No Added Sugar Banana Bread

No Added Sugar Banana Bread 3

Before I dive head first into this banana bread, I want to begin with a huge thank you for all of your sweet comments & congratulations on our big announcement the other week! Hubs and I are counting down the weeks (22 now) until our little peanut arrives. I know pregnancy posts may not be super exciting for or relevant for everyone who may read this little blog but, for those who asked or are wondering, I will be sharing occasional bumpdates along with some fun pregnant-lady stuff like maternity fashion faves and the joy of nesting in a small, San Francisco apartment.

Enough baby talk for now, though. Today I come bearing this delicious no added sugar banana bread, in part to make up for the long overdue recap of my 30 Day Sugar Challenge, but also because everyone should have a healthy, banana bread recipe in their back pocket–if for no other reason than to clear out the abundance of overripe bananas hiding in the back of your freezer.

No Added Sugar Banana Bread 2

As for the sugar challenge, it was harder than I ever anticipated, partly because I was secretly coping with some lovely side effects of early pregnancy, but also because I never once felt the “sugar-free euphoria” so many others seem to experience. I’m also not very good at mind games–especially when it comes to food restriction. Every day I missed having granola with my yogurt, and sadly, my morning lattes lost all their appeal. Unfortunately, that led to a rather unpleasant caffeine withdrawal as well. It was this banana bread saved me from cracking around the two week mark.

While I want to say I finished strong, I’ll be honest. I made it to day 21 before falling off the wagon, face-first into a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I know full well that deprivation is the root of why restrictive diets fail, weight loss or otherwise. I also know that, when giving up on a “diet”, it’s common to go from one extreme to the other. Clearly, I was no exception.

No Added Sugar Banana Bread

It wasn’t a total loss, though. During the challenge, I diligently tracked what I ate purely for the purpose of a before and after comparison. Overall, my total sugar consumption decreased by an average of 16 grams per day, about 4 teaspoons-worth. That may not sound like a lot (even I was rather unimpressed with that number at first glance) but in one year’s time those 4 teaspoons add up to nearly 13 pounds–about 2 ½ of those 5-pound bags you see on supermarket shelves. And while my consumption of added sugar decreased, the amount of fiber in my diet increased by more than 20% (from 19 to 23 grams per day). Potassium, too. The boost in these healthy nutrients likely came from all of the additional fruit (and banana bread) I was eating to satisfy those sugar and carb cravings.

No Added Sugar Banana Bread 4

I didn’t make it to day 30 but I did learn a few valuable things in the process. On a personal level, I stink at restrictive diets but so do most people which is why they’re just about the worst idea ever. I much prefer having a healthy relationship with all foods–including my chocolate chip cookies–and enjoying everything in moderation. I’m also way more sweet-sensitive now. As a result I’ve cut back on the amount of honey in my homemade granola, use a bit less vanilla syrup in my morning latte and now bake banana bread without any added sugar.

And after tasting this I’m not sure I’ll ever make it any other way–besides adding a handful of chocolate chips of course.

No Added Sugar Banana Bread 6

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

  • Fabulous no-sugar banana bread. This recipe is a keeper!!! I’m wondering how many calories are in this bread, Elle!!

  • I just found this recipe for no-sugar-added banana bread and will try this for my mother. She is allergic to sugar and most spices. And Vanilla, but I saw one comment where banana extract can be substituted. Shopping for bananas tomorrow, will get the ripest I can find.

  • I have made this recipe twice now, and loved the taste and sugarlessness both times! However, both times it came out very, very dense and more like pudding than bread. I don’t mind too much, but your pictures look more bread-like, so I was wondering why mine were doing this. (The way I cooked it? The ingredients? Too much banana?…)
    Both times, I used glass loaf pans/dishes/whatever they were they were just about the right size, and I roasted my bananas until soft instead of waiting for them to be overripe. Both times, I wasn’t able to get the bananas smooth; they had quiite a few lumps, so that could be what’s happening. (When I get a food processor I could try doing that to them? or a stand mixer?)
    I made the first loaf pretty much according to the recipe, I believe substituting some other type of oil for coconut and I added some spices. Again, it was pretty dense, tasted great!
    Yesterday I made another two loaves, and they came out even more dense and less bread-ish, after baking for probably almost 2 hours. I used 13 bananas and coconut oil, no spices. This time I did also whip my egg whites and folded them in last after the yolks and dry mixture had been mixed in; I’d read it made the bread fluffier. The batter did look airy, but probably got mixed a bit past ‘just combined’ because I had to fold in the egg whites after combining dry and wet. When it came out of the oven it looked okay, not risen nearly as much as the first batch, but then it collapsed and ended up pretty much flat.
    So could be the banana amount or texture, or the loaf pan? or how I baked it? and maybe the egg whites made it worse the second time.
    At any rate, I love this recipe and the fact that it’s actually *banana* bread, not ‘cake with two bananas in it and two cups of sugar that it does not need’! The spices were definitely good (forgot them yesterday).

  • When baking this, I followed the recipe to a T. Froze 7 bananas and made no substitutions. It was a lovely thick batter and filled my loaf pan almost to the top. I cooked it 65 mins. It looked beautiful when sliced. My only problem was neither my husband nor I could taste banana flavor. Why could this be, after adding 7 bananas? So disappointed.I’m wondering if I could add banana extract …is there such a thing?

    • I think the more ripe (i.e. browner) the bananas are, the more flavour they have. You could try again with super-brown bananas?

    • Like Anna said, bananas are waaay sweeter and more flavorful when overripe. However, I found a technique that’s worked perfectly for me: you can just put normal bananas on a cookie sheet in the oven at 300 degrees for around 30 minutes! They’ll turn black and shiny, and then you can cut off the tops and squeeze them out (the liquid too).

