by Olena

Healthy Banana Bread with Applesauce

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Olena Osipov
5 from 98 votes

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Delicious and moist Healthy Banana Bread made with applesauce, whole wheat flour, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. This lightened up quick bread is easy to make in one bowl, no mixer is required, and it’s perfect for healthy breakfast!

Our family loves quick breads for healthy snacks and on regular rotation are healthy apple bread, healthy pumpkin bread and healthy zucchini bread.

Healthy banana bread with applesauce sliced and stacked.

Healthy banana bread is a staple in our house and the first answer of to what to do with your ripe bananas! Mouthwatering flavorful healthy banana muffins are a close second.

And if you are looking for completely sugar free options, these almond flour banana muffins and healthy banana pancakes are delish, easy, and crazy popular among our readers.

All are perfect as healthy snacks!

Today is your chance to learn how to make the best ever banana loaf using our healthy banana bread recipe. So easy, my kids make it.

The perfect banana bread should be moist with a glossy, sticky top that is slightly cracked. When you take a bite it melts in your mouth.

In my world, this is the best banana bread plus another great way to put Instant Pot applesauce to good use.

Healthy banana bread with applesauce sliced on a cutting board with three bananas.

You might be asking yourself, but is banana bread healthy? It can be when you make this recipe with wholesome ingredients. It is unlike traditional banana bread recipes that call for loads of butter, refined brown sugar (or white) and flour.

It’s naturally sweetened with bananas, plus honey or maple syrup only! Even better it uses only 1/3 cup of natural sweetener compared to a cup or more in other recipes.

It’s a tried and true low calorie, low fat banana bread containing only 2 tbsp of oil and no butter in sight!

Just check out the 98+ five star reviews from readers or test for yourself!

Ingredients for Healthy Banana Bread

If you can find a more simple healthy banana bread recipe with applesauce and only 1/3 cup of maple syrup without 1 cup of vegetable oil, feel free to leave it in the comments.

  • Ripe bananas: Ripe is a must! They make bread sweet and moist. Ripe bananas are very yellow with brown spots. The uglier the bananas, the better. Even uglier than in my photo and video are perfect.

How to “ripen” bananas faster? Bake yellow bananas with skin on for 20 minutes at 300 degrees F oven. Or place a few ripened bananas or apples with unripened ones in a brown bag, close tightly and wait 1-2 days.

  • Applesauce: Unsweetened is my preference, but sweetened works if that is what you have on hand. Substitute with extra ripe large banana, Greek yogurt with 2% fat content and higher, or pureed fresh apples.
  • Eggs: If you need egg free learn how to make a flax seed egg or how to make a chia egg.
  • A bit of oil: Any oil works like avocado oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil.
  • Maple syrup or honey: Any liquid sweetener is OK like agave syrup or brown rice syrup. Sugar free liquid syrup might may work although taste might change.
  • Whole wheat or spelt flour: These flours are staples in any of my healthy baked goods as they add fiber plus nutrients.
  • Baking staples: Leavening agents like baking soda, baking powder, salt for taste and pure vanilla extract to add additional flavor.

Variations: Add 1/2 to 1 cup of each or a mix of both add-ins like nuts, chocolate chips (like I do in healthy banana chocolate chip muffins), fresh or frozen blueberries.

Bananas, maple syrup, whole wheat flour, eggs, applesauce and baking staples.

How to Make Healthy Banana Bread with Applesauce

One bowl and no mixer required makes this the perfect healthy quick bread to whip up on a whim!

Mashing banana in blue bowl.

Mash bananas and eggs with a masher. I first like to mash bananas and then “whisk” eggs with the same masher.

Eggs, applesauce, mashed banana, oil and baking staples in bowl.

Add all other wet ingredients except flour. “Stir” with the same masher. I know, I’m fancy but there is really no need for extra tool and bowl. Quick bread is not a cake.

Healthy banana bread batter in blue bowl.

Add whole wheat or spelt flour and stir gently until incorporated. Do not mix too much as bread might come out rubbery. Batter should be thicker than pancakes.

Healthy banana bread in parchment lined loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour and then let cool completely before slicing. It will make all the difference because you will be able to slice the bread. Been there, done that haha.

Line your loaf pan with parchment paper for easy removal of quick bread from the pan.

Healthy banana bread baked in parchment lined loaf pan.

Remove and cool: Do not over bake and remove bread from the oven when toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then on a cooling rack further more.

Expert Tips

  • Please follow the recipe: I can’t stress enough that baking is a science and 99% times deviations from original recipe result in baking fails.
  • Don’t over mix the batter. If you over mix the batter, gluten will develop causing tough applesauce banana bread. You only need to mix until wet and dry ingredients are combined. Apply this tip to any healthy muffin recipes you make in your kitchen, too!
  • Don’t over bake: Remove bread from the oven as soon as toothpick comes out clean. Bread will keep cooking with residual heat and over baking results in dry bread.

FAQs

Can I freeze overripe bananas to use in banana bread?

