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Banana bread is one of the best baked goods, because you can get away with eating it at any time of day. This banana bread will fulfill all your cravings without taking up all your calories – it has a few healthier swaps – and you won’t even notice the difference.

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stacked banana bread on a drying rack with chocolate chips baked in

What Makes This Banana Bread Healthy?

Out of all the baked goods you could indulge in, banana bread is far from the most unhealthy. Actually, banana bread delivers some impressive key vitamins and minerals such as potassium and B vitamins. The primary component of banana bread that makes it less healthy is our tendency to bake it with high sugar and fat content. By cutting those elements down, you can make significantly healthier banana bread.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • As opposed to our original banana bread recipe, this one is butter-free. Instead, you’ll be using unsweetened applesauce, a touch of oil, and an extra banana. 
  • This recipe includes only half of a cup of sugar — which, yes, is still sugar. But it is less than most recipes!
  • Almond milk takes the place of cow milk, but if you just gotta get that dairy in then feel free to use nonfat milk instead. 
  • The addition of whole wheat flour brings extra fiber to this bread, making it the perfect sweet treat to accompany your morning coffee!
ingredients in healthier banana bread

Ingredients Needed:

  • Granulated sugar – I reduced it to 3/4 cup granulated sugar from my original recipe.
  • Applesauce – Unsweetened so you don’t add any extra sugar. The applesauce takes the place of some of vegetable oil.
  • Vegetable oil – You still need a bit, but we’ve cut down the amount.
  • Bananas – Make sure they’re really ripe and brown spotted. I used thawed frozen bananas.
  • Eggs – Always buy large eggs.
  • Almond milk or nonfat milk – I always use unsweetened vanilla Almond Milk but you can use any kind of milk in this recipe.
  • Mini chocolate chips – Mini chips give you more bang for your calorie buck, so to speak.
  • Baking soda – Helps the banana rise along with the vinegar.
  • Vinegar – 1 teaspoon is all you need to help activate the baking soda.
  • Flour – I use a combination of All-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.
  • Salt – Needed since we use vegetable oil – you need that salt for flavor.

How to Make Banana Bread Healthier

  • Mash your bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar, applesauce, eggs, and oil to the bananas.
  • Stir in milk, baking soda, salt, and vinegar.
  • Mix in flours.
  • If using chocolate chips, you can add them to the mixture now.
  • Pour the mix into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes in an oven that’s been pre-heated to 350°F. The top should become golden brown as it bakes.

How to know when Banana Bread is Done Baking

When done, a toothpick can be used to test the doneness of the banana bread. Insert the toothpick into the the center of the bread; if it comes out with just a few crumbs, it’s ready! 

stacked banana bread on a drying rack with chocolate chips baked in

Expert Tips

Use overripe bananas for the best banana bread. When overripe, bananas are easier to work into your batter because they are much softer. Beyond being more convenient, they are also sweeter than ripe or underripe bananas, which affects the flavor of your bread significantly.

You can freeze overripe bananas right in their peels. Then let them thaw, cut off the tops and squeeze out the center to make banana bread whenever you want!

Looking for more ways to use those black bananas? Check out our recipes for banana zucchini bread, chocolate banana bread, and banana cake!


Can I use less sugar in banana bread?

Yes! You can use less sugar altogether or even use honey to sweeten your banana bread. If using honey, you will want to use a ¾ ratio to sugar and reduce the amount of milk used in your recipe by a few tablespoons to account for the liquid.

What can I substitute for oil in banana bread?

Applesauce works as a healthier alternative to oil. You can also use butter, which, yes, has more fat but is also richer in vitamins than oil. Dealer’s choice!

How should I store banana bread?

After the bread has completely cooled, you can wrap the bread in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container at room temperature. The bread will last for around four days. If you need it to last longer, feel free to freeze it.

Can I freeze banana bread?

Yes, banana bread is ideal for freezing. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container and simply dethaw for 3-4 hours when desired. Banana bread will stay fresh in the freezer for up to one month.

Have You Made This Recipe

Leave a rating by clicking the stars below!

stacked banana bread on a drying rack with chocolate chips baked in

Healthier Banana Bread

4.60 from 10 votes
Everything you love about my banana bread recipe with just a few reductions and ingredient swaps – no strange ingredients just a banana bread with less fat and processed sugar.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • cup (79ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 medium tired bananas brown spotted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk or nonfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (124g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (124g) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (90g) mini chocolate chips optional
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  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5x3” loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, applesauce, and oil and stir until mixed.
  • Mix in eggs, salt, and baking soda. Add the vinegar to the milk and add it to the bowl. Stir until combined. Stir in both flours, then stir in chocolate chips.
  • 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.
  • Cool completely before removing loaf from pan, but you can cut slices from the pan after it’s cooled for about 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftover banana bread covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze banana bread whole or in slices for up to 2 months.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

Healthier Banana Bread everything you love about my banana bread recipe with just a few reductions and ingredient swaps – no strange ingredients just a banana bread with less fat and processed sugar.

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.

4.60 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Made the banana bread last  night.  Had “tired” bananas but no butter in the house for my usual recipe.

    LOVED the results of yours.  Mmmmmm.  Thanks for posting for us – we loved it.

  2. 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!