    • You have to let the bananas completely ripen (black on the outside). They will be very sweet at this point and is the ONLY way you will be able to taste the flavor after being baked. Putting them in the freezer is just to preserve them after they completely ripen until use, or else they will rot.

  • Googled “no added sugar banana bread” and this recipe came up. i have made it twice in the last week, and it was AMAZING both times. I make it in four mini-loaf pans instead of one large loaf pan, and that speeds up the cooking time. I don’t think I’ll ever use another recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    • I so agree! I use mini loaf pans as well and only takes 30 minutes baking time. This is my all time favorite banana bread recipe. Will never use any other.

  • Just found this when looking to see if sugar had a purpose in quick breads. I can’t eat bananas but can have them baked but they are also high on the glycemic index. I think I’ll add 1 in lieu of the 3/4 cup sugar for this first time on a recipe. My recipe already has grated carrot, apple, and raisins. Just didn’t want to tweak it too much the first time! Thanks for your notes!

    I know I’m late to this blog post. I’ll go see how you & your little family are doing. :)

    • You would actually be better off adding the banana and losing the raisins, as raisins are much higher on the glycemic index, and the more relevant gylcemic load than a banana. The poor banana gets a very unfair rap. It is loaded with vitamins, mineral, and fiber, and isn’t that high on the glycemic index, especially weight for weight compared to raisins. You can certainly and easily eat, in gram weight, much more raisins than bananas.

  • I made this according to receipe and it came out like a brick and is more dense than a raw banana. What could have gone wrong

    • Did you sift the flour? Are you certain you used the right amount if soda? Also, where you live and the elevation can be a factor.

  • was doing a search and found your recipe- thank you -thank you- thank you!! We don’t eat any kind of sweetener, this is perfect. We used gluten free flour. YUM!

  • This batter almost filled the 8×4 pan and my pan is really 8.5 x 4.5 It is in the oven now I hope it doesn’t spill over! The batter was also thicker than I’m used to. I hope that’s normal! I added 7 bananas after roasting them. They had been in the refrigerator for a long time so they were a little bit dried out. that could be why my batter was a little bit thicker. I also didn’t weigh my flour, I just scooped it out of the bin
    so that could also be a problem.

  • Have made this bread soo many times ever since I stumbled upon it around 4 months ago. Thanks for the amazing recipe. I was short of 3 bananas so i replaced them with fee dates and raisins and also replaced the all purpose flour with oats and whole wheat flour. Turns out awesome every single time!!

  • This is an amazing recipe. Thanks for sharing! Instead of using 2 cups all purpose flour, I used 1 c all purpose and 1/2 c. Wheat bran and 1/2 c.whole wheat flour. I added chopped almonds and unsweetened dried cranberries. Also added brown flax seeds.

  • I am going to try making this bread tomorrow my grang daughter is only on gluton free products so I will use gluton free flour
    Jean

  • This is delicious! Other sugar-free recipes I’ve tried have been disgusting but this is soooo good!
    I added sultanas and used chopped almonds instead of walnuts

  • I had some problems with knowing when the bread was done. I took it out the oven when the skewer came out almost clean at just over an hour baking time, but when I cut into it it was pretty raw inside. Do I just need to cook it longer, or could it be that I used the wrong type of flour (plain flour rather than strong flour, as it is labeled in the uk)?

  • I think the roasting was only for bananas that are NOT overripe nor frozen. And much easier is to just cut them up and toss in a frying pan with a lid for a few minutes. They soften right up. I, too have made it for years without any cooking of the bananas. I doubt we missed out on anything but extra work.

  • I have 2 pans in the oven. Yummy! I added a four packets of stevia. My husband is diabetic and I have cut way way back on sugar.It takes linger than thirty days but now I find things Luke the banana bread sweet enough without added sugar or sugary topping or sugary chips etc. That’s and keep at the no sugar thing. Sugar is so addictive!! My excuse is always an excuse. I deserve it because…it was a long day…because I am tired etc.

  • SF Banana Bread sounds terrific. It yields 12 servings….how many
    Kcals per serving ? Am looking forward to a trial bake of this little
    piece of wonderful.

  • When I first started paleo a few years back, I was amazed at how sugar sensitive I’d become. I had a sip of a gatorade a month after I began and found it way too sweet. I still have a sweet tooth, but like you I much more aware of my sugar intake and don’t need loads of it anymore. I’m quite happy with paleo chocolate chip cookies and the occasional smoothie. This recipe looks delish, thanks for sharing!

  • I am also looking for recipes that aren’t loaded down with sugar. This looks delicious! Thanks so much for this recipe. I’ll be trying it soon for sure!

    • Heather, I wondered the same thing about roasting the bananas…. I’ve been mashing overripe bananas for years to use in banana bread. Now I wonder if I’ve been ‘missing’ something all these years?!

        • I don’t know the terms, but I’ve heard the science behind it. Basically, the “stress” behind freezing or roasting a banana causes it to produce what are essentially sugars. It will make your bananas sweeter, eliminating the need to add any.

          If you don’t want to roast them, you can just stick them in the freezer ahead of time and then thaw them.

  • Hi Elle! Nesting in your SF apartment? Sounds fun! We moved to Walnut Creek and our place is three times that of what we had in Nob Hill. And I now have a car! Life is good. And I for one, would LOVE to read your pregnancy updates, especially as it relates to your nutrition and what you’ve changed. This banana bread sounds good! No sugar for a month would be tough, but I can see how you’d reap the benefits of it. Restriction NEVER wins. I eat all foods. It’s the way to go! :)