Baking - The Frugal Homestead

How to Make the Best Whole Wheat Banana Bread

How to Make the Best Whole Wheat Banana Bread
How to Make the Best Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Who Says Whole Wheat Banana Bread Has to Be Heavy?

This whole wheat banana bread recipe is very light and delicious! A lot of whole wheat recipes can be heavy, but this one is very similar to regular banana bread in flavor and texture.

I like making banana bread as a way to use up brown bananas and provide an easy snack. But I don’t want to eat really rich bread on a regular basis. That’s why I tweaked this recipe to lighten it up.

So how did I come up with a healthier whole wheat banana bread recipe that delivers a light, fluffy, and delicious loaf?

I started using whole wheat pastry flour in place of regular whole wheat flour. It isn’t always available at grocery stores so I order it from a buying club. Whole wheat pastry flour has a much lighter texture because it doesn’t have as much fiber. However, it still has more fiber than regular flour.

Another tip for creating a light, fluffy quick bread… Don’t beat the batter as long. Mix the ingredients together well, but don’t beat the daylights out of it!

Using Up Brown Bananas

I hate to waste food, so when we have overripe bananas, I use them to make banana bread. Our grocery store often bags up the single, bruised, and overripe bananas and marks a big bag of them down to a buck!

I like to pick up a marked down bag whenever they’re available. Then I make banana bread, banana pancakes, frozen bananas for smoothies, and any other banana goodies I can think of. If you find yourself with a bunch of brown bananas, here are some ideas for using them up!

Helpful Tip: Peel overripe bananas and freeze them for later. They work great in smoothies or defrost them to use in a recipe like this.

A Healthier Banana Bread Recipe

I’m trying to cut back on sugar, refined flour, and oil to make my home-baked goodies a little friendlier for my waistline, ahem. So coming up with a better banana bread recipe fits in with my baking goals quite nicely!

I started by replacing the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour. It has more fiber but isn’t as heavy as regular whole wheat flour. I also replaced some of the oil and sugar with homemade applesauce. The result is a tasty loaf that I feel a little better about snacking on.

You might also like this recipe…Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe

If you would like to bake a loaf of lighter, healthier banana bread, this recipe fills the bill. I admit freely that I don’t have calorie counts, fat content, etc. but I replaced the low fiber flour with whole wheat and some of the oil and refined sugar with applesauce, so it has to be better, right?!

The original recipe came from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book…which is actually rather old. 🙂

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Lisa Lombardo
This banana bread recipe uses whole wheat pastry flour and less sugar and oil, for a light, fluffy, and delicious loaf!
Course Quick Bread


  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana 2 or 3 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, optional chopped and toasted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour one 8x4x2 inch loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add sugar and combine.
  • Add mashed banana, vanilla extract, applesauce, and oil to flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer until combined.
  • Add eggs and remaining flour to the mixture and beat until blended. Fold in chopped nuts, if desired.
  • Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a table knife around inside of the pan to loosen the bread. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly on a wire rack before slicing.
Keyword Bread, Quick Bread

Customize to Fit Your Tastes

If you like, you may omit the oil altogether and add 2 tablespoons of milk to replace it. Not quite as sweet as you’d like? Increase the sugar a bit. Not a fan of walnuts? Try pecans! Adjust this recipe a bit to fit your tastes. I’ve found that this recipe is pretty forgiving. 🙂

What is your favorite way to use brown bananas? Leave a comment!

How to Make the Best Whole Wheat Banana Bread

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