Simple Healthy Banana Bread is low calorie & delicious! This clean eating banana bread is easy to make – the best healthy dessert. No refined sugar necessary for this super healthy banana bread – it’s delicious all on its own!
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Why you will love this Low Calorie Banana Bread with Applesauce
This Healthy Banana Bread is seriously THE BEST. I know that is a very bold statement, but it’s true.
It’s naturally sweetened with only bananas, honey, and applesauce (no refined sugar!), packed with whole grains, and perfectly moist!
Easy to make with basic pantry staples, this Healthy Banana Bread will definitely be a favorite in your house!
Now.. you might be thinking.. healthy banana bread? How could this be?! But I promise you would NEVER even know that this banana bread is made with good-for-you ingredients. Just in case you’re wondering…
Is Banana Bread Healthy?
Normally it’s not. However, this banana bread is still a treat and much healthier than regular banana bread!
- Whole wheat flour– I used whole wheat flour in this banana bread recipe rather than bleached white flour. Whole wheat flour is a great source of whole grains and much better for you than regular white flour! This is the whole wheat flour I like
- Low in sugar – This healthy banana bread recipe is sweetened only by ripe bananas, a touch of honey, and applesauce. (and some chocolate chips for good measure) Many banana bread recipes are loaded with sugar, but this has only 19g of all natural sugar per slice.
- Heart healthy fats – Instead of using butter or canola oil, this healthy banana bread recipe uses coconut oil to keep it moist, and you can also add some walnuts for healthy fats!
You might be wondering.. why is banana bread bad so for you? Typical banana bread is loaded with sugar, high in fat, and won’t really do much to keep you full. We believe in all things in moderation, but this banana bread is so much better for you!
Healthy Banana Bread Recipe Ingredients
To make this healthy banana bread you’ll need the following:
- coconut oil
- whole wheat flour
- cinnamon, ground ginger
- chocolate chips & walnuts (optional)
- baking powder, baking soda
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded substitutions box.
How to make Healthy Banana Bread
Making this low sugar banana bread is SO easy.
- In a bowl, mash bananas. Stir in honey, applesauce, egg white, and oil to banana mixture.
- Add in whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices
- Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into greased 8×4 loaf pan. Bake for 40 -45 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out completely clean when inserted in the center of the bread
There are many substitutions for this healthy banana bread recipe listed below!
To me, banana bread is not only delicious but brings back such great memories- banana cake is my Gram’s specialty!
Banana Bread Recipe Healthy Substitutions
This bread is pretty versatile. Here are a few ways you can customize it!
Bananas: If you’re short on bananas you can substitute with a little bit of applesauce or pumpkin puree.
Honey : You can substitute honey with maple syrup.
Applesauce: I have not tried making this banana bread recipe without applesauce so I’m not sure how it would work. You might be able to substitute yogurt or pumpkin but without testing it I can’t be sure. If you want a pumpkin bread recipe, try this one!
Eggs/To make vegan: Replace 1 egg white with 1 flax egg. Sub honey with maple syrup.
Coconut Oil: You can replace coconut oil with extra virgin olive oil or melted butter. Canola oil will also work but we don’t recommend cooking with canola oil.
Flour: You can replace whole wheat flour with white flour but your bread might be a little more dense. I would not recommend almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour– they will not work. Coconut and almond flour can never be replaced 1:1 with regular flour.
To make gluten free: I haven’t tried making this bread gluten free but others have used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour and had success. If you try it, let me know!
Spices: You can omit the ginger and nutmeg if you don’t have any. Add a little bit more cinnamon to compensate!
Healthy Banana Bread Muffins: Pour the batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the muffin. You can also try our Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins or Healthy Banana Protein Muffins
Mini Loaves – I haven’t tried making this healthy banana bread recipe into mini loaves, but I think it would work! Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf pan.
Nuts: You can use chopped pecans instead of walnuts.
Lower Sugar: Skip the chocolate chips if you want a lower sugar banana bread. They’re optional.
To make nut free: The walnuts are optional in this healthy banana bread recipe. Simply omit walnuts.
