This slimmed down version of classic Banana Bread has about 125 calories a slice and just as much moist, delicious banana flavor!
There's no reason to feel shortchanged when making this easy banana bread recipe.
We've artfully swapped in some favorite ingredients to keep the flavor you'll find in traditional banana bread just without the same amount of calories.
This quick bread uses simple ingredients, nothing artificial, for the best banana bread recipe slimmed down!
This is a great recipe and got enthusiastic results from our calorie watchers and those who love the full fat classic recipe as well.
Save any extra ripe bananas for a batch of our 1-ingredient Nice Cream recipe too!
Skinny Banana Bread
Quick bread is the easiest bread to make. Everything gets mixed together and baked with no yeast or fussy steps.
And banana bread is certainly a favorite along with zucchini bread.
It's dense, moist, sweet and a great way to use up overripe bananas.
Our goal was to ensure this healthy recipe kept the best parts of traditional banana bread and shed some of the extras in homemade banana bread. Using healthier ingredients it still delivers a satisfying slice to enjoy with a cup of coffee!
The portions are 'normal' too. Twelve slices in a loaf. No skinny tricks making the slices lighter because they are smaller.
As comparison regular banana bread can range up to 250 calories for a slice the same size.
What makes this skinny?
- Reduced sugar
- No oil or sour cream (applesauce is used instead)
- Only 2 tablespoons of butter
Regular banana bread can range from 250 calories upwards depending on the size of the serving and what ingredients are included. A serving of Starbuck's banana nut bread is listed to have 420 calories!
This version has 125 calories per slice and 4 Green, 3 Purple and Blue WW SmartPoints.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
All Purpose Flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour can be used. We've tested it with both!
Baking soda and baking powder. A little of each gives this loaf nice structure and rising.
Salt. We use kosher salt which is a less salty tasting salt.
Ground Cinnamon and nutmeg. These warming spices give the low fat banana bread homey flavors.
Bananas. You'll need three medium size bananas. More notes on options below.
Unsalted Butter. Two tablespoons melted will be used. Let the butter cool to room temperature before adding to the recipe.
Eggs. One full egg and one egg white build the structure of the baked bread. Egg whites stretch the effects of eggs in baking without adding more calories from another rich yolk.
Unsweetened applesauce. This is the magic ingredient. Applesauce can be swapped into recipe to replace eggs, oil or water, reducing the calories and fat but producing the same effect as what it's replacing. We used just a ¼ cup and it keeps the bread moist and delicious.
Light brown sugar. Only a third cup is used. With the sweetness of the bananas and the applesauce this is amount offers the right amount of sweetness.
Vanilla extract. Adds some vanilla flavor to the bread.
Tips on Bananas to Use
Typically delicious banana bread uses overripe bananas. They become sweeter as they ripen although the flavor begins to change when they get too ripened (e.g. black).
Use lightly spotted bananas. Don't wait until the bananas are black and shriveled. They won't have the same structure or peak flavor. They should have some spots (refer to the ingredient image), be softer but still have some structure.
Roasted bananas. I learned this trick years ago from a Chef when making his (very NOT skinny) banana pudding recipe. Don't wait for bananas to ripen, roast them instead. Roasting quickly softens the bananas and caramelizes the sugars so they have a wonderful flavor.
How to Roast Bananas
- Place bananas in the peel on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. They will be black when done.
- Allow to cool enough to be handled.
- Peel and mash the fruit as with regular ripened bananas.
If using roasted bananas, be sure to let them cool before adding to the recipe.
Want it sweeter? Changing around the sugar will change the flavor of the sweetness and the intensity. If you'd like the bread sweeter without adding more sugar, divide and use half light brown sugar and half granulated sugar. Or try dark brown sugar.
Add nuts. Chopped walnuts or pecans adds some extra flavor, crunch and healthy fats. Adjust recipe calories accordingly.
Mini chocolate chips. If you want a splurge mini chocolate chips are a great way to do it. They spread farther in the bread versus their regular size counterparts for a bit of chocolate in every bite. Again, adjust recipe calories accordingly.
How to make it - Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray (photo 1).
Optional: line the pan with some parchment paper overhanging the sides. This helps easily remove the baked bread (photo 2).
STEP 2. Mix dry ingredients
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk together (photo 3).
STEP 3. Mash bananas + combine wet ingredients
In a large bowl mash the bananas using a potato masher or fork (photos 4-5). There should be about 1 ¼ cups total.
Next add the egg, egg white, applesauce, melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract to the mashed bananas. Stir to fully combine (photo 6).
STEP 4. Make the banana bread batter
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir together to fully combine but do not over mix (photo 7). This can cause quick bread to become gummy or overly chewy.
Pour batter into the greased loaf pan (photo 8).
STEP 5. Bake and cool
Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the loaf (photo 9). If it comes out clean, remove the bread from the oven. If it does not return to the oven until done.
For best results allow the bread to sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully before slicing (photo 10).
Note about loaf pans
Loaf pans come in three main sizes: 8.5-inch, 9-inch and 10-inch. They also are available in glass, ceramic, metal and silicon material.
Each different size and pan material causes small impacts to the baking time and texture of the bread. Be sure to monitor the bread and check for doneness rather than just rely on baking time.
How to Store
Banana bread can easily dry out so it's important to wrap it well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to freeze it
A whole loaf or individual slices can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the loaf or slices well with plastic wrap then place them in a larger plastic freezer bag. Remove as much excess air as possible and seal.
Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Individual slices can be removed at any time and toasted too.
The banana bread slices more cleanly after it has chilled. Wrap it tightly, place in the refrigerator until chilled, then slice.