Sugar-Free Breakfast Banana Bread

Banana bread has got to be one of my favorite desserts. Notice here that I said dessert. I’m aware that banana bread is often seen as an “appropriate” breakfast item, but have you ever noticed how much sugar is added to a traditional banana bread? It’s terrifying. I’ll admit that there was a time I did eat sweetened breads for breakfast. In fact, it was my breakfast of choice when I woke up at 5 am to go to swim practice. < — Fun fact, I was once a competitive swimmer. 

With that in mind, I wanted to try making a banana bread that would indeed be healthy enough for breakfast. This recipe has been on my mind for a while now and I regret every second I waited before giving it a try – It’s truly life changing. 

So why do we add sugar to a bread that already contains bananas (a sweet fruit) and call it breakfast food? I’m not sure, because guess what? You really don’t need it! Turns out that banana bread can be perfectly sweetened with bananas only! Now, I should specify that this bread is NOT sweet enough to be considered dessert for most of us. It is however, perfectly sweetened to be eaten at breakfast or as a snack with a thin (or thick) layer of sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, almond butter or margarine/butter. Think of it as eating a sweeter version of toasts in the morning. I must say, it’s also delicious eaten on its own and it does taste sweeter once it’s cooled off – It’s still delicious eaten warm with melted butter. YES.

The best part about this recipe, other than the fact that it has zero added sugar, is that it’s highly versatile! Here are the 8 variations that have been tested with success:  

  • Spelt flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • All purpose gluten-free flour
  • With oats
  • Egg-free (vegan)
  • Using olive oil
  • Using coconut oil

Each variation had slightly different results, but all were perfectly delicious! The only noticeable difference was that the egg-free version, the buckwheat version and the all-purpose gluten-free version raised a little less. Really, that wasn’t a big deal and it tasted just as good to me and my recipe testers (my roommate and Shaun of course). My number one choice would be to use spelt flour, an egg and olive oil, but it all depends on what I have on hand. If you’re wondering, yes, I did try all of these variations in the last couple of weeks and yes, my freezer is full of banana bread. I love it.

Now, before I leave you to the recipe, I’ll talk a little bit about the process. This bread uses only one bowl, 15 minutes of preparation and 45 minutes of baking. Once you decide which version you’re making, start by mixing all your wet ingredients in a large bowl. Continue by adding your dry ingredients to the mix and transfer the mixture to a lightly greased loaf pan. You can also top the loaf with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or a sliced banana. All you need after that is the patience to wait 45 minutes before biting into a warm slice of gooey banana bread. Waiting is always the worst, isn’t? 

Note: A reader tried them as muffins and they turned out great! Simply bake them 15-18 minutes at 350°F. Another reader tried them with chocolate chips (Yum!). I love seeing what you guys come up with and thank you for sharing your results. 🙂

Sugar-Free Breakfast Banana Bread
Serves 8
Gooey banana bread with no added sugar... Could there be anything better? This healthy loaf is versatile and perfectly acceptable for breakfast. Serve it cool or warm with a layer of sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, almond butter or simply butter. It's perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack or dessert.
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Wet Ingredients
  1. 3 large overripe bananas (about 1 3/4 cup), mashed
  2. 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
  3. 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  4. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. 1 egg
Dry Ingredients
  1. 2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a loaf pan with oil or butter/margarine.
  2. In a large bowl, Mash your bananas. Whisk in your milk, oil, vanilla and egg.
  3. Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix all together.
  4. Transfer the mixture to your greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. The bread should be firm on the outside, yet moist on the inside.
  5. Let it cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. For a vegan option: Replace egg with 2 additional tablespoons of milk.
  2. For a gluten-free option: Replace flour with same amount of light buckwheat flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
  3. You can replace 1/2 cup of the flour by 1/2 cup of rolled oats if desired. The results are similar.
  4. Store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer.
Unsweetened Caroline http://www.unsweetenedcaroline.com/
A big thank you to all 10k of you following me on Instagram. Your support means a lot. 🙂

If you try this recipe, make sure to tag your photo #unsweetenedcaroline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Don’t forget to also tag me @unsweetened.caroline on Instagram so I can see your creations!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Sarah B. | 24th Jun 17

    I love your recipes and this banana bread one especially! I’ve made it quite a few times now, it’s definitely become my go to! Sometimes I throw in some shredded coconut or some blueberries if I’ve got them kicking around. Yesterday I made it and put a small swirl of date caramel on top. I know, it defeats the low-sugar aspect – but that date caramel was just staring at me, asking to be included 🙂 Thanks again for all your lovely, sugar free & vegan options on your site!

  2. Stéphanie Godin | 9th Apr 17

    Vraiment bon Caro ! Même mes parents ont aimé !!! 😀
    J’adore essayer tes recette !!

    • Unsweetened Caroline | 10th Apr 17

      Ahh merci, je suis contente d’entendre ça! 😀 C’est une de mes préféré, enjoy!

  3. Celia Medina | 28th Mar 17

    Just made this. I used only oat flour for the flour component and was a bit scared how it would turn out, but it is so good! 🤤 I’m so stoked to have found a sugar-free banana bread recipe. Thanks Caroline!

    • Unsweetened Caroline | 29th Mar 17

      Hi Celia,

      That’s great, I’m so happy that it worked out! Thank you for letting me know, I’ll be sure to note it in the recipe. Enjoy! 🙂

  4. Natalie | Feasting on Fruit | 26th Mar 17

    How lovely is this!! And I adore the idea of leaving out the sugar and just letting the banana flavor steal the flavor show. It is funny how we add sugar to everything baked without even thinking, but subtly sweet breads are just as delicious. And breakfast perfect 🙂 The texture looks wonderful, I really really love these pics too!

    • Unsweetened Caroline | 27th Mar 17

      Thank you Natalie! It definitely doesn’t need the sugar and like you said, it makes for a perfect breakfast bread. 🙂 You could also add chocolate chips for a little treat!

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