The Guilt-Free Banana Bread Recipe You Have All Been Waiting For

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Okay, maybe not ALL of  you. But when I shared a glimpse of the Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread from my book, Go Dairy Free, I was flooded with requests for the recipe. Because it is such a beloved breakfast bread, I decided to keep it in the 2nd edition of Go Dairy Free. The new version has 160 new and improved recipes, but I had to preserve some favorites, too.

Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread - The Guilt-Free Recipe You've Been Waiting For (plant-based, no added sugar (with options), wholesome)

Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition is a GIANT resource. It has about 450 pages of information, tips, and over 250 recipes. The recipes include a plethora of homemade dairy alternatives, nutritious options for everyday eating, and those special indulgences for cravings and parties. This Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread falls in the nutritious everyday category.

This healthy banana bread recipe is free of added sugars (though I have included a modestly sweetened option), and is perfect for toasting. It is only very lightly sweet from the bananas themselves, and loves to be slathered with your favorite spreads. On savory mornings I go with nut butter and cinnamon. On sweet mornings, honey or homemade chia jam (Fresh Strawberry & Rockin’ Raspberry chia jam recipes are in Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition) hit the spot.

This recipe also doesn’t need any dairy, eggs, nuts, or soy. In fact, it’s naturally plant-based and vegan!

Here is a brief background on this healthy banana bread, which is now a part of the regular breakfast rotation in my household …

An important part of going strictly dairy-free for me was turning to home-baked bread. At the time, every last loaf at my local grocer contained milk in some form (milk powder, cheese, whey, caseinate, etc.). A couple specialty vegan brands eventually appeared, but they were still way too costly to warrant regular purchase.

Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread - The Guilt-Free Recipe You've Been Waiting For (plant-based, no added sugar (with options), wholesome)

Mini Loaf Version!

I learned to enjoy pounding on dough for a good homemade yeast bread (excellent stress reliever), but I don’t always have time for the process. So I set out to create a quick bread that was nutritious enough to use for my morning toast.

With that in mind, this healthy bread is completely sugar-free, using just the bananas for a hint of sweetness. I find it perfect as a base for nut butter, jam, buttery spread, or honey, each of which adds their own dose of flavor. And when I am craving a little extra sweetness, I add a little unrefined sweetener to the recipe. I’ve included that as an option in the recipe below.

Nonetheless, if you want a loaf of sugar-loaded, dessert banana bread, I suggest you look elsewhere. If you want some marvelous bread for breakfast that will leave you feeling great, look no further.

Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread - The Guilt-Free Recipe You've Been Waiting For (plant-based, no added sugar (with options), wholesome)

Reader Raves

I originally shared this recipe in the 1st edition of Go Dairy Free, but decided to post it online as a sample recipe. It was on my old recipe blog, and I’m finally updating and fully transitioning it to this main site. I’ve also taken new photos and cleaned up the recipe in Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition. But I didn’t want all those years of feedback to be lost. Here is what others have said about this healthy, guilt-free and breakfast-worthy banana bread and some of the modifications they tried.

Ricki H. said:

I absolutely loved this bread! It’s banana-y without being very sweet–the perfect base for a little sweet jam or spread (though I love it most with almond butter!). This has been picking me up in the mornings for several days now.

Ethel C. said:

Great bread. I added almond milk, almonds, applesauce, wheat germ and buckwheat, oat, and wheat flour.

Teresa S. said (made it gluten-free):

This is fabulous… And the flour mix that works great is a coconut blend! Love it! Thanks for a new “go to” recipe!

Anrita said:

I’m new to dairy-free baking… I substituted an egg for the flaxseed and added a few tablespoons of maple syrup – it was perfect! Just a touch of sweetness, and no one would guess there is no butter or cow’s milk! 🙂

Deidra said:

This is so delicious! I used rice milk for my wet liquid.

Audrey said (made it gluten-free):

This is fabulous! We try to eat gluten and dairy free and this recipe really fit the bill. I love that it doesn’t have added sugars either! I used rice milk and a gluten-free flour blend and it was terrific. Thank you!!!

Heather said:

Love that there’s no sugar in this — perfect when cooking for a two-year-old. Recipe worked well in all regards except for baking time. Pulled it after 40 minutes because we had to leave the house but was still not quite as done as I’d have liked it. Will bake it longer next time and suspect the loaf will be spot on. Thanks for the recipe.

Mary Lou said:

I made it yesterday and it’s gone today! You csn’t ell that it’s made withour sugar. Wonderful!

Kate said:

i can’t EVEN BELIEVE i finally found the recipe i’ve been searching for. i can’t even estimate the number of hours i’ve wasted searching for a vegan recipe without sugar and sugar ‘substitutes’! i am forever grateful. not to mention it’s an amazingly delicious bread! WOW!!!

Mindy said:

I LOVE this banana bread! I add about 4 tablespoons of agave or honey to sweeten it up a bit. I have 3 kids (7, 4, and 2) and they devour it! In fact, I now make double batches and put it in the freezer. I’m so glad I found this website. I’m looking forward to tying more recipies since my oldest has a dairy allergy. Keep up the great work!

