This moist and healthy banana bread recipe is made with creamy yogurt, crunchy walnuts, and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Like most moms of littles, I always have bananas on hand for smoothies, oatmeal, snacking, and more. As such, inevitably we usually end up with leftover ripe bananas just begging to be turned into loaves of bread, muffins, or bars.
Whenever I bake from scratch, I like to find ways to boost the overall nutrition of the baked good. As such, I’m going to share a few simple steps I take to create a healthier, lighter banana bread recipe that is still perfectly moist and delicious.
To start, I love using overly ripe bananas which are naturally super sweet. This eliminates the need for more added sugar than you really need. Another tip is to swap out traditional all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. You can purchase it in most large grocery stores or online.
Frequently asked questions:
What is whole wheat pastry flour?
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is 100% stone ground from the finest soft white wheat. Additionally, it has a lower protein content than regular whole wheat flour and it makes wonderfully tender wholegrain baked goods like pie crust, muffins, quick breads, pastries and cookies, yet it still retains the nutrients of the bran and germ.
What is the benefit of baking with yogurt?
Baking with yogurt adds a creaminess that helps keep baked goods moist. The tanginess creates a crave-worthy, old-fashioned flavor. Additionally, the acidity in yogurt helps activate baking soda, which can make baked goods fluffy and light. It can step in for sour cream, mayonnaise, or crème fraîche, creating the same tangy mouth-feel with less guilt.
Can I make this healthy banana bread without yogurt?
Absolutely – just swap out with canola oil or melted coconut oil.
How long will banana bread last in the freezer?
You can store banana bread wrapped in plastic wrap and keep air-tight in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To serve, I love topping it with a little creamy peanut butter but it’s honestly so delicious on its own you won’t need it!
Your family is waiting.
Healthy Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
- ½ cup flaxseed meal
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons room temperature butter (unsalted)
- ¾ cup brown sugar (packed)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
- ⅓ cup plain low fat yogurt
- ½ cup walnuts (chopped)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch bread pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer over medium-high speed until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce stand mixer speed to low and slowly add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla, mashed bananas, and yogurt. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides and increase speed to medium until ingredients are blended.
- With the mixer still running, slowly add the dry ingredients until they are all added. Scrape down the sides one last time ensuring that the wet and dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Remove bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan and bake for one hour or until toothpick comes out smooth. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
Want more delicious recipes? Head over to Pinterest!
Liz, love the picture of your Asher!! He’s sure grown a lot since then!???????? I love this healthier version of banana bread!! Could you tell me where I can get WW pastry flour in the GR, Grandville area? Meijer’s doesn’t have it! And how is the move into your new house going??
Hi! I’m making banana bread tomorrow and this’ll be the first time I’ll be making a whole wheat version of it. My problem tho, is that there is no available WW pastry flour here in my area. I read that doing a half-and-half is a good substitute (1 cup APF, 1 cup WWF), is that okay?
Yes that’s a perfect substitute!!! Let me know how it turns out!
How can I add this to my recipe box? Having a hard time being able to add recipes to my box. HELP!
Do you see the Save button? That’s all it should take! Does it not work?
Oh goodness, that photo of your boy is too funny! This looks delicious!
haha Thank you friend!!
That is the most adorable photo and the banana bread looks pretty great too!
hahaha Isn’t he a ham? Thank you Julie!
How adorable is your son?! It *is* hard to walk when you’re having a melt down, you’ve nailed that one. It’s been years since my kids were that stage, but your words brought it all right back.
How lovely to live within walking distance of your family!
Awww thank you!! It really is hard work to walk – haha. xo
Haha, your son! Too funny (and very cute in a very sad way). This bread looks terrific, and I love that it’s 100% whole wheat!
Yes!! The key is whole wheat pastry flour – best of both worlds!! Thank you. :)
That is too cute, Liz! Your little guy clearly has great taste in food :)
I know right?? Thank you Kelli!
This looks lovely. I’ve never used date sugar before!
I get so scared of whole wheat flours and baking – but I haven’t tried it with whole wheat PASTRY flour before. I’m totally giving this a go, because it looks perfectly divine!
My life completely changed when I discovered whole wheat PASTRY flour!! It is all I use when I bake (or make pancakes.) Another good one is white whole wheat flour. You don’t notice a difference from white flour but you still get the nutrients and fiber that are stripped from processed bleached white flour. You get that and I’ll get the cake flour – haha.
Omigosh, I hate to giggle at anyone who is mid-meltdown, but that photograph is just priceless – probably the most adorable meltdown I’ve ever seen! And I just love this quick bread recipe, Liz! It sounds positively delicious and just so SATISFYING!
hahaha – I know I felt badly too but it was just too funny not to laugh!!!! :)
Oh, no! I bet you don’t make that mistake again! I’m sure her banana bread is pretty amazing, but the lightened version is what I’m more likely to make as well!
When I walk by her house now I go really fast and distract him – hahah.
Love the photo of your son! What a great memory you captured!
I could go for a couple of slices of that delicious looking banana bread right now!
I could too! I need to remember to freeze a second loaf next time.
This is my favorite thing to have on hand when people drop in for a quick visit. I have a similar recipe. So good!
I need to start freezing it!! I want it now. :(