Banana bread is one of those foods that screams comfort. There’s nothing better than a moist slice of banana bread in the morning to start your day! However, most banana bread recipes aren’t exactly the healthiest. I’ve made over one of my favorite comfort foods using nutritious ingredients to create a decadent, gluten-free and vegan banana bread that is filled with superfoods!
Growing up there were a few things that my mom made regularly: banana bread and chicken pot pie. My grandmother is also an avid baker and would frequently be giving us banana bread and chocolate chip cookies to take home. It’s safe to say then that I had a lot of banana bread growing up!
Most people crave cake or cookies, but if I could choose one baked good to indulge in it would be banana bread. I have a hard time turning down a slice of my favorite baked comfort food even though I know that traditionally, it’s made with extremely processed ingredients like white flour and white sugar. These are two ingredients that I try to avoid most days since I know they have little nutrients and will continue to fuel my sugar cravings in a negative way.
Since I’m all about finding healthy alternatives to my favorite foods, it’s been a mission of mine to find a healthy recipe for banana bread that I could fall just as much in love with as the banana bread that I grew up with. I’ve tried recipes here and there but nothing has really stuck with me.
When I can’t find something, what do I do?! I create it! I used Cookie and Kate’s recipe as inspiration and tweaked it with a few ingredients that bump up the nutrition and flavor. I also add chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes to the batter every time to turn it into a chunky monkey banana bread!
Some of the simple swaps I made (and nutrient-rich ingredients I added) in this chunky monkey banana bread are:
- Almond flour and oat flour for whole wheat flour to make a gluten-free version. Almond flour is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than most flours, which helps keep you full longer and stabilize blood sugar levels. Oat flour is full of fiber and the two flours combined make a fantastic flour substitute!
- Added hemp hearts for additional protein and healthy fats
- Added walnuts for nutty flavor and brain-boosting healthy fats
- Reduced the amount of maple syrup (the bananas are plenty sweet!)
I’ve made this recipe many times now and added different “superfood” ingredients each time and it always turns out delicious! You can use whatever you have on hand and get creative, or keep it simple like traditional banana bread.Print
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs* (for each flax egg, combine 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 Tablespoon water in small bowl for about 5 minutes)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup each of add-ins of your choice: chopped walnuts, vegan chocolate chips, hemp hearts or unsweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl, then add the coconut oil, maple syrup, flax eggs, almond milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients (almond flour, oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix to combine. Fold in your add-ins of choice.
- Transfer to a loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray and spread evenly. Top with any extra add-ins or a sliced banana. Bake for 50 minutes, or until cooked through (you will know when you insert a knife and it comes out clean). Let cook for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Keywords: banana bread, vegan bread, gluten-free bread
Trust me on this one when I tell you that this banana bread won’t be around for long (although you can freeze part of the loaf if you dare save some for later).
If you are looking for other healthy baked goods recipes, check out this recipe for double chocolate sweet potato brownie muffins.
If you make this chunky monkey banana bread recipe or any other FitLiving Eats recipe, leave a comment below and tag #fitlivingeats on the ‘gram.