This healthy banana nut bread recipe contains no added sugar, using natural date paste instead, and combines banana and walnut for a delicious, yet healthy, treat!
While I’m already somewhat banana bread obsessed and have recipes for classic banana bread and gluten-free banana bread, now it is turn for a no sugar banana bread. This sugar-free banana bread recipe uses date paste instead of sugar, for a healthier naturally sweetened bake.
I mean if we’re going to spend all our time baking banana bread, we should probably try to make some healthy sugar swaps occasionally. Otherwise, I’ll be made out of sugar in a few months.
I should clarify, I’m definitely not anti-sugar – it has a place within my baking and my heart; however, I like to minimize my consumption of it, when possible.
Along with the sugar swap, this banana nut bread also includes the addition of rich walnuts to create a more decadent and filling snack/dessert, too. There are also a variety of ways that you can change this recipe to your dietary needs and tastes (mentioned below).
As with every banana recipe, I have to stress the point of using the best bananas. They need to be over-ripened, brown spotty bananas. The more brown spots on the banana skin, the sweeter the fruit, which means flavorsome banana bread (which is even more important with this no sugar banana bread).
Recipe Tips & Variations
- As this is my healthy sugar-free banana bread version, I omitted all the ‘extras’ that can be included within banana bread. However, if you do want something a little more sinful, then feel free to add some chocolate chips (or cacao nibs for a sugar-free version)
- You can also add in some additional nuts, dried fruit or even banana slices.
- If you have special dietary restrictions, then this cake can likely be adapted. For example, if you’re vegan then feel free to try this recipe using flax eggs. I haven’t tried it (yet) myself – so I’ll update this space when I do – however, you can mix 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal with 5 tablespoon water and leave to thicken for about 5 minutes.
- You could also omit even the ‘flax egg’ and simply add an extra banana for the moisture. This will rise slightly less – but tastes superb.
- This recipe contains various healthy ‘ingredient swaps’. For example, using whole wheat flour. Whole wheat has more of a nutty flavor and makes the banana bread denser. If you want it to be a bit lighter, then you could use half whole wheat and half white.
- You can also swap out the flour for other favorites including spelt flour.
- The addition of coconut oil helps to keep this banana bread moister and is my personal favorite. However, you could also use olive oil – extra virgin olive oil has several health benefits and adds flavor to the cake.
- You can also make this batter into banana muffins. However, obviously, the bake time will vary. Check on them after 20 minutes and continue to bake in increments of 5 minutes, until done. Use a toothpick inserted into the muffins to check for any wet batter and make sure that they are cooked through.
The Healthy Banana Bread Recipe How-To
- Ripe bananas
- Whole wheat flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, mixed spice, walnuts
- Date paste, eggs, vanilla extract, coconut oil
Start by mashing the bananas in a large bowl. You should be able to do this with a fork, as overripe bananas will be lovely and soft.
When you obtain a purée-like substance, add the eggs, homemade date paste and vanilla extract.
Mix well and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mixed spice.
Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Then mix well, until thoroughly combined.
Next, crush or roughly chop some of the walnuts and add them to the batter. Keep some of the nuts aside to top the banana bread.
Incorporate them well in the mixture but don’t over-mix as that will affect the texture of the banana bread.
Get your loaf pan ready by either lining it with a parchment paper liner or greasing it well.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin.
Shred/grate the rest of the walnuts, or chop them very finely, and sprinkle on top of the banana bread.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC/350ºF for 1 hour.
Leave the banana bread to cool down on a rack before cutting it.
How To Store
Store this banana nut bread in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. It will also keep well within the refrigerator for a week.
Alternatively, for longer-term storage, you can freeze this banana bread for up to three months. Slicing it pre-freeze can affect the moisture levels of the bread. Although, saying that, I’ve never been disappointed after thawing out a slice or two and it’s handy to have individual portions ready to thaw when needed.
How To Serve
There are several ways I love to enjoy my slices of banana bread. i.e.
- Warmed up and with a slather of butter (and a cup of tea!)
- Spread with some vegan Nutella and berries
- Slathered in another nut butter – they’re creamy and rich and delicious when combined with the banana bread.
Other Healthier Dessert & Snack Recipes You Might Be Interested In
Here are just a few further suggestions of recipes on my blog that you may like if you’re looking for healthy and ‘healthier versions of’ snacks/desserts.
- Healthier Homemade snickers Bars (Vegan)
- Raw Vegan Berry Cheesecake Slices
- Vegan Choc Chip & Banana Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
- Healthy Cacao & Almond Protein Balls
If you give this Healthy banana walnut bread recipe a try, then let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you love this recipe and want to share your recreations with me on Instagram @AlphaFoodie.
Healthy Banana Bread (Naturally Sweetened)
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour 225 grams
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 tablespoon heaped date paste or 4 dates mashed with 1/3 cup hot water
- 2 eggs
- 2 ripe bananas 2 large or 3 small ones
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Mash the bananas in a large bowl. You should be able to do this with a fork, as overripe bananas will be lovely and soft.
- When you obtain a purée-like substance, add the eggs, coconut oil, homemade date paste and vanilla extract.Mix well and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients: the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mixed spice.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Then mix well, until thoroughly combined.
- Crush or roughly chop some of the walnuts and add them to the batter. Keep some of the walnuts aside to top the banana bread.
- Incorporate the walnuts well in the mixture but don't over-mix as that will affect the texture of the banana nut bread.
- Get your loaf pan ready by either lining it with a parchment paper liner or greasing it well.
- Pour the batter into the loaf tin.
- Shred/grate the rest of the walnuts, or chop them very finely, and sprinkle on top of the banana bread.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC/350ºF for 1 hour.
- Leave the banana bread to cool down on a rack before cutting it.
Hi, what would be the best way to make this gluten free?
I actually have a gluten free banana recipe available on my blog – it uses almond flour. If you want to check it out, here’s the link: https://www.alphafoodie.com/simple-gluten-free-banana-bread-recipe/
Just keep in mind that almond flour doesn’t rise (fluff-up) as much as regular flour.
I hope you give it a try 🙂
Hi! When do I put the coconut oil? It isn’t mentioned in the method
Oops sorry! In the wet ingredients with the banana and the eggs, I will edit it right now, thank you :). I Hope you’ll like it.