overhead banana bread on parchment paper and wooden cutting board


Who doesn’t love banana bread?! But often, recipes call for a lot of sugar – which is surprising when we think about how sweet ripe bananas taste. There are many recipes out there that even use bananas instead of sugar.

So let’s take a look at a few ways we can make-over a popular Banana Bread recipe and not only use less sugar but also boost the overall nutrition of it …


Recipe for Banana Bread using less sugar

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Original)


Cranberry Banana Nut Bread (Recipe Make-over)


1 ¾ cup all purpose flour


1 cup all purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder


1 tsp baking powder


1 tsp baking soda


1 tsp baking soda


½ tsp salt


¼ tsp salt


1 cup granulated sugar


¾ cup granulated sugar


¾ cup butter


½ cup margarine


2 eggs


1 egg


1 tsp vanilla


1 tsp vanilla


1 cup mashed ripe banana


1 cup mashed ripe banana


½ cup sour cream


½ cup low fat plain yogurt


1 cup chocolate chips


½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup chopped sliced almonds


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir in bananas and yogurt until well blended.
  5. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  6. Stir in dried cranberries and almonds.
  7. Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured 9 by 5 inch (23 by 12.5 cm) loaf pan.
  8. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool until just warm or let cool completely before slicing.


Nutrition Information (Loaf makes 12 servings)

Per Serving (1/12 loaf) Original   Make-over
Calories (kcal)350255
Fat (g)18.711.1
Saturated Fat (g)11.11.6
Protein (g)4.74.6
Sugar (g)26.819
Fibre (g)1.62.1
Sodium (mg)334197


This recipe ‘make-over’:

  • Replaces some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour which adds more dietary fibre.
  • Uses less sugar to reduce the calories.
  • Replaces butter with soft margarine and uses less reducing the total fat and saturated fat.
  • Uses less eggs to reduce the cholesterol from the yolk.
  • Replaces higher fat sour cream with low fat plain yogurt.
  • Replaces higher calorie chocolate chips with cranberries and almonds that are more heart healthy.


Why might you want to make banana bread with less sugar?

There has been a lot of talk in past years about the amount of sugar we are eating in general as North Americans … and the many possible health concerns that might be linked to this.

Whether you’re trying to control your weight, keep your heart healthy, get a handle on your blood sugars or simply eat less sugar, doing a recipe makeover such as this can be one step in the right direction.

Not only can you cut back on sugar, but you are also boosting the overall nutrition of a classic breakfast or snack item. You’ll be:

  • reducing the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar, salt and calories
  • increasing dietary fibre


There’s no need to constantly be looking for new recipes – unless that’s something you love doing! Often there are a few tweaks we can make to our favorites that can make them fit into any eating pattern we’re trying to follow … while keeping the same great taste!


If you’ve found this recipe because you’re looking to cut back on sugar, you might also be interested in my article about Managing Diabetes. I focus my work on helping people with aging bodies take back control when it comes to heart health, diabetes and weight management. Start here if you want to learn more about how a Registered Dietitian might be able to help you in your journey.


Source: www.cookspiration.com© Dietitians of Canada. All rights reserved. Recipe Make-over information from resource on PEN: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition.



Recipe Makeover: Banana Bread Using Less Sugar