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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 sitting on parchment paper with knife next to it


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 collage

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!

1 Slice of Healthier Banana Bread Recipe sitting on a white plate

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

Healthier Banana Bread sitting on parchment paper with knife next to it

Healthier Banana Bread

3 from 2 votes
My Mom's Banana Bread made with more banana, less oil and sugar...and chocolate chips!


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Stir together sugars, applesauce, and oil. Set aside.
  • Add bananas, eggs, milk, salt, and baking soda to a blender jar and blend until smooth.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Author Dorothy Kern

Click here for easy ways to use overripe BANANAS

Mom’s Banana Bread

Avocado Banana Bread

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

Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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