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Looks amazing. Thanks so much :)

  36. Just made this banana bread and it tastes good :) Its a bit crunchy on the sides and perfect soft inside, baked it at 45min and luckily it turned out great for us. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  37. Thanks for the delish recipe! Been looking for a healthier version. This was soooo good.


  1. […] gorgeous Banana Bread has sugar, but it’s significantly healthier than it’s full-on counterpart. Crazy for […]

  2. […] 8.  Banana bread (with chocolate chips).  I purposely don’t eat my bananas just so that they get really ripe so that I can make banana bread.  Made this  Healthier Banana Bread. […]

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