Banana bread is the answer to my Sunday afternoons at home. Baking is one of my favourite therapeutic activities, especially when I want to distract myself from all things work-related. But a lot of baking recipes are loaded with butter and sugar, which is delicious (and fun) to make sometimes, but other times, I end up eating too much of what I make and feel a bit gross afterwards.
So I’ve been working on making healthy versions of baked goods. They don’t always work because sometimes you just need the butter or sugar for the form, or for the classic taste you expect. But this healthy version of banana bread works really well.Jump to Recipe
If you’re not a fan of banana, check out a similar recipe for a Healthy-ish Zucchini Breakfast Bread.-
Freeze it for a quick healthy breakfast
The best thing about this recipe is that you can freeze it. Freezing it actually makes the banana bread even more moist. Then when you need a quick healthy breakfast, you can easily defrost it in a toaster or on a pan. I like having this in my freezer especially for days when I’ve ran out of other breakfast items in the kitchen.
Plus, every now and then I get a call to make this recipe because 3 rotten bananas is too much to consume in a day…
Is it actually “healthy”? The nutrition facts…
Before I go into why it’s healthy-ish, I can assure you it’s genuinely delicious, despite being a healthier version. The banana bread is light and super moist. The main taste difference is that it’s not very sweet, which is my personal preference anyway.
Approx. 200 kCal and 9g sugar per slice
If you scroll down to the nutrition facts, you’ll see that it’s much healthier than ‘regular banana bread’ sold at coffee shops. One slice has less than 200kCal and approx. 9g sugar – that’s even lower than many healthy breakfast bars in the supermarkets.
And just for perspective, a similarly sized slice of banana bread at Starbucks has 381kcal with 24g of sugar.
Using olive oil, non-fat Greek yogurt and wholewheat flour
The only tradeoff is that this recipe uses a lot of different ingredients which I understand is a bit frustrating if you don’t already have these in your kitchen. The recipe was based on Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Best Ever Banana Bread, but I made a lot of modifications.
To make it healthier, I replaced 2/3 of the butter with a combination of olive oil and non-fat Greek yogurt. I couldn’t replace all of it, in order to preserve its good taste…
I’ve reduced the sugar content to only 1/3 of what the original recipe called for. As a result, each slice has only 9g of sugar, which partly comes naturally from the bananas. Of course, if you’re looking for a sweeter cake, this might not be the best recipe for you.
Finally, I also replaced almost half of the flour content with wholewheat flour, which increases the fibre content, and doesn’t impact the taste too much. However, if you replace all of the flour with wholewheat, I find that the flavour is compromised. It gets a little too bitter. So if you only want to use one type of flour, I would go for only all-purpose flour.
(Oh and adding some 50g of walnuts or pecans is a good idea too!)
Share your comments below
Would you try making this banana bread? Is it too complicated? Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.
Healthy-ish Low Sugar Banana Bread
- 45 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 40 g olive oil
- 50 g light or dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100 g fat-free Greek yogurt
- 3 super ripe medium bananas approx. 300g, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla essence optional
- 150 g all purpose flour
- 100 g wholewheat flour can replace with all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 170c (with fan).
- Whisk butter, oil and sugar together, with an electric mixer or by hand, until it looks light brown and creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, while mixing.
- Add mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla essence. Mix.
- Add all the other dry ingredients (you can mix it in a separate bowl beforehand, but I'm lazy and just mix it all in the same one). Mix until everything is incorporated.
- Pour mixture into a baking loaf tin. Place in the oven for 55-60 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Let it rest in the loaf tin for about 10-15 mins. Then take it out to cool completely.