Low Sugar Banana Bread

Low Sugar Banana Bread | Omnivore's Cookbook

After almost 10 months of blogging, I officially announce that I am changing my posting schedule to 2 posts per week, instead of 3.

It has been a super busy week both at work and outside of work, so busy that I didn’t even have time to log into my blog account for 5 days. But it turns out, instead of feeling guilty, I found I enjoy this new pace of work and blogging. I have been working on the blog like crazy over the past 2 months, trying to build up an audience in a short amount of time, which resulted in a total burn out. This reality has taught me the lesson that blogging is a long-term commitment, which needs time and persistence. Rushing won’t work at all.

Low Sugar Banana Bread | Omnivore's Cookbook

This week, instead of bringing my Nikon and taking tons of pictures of every dish I had in the restaurant, I enjoyed the food without thinking about what to write about on my blog. I really liked the way it felt and decided I should do more.

There’s a Chinese saying that “going too far is as bad as not going far enough”. It is definitely the truth. This long and busy working week gave me a break from blogging and got me to reconsider my work-blog balance. I will take it easy on the number of posts and see how it goes in the coming months.

Low Sugar Banana Bread Ingredients | Omnivore's Cookbook

Low Sugar Banana Bread | Omnivore's Cookbook

I haven’t been cooking for days and this banana bread was cooked last weekend. I’m a total beginner when it comes to baking, so I won’t write a long set of instructions post to pretend I’m good at it. Truth is, this is the 3rd time I ever baked bread and my first time baking banana bread.

I did some research online and found the banana bread recipes from Simply recipe and Food Network very helpful, so I combined the 2 recipes into this one. I didn’t make any big changes but I reduced the sugar into 1/3 of the original amount. The low sugar banana bread turned out just as tasty and moist, with a fluffy texture, a nice fragrance of banana and pecan, and a crispy surface.

I hope you enjoy this slightly healthier version of banana bread and have a nice week ahead! 🙂

Low Sugar Banana Bread | Omnivore's Cookbook

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Low Sugar Banana Bread


  • Author: Maggie Zhu
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: Main

Ingredients

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 70 grams (1/3 cup) butter, melted
  • 80 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 240 grams (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 60 grams pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (340 F).
  2. In a bowl, use a fork to break 2 bananas into smaller chunks, set aside.
  3. In another big bowl, add the other 2 bananas, coarsely chopped, add sugar, and mix with a mixer for about 5 minutes, until everything is blended smoothly.
  4. Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract, mix with mixer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Low Sugar Banana Bread Cooking Process | Omnivore's Cookbook Low Sugar Banana Bread Cooking Process | Omnivore's Cookbook
  6. Add flour, salt and baking soda, using spatula to mix until flour is fully incorporated.
  7. Fold in pecans and stir several times.
  8. Low Sugar Banana Bread Cooking Process | Omnivore's Cookbook Low Sugar Banana Bread Cooking Process | Omnivore's Cookbook
  9. Add the smashed bananas from step 2, slightly mix everything.
  10. Grease a loaf pan with butter. Pour the batter into loaf pan, and bake for around 1 hour 5 minutes. Rotate the bread halfway through the cooking period, to make sure both sides are evenly baked. The bread is ready when the surface turns golden brown, and a chopstick inserted into the bread comes clean.
  11. Low Sugar Banana Bread Cooking Process | Omnivore's Cookbook Low Sugar Banana Bread Cooking Process | Omnivore's Cookbook
  12. Let the bread cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then move it onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 12 slices of bread produced by the recipe.

Low-Sugar-Banana-Bread-2-Nutrition-Facts

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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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19 thoughts on “Low Sugar Banana Bread

  1. S. Hamilton

    This is delicious and my 22 month old son loves it! We have now made it a few times. Personally, I use very very ripe bananas, double the recipe and don’t double the sugar, just use about 1/3 of a cup plus a bit on top and it’s still plenty sweet for us. (We have to keep our sugars low.) We also cut the butter by half and use some olive oil instead.
    I really like the idea of saving some of the banana until the end and keep it in chunks to fold in at the very end. It leaves lovely, creamy areas that are wonderful!
    This is a great recipe and fun to make!
    Thanks, Maggie! (and beautiful photos!)

    PS- we sometimes toast a piece with a few chocolate chips on top, so yummy! Makes a great dessert!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for all the kind words and I’m so glad you used my recipe! 🙂
      I like the less sugar and butter choice, since I’m trying my best to eat less sugar and saturated oil.
      Toasted banana bread with chocolate chips is a genius idea!! I never thought about toast it but it sounds so delicious! Definitely will try it next time!
      Thank you again for sharing those great tips and hope you have a lovely weekend! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Holly W

    Hi..I just wanted to point out I didn’t see where you add the vanilla if u want to add that. I tossed it in at the end…baking now and can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Gosh, I forgot the step in the recipe! Thanks so much for reminding me and I just updated the recipe. The vanilla should be added with egg and sugar, but it shouldn’t be a big problem adding at the end. Hope the baking went well and have a great day! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Michelle

    I just baked this recipe, and I love it! I’ll use it again. I always modify recipes, sometimes it’s a mistake (especially in baking!! that’s why I don’t do more baking). First, I added 1/3 cup sugar to the bananas (step 3), but didn’t see how much sugar to add with the butter, eggs & vanilla (step 4), so I used 1/3 cup brown sugar. I like a little sweet, so 2/3 cup sugar in the whole recipe sounded fine, but the recipe only calls for 1/3 cup?