Tessa said:

This is now my go to banana bread! I love it! It’s moist, flavorful, nutritious, and so simple to make. Thanks for the great recipe!

Holly said:

I just pulled this bread out of the oven and it is absolutely wonderful! I was short on banana so I added about 3/4 cup pumpkin and topped it with chopped walnuts.. delicious! Thank you!

Diana said:

I just made this last night and it’s great! I hope it passes my husband and son’s approval! 🙂 I only used about 1.5 C banana, but wish I had more. And I substituted 1/2 C of oat flour for the w/w flour. Thanks for giving us a recipe that has no added sugar!

Anna said:

This is the best banana bread and tastiest in the whole world!!!! I have been searching day in and day out for a great sugar free banana bread and I have absolutely found what I have been in search of for the longest time. It is so moist and sweet from just the bananas! I absolutely love it! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Melodie said (made it gluten-free):

I made this today, gluten free by switching out the flour with my GF rice flour mix and 1/4 tsp xanthan gum. It turned out great. I’ve been craving a morning treat to toast and then spread with peanut butter. This is it! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread - The Guilt-Free Recipe You've Been Waiting For (plant-based, no added sugar (with options), wholesome)

Special Diet Notes: Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. See reader comments above for gluten-free successes.

Breakfast-Worthy Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is a sample recipe from my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook. Going out on a limb, I decided to create a banana bread recipe that is completely void of added sugar. It relies solely on extra-ripe bananas for natural sweetness. The result was this very mildly sweet loaf that my entire family adores. It’s perfect for breakfast, and won’t leave you face down on your keyboard by 10 a.m. It also toasts well and is a perfect medium for your favorite nut or seed butter, buttery spread, or chia jam.
Author:
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain dairy-free milk beverage
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups spelt flour, whole wheat flour, or white whole wheat flour (see post above for gluten-free tips)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda (reduce to 1 teaspoon above 3000 feet)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ to 2 cups mashed very ripe banana (3 to 4 large bananas; see Banana Note below)
  • ¼ cup grapeseed, rice bran, or other neutral-tasting oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup nuts, dried fruit, or other add-ins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan (you can alternately line it with parchment paper).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk beverage and flaxseed.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Add the bananas, oil, and vanilla to the flaxseed mixture. Beat with a hand mixer until relatively smooth, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Some small lumps are okay; you do not want to overmix. Fold in the nuts, fruit, or chocolate chips (if using).
  5. Scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan and even it out.
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is golden brown and resilient to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove it to the wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in plastic wrap or an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Leftover bread slices can be individually wrapped and frozen to enjoy later. They toast well from frozen.
Notes
BANANA NOTE: I prefer to use a full 2 cups of mashed banana for the deepest flavor and very moist bread. But using just 1½ cups will allow the bread to rise a bit more.
MINI LOAVES VARIATION: Pour the batter into 4 greased and floured mini-loaf tins (6 × 3 inches) and bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.
SWEETER VARIATION: Add ¼ to ½ cup honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, or your sweetener of choice with the wet ingredients in step 4 and increase the salt to ½ teaspoon. You might need to bake the loaf a little longer.

For More Recipes from My Kitchen, Get Go Dairy Free:

Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition - The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook for Dairy-Free Living with Over 250 Recipes!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

10 Comments

  1. Christine Angelini on

    The recipe does not address when to add the flaxseed/milk alternative mixture. I would assume it goes in with the bananas and oil. Please edit recipe to add this instruction.

    • Hi Suzanne, that totally depends on your climate. I can only confidently say 1 to 2 days before refrigerating or freezing. In more humid climates, it can spoil quickly, while in arid climates, it may keep easily for a few days on the counter. I usually chill it after 2 days.

  2. My son is allergic to gluten and dairy. Can you provide a good GF flour recipe to replace the flour in the Guilt-Free Banana Bread Recipe. Thank you.

  3. Hollyanne Setols on

    Just made this with almond milk some pumpkin and allergy free chips.

    I am allergic to gluten egg soy dairy and almond milk is honestly the best 🙂

    Excited to taste it’s in the oven !

  4. help! what are some options for the “milk alternative”? we’ve just discovered that our soon-to-be-one-year-old daughter is milk allergic, and I’m crushed as I want to make cupcakes / muffins for her birthday party. we have not yet tried soy or nut based products for her, so I’m hesitant to do that… any other suggestions? any help is appreciated!

    • Marcia, for soy-free and nut-free options you can use rice milk, flax milk, sunflower seed milk, coconut milk beverage (sold in a carton), orange juice, pineapple juice or even water! It is really more about the liquid. I think juice would add a nice twist to the flavor and a little extra sweet, too.

      Please note that this particular banana bread is not sweet. I would use another sweet bread / cupcake recipe on this site, or add sweetener to this recipe if you are looking for a dessert-type recipe.

      • thank you so much! she’s never had sweets (yet) so even if it’s not a “sweet” per se, I think it will be fine. we know that she’s OK with rice, so we might try that one first, but I like the idea of pineapple juice + bananas… how very tropical! 🙂
        thanks again from a new Mom just beginning to forage into this food-allergy world….

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