It’s moist, flavorful, dense, eggless, healthy and even low in fat! Our sugar-free banana bread ticks all the boxes. If you’ve ever wanted to bake an easy and healthy dessert that’ll smell like heaven, you’ve come to the right place.
In this household, we take delicious treats very seriously. Eating your veggies is one part of a healthy diet, yes – but please, no need to skip dessert!
What we’d like to do here is remind you that comfort foods don’t have to leave a guilty taste in your mouth.
You can indulge while making sure your health stays on track by making banana bread that’s not just vegan (of course!), but also oil-free, gluten-free and sugar-free!
And when we say sugar-free, we don’t mean the typical definition of just “no refined, white sugar”.
Since other, “more natural” sweeteners like coconut sugar or maple sugar are often used in place of plain white sugar and touted as (somehow) much healthier, we want to take a moment and add our two cents.
Sweeteners like these, including honey and maple, agave, and brown rice syrups, don’t offer much nutritionally.
They make things taste sweet.
They make your blood sugar rise and fall quickly.
They might have trace amounts of minerals, but you’d have to gulp down a whole bottle of them to even come close to meeting your needs of those minerals through sweeteners!
So, please – no more claiming a recipe containing agave or maple syrup is sugar-free. It’s just word games at this point.
In our baking, we do sometimes use a bit of sugar or maple syrup (our vegan carrot cake is a good example), but we’re well aware that there’s no difference between these types of sweeteners. Admittedly, it does somehow feel better to add some dark syrup compared to white granules.
Did we just food shame anyone here? Hopefully not.
We’re all about real-talk, though, and getting out helpful health advice can actually save and improve lives! So we’re not shy about it.
How To Make a Tasty Sugar-Free Banana Bread
If you're still with us at this point – thank you! Seems like the pictures look too enticing and you want to learn more. And don’t worry – that’s why we’re here.
You may not believe it given the obviously pretty pictures, but this banana bread somehow tastes even better than it looks. No kidding. Remember the smell of freshly baked sweet gooey carbs? That’s what is awaiting you.
A great way to make this wholesome treat gluten-free is by simply using oat flour. You can create oat flour at home by blending up some rolled oats for a couple of seconds until they are finely ground. Using this instead of whole wheat flour, for example, offers a different consistency and texture due to the oats’ higher fat content.
No worries – we skipped the oftentimes added oil to keep this afternoon treat waistline- and artery-friendly.
Here are the main ingredients we used!
- Oats – make it chewy, whole grain and gluten-free all in one step
- Ripe bananas – that hopefully didn’t come as a surprise
- Dates – our favorite actually healthy and natural sweetener!
- Soy milk and lemon juice – quick and healthy vegan buttermilk substitute
- Cinnamon – to add to that divine, homey baking smell
- Crushed walnuts – yessss, please!
- Raspberry jam swirl – just raspberries, chia seeds and water here
As you can see, when we write “healthy”, we mean it! Using bananas in baking is a great way not only to replace sugar but also to replace oil due to the gooey and moist texture they create.
For a little twist, we decided to go with a homemade raspberry jam swirl. If you’re fancy like us, just follow the easy recipe for this 3-ingredient sugar-free jam – but it can also be skipped to get a good old plain vegan banana bread.
Why Our Vegan Raspberry Banana Bread Is So Awesome
Naturally sugar-free and gluten-free
Low in fat and without added oil
Kids and adults alike love it
Very simple to follow
Moist, sweet and satisfying
Spotted with crunchy walnuts
Fruity, sourish raspberry touch
Everyone we’ve served this banana bread to so far has loved it – nobody has missed the eggs or butter or sugar. In fact, friends and family are often surprised by how tasty vegan recipes can be!
So, if you have a skeptical or picky eater around you, try serving them this banana bread. Kids especially will be quick to devour this sweet goodness!
Make It Your Own
Should you have an extraordinarily spoiled sweet tooth, you might not appreciate the natural sweetness of this recipe. “Sugar-free” doesn’t mean “fruit sugar-free” and, of course, this banana bread comes out sweet.
But if you’d like to add a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup to make sure it’ll push your sweetness buttons – we won’t judge. You do you – overall, it will still be a wholesome treat. We’d rather have you eat a vegan oil-free dessert with sugar than any of the way junkier alternatives.
No pressure on the dates having to be the Medjool type, either. We know they are more expensive and probably harder to come by. Use any type of dates and consider soaking them in water before blending them up for the batter.
Not digging the soy milk? That’s too bad, but feel free to just use any other plant-based milk. It won’t make much of a difference in this case.
Read more here about why we’re fans of soy
If you’re uncertain about the raspberry swirl, go for plain banana bread sans jam. It’s just as satisfying and might convince you to take things a step further next time.
Finally, coconut water does add a nice touch, but if it’s hard to come by, just use regular water for the raspberry jam. Removing these small roadblocks will make it much more likely that you will actually try this recipe!
For some more inspiration, we found these delicious variations of oil-free vegan banana bread on the blogosphere, such as the Healthy Banana Bread by Veggiekins, the Fluffy Vegan Banana Bread by From My Bowl, or this Healthy Banana Bread by The Hungry Warrior.
Sugar-Free Banana Bread (Vegan, Gluten Free)
This healthy sugar-free banana bread is fully vegan and naturally gluten-free. Just a few simple ingredients are needed for the basis - homemade raspberry jam swirl is totally optional!
- 2 cups oat flour (200 g)
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (160 g)
- 1 cup soy milk (240 ml)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup walnuts, crushed (60 g)
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted (125 g)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut water (or water)
If you don’t have any oat flour on hand, just get 7 oz (200 g) of rolled oats and process them into flour with a blender or food processor.
Place the soy milk, pitted dates, bananas and lemon juice in a blender jar and blend until smooth.
In a big bowl, mix the flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Let the batter sit for half an hour so the flour can soak up all the liquid.
In the meantime, let’s make the simple raspberry jam! Add the fresh or defrosted raspberries along with the chia seeds and (coconut) water to a bowl and mix with a spoon. Let it rest for 15 minutes or until the batter is done.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C and get out a loaf pan.
Get your banana bread batter and gently fold in the crushed walnuts, then pour the mixture into your prepared loaf pan. Finally, add the raspberry jam and swirl it into the batter so it doesn’t get fully mixed.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into slices and serving. We added some desiccated coconut for a pretty and delicious topping!
About the Author
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.