Sugar-Free Breakfast Banana Bread

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
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5 from 6 votes

Sugar-Free Breakfast Banana Bread

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.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 large overripe bananas (about 1 3/4 cup), mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a loaf pan with oil or butter/margarine.
  • In a large bowl, Mash your bananas. Whisk in your milk, oil, vanilla and egg.
  • Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix all together.
  • 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.
  • Let it cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

For a vegan option: Replace egg with 2 additional tablespoons of milk.
For a gluten-free option: Replace flour with same amount of light buckwheat flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
You can replace 1/2 cup of the flour by 1/2 cup of rolled oats if desired. The results are similar.
Store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer.

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!

37 Comments

  • jacquie

    I always wonder myself why people add sugars to fruit recipes. Let the fruit’s natural sweetness shine through is a better idea to me. However, I don’t use bananas so is there something else i could use? Thanks.

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      I agree! Fruit can be enough in many recipes. 🙂 As for this recipe, the bananas are really important to the taste and texture of the bread. Applesauce or pumpkin puree may work, but note that it won’t taste as sweet and the texture may be slightly different (I can’t guarantee as I’ve never tried it). If you want something that’s been tested, I would recommend looking at my pumpkin bread on the blog. It’s sweetened with dates if that works with you. Hope this helps!

  • Molly

    So happy I found this sugar-free banana bread recipe! And I love how simple it is. I added blueberries, walnuts, and made them into mini muffins for an easy grab and go breakfast. They are perfect! Thank you so much 🙂

      • Sama

        I tried the recipe but I’m unsure of how the mixture looked. It looked really really dry. Can you please post a picture of what the mix is supposed to look like?

        • Unsweetened Caroline

          Hi Sama, sorry for the lack of process pictures. It’s one of my older recipes and I didn’t post as many images at that time. I’ll need to update that! If you want an idea of the consistency, you can check out my fruit-sweetened apple muffins. The recipe is based on this banana bread and the batter would be the same thickness. You’re right, the mixture is probably not as wet as other recipes, but if you followed the recipe exactly, it shouldn’t be too dry and the end result should be a delicious, moist loaf. Hope this helps!

  • Charms

    This is a great simple go-to recipe, especially for a non-baker like myself! I subbed the recommended amount for the egg and used oat flour instead of spelt/whole wheat flour and it worked out very well.

  • maria

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.. This is my favorite banana bread recipe and will continue to be.. I made it quite a few times and add some walnuts on top.. Mmmmmm so good.. thanks again.
    Maria c

  • Olivia

    Looks awesome! I would make this vegan, but I was wondering if I could leave out of subsitute the oil?
    Thanks.

    PS: Just wanted to let you know I’m from Belgium, I think it’s nice to hear that there are people from all over the world visiting your blog and Instagram! 😉

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Olivia, I never made it without oil, but you could try substituting the oil for applesauce? I can’t guarantee it will work, but if you try it, let me know how it turns out! You’re not the only person who asked, so I may have to try it next time too. 🙂

      And I love to hear that people from around the world are visiting! Hello from Canada!

      • Trenda

        Had regular buckwheat flour on hand , extra almond milk to replace the egg and regular unsweetened applesauce to replace the oil and it came out delicious, just very dark from the buckwheat. Love your website !

      • Nicky

        Hi Caroline! I was so excited to find this recipe and your website in general. I am unable to eat sugar and can only have a very low amount of fat. I absolutely love baking and was so depressed, thinking that because of these restrictions that I wouldn’t be able to bake anymore. But now I see that I can! And this is something that both I and my kids (who are not on a restricted diet) will be able to enjoy. May I ask if you have the nutrition information for this bread? I keep track of everything I eat so that would be very helpful.

        • Unsweetened Caroline

          Hi Nicky, I’m so happy you found my recipes! I hope they’ll help. I actually don’t include calories for my recipes as it’s not something I personally encourage. However, I completely understand that it’s important for some. From a previous calculation, one slice would have about 184 calories, based on the number of portions indicated in the recipe. Hope this helps!

  • Gabby

    Using this particular recipe to say how much I appreciate your whole blog, your recipes, your story – has helped me so much. I was so relieved to find your blog because it seems to be the only one out there of its kind (I follow the same dietary restrictions). This recipe is such a winner it’s crazy! Love love love. Thank you.

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Gabby, thank you so much for the sweet comment, it means a lot! I’m so happy to hear you’re loving the recipes. I certainly found it hard to find fruit-sweetened recipes before I started the blog, so I love to share my experiments with others. Thanks again and have a great weekend!

  • Catherine

    A genius idea for a recipe! I have shared this recipe with a lot of my clients and have received nothing but positive feedback. I enjoy this recipe a lot as well!

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      There is the option to omit the egg and use additional milk for an egg-free version. You don’t need to use a flax egg. If you want to try the flax egg, it may work, but I’ve never tried it myself. Hope this helps!

  • Sarah

    Hey, Caroline! I tried it (with buckwheat flour) and I loved it! I’m so happy because I medically cannot eat gluten or sugar and this time of year I have so many cravings for like muffins and other sweets. 🙂 Ty so much for the recipe!

  • Sarah B.

    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!

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I’m happy to hear that you love the recipe! Date caramel sounds like a great idea, I’m not against a little treat. 😉 Thank you again and enjoy.

    • Erica

      Just made this with half wholemeal flour, half buckwheat flour, and I swapped 1 banana for mashed pumpkin. So delish and truly moist! Love it warm, slathered with butter 😍 Will be making it again, maybe as muffins with some walnuts or dark choc chips.

        • Dan

          Hi! Do you have the macro nutrients for each slice? I love the sugar free aspect of the recipe and count my macros so would love to be able to include this in my daily regiment. Thanks!

          • Unsweetened Caroline

            Hi Dan, sorry, but I only have the calories for this recipe. It’s 180 calories per slice (using the portion indicated in the recipe). Sorry for the inconvenience. I’d recommend using a recipe analyzer, such as My Fitness Pal! 🙂

  • Celia Medina

    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!

  • Natalie | Feasting on Fruit

    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!

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