• Every family has its favourite banana bread recipe, which is the best of all! Whether with chocolate chips, nuts, Greek yogurt… there are a ton of possible recipes. Generally, a basic banana bread contains bananas, flour, butter or oil, eggs, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Keeping this ingredient list in mind, are banana breads really good for health?

    Nutritional Values of Banana Bread

    The nutritional values of banana bread vary depending on the ingredients used. It can be super healthy just like it can be decadent. However, most recipes, although delicious, are rich in carbohydrates, added sugars, and fats.

    To give you an idea, here are the nutrient intakes of different slices of banana bread:

    Homemade banana bread (100 g)Shop-bought banana bread (100 g)President's Choice banana bread (100 g)Starbucks banana bread (100 g)
    Calories (kcal)326333381313
    Lipids (g)10.511.118.414.7
    Saturated (g)
    Trans (g)000.130
    Carbohydrates (g)54.653.347.342.6
    Fibers (g)
    Sugar (g)2728.82524.3
    Proteins (g)
    Cholesterol (mg)4333.365.760.8
    Sodium (mg)302188210278
    Canadian Nutrient File, Nutrient Profile, Bread, banana, homemade, made with margarine, Food code: 3688.Fresh Market Banana Sliced Loaf CakePC Gluten Free Banana Loaf CakeStarbucks Banana Loaf

    Banana breads are no doubt rich in calories, carbohydrates, and added sugars. And they are low in protein and fiber.

    So, healthy? Not really! Plus, all recipes end up looking alike!

    For a good banana bread, everything starts with ingredients!

    Do not forget that chocolate chips, peanut butter, and caramel, which are used in some recipes and in shop-bought breads, significantly increase the number of calories as well as the sugar and fat content. A chocolate banana bread is super tasty, but quite decadent as well.

    GOOD TO KNOW: Bananas and chocolate are the perfect flavour mix! Read our article to know more about these ingredients.

    Think about portion size!

    What is considered a “slice” of banana bread greatly varies from one family to another. The reference serving size of this dessert is of about 50 grams.

    Despite this recommendation, many shop-bought banana breads are cut into slices of 3 times that size. Plus, since they are wrapped individually, we tend to eat the whole slice without ever stopping to question ourselves.

    Pay attention to your hunger and satiety signals in order to avoid overconsumption. If you do not wish to eat a large portion, you can always eat only half the shop-bought slice. It’s perfectly fine!

    Banana bread is first and foremost a dessert! 

    Since any food can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation, it goes without saying that banana bread can be included in your diet. After all, no food is really forbidden!

    However, keeping in mind its nutritional values, you should consider banana bread as a dessert, and not as a snack or breakfast.

    Health Benefits of Banana Bread (or Banana Muffins!)

    Nevertheless, banana bread is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals. Indeed, bananas are rich in potassium and B6 vitamins. A bread made with this fruit therefore contains a good amount of these nutrients.

    A 115 g banana provides 8% and 14% of your daily value (DV) in potassium and B6, respectively. Plus, if you use enriched flour in your recipe, your banana bread will contain iron as well as B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid (the synthetic form of folate).

    As you may have guessed, the vitamin and mineral content of your banana bread depends on the ingredients you choose. For example, a banana bread made with almond flour will be richer in magnesium and calcium than one made with white flour.

    Is A Healthy Banana Bread Possible? Yes!

    How to make banana bread healthier?

    By switching out a few key ingredients, you can easily boost the nutritional values of your banana bread.

    Did you know that…

    you can easily decrease the sugar content of a banana bread without compromising its appearance. Yes, it won’t taste as sweet, but your bread will be just as delicious!

    For a healthier banana bread, use a maximum of 125 ml (½ cup) of sugar in your recipe. And only sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top instead of completely emptying the bag in the preparation. You could also substitute milk chocolate with dark chocolate chips.

    What ingredients can I use to make a nutritious bread?

    For a nutritious homemade banana bread, use any of those refined white flour alternatives:

    • Nut flours;
    • Coconut flour;
    • Oat or whole wheat flour, to increase the protein and fiber contents;
    • Ingredients such as flax seeds or chia seeds, which can also boost the fiber content.

    You can also decrease the amount of added sugar in your banana bread by using crushed bananas or applesauce as sweetening agents.

    Another possibility would be to increase the fiber and protein content by adding legumes. Simply puree them before incorporating them to the banana bread preparation.

    GOOD TO KNOW: Applesauce and Greek yogurt can replace fats (such as butter and oil) in recipes to decrease the calories and fat content. With a bit of baking powder, applesauce can even replace eggs!

    Do not forget however that these substitutions will alter the taste and texture of your banana bread.

    In short, to boost the nutritional values of your recipe, add ingredients that are rich in fibers, protein, vitamins, and minerals, such as nut flours and flax seeds. A healthy banana bread is feasible! Substitute sugar with fruits to reduce the added sugar content as well.

    BPT's Banana Bread Recipes!

    • 1.

      Slow Cooker Banana Bread

      Banana bread in a slow cooker? Yes! The result is simply unmatched in terms of softness and flavour when cooked this way! Plus, it’s super simple to make.

    • 2.

      Toblerone Banana Bread

      Do you love the chocolate and banana combo? You will surely fall in love with this Toblerone banana bread! Caution! This one is definitely a dessert… but a delicious one!

    • 3.

      White Bean Banana Bread

      Perfect for busy days and mornings on the go, this super nutritious and healthy banana bread is rich in fiber and protein. One of our all-time favourites!

    What You Need to Make a Banana Bread

    • Parchment paper (for easy cleaning)
    • Muffins molds (for small portions)
    • A banana mix (could be a banana puree, overripe bananas, or frozen bananas)
    • The best basic recipe (which you can then personalize to your likings)

    What Pan to Use?

    When choosing a loaf pan for your banana bread, experts suggests that you use one with a non-stick coating and round corners to ensure even cooking. You can also line your pan with parchment paper to make sure the bread comes out clean. Having the right ingredients and tools is essential for the success of your recipe. For a rectangular bread, simply surf the web. There are multiple molds on the market that can do the job.

    Is A Gluten-Free Banana Bread Possible?

    Yes! There are many gluten-free banana bread recipes out there! You will simply need to substitute a few ingredients, such as all-purpose flour with whole wheat or almond flour.

    Tips for a Successful Banana Bread

    Take it step by step! Here are the key points to remember:

    • Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
    • Add the wet ingredients and mix until the preparation is liquid.
    • Use a hand mixer for an homogeneous result.
    • Convection baking increases the chances of a successful recipe and reduces cooking time (check out your recipe to know how much cooking time is required).
    • Use a non-stick mold for a clean banana bread.
    • Let it cool at room temperature before serving.