This delicious banana nut bread recipe made with ripe mashed bananas and walnuts is made healthier with less butter, oil, and sugar.
Banana Nut Bread
Classic Banana Nut Bread is one of my favorite quick breads, and trust me – this recipe will not disappoint! In my family, we call this the “Best Banana Nut Bread.” I make it whenever I need to use up ripe bananas. My daughter loves banana bread, so it’s the perfect breakfast that you can make ahead and eat during the week. For variations, try this Blueberry Banana Bread, Banana Cranberry Bread, or this Gluten-Free Banana Bread recipe.
Is banana nut bread healthy?
This recipe has about half the sugar and butter than most recipes, making this a healthier choice. The applesauce replaces the usual oil or butter while keeping the fat and calories low, and egg whites have fewer calories than whole eggs. Each loaf has 13 slices, and one slice has only 104 calories and less than 20 grams of carbs. To make it even healthier use whole wheat flour and monk fruit sweetener in place of sugar.
Can bananas be too ripe for banana bread?
In my opinion, there’s no such thing as “too ripe” bananas. The riper they are, the sweeter the bread will be. You want them to have plenty of black spots.
Why is it banana bread and not cake?
Let’s be honest – banana bread is basically banana cake with less sugar, but there are a couple of differences. Banana bread is usually denser than bread. Plus, it’s baked in a loaf pan. If you want to bake the batter in two 8” x 8” pans or a 13”x 9” pan, go for it. And I have this Zucchini Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting if you want to try a cake recipe.
Banana Nut Bread Ingredients
- Bananas: You’ll need 2 2/3 cups of mashed bananas, which should be about seven bananas, depending on their size.
- Applesauce: I use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil to reduce calories and add moisture.
- Flour: I think all-purpose flour gives the bread the best texture. If you want more nutrition, you could substitute half of the AP flour with white whole wheat flour. The bread may be too dense with all white whole wheat.
- Baking Soda helps the bread rise.
- Salt enhances the flavor.
- Butter: This recipe only calls for two tablespoons of butter per loaf.
- Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar will work if you don’t have light.
- Eggs: I use four egg whites to reduce the calories, but you can sub two whole eggs if you prefer.
- Vanilla Extract for extra flavor
- Walnuts: Swap with pecans if you prefer.
How To Make Banana Bread
Here’s how to make this easy bread from scratch!
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease two 8” x 5” loaf pans with baking spray. You could also line them with parchment paper instead of spraying them.
- Bananas: Peel and mash the bananas, leaving them a little chunky.
- Dry Ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Wet Ingredients: Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer in a large bowl. Add the egg whites, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine: Add a third of the dry ingredients at low speed and blend until combined. Continue with the remaining two-thirds of the flour. Mix in the mashed bananas and then fold in the walnuts.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf pans and bake for 50 to 52 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center, and once it comes out clean, the bread’s done. Let the pans cool before slicing so the slices don’t fall apart.
Tips and Variations
- Nuts: Swap the walnuts for any nut you like, or if banana bread is more your thing, then omit the nuts altogether.
- Chocolate Chips: Sub the walnuts with regular or mini chocolate chips.
- Spices: Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or nutmeg.
- Extra ripe bananas result in sweeter bread. They should have black spots and be very soft.
- Avoid over-mixing the batter for the best results. Overmixing can cause bread to be tough or gummy.
- Make Half: You can halve the ingredients to make one loaf.
- Muffins: You can turn this bread into banana muffins by baking the batter in muffin tins. This recipe would make about 24 muffins. Just decrease the bake time to 20 to 25 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick.
How do you keep banana bread moist?
For super moist banana nut bread, it’s important to store it correctly. You can keep the bread out overnight in an airtight container but should refrigerate it after that for up to seven days.
Can banana bread be frozen?
Yes! This recipe makes two loaves, so I usually freeze one for later. Slice the cooled bread and tightly wrap the slices individually in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Transfer the slices to a gallon-size bag, label it with the name and date, and freeze for up to three months. To eat, remove a piece from the freezer and let it thaw or microwave it for about 15 seconds.
More Banana Bread Recipes:
- Pumpkin Banana Pecan Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Petite Loaves
- Banana Pecan Banana Muffins
- Gluten Free Banana Bread
- Roasted Strawberry Banana Bread
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Banana Nut Bread
- 7 medium ripe bananas, 22 oz or 2 2/3 cup total, mashed chunky with fork
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce, (4 oz )
- 2-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, (13.5 ounces )
- 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter, (2 oz) softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar, (6 1/2 oz)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 oz chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup
- baking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8x5 inch loaf pans with baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add egg whites, apple sauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and blend at low speed until combined, add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and blend at low speed, add remaining 1/3 of dry ingredients and the mashed bananas and blend at low speed until batter is combined. Do not over mix. Stir in the walnuts.
- Pour the batter into loaf pans and bake on the center rack for 50 to 52 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.
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Photo credit: Jess Larson