    Next, I used whole wheat pastry flour, then I used walnuts (what I had in the cupboard), and added a scant cup unsweetened carob chips.

    This was a very easy and flexible recipe – thank you!! I am very pleased with how it came out!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Michelle, I’m so glad to hear you like this recipe.
      Thanks so much for letting me know the mistake of step 4! Yes, the recipe only calls for 1/3 cup sugar, and it’s added in step 3. I accidentally typed sugar again in step 4 (which I have removed just now). Apologize for this, and it’s really good to hear you have no problem with the baking. Using more sugar is definitely ok, because the original recipe (that I adapted from) calls for 1 cup. My family like milder flavor, so I reduced it to 1/3 cup (the bread will be quite sweet if you use over-ripe banana). Brown sugar sounds really delicious though!
      It’s very interesting to know that you can use whole wheat flour, because I always think it’s difficult to create fluffy bread by using it instead of all-purpose flour.
      Yep, I use walnuts a lot too. I usually toasted the walnuts before baking, so the finished ones will be crispy and nice.
      Thanks again for sharing your experiment! I like the idea of adding carob chips and using whole wheat flour. Will definitely try that out next time! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Jessica

    Thank you for this recipe. When I went looking for banana bread recipes I was shocked that they all had AT LEAST 1 cup of sugar in them. I did make a few alterations to your recipe, because what true cook follows a recipe exactly as it’s written 🙂

    1) I used Whole Wheat Pastry flour instead of All Purpose. WW Pastry flour is all I use now, it’s light and fluffy but still whole wheat, it’s the perfect combo (although I hear it’s not good for yeast breads, but I know it’s perfect for pancakes and whatnot).

    2) Instead of butter I used Coconut Oil. I regularly swap out butter for coconut oil in cooking/baking. It’s a healthy fat that helps add some sweetness to the recipe. They can often be used interchangeably with good results.

    3) Instead of sugar I used honey, and only 2-3 tablespoons worth. When using honey in a recipe you want to use 1/2 as much as you would sugar. I figure between the VERY ripe bananas and the sweetness from the coconut oil that just a few tablespoons of honey should do the trick.

    I just put my bread in the oven and can’t wait to try it. I bet it’ll make some awesome french toast too.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Wow, these are some wonderful ideas Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing them 🙂
      I never tried of coconut oil in baking, and now I’m hooked! I totally agree with you, its sweet flavor will be a good add on in baking. And of course, it’s much healthier than butter. I am always a bit cautious when using whole wheat flour in baking, because sometimes it doesn’t rise so well. But one of the readers tried it in this recipe, and seems like it works well. Next time I’ll try to swap the sugar with honey too. The amount should be good enough if you’re super very ripe bananas.
      Anyhow, hopefully the bread turned out well. And thanks again for these great ideas! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Laura

    Tell me something – how did you get this to cook in 60 minutes in an 175 degree oven? Pleas tell me this was a typo!?!

    Reply
  6. CB

    Just wanted to chime in and say I love this recipe! I’ve made it 2 weeks in a row now and have found the recipe delicious and reliable. Shout out for banana bread that actually has a significant amount of bananas and doesn’t taste like it’ll give you diabetes!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Thanks for taking time to leave a comment and so glad to hear you like the recipe CB! Whenever I found a baking recipe online, I usually cut off 1/2 to 2/3 sugar and they work out just fine. I like to put the banana chunks in the bread, so it has an interesting texture 🙂
      Happy Chinese New Year!

      Reply
  7. Tmd

    Really tasty! I didn’t have enough butter so subbed it for vegetable oil, I probably could have used a whole 1/3 cup instead of lowering it to 1/4. I ended up cooking it for only about 35/40 minutes at 345 F° and it was too done. I wish I’d taken it out 5 minutes earlier, I don’t know how anyone is cooking it for the full hour+. Otherwise, really excellent recipe!

    Reply
  8. JenniferHowe

    I’ve been searching for a good recipe for awhile glad I found yours! I made it exactly well I only had walnuts but the recipe is perfect. Doesn’t come out tasting too sweet or too floury ?. I’ve already printed so I can make again, thank you!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I’m glad to hear you like the recipe Jennifer! Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment 🙂
      Have a delicious week ahead!

      Reply
  9. Laurel N

    Just made your banana bread and it turned out absolutely perfect. I made it exactly as you said. The last time I made banana bread I substituted whole grain flour and it was heavy, did not rise much, and was not very good. So I followed yours to the letter and I am so glad I did as it is light and delicious.. It is the perfect non-fussy easy ingredient banana bread I have found and I will always use this recipe. I love the mashed and the lumps banana take you have given us, and it works perfectly. I have to watch my sugar intake and this fitted the bill for me. My husband loved it too. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Laurel, I’m glad to hear the recipe worked for you! Me too, I love this recipe because it’s so simply and always yields solid result.
      Happy New Year 🙂

      Reply
  10. Lydia

    I make this recipe all the time and love it to death! It is perfect just the way it is, but I usually have an extra banana on hand that I put in, and I love to add chocolate chips and cinnamon.

    Reply
  11. Sam Smith

    You can be assured that this review is based on the recipe and not full of modifications. I love just how much banana is packed into the loaf. Four whole bananas instead of the standard 1-2. I was explicitly looking for a loaf that was low sugar, and the sweetness from overripe bananas topped off with just 1/3cup of sugar was ideal for my taste. Nice mix of textures from the banana puree, banana chunks, and nuts. Plenty moist but firm enough for easy slicing. Will be baking this on repeat.

    Reply