Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe January 17, 2013
We go through this bread quickly!

Good morning! Our family eats a lot of banana bread, so I thought I would share with you a recipe that I have come up with over the years. I’ve reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe by half, added whole wheat flour and chia seeds* (they add a nice crunch!), as well as vanilla and cinnamon. If you have a favorite bread or muffin recipe, please share it with us in the comments section! There is nothing more satisfying to me than feeding my family a healthy, delicious, and quick breakfast – served with some fruit and a glass of milk, this banana bread makes for a pretty good start to the day.


1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2-4 Tbsp. chia seeds* (optional)

1/2 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1/4 c. oil

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

3 very ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease one loaf pan and one small loaf pan – I find that if I put the entire recipe in one large loaf pan, the inside takes too long to cook and the outside gets too dark. You could also make this into large or mini-muffins, or split it into 3 small loaf pans.

Whisk together first 7 ingredients in one bowl, and eggs, oil, and vanilla in another bowl. Add the banana to the wet ingredients and incorporate well. Make a well in the dry ingredients’ bowl and add the wet ingredients, stirring gently until combined. Pour into prepared baking pans and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!

*Chia seeds are a new ingredient to me. They have all sorts of great health benefits, don’t need to be ground before consumption, and have a very mild nutty flavor. I’ve also used them in overnight breakfast oatmeal-yogurt-fruit parfaits, and I’ve heard that they can be used in smoothies as well, although these need to be consumed immediately because the chia seeds will puff up in liquid. Just make sure that you are purchasing good-quality, certified, not made-in-China, 100% pure chia seeds.

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  • Juris Mater

    Katrina, sounds delicious! My family has been eating bananas well recently which is good and bad, since it means there haven’t been leftover bananas for baking, but I’ll be sure to try this next time! Chia seeds are an interesting ingredient. I’m going to check them out!

    This oven-bake gluten-free protein pancake recipe has changed my life. It’s simpler than most oven-baked recipes, and far more low maintenance than flipping pancakes. My kids like these with pure maple syrup; I add unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, and slivered almonds on top of mine instead of syrup. I’m eating a gluten-free, low sugar, super high protein diet these days for health reasons, and with these pancakes, by 7am, I’ve almost met the RDA for protein! They can be frozen and microwaved in a couple minutes, so breakfast is ready quickly. Cannot recommend them highly enough (ps–I add a little vanilla to the batter)! Without further ado, here they are:

  • JM, that looks great, thank you! Are you feeling better with this new super high protein diet? I’m assuming that it is for nursing purposes…

  • Juris Mater

    Thanks for asking, Kat : ) It’s a recommended “mood repair” nutrition program from a book called The Mood Cure, and it’s awesome. It’s true what you suggest, though, with almost always being pregnant or nursing, I basically eat like a body builder to maintain energy levels and physical stamina. Most days do feel like a sort of marathon, so it makes sense. Has anyone else found the same thing, nutritionally?

  • Kristin

    I’ve been reading this blog for almost 2 years now, and decided it was high time I commented on something! This recipe is my favorite–I make it almost everyday…enjoy! O, and it’s gluten-free as well 🙂

    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1/4 tsp. baking soda
    Dash of salt
    2 Tablespoons (T) brown sugar
    1 T white sugar (I like raw sugar for the extra flavor)
    Dash of vanilla
    1 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
    1 T mini chocolate chips
    1 T milk

    Blend all ingredients (except chips) in a food processor. Add more milk if needed. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape into bars or cookies and put on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 5 or 6 minutes and it puffs up beautifully 🙂
    Makes 4 medium sized cookies. Recipe can be doubled or tripled for more. I’ve also skipped the chocolate chips and added cinnamon and a handful of raisins, and it makes amazing oatmeal raisin cookies as well!