Healthy Banana Oat Bread is 100% whole grain and uses no butter or refined sugar but the texture and flavor are out-of-this-world good! It is made with instant oats and spelt flour, wonderfully fluffy and moist at the same time. Your whole family will love it, buttered or plain!
I often experiment with various kinds of banana bread because somehow we always end up with leftover overripe bananas at the end of the week. It may have something to do with my habit of food hoarding. You can never have enough apples and bananas, right?
Plus, there are SO MANY things you can do with extra bananas. Peel them, cut into chunks and freeze in baggies to make delicious smoothies, smoothie bowls or nice-cream (banana-based “ice cream”). Use them to make super easy 3-ingredient banana egg pancakes (banana, eggs & almond or regular flour).
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Bananas: you will need 4 large very ripe bananas (about 2 cups mashed) for this recipe. Brown spots or brown skin is fine.
Instant Oats: also known as quick oats, these work the best for this recipe. Rolled oats will not produce fluffy texture. However, if that’s all you have, you can grind them in a food processor or a blender to make oat flour and use that instead.
Spelt Flour: it’s similar to whole wheat flour but I like its flavor and texture better in baked goods. It can usually be found in health stores, organic section of most grocery stores or online. If you don’t have spelt flour, you can use white wheat flour instead.
Eggs: use 2 large eggs, preferably organic.
Maple Syrup: this recipe uses ¼ cup pure maple syrup to sweeten the bread. If you like your banana bread to be on the sweeter side, you can increase the amount to 1/3 or ½ cup although personally, I think ¼ cup is just right, especially if your bananas are very ripe.
Coconut oil: you can use refined or virgin coconut oil. I’ve tried both and didn’t notice much difference.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda: to help the bread rise.
Vanilla, Cinnamon (not pictured) & Salt: used to balance out the flavors. Note: I forgot to include cinnamon in the ingredients photo but make sure not to skip it!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY BANANA OAT BREAD
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, lightly grease a 9x5in loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
Step 2: Mash the bananas in a bowl. You can use a fork but I find that potato masher works best for this task.
Step 3: Add wet ingredients to the mashed bananas: eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup. Stir together.
Step 4: In a separate bowl mix together the oats, spelt flour and all other dry ingredients.
Step 5: Add dry ingredients to wet and stir gently to combine with a spatula. Don’t overmix the dough.
Step 6: Transfer the dough into a prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips, if you’d like. You can also just leave it “naked” but I think toppings make it more fun.
Step 7: Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before lifting out of the pan and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (or ALMOST completely).
WHAT IS SPELT AND WHY IS IT HEALTHY?
Spelt is an ancient grain that’s in the same family as wheat, rye and barley. Unlike wheat though, spelt flour is made with the entire grain which makes this flour 100% whole grain.
Spelt flour is commonly used in breads and baked goods in Poland, where I grew up, and I’ve always liked the nutty flavor of spelt bread.
Spelt has been around for at least 7,000 years and unlike wheat, it has not been altered from its original form. Spelt has more protein, fiber and some nutrients compared to wheat. It is also easier to digest than wheat.
IS SPELT FLOUR GLUTEN FREE?
In short: no. Both wheat and spelt include gluten and should be avoided by people who suffer from celiac disease. However, the kind of gluten in spelt is different than the gluten in wheat, which apparently makes it better tolerated by people with mild gluten sensitivity.
SUBSTITUTIONS & TOPPINGS/ADD-ONS
If you don’t have spelt four, substitute with whole wheat flour. I highly recommend giving spelt flour a try though because it works so well in baked goods and I like the flavor and texture of spelt better than whole wheat.
If you would like this banana bread to be oil free, you can replace coconut oil with applesauce.
Instant oats can be swapped for oat flour in this recipe but I would not try to make it with old fashioned rolled oats or steel cut oats. They will weigh the bread down too much and it won’t come out right. See my tip above on how to make oat flour using rolled oats.
Optional toppings include chopped up nuts (walnuts, pecans), regular or mini chocolate chips, fresh bananas cut lengthwise, rolled oats and unsweetened coconut flakes. You can also stir nuts and/or chocolate chips into the dough before baking. My kids don’t like “stuff” in their banana bread so I usually only add nuts and chocolate on top, or make it plain. It’s delicious either way!
SERVING, STORING & FREEZING TIPS
Serve healthy banana oat bread sliced on its own, with butter, vegan butter, almond butter or peanut butter on top. Personally, I like to serve it in thick slices with some vanilla cashew yogurt and fresh fruit and eat it with a fork.
Store banana bread in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 5 days. Make sure the bread is completely cooled before wrapping or placing in a container.
To freeze, let cool completely, wrap tightly with plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag (letting most of the air out) and store in the freezer up to 3 months. When ready to serve, take out of the freezer, let thaw and slice.
EQUIPMENT USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
If you try this Healthy Banana Oat Bread, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
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Healthy Banana Oat Bread is 100% whole grain and uses no butter or refined sugar but the texture and flavor are out-of-this-world good!
1 cup quick oats
1.5 cups spelt flour (or white whole wheat flour)
4 very ripe bananas
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup refined coconut oil, melted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
Optional toppings: chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9 x 5in loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
- Add eggs, maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla and stir well.
- In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients: oats, spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Add dry ingredients to the banana-egg mixture and stir with a spatula until combined. Do not overmix!
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, top with walnuts and mini chocolate chips (if using).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Place on a cooling rack and let the bread cool for at least 20 minutes. Take out of the pan and let cool more before slicing.
- Serve on its own or with butter or almond butter.
If you don’t have spelt flour, you can use white whole wheat flour.
Make sure your bananas are very ripe. Brown spots or completely brown skin is preferable. This will ensure that your bread is sweet enough and has lots of banana flavor.
If you don’t want to use coconut oil, feel free to substitute it with avocado or vegetable oil.
- Category: baking
- Method: baking
- Serving Size: 1 slice
Keywords: banana bread, banana, oats, healthy baking