The trick to making ultra-moist, healthy banana bread is to use extra-virgin olive oil and FOUR WHOLE BANANAS, with both white and whole wheat flour in the recipe!
I loveeee a good banana bread. But it’s easy to try to bake one and have it come out dry and bland. Not with this recipe! This recipe for super moist banana bread is not only DELICIOUS, but it’s healthy too!
There are a few tricks to making the ultimate moist banana bread. Using olive oil helps keep it moist, as does using LOTS of bananas– I used four, which also helps sweeten the bread naturally. This means that there isn’t a lot of sugar in the recipe, but it’s still decadently sweet.
This banana bread recipe also uses both white AND whole wheat flour, which helps take the nutrition up a notch but still maintain a light and fluffy texture.
How to make moist banana bread
- Grease a loaf pan generously with olive oil- it’s OK if some pools up in the bottom!
- Mix together your wet ingredients in a large bowl- olive oil, a little bit of brown sugar, eggs, and mashed bananas.
- Add your spices- baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Then, mix whole wheat and white flour in, pour in the prepared loaf pan, and bake! It’s so easy and you only need ONE bowl, which makes clean-up a breeze.
Making banana bread with olive oil vs. butter
I LOVE using olive oil to bake with. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that olive oil is one of the healthiest fats out there, and baking with olive oil is big with Mediterranean food. But health benefits aside, I just like it better than butter in a lot of circumstances.
Using oil to bake keeps things much more moist than using butter. And best of all, it STAYS moist for days later, whereas baked goods with butter have a tendency to dry out faster.
I also love that you don’t have to soften it or melt it from it’s solid state- just pour the olive oil into the bowl and you’re good to go!
And since the banana bread batter gets poured into a greased loaf pan, it makes removing the banana bread a breeze. Just flip the pan upside down (after it cools a bit) and it should just pop right out cleanly!
That said, butter is also delicious. Feel free to use it, or another oil such as coconut or canola, in this recipe. And I do recommend serving the final product warm, slathered with a generous helping of salted butter. YUM.
How to use frozen bananas for baking
I like to freeze my bananas, whole, inside the peel, in the freezer.
Then, when I’m ready to bake, I pop them in the microwave, cut off the tops, and slide the banana right out of the peel!
Full disclosure: it looks absolutely disgusting when it comes out. It’s mushy and quite unnerving. BUT, I swear, this trick is life changing when it comes to baking with bananas!
Best of all- when it’s frozen like that, it becomes very mushy, so you don’t need to worry about mashing the banana separately. Just slide it right into the bowl and mix away!
What kind of loaf pan to use
I recommend using a glass loaf pan to make banana bread. I’ve used metal before, and almost every time, the edges of the bread come out dry and burnt-tasting.
The reason for this is the darker the pan, the hotter it gets in the oven. And if it’s too hot, it will overcook the edges of the banana bread before the inside has had a chance to cook completely.
Enter: GLASS bakeware. I love it for the same way I like using white ceramic baking dishes– they won’t get too hot and overcook some parts of whatever you’re making. I have these and they’ve served me well!
How can I tell if it’s cooked all the way through?
Cooking time will vary depending on a few factors- elevation, how big the bananas are, how big the eggs are, how hot your oven runs, etc.
This banana bread will usually take 50-60 minutes to cook, but sometimes it may take longer.
You should make sure you check for doneness by inserting a toothpick (or cake tester) in the center of the bread and removing it. If it comes out clean- the bread is done! If raw dough sticks to it, it needs more time.
Other baked goods that use olive oil (or other oils)
- Cardamom Spiced Orange Olive Oil Cake
- Healthy Zucchini Muffins
- Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bread
- Vasilopita (Greek New Year’s Bread)
- Banana Blueberry Oat Muffins
- Healthy Blueberry Muffins
- Vegan Maple Banana Oat Muffins
- Whole Wheat Focaccia with Rosemary and Sea Salt
- Greek Olive Oil Nut and Spice Cookies (from Diane Kochilas)
You can store this olive oil banana bread at room temperature for a few days and it will stay super moist and delicious. Just make sure you keep it in an airtight container. You can also refrigerate it for longer, and even freeze it for a few months.
I usually slice it and then store it, so I can grab a piece in the morning for breakfast without worrying about getting the cutting board out. I do like popping it in the microwave though if I have time, because warm banana bread is soooo good.
Did you make this Ultra-Moist Healthy Banana Bread? Please comment below and Rate this Recipe!
Ultra-Moist Healthy Banana Bread (made with Olive Oil)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to generously grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan. It's OK if some pools at the bottom.
- In a large bowl, mix the remaining olive oil (just under 1/2 cup) with the brown sugar (1/2 cup).
- Add the eggs and mix for about 1 minute.
- Add the bananas (see notes) and mix together.
- Stir in the baking soda, kosher salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract (1 teaspoon of each).
- Stir in the whole wheat flour (1/2 cup) and the all-purpose flour (1 cup) until just incorporated and no dry spots remain.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan for at least 10 minutes. It should pop right out if you flip the pan upside-down, but if you need to give it a boost you can run a knife along the sides before flipping it over.
- Cut the banana bread into 10 slices. I recommend serving it warm with salted butter spread on top.
- Baking times can vary based on a number of factors, such as how hot your oven runs, how big the bananas or eggs are, etc. Keep an eye on it and know that it may take a little longer than 60 minutes to fully cook- be sure to insert a toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean so you know it’s finished.
- Salt: A few readers have said the bread is quite salty. I think 1 teaspoon kosher salt (Morton) is perfect, but I admittedly have a heavy hand with salt! If using fine salt/table salt, do make sure to use less than 1 teaspoon, as there is more sodium per volume (more on that here). And feel free to take the amount down to 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt if you are sensitive to salt.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze it (I recommend slicing it first, so you can grab one piece when you want it) in an airtight plastic bag for up to 6 months- squeeze as much air out of it as you can before freezing.
- I recommend putting whole, too-ripe bananas in your freezer, unpeeled. When you want to use them for banana bread or other baked goods, take them out and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Then, cut the top of the banana off and squeeze the inside out directly into the mixing bowl. They will be so soft, you don’t have to worry about mashing or crushing them beforehand.
- Olive oil substitution: You can use butter, or another oil such as canola (which is cheaper) or coconut, in place of the olive oil.
- Flour substitution: I don’t really recommend using ALL whole wheat flour, as the bread will be dense and dryer, but you can try different ratios between whole wheat/regular flour, or use all white flour if you prefer.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: