This healthy pumpkin banana bread is flavorful, perfectly spiced, moist and tender. It’s healthier than a traditional pumpkin banana bread because it has less sugar, and is made with wholesome ingredients. A great tasting bread that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for nutrition, and that your whole family will love. It’s a great alternative to my pumpkin banana muffins, if you want something a bit healthier.
I by no means frown upon traditional baking techniques and ingredients, but sometimes it is nice to have other options! Perhaps you have a family member with health concerns or they just are sensitive to foods with lots of added sugars. What I enjoy about experimenting with healthier baking options is that often, the ingredients swaps don’t taste all that noticeable! So it’s my motto that if you can add in or swap out healthier alternatives that taste just as good, why not do it? Let me show you how to make this delicious quick bread I think you’re really going to love, just in time for pumpkin season!
Why I love this recipe
- More fiber and protein – the addition of Greek yogurt, ground flax seed and whole wheat flour adds in both fiber and protein, which achieves two things. More balanced blood sugar and leaves you feeling more satiated.
- Flavorful & moist, not dense and bland – I love the saying “progress over perfection” and think it suits this bread perfectly. While not sugar free, this is a low sugar pumpkin bread. It has nutritious add-ins, but still has the traditional ingredients like yummy nutty butter and some all-purpose flour. This results in a great tasting bread you’ll actually enjoy, not a bland dry loaf you’ll be challenged to eat.
- Quick and easy – quick breads have that name for a reason, they’re quick to put together and almost fool-proof. Quick breads use baking soda and or powder as the leavening agent, rather than yeast, which is a bit more temperamental. All you have to do is mix wet with dry ingredients, toss it in a pan and let it do its thing!
Simple ingredients needed
- Whole wheat and all purpose flour. Using a combination of the two will add more fiber and result in a lower glycemic index, while also keeping the bread airy and moist. Pure whole wheat flour may result in dry and heavy bread, which we definitely don’t want! BTW, you can use standard whole wheat or white whole wheat flour interchangeably. The final product will have a slightly sweeter flavor when using white wwf.
- Overripe bananas – this pumpkin banana bread recipe uses 2 bananas versus 3, since we are also add in pumpkin puree. The riper the banana, the sweeter it will be!
- Pumpkin puree – of course it’s easiest to use canned pumpkin, but you can also easily make homemade pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot or stovetop. Just make sure you don’t use pumpkin pie filling!
- Greek yogurt – this adds moisture and helps make the bread more tender. It also helps cut down a bit on the amount of butter used. You can also use sour cream instead, if you prefer.
- Melted butter & eggs – standard baked good ingredients. Allow eggs to come to room temperature and let melted butter cool a bit before incorporating into the bread.
- Ground flax seed – this adds fiber, protein and a decent dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, which provides benefits to the brain and heart. It also gives the bread a slight nutty taste that is quite good!
- Pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin spice extract (optional) and baking powder help flavor and leaven the bread.
Easy steps to make this tasty banana pumpkin bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.
In a large mixing bowl, add the two different flours, baking powder and flax seed. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas, then add in the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, Greek yogurt, melted butter, pumpkin spice and pumpkin spice extract (or vanilla extract). Stir till ingredients are completely mixed together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir just to combine with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix or else bread can get tough and chewy.
Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan and pour in batter.
Bake for 55-65 minutes, till a toothpick comes out clean. Note that baking time will vary depending on the type of pan you are using. Glass pans sometimes take longer to bake than a metal pan, so keep that in mind. When bread is done, pull from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
This healthy pumpkin banana bread recipe is great because it has a perfect balance of pumpkin flavor and banana flavor. The natural sweetness of the bananas is nice too, as it makes this bread not overly sweet. It’s so good for breakfast with a couple of scrambled eggs and a cup of coffee. Ask me how I know ha!
While I did not recipe test it with gluten-free flour, you can certainly swap out the regular flour for your trusted GF swap. I know there are so many great options out there that allow for a cup-for-cup swap, you should have no problem making this adjustment.
I initially recipe tested this bread using maple syrup instead of sugar, but found it made the bread too moist and did not want to bake all the way through. So stick with granulated sugar or coconut sugar. Or if you really want to limit the amount of added sugar, I have had success with Swerve sweetener, as seen in my Healthy Apple Crumble.
Tips for storing and freezing baked bread
To keep your moist pumpkin banana bread fresh, make sure to store it on the countertop in an airtight container or cover it in plastic wrap. Do not store it in the fridge, as refrigerators circulate cold air which can dry out your yummy bread.
Banana bread will stay fresh your counter for about 4 days. By days 5 and 6, the bread may begin to dry out a bit. I usually pop a slice in the microwave for a few seconds. Spread on some butter, and it tastes just as good. But once a week+ hits, you will likely start to see mold appear, which of course means it’s time to ditch it.
You will want to bake this yummy banana pumpkin recipe all Fall season long, and may even want to make a double batch each time you bake. You can gift one loaf or freeze it.
Wrap your loaf in foil, place in a Ziploc or Stasher bag, and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to four months.
Simply remove from the freezer and bag, set on the counter and leave out for a few hours.
You can add in nuts like walnuts or pecans to give this yummy a bread a bit of crunch. Of course pumpkin seeds would also be apropos and add a definite earthy vibe. Golden raisins or chocolate chips would make it a bit sweeter of course. Or if you want to get indulgent, counteract the healthiness of this bread by topping it with a pumpkin spice glaze ha!
More