Whether you enjoy this healthy banana bread for a breakfast treat or with a cup of coffee as an afternoon snack – I think you’ll find that it’s tasty and comforting.
Is banana bread a healthy snack? In moderation, yes! We wouldn’t eat this bread every day – but it’s a fun healthy snack from time to time!
How to store Banana Bread with Applesauce
Storing Banana Bread: You can store this bread covered on your counter for a few days, but I recommend keeping it in the refrigerator for maximum freshness! It will last up to a week in the refrigerator – but will lose its freshness after about 3 days on the counter.
How to freeze Banana Bread: You can slice this bread and individually wrap it or freeze banana bread whole. To defrost a whole loaf – take it out the night before you’d like to enjoy it and set it in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to serve – pop in the microwave. If you’re defrosting a single slice, you can put it directly in the microwave or toaster oven until it is warm.
Low Calorie Banana Bread vs Regular Banana Bread
This homemade banana bread has 230 calories per slice. It has 35g of carbs, 10g of fat, and 3g of protein.
Most banana bread recipes have 400 calories per slice, 60g of carbs, and closer to 12-15g of fat.
My banana bread is sticking to the pan..help!
I typically grease my loaf pan really well with coconut oil. You can also line a pan with parchment paper. Allow the bread to cool completely for about one hour before trying to take it out of the pan.
You can also run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to help loosen the bread before taking it out.
Low Sugar Banana Bread Info
Is banana bread healthy or unhealthy?
Most banana bread recipes aren’t very healthy because they’re loaded with sugar, fat, and carbs. This healthy banana bread is great if you’re looking for a healthy treat!
Is banana bread bad for weight loss?
Any bread is going to be high in carbs and sugar. This combo doesn’t often keep you full and can make you crave more sweets, so if you’re looking to lose weight – banana bread every day probably isn’t the best thing for you. However – we believe in all things in moderation!
Is banana bread healthier than normal bread?
Not really. Banana bread has more calories, sugar, and fat than a regular slice of bread.
What does applesauce do in baking?
Applesauce helps add moisture to baked goods. It also adds a subtle sweetness and yummy dense texture to baked goods.
Can you substitute applesauce for bananas in baking?
In small amounts, you usually can substitute applesauce for bananas in baking. Not all recipes can use applesauce and ripe bananas interchangeably – every recipe is different.
Can I substitute applesauce for shortening in banana bread?
I don’t think you can substitute applesauce for shortening in banana bread. I have never tried it, but shortening is much higher in fat. Sour cream or yogurt might be a better option.
Healthy Banana Bread Recipe FAQs
For best results, your bananas should be brown and spotty like in the photos. As bananas ripen they get sweeter and softer, making them perfect for banana bread!
However, as long as your bananas aren’t green, you can make this banana bread recipe. Yellow bananas will work just fine. I recommend microwaving them for about 20-30 seconds so they are easier to mash!
We wouldn’t recommend trying to make banana bread less moist, but adding more flour should result in a dryer bread.
There isn’t really a difference between banana bread and banana cake. Typically banana bread is baked in a loaf pan while banana cake is baked in a 9×13 cake pan.
You shouldn’t eat banana bread right out of the oven. If you take the bread out of the pan right away it can sink or make the bread fall apart. Wait 10-15 minutes until the bread has cooled a bit before eating.
It’s best to make this banana bread with whole wheat flour as the recipe recommends but you can also use regular white flour. Different flours require different ingredients to make a loaf of bread so be careful when making substitutions.
More Healthy Bread Recipes:
We love baking healthier breads. Here are some of our favorites!
Healthy Banana Bread
- 1.5 cups ripe bananas mashed
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted + cooled to room temp
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips optional
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a greased 8×4 loaf pan.
- In a bowl, mash bananas with a fork until slightly clumpy. You can microwave them for 20 seconds prior to mashing to make it easier.
- Stir in honey, applesauce, egg white, and oil to banana mixture.
- Add in whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices
- Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into greased 8×4 loaf pan. Optional: sprinkle with a handful of chips and walnuts on top. Bake for 40 -45 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out completely clean when inserted in the center of the bread.
- Allow the bread to cool for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
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