Eight. That is how many times I’ve baked banana bread this year. It seems banana bread has become our universal coping skill while we all struggle to survive the pandemic. Since we are spending more time than ever inside (and my exercise routine seems to have gone AWOL), I realized I needed to switch over to a healthy banana bread recipe. So we went a bit extreme and cut out added sugar, butter, and oils. We even tossed in a little extra protein. And it tasted…AMAZING! You can’t feel guilty eating this vegan, sugar free, healthy banana bread. We dare you to even try.
I eat banana bread morning, noon, and night (it’s starting to sound like I have a problem). It is the perfect between meal snack. This healthy banana bread is a delicious, easy breakfast when you are rushing out the door. It also doubles as dessert and is the perfect after-dinner sweet treat.Jump to Recipe
What Makes this Healthy Banana Bread Recipe Stand Out?
Sugar Free – Only Natural Sweeteners
This delicious tasty treat is truly sugar free. Only natural sweeteners are used for this banana bread. The sweet taste of this bread comes from the ripe bananas and applesauce. The key is to use extra ripe bananas. The riper the banana, the sweeter the taste. So make sure your bananas are nice and ripe (we have shortcut below). Fruit is the best sweetener. You feel like you are eating a snack, but you get the vitamins and antioxidants from fruit!
Warning – if you are looking for the sweetness of a frosted coffee cake, this recipe is not for you (but that does sound delicious too). However, if you are looking for a yummy, rich banana bread with a subtle sweetness, then take out your mixing bowls and measuring cups and get started!
Vegan – No eggs
This sugar free banana bread recipe is also vegan! No eggs needed for this banana bread. This recipe is perfect if you follow a strict vegan diet, eat more plant-based, or simply are out of eggs! Use flaxseed instead of eggs. Flaxseed is becoming more and more popular. Do a quick search about the health benefits of flaxseed and you will quickly see why (or check out Healthline’s “Top 10 Health Benefits of Flax Seed”). Find flaxseed in any health food store or the organic aisle of your favorite grocery store. I was recently pleasantly surprised when I found it in the baking aisle of Walmart.
Kick of Protein
Finally, this recipe has a kick of added protein. I add in ½ cup chickpea flour. This is a bit harder to find. It can be found in the health food aisle of your favorite grocery store. I like to add extra beans to my diet (check out our Bean-tiful and Satisfying Overnight Oatmeal). So hiding them in banana bread is a major win. However, this is optional. Use almond flour or regular all-purpose flour if you don’t like chickpea flour.
Trick to Ripen Bananas
Why does it seem that bananas have a 3 hour “ripeness window?” You wait and wait and wait for them to ripen. The next thing you know, you pick bananas up by the stems and they plummet to the kitchen floor (RIP the 5 bananas that splattered inches away from my puppy/sous-chef). Instead of this endless waiting game, this trick helps to speed things up a bit.
First, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then toss the unripe bananas in the oven for 8-15 minutes. Place them directly on the oven rack or a baking tray (keep in mind that they will ooze a bit). Once done, the bananas will be black, squishy, and oozing – this is perfect.
Use tongs or oven mitts to carefully remove the bananas from the oven. Cool for 5-10 minutes.
Finally, slice one end of the banana. Push out the banana-y goodness with a spoon. This can be a bit messy so be prepared to get sticky. Collect all of the juicy goodness! If you use this trick, cool the bananas in the refrigerator or freezer for 10-15 minutes before adding to your batter.
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread Bonanza – Guilt Free, All-Natural
Start by mixing together flaxseed, applesauce, water, and vanilla. Then let it sit for ~5 minutes. This will give the flaxseed time to absorb the water. After that 5 minute period, your applesauce/flaxseed bowl looks a bit “thicker.” Then add mashed bananas.
Meanwhile, mix together dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, chickpea flour). Add dry ingredients to the applesauce bowl. Stir until JUST combined (stop stirring as soon as the dry ingredients are mixed in. It’s better to see a patch of flour here or there than to over-stir). Add nuts or chocolate chips (if desired). Again, stir until just combined. Then bake in greased bread pan at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.
A Few Notes About Sugar Free, No Egg Banana Bread
- You have flexibility with this banana bread. I add 1/2 cup of chickpea flour. This gives it a kick of protein. Use almond flour or additional all-purpose baking flour if you don’t like chickpea flour (or are allergic to chickpea flour, like Lu is).
- HAND mix the flour combination into the banana bowl (sorry mixer, sit this one out). Hand mixing mixing gives you more control. Stop mixing when it is just combined. As a result of over-mixing, the bottom half becomes dense/gummy and appears undercooked no matter how long you leave it in the oven (just ask my 3rd attempt).
- Depending on how well you mash the bananas, you will likely see chunks in your batter and the cooked banana bread. I like the chunks! Just keep it in mind when you are mashing your bananas.