Absolutely. Do not throw away turning brown and going bad bananas. Freeze them whole right in the freezer, no need for a bag but you can.

Then thaw on a plate placed on a kitchen counter for a few hours, peel and use. Do not discard liquid that separates during defrosting, use it to make bread as well.

Can I use all purpose flour?

Yes. I have tested this recipe with white flour and you will need 2 3/4 cups. You may also try whole wheat pastry flour which is a lighter version of whole wheat flour. Also I believe white whole wheat flour will work in this recipe.

Can I make this banana bread with almond flour?

Baking is a science and almond flour acts differently because it doesn’t contain gluten like wheat. However, lucky for you I have this gluten free almond flour banana bread recipe.

Can I use coconut flour?

Again, baking is a science and coconut flour is very “thirsty” and will not work as a substitute in this whole grain banana bread applesauce. However, check out my coconut flour banana bread recipe instead. It has rave reviews.

How to make mini loaves of banana bread with applesauce?

Bake mini loaves for about 35-40 minutes and check with a toothpick.

Need banana bread muffins? Make my healthy banana muffins.

How to Store

Storing: Keep in a cool dry place in a glass airtight container for up to 4 days. I never have it longer than that, but if you do, you might be able to refrigerate it for a few more days!

Freezing: Bake and cool completely. Place in a gallon size Ziploc container, let out as much air as possible and seal. Freeze banana bread for up to 3 months.

I recommend you do not slice bread before freezing. It retains its moisture better this way.

To thaw: Defrost on a counter. Takes about 3-4 hours. Bread will taste just like freshly baked. Pop it into a toaster for a minute for that freshly baked bread warmth and aromas.

I hope you enjoy this clean eating banana bread with applesauce, browse through all my healthy snacks to discover more favorites!

More Healthy Quick Bread Recipes

Browse all my quick breads and for extra banana lovers, check out my list of healthy banana snacks.

Healthy banana bread with applesauce sliced and banana nearby.
Healthy Banana Bread with Applesauce

Healthy Banana Bread with Applesauce

Delicious and moist Healthy Banana Bread made with applesauce, whole wheat flour, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. One bowl and no mixer is required.
4.97 from 98 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 206kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 x 5 loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork or a masher.
  • Add eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to combine (masher works fine).
  • Add flour and stir gently just enough to mix.
  • Pour batter in prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. Cut into 10 slices and enjoy.

Store: Keep in a cool dry place in a glass airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Freeze: Wrap tightly and store in freezer safe container up to 3 months.

      Video

      Notes

      • Can I use other flour? Please see detailed recipe post and FAQs.
      • Please follow the recipe: 99% times deviations from original recipe result in baking fails.
      • To “ripen” bananas faster: Bake yellow bananas with skin on for 20 minutes at 300 degrees F oven. Or place a few ripened bananas or apples with unripened ones in a brown bag, close tightly and wait 1-2 days.
      • Don’t over mix the batter: If you over mix the batter, gluten develops resulting in tough bread. 
      • Don’t over bake: Remove bread from the oven as soon as toothpick comes out clean.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1slice | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 296mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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      235 comments on “Healthy Banana Bread with Applesauce

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      1. 5 stars
        This translates beautifully with gluten-free flour (namely, King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour). Also, I used date syrup instead of maple syrup since I can only have low-glycemic sweeteners. Literally, the most moist, delicious bread I’ve made, and so amazingly simple to make. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

      2. 5 stars
        Olena, thank you for the wonderful Banana Bread recipe! It was moist & good texture, when I used I used 1 egg & a “flax egg.” I used 1 cup spelt flour & 1-1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour. I used 3 medium-sized spotted bananas (not large, very ripe), so maybe that’s why the banana flavor didn’t happen. Peanut butter on the banana bread slices has a good flavor!

      3. 5 stars
        Really moist and yummy. The whole family loved it.
        We omitted the oil and maple syrup, for personal preference, and increased the applesauce. Worked pretty well, in case someone is wondering.
        Thank you Olena ☺️

      4. Will give this recipe a try today. Do we bake it on the Bake setting or the Conv Bake setting? And does it make a difference?

        Thank you, Annie

          1. 5 stars
            Thank you Olena for your quick response.

            We made the Healthy Banana Bread for the first time. We followed the recipe as it was just left the salt out and it turned out wonderfully moist and delicious. The only thing for us it needed an extra 10 minutes (70 minutes total) of baking time for the toothpick to come out clean. Thank you for this amazing recipe. My kids loved it, we will try the Zucchini Bread next.

      5. 5 stars
        This is wonderfully moist. I substituted maple syrup for Walden Farms calorie free pancake syrup as I didn’t have any maple syrup and my Canadian husband doesn’t like maple syrup! So I guess that lowered the sugar content further. It is so delicious. Thank you Olena

      6. Hi! I love your recipes and this one in particular. I’ve made it many times.
        I am trying to use butter and avoid oils. Can I substitute oil for melted butter in this recipe?

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