With this healthy banana bread recipe, you’re only a few simple ingredients away from the best banana bread ever! It’s made with whole wheat flour and naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. You can easily make this banana bread vegan or gluten free—check the recipe notes for details. Recipe yields 1 loaf.
1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality vegetable oil*
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 1/2 medium or 2 large bananas)
1/4 cup milk of choice or water
1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder; they aren’t the same!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
Totally optional: 1/2 cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Recipe adapted from my honey whole wheat banana bread, originally based on All Recipes. Storage suggestions: This bread is moist, so it will keep for just two or three days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for five to seven days, or in the freezer for up to three months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by letting them rest at room temperature or lightly toasting them. *Oil options: I love coconut oil here. I used unrefined coconut oil and can hardly taste it in the final product. Olive oil might lend an herbal note to the muffins, if you’re into that (I tested with California Olive Ranch’s “Everyday” variety and couldn’t even taste it). Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, so I recommend using cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if possible. Make muffins:Here’s my banana muffin recipe. Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey, replace the eggs with flax eggs and choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water. Make it dairy free: Choose non-dairy milk (I used almond milk) or water. Make it egg free: Replace the eggs with flax eggs. Make it gluten free: Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free blend works best here. Do NOT substitute coconut flour. Make it lower in fat: I would argue that this bread contains a healthy amount of fat, but you can replace the oil with applesauce if you’re following a low-fat diet.