This three-spice sunflower seed, light and healthy vegan banana bread is perfect for any occasion--breakfast, teatime, or on-the-go snack. This banana bread has great flavor and texture and is also incredibly healthy as it is made with whole grains and is made without using any processed sugar.
Banana bread is one of the best ways to use those overripe bananas in your fruit basket.
This recipe has greatly evolved from my first recipe I tried 15 years ago. Over the years, as I learned about food ingredients, my banana bread recipe has kept getting more flavorful and lighter on sugar and (unhealthy) fats. Here is how to make it:
You would need overripe bananas. This is super important. Overripe bananas have concentrated sugar, which gives natural sweetness to the bread. Mash overripe bananas to a pulp with the back of a big spoon, potato masher, or just with clean hands, take your pick.
I almost always use whole grains in my cooking and this banana bread is no exception. I have used whole spelt flour to make this bread. Please note that spelt is not gluten free(stay tuned for the gluten-free banana bread). You can also use white whole wheat or regular whole wheat flour (please see the recipe notes).
I like spices in almost anything. For this bread I have used cinnamon, clove, and ground ginger. But if you don't have all the spices available in your spice cabinet, don't let it stop you from making the bread. Move along with whatever you have. Don't forget salt and baking soda.
You also need a flax egg (recipe here). I have not tried it but any other egg alternative should work as well. This recipe does not use any processed sugar. I usually use natural sweeteners like maple syrup. If you don't have maple syrup in your pantry, you can replace it with organic cane sugar (see recipe notes).
You also need oil. My choice is avocado oil as it's taste is somewhat neutral and has high smoking point (more on this later). Grapeseed oil also works well. Last but not the least, the secret ingredient: Apple cider vinegar. I am also testing an oil-free version of this bread.
I have added sunflower seeds to this banana bread, but feel free to add any other kind or even chopped walnuts. Chocolate chips are totally optional. I am not a big fan, but my kids love chocolate chips. I often make this bread without adding any chocolate chips.
Mix all the dry ingredients (except sunflower seeds and chocolate chips) in a mixing bowl. Similarly, mix all the wet ingredients (except apple cider vinegar) separately. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet and whisk until mixed. Usually I whisk it 6-7 times. Add the vinegar and mix (2-3 times).
Fold in sunflower seeds and chocolate chips (if using). Don't forget to prepare the baking pan in advance. I usually smear the 8.5" x 4.5" pan with oil and then sprinkle some flour. That always works well. Put the bread mixture in the prepared pan and bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 1 hour. This bread will keep for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container in refrigerator. You can also freeze it for about 4 weeks. Enjoy.
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Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Pancakes (gluten-free)
Three Spice Sunflower Seed Healthy Banana Bread
- 1 cup whole spelt flour*
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger**
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon***
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw, unsalted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate chips (optional)
- 2 overripe mashed bananas (1 cup mashed)
- 2 tbsp avocado oil (or any other kind)
- 1 flax egg
- 1/4 cup maple syrup****
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (can sub it with white vinegar)
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Prepare a 8.5" x 4.5" baking pan by smearing oil on all sides and sprinkling with flour.
- Add all the dry ingredients (except sunflower seeds and chocolate chips) to a bowl and use a whisk to mix well.
- Add all the wet ingredients except apple cider vinegar to a separate bowl and whisk till well mixed.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix well with a whisk. Add apple cider vinegar and mix it a couple of times with a whisk.
- Fold in sunflower seeds and chocolate chips (if using).
- Bake in the preheated over for around 1 hour. It's a good idea to start checking at around 55 minutes. When done, a fork or toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Put the baking pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes before tapping the bread out of the pan. Enjoy.
Appearance is great hope does not taste too much of banana good for kids and bananas too 😉😉
This bread has the perfect balance of flavor. It does not taste too strongly of either banana or spices. Please share your experience if you make it. Thank You.
The recipe looks great Garima. I will definitely try it tnwxt week. Rohit bought way too many bananas this week and I expect some of them to be pretty ripe by Sunday!
Thank You! It would be great if you could share your experience or any suggestions.
Very good recipe. Moist and sweet with good rise.Be sure to use very ripe bananas. I made two batches to do a couple of tests. I used flax meal without mixing it with water in one and saw no difference. However, I only had two ripe bananas and needed four for two batches so I remembered that I had two frozen ones. However, they had been there a while and were not ripe when I froze them. The difference in sweetness was marked and I had also forgotten the maple syrup but with the ripe bananas it is not necessary. I also baked it in a smaller pan and had to bake about twice as long but it turned out fine.
Linda, Thank you for trying out the recipes and expert suggestions. Not sure why did the baking time increase?
I just made from this recipe and it is delicious with all the different spices! It has a great sweetness even though only 7 grams of sugar per serving! Thanks!
Anika, Thanks a lot for trying out the recipe and sharing your experience.
It was great to bake this theee spice banana bread. Excellent taste and healthy too. Thanks a lot Garima for the recipe. A great recipe from overripe bananas which we tend to throw away.
The receipe looks really interesting and want to try for sure .
Just wanted to know if Vinegar can be replaced with something as my daughter is allergic to any kind of fermentation.
Hello Mukta, Try replacing vinegar with 2 tsp of lemon juice. It would work to keep the acidity. If you try it, please let me know how did it turn out. Happy baking...