Epic One-Bowl Healthy-ish Banana Bread

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I did not set out to develop another banana bread recipe for the world. There are so many out there! I set out to make the #1 Googled banana bread recipe on the internet – with over 14,000 5-star reviews – healthier. For myself, and for my family to enjoy one weekend when we had a ton of brown bananas on the counter.

It was delicious, it was near perfect, but it wasn’t there yet. So I kept tweaking and testing (Mattis is a full banana bread evangelist now) until I got here.

This is the perfect banana bread. Banana bread should not require more than one bowl. Banana bread should not leave you feeling like absolute crap, with a horrible sugar crash. Or, I mean, it can, but it’s a lot more convenient when it doesn’t.

This recipe has zero refined sugar, it’s sweetened by the bananas and maple syrup. It has no butter or vegetable oil – it uses coconut oil as its fat. It is freaking fantastic, and if you can handle making one more banana bread recipe right now, make it this one!

PS – read the notes at the end of the recipe before you start making swaps! I don’t want to see any banana bread fails! You can’t use 100% almond flour here! But you can do a lot of other things, so check out the notes!

One-Bowl Healthy-ish Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the loaf pan
  • 5 medium extremely overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or, 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup spelt)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 medium banana, halved vertically
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or chocolate chips, sprinkle of flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk maple syrup and coconut oil until combined. Add bananas and mash until the biggest chunk is about the size of a marble. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Place the flour on top – don’t stir it in yet! Add the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt on top of the flour and gently stir to sift all of the dry goods together. 
  • Stir the wet and dry ingredients together. Stop stirring as soon as everything is combined, you don’t want to over-mix!
  • Grease a 9×5” loaf pan with coconut oil. Pour batter into loaf pan and press the two banana halves gently into the top of the batter. Sprinkle cacao nibs over the top. If you’re into salty-sweet things, sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt over top.
  • Place the loaf pan on top of a baking sheet just in case it overflows.  
  • Bake for 70 to 80 minutes, until a cake tester (I just use a paring knife) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 
  • Let the banana bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing the loaf pan
  • 5 medium extremely overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or, 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup spelt)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 medium banana, halved vertically
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or chocolate chips, sprinkle of flaky sea salt

Notes

  • This is a DENSE banana bread. Mine take almost the entire 80 minutes to bake!
  • You can definitely use all purpose flour instead of whole wheat! This has been tested and is all good.
  • Swap in up to 1/2 cup of almond flour. Any more than that and the bread will fall apart.
  • I don’t recommend swapping in any more than 1/4 cup coconut flour for this recipe. It becomes grainy and dry.
  • Do you love nutmeg and allspice in your banana bread? Add in 1/4 teaspoon of each. I kept this one simple with just cinnamon.
  • You can use vegetable oil or melted, cooled butter in place of the coconut oil.
  • Try removing 1 tablespoon of flour and swapping in 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut!
  • Feel free to add up to 1/4 cup chopped nuts.
  • A friend used 1/2 cup of agave syrup in place of the maple syrup and said it was plenty sweet! You could also use 3/4 cup brown sugar.
Author: Caroline Chambers

Join the Conversation

  1. I made this today…and it IS AMAZING!! I only had 4 bananas, but I had some whole frozen ones, so I used 1 of the frozen ones -thawed I also only used 1/2 cup of maple syrup because that is all I had. It still turned out perfect!
    Thank you for this great recipe!

    1. caroline chambers says:

      SO GLAD to hear it!!! Thanks for letting us know i was sweet enough with 1/2 cup – some people like to reduce sugar where they can!

  2. Love this recipe!! Currently making for the third time, and it was only posted two weeks ago!

    1. caroline chambers says:

      I CAN’T STOP EITHER! Glad to hear I’m not the only one!!!!

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