Lately, I have been on a baking kick and coming up with new ways to get more protein in my baked goods. Last week, when the bananas on the counter were suddenly too ripe, I knew what time it was. I wanted to make a classic banana bread but with better ingredients. Behold this protein banana bread recipe! This bread is fluffy, moist and perfectly sweet despite being made with no added sugar, whole wheat flour and being high protein.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Less than 150 calories and 10 grams of protein per slice with no added sugar.
- Perfect use of those overripe bananas.
- Great breakfast option, dessert or daytime healthy snack.
- Can add chocolate chips, walnuts or blueberries for flavor.
- Whipped up in minutes with a quick cleanup.
Protein Banana Bread
There’s a million recipes for delicious banana bread. What sets this one a part? The ingredients! This moist banana bread has a traditional banana bread taste but is made with whole wheat flour, non-fat Greek yogurt, and vanilla whey protein powder to make it high protein. It is free of any added sugar and sweetened with applesauce, honey and ripe bananas to make it low in fat and calories. The best part? Per slice there is 13g of protein and only 145 calories and 2g of fat.
Compare this to your average regular banana bread mix at 180 calories per slice with 1g of protein. And even more shocking, compared it to your favorite neighborhood coffee shop chain at a whopping 490 calories per slice and 19g of fat. I promise you, this banana bread is every bit as satisfying and delicious but can actually boast that it’s good for you. Try it, you won’t be sorry!
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What can I add into my bread?
I love the high-protein banana bread recipe as written but sometimes want to jazz it up a bit. For a salty nutty crunch add in 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. To make this a little more decadent and rich, add in dark chocolate chips. I like to add about 1/4-1/2 cup into the batter (depending on how chocolatey I’m feeling) and drizzle more on top once it’s in the loaf pan. If you want something low calorie but to sweeten it up a bit, add 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (fresh works too) so the juices go into the bread as it bakes.
It’s also amazing topped with peanut or almond butter or, my personal preference, this healthy chocolate spread from my friends at Cocoa Bar In A Jar!
Note, add-ins are not accounted for the in nutrition info and will need to be added in separately.
Can you make this recipe dairy and gluten-free?
To make this protein banana bread gluten-free you can substitute the whole wheat flour for oat flour. In general: one cup of whole wheat or white flour is equal to 1 1/3 cup of oat flour. If using oat flour in this recipe use 1 1/3 cup, note the texture may change when switching flours. In order to ensure your bread is gluten-free, make sure your protein powder is certified GF as not all are. Nuzest makes a great vanilla gluten-free protein powder.
To make this dairy-free you can substitute the Greek yogurt for a non-dairy alternative. I use Fage Greek Yogurt and it has a very thick, creamy texture, so I highly recommend you find a non-dairy alternative similar to this to achieve the same results.
Ingredients and Substitutes:
These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients list and instructions for this protein banana bread.
Bananas: the most important ingredient! For best results, make sure to use overripe bananas. It sweetens the bread and mashes well. I like mashing the banana on a cutting board prior to adding to the bowl vs. trying to mash along the side of the bowl.
Greek yogurt: I used plain non-fat Fage but any plain yogurt will work. Use dairy-free alternatives if desired.
Applesauce: make sure it’s unsweetened to avoid adding refined sugar. 1/4 a cup is almost (not quite) a single pack of sauce so I like to buy the cups so I don’t waste.
Honey: can also use sugar substitutes like Stevia for even fewer calories.
Eggs: bind everything together.
Vanilla and Cinnamon: for flavor.
Flour: I used whole wheat flour. Can substitute with all-purpose flour at 1:1 ratio or with oat flour at 1 cup: 1 1/3 cup ratio.
Optional add-ins: dark chocolate chips, walnuts or blueberries.
How to make Protein Banana Bread
Step 1: preheat and prep
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
Step 2: mix wet ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, applesauce, honey (or sugar substitute), eggs, and vanilla extract.
Step 3: mix dry ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Step 4: combine ingredients
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix as it can result in a dense bread.
If using, fold in the chopped walnuts, dark chocolate chips or blueberries.
Step 5: pour the batter
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Step 6: bake
Bake for 50 minutes (more if needed), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If the top is browning too quickly, you can cover the bread with a piece of aluminum foil.
Step 7: cool and serve
Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
No ripe bananas? No problem.
Using a fork poke holes in the banana peels and microwave for 30-second intervals until desired softness. I have done this many times and it works great!
Serving, nutrition info and how to store
Make sure to completely cool the protein banana bread before you slice it. This will ensure your bread stays intact. Slice into 10 equal slices at about 75g per slice. The nutrition info is an estimate and does not reflect any optional add-ins or substitutions.
Store your protein banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.
Serve plain or top with my favorite healthy chocolate spread, Cocoa Bar in a Jar, use code OHSNAP for 10% off your order!
If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy baked goods!
Protein Banana Bread
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- 1.5 cups mashed overripe bananas 400g
- 1 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt 224g
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 67g
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour 120g
- 1 cup vanilla whey protein powder 90g
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and prepare a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, Greek yogurt, applesauce, honey (or sugar substitute), eggs, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix as it can result in a dense bread. If using, fold in the chopped walnuts or dark chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 50 minutes (more if needed), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If the top is browning too quickly, you can cover the bread with a piece of aluminum foil.
- Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store leftover protein banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.
- Nutrition facts do not include walnuts, chocolate chips or blueberries.
- If you do not use the recommended protein powder and the batter seems too thick, try adding a dash of milk to your desired consistency.
- Slice into 10 equal slices at approximately 75 grams per slice.