healthy banana bread with dates and walnuts
Hold on to your whisks my friends, I’m about to rock your kitchen with this Healthy Banana Bread recipe made with whole-grain flour and no refined sugar. It is sweetened with dates and maple syrup.
I originally shared this healthy banana bread with dates and walnuts here on March 16th, 2016. I have updated some of the text and photography.
I love how easy quick bread recipes are. I mean the name says it all… quick bread! Right?? But ironically, as was the case with this zucchini bread, perfecting the recipe for this healthy banana bread recipe didn’t come easy. In fact this is the e7 version of the recipe. Yeah, it has been through its paces. And it has come out the other side moister than I could have hoped for in a whole-grain and refined sugar-free recipe.
I’m convinced that it’s in part because I used chopped Medjool dates to sweeten it and add extra moisture. Plus I used some of our own homemade maple syrup. Maple is hygroscopic (which means it attracts and holds moisture), so it makes it even moister than white refined sugar would have.
You all will love it and it is so simple to put together! It’s great all on its own for a snack or serve it on a brunch buffet with cultured butter or Whipped Maple Cream Cheese.
How to Make Healthy Banana Bread
This is such a simple banana bread recipe, and it’s packed with good for you ingredients. Here’s how I make this healthy banana bread:
- The Dry Mix — As with most baking recipes, you first need to mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in separate bowls. I used mostly white whole wheat flour. It’s fine to use plain whole-wheat flour. I prefer the white variety because it is milder in flavor. I also have some all-purpose flour in there to help give the bread a little bit more soft structure, and keep it from becoming too dense.
- The Wet Mix- Mashed bananas act as one of the wet ingredients. You can mash them with a mashed potato masher or simply a fork. Then you’ll want to measure out what you have. You need a cup of banana. I got a cup from two large bananas. This recipe also has avocado oil, or organic canola oil. You can also use sunflower oil or walnut oil if you have that on hand. Also in the wet mix is the maple syrup (only 1/4 cup needed) and two eggs (they help the bread rise and hold together.)
- Combine the ingredients — Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine. I use a silicone spatula to do this. It may seem like the batter is slightly moister than some quick bread batters, but remember this one has whole-wheat flour in it. The bran in whole-wheat flour will absorb some of that moisture, so it would dry out too much if you didn’t have a slightly loose batter.
- Add the Walnuts and Dates– Next, fold in the chopped walnuts and pitted and chopped dates, saving some nuts to sprinkle on top of the banana bread before it goes into the oven.
- Bake the bread — You’ll know when the healthy banana bread is finished baking when it’s a deep golden brown on top and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only moist crumbs on it.
How to Store Healthy Banana Bread
You can keep this banana date bread on your countertop in a sealed bag or wrapped with foil for a few days, or you can freeze it for later. To freeze the entire loaf of banana bread, wrap it two or three times in plastic wrap, making sure no parts of the bread are left uncovered. Then wrap it a final time in aluminum foil and freeze.
When you’re ready to eat the loaf of banana bread, set it out on your counter to thaw. To freeze slices of banana bread, lay them out on a baking sheet and freeze for 45 minutes to an hour. This will allow the tender slices to firm up enough so that they won’t stick together when they’re frozen. Then transfer them to a freezer-safe ziplock bag.
More Healthy Bread Recipes:
This one is great around the holidays and uses fresh cranberries: Cranberry Almond Quick Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread, one of my favorite baking projects every summer.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, one of my most popular breads!
Healthy Blueberry Lemon Bread, you have to try this one!
Healthy Zucchini Oat Bread, lower in sugar- but still kid approved!
Gluten Free Banana Bread, here’s a classic banana bread but without gluten!
Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. It helps a lot!
This whole-grain healthy banana bread is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and dates. Bonus: it’s refined sugar-free!
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting pan
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- 1 cup chopped pitted soft dates
- ½ cup organic canola oil or avocado oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup, dark or amber
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 ½-inch Pyrex or ceramic loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Tap out excess flour and set aside.
- Whisk white whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Stir eggs, bananas, dates, oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add ½ cup walnuts and stir to combine. Spread batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup walnuts over the top.
- Bake bread until domed and deeply browned and a wooden skewer comes out with moist crumbs attached, 48 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Turn out of pan and let cool on wire rack until slightly warm or room temp before slicing and serving. Store wrapped at room temperature.
Once it is cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep it moist.
This bread will be good stored at room temperature up to 3 days.
The bread can be frozen whole up to 3 months. Slices can be frozen for one month.
- Serving Size: 1/10th loaf
- Calories: 301
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 180 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 31 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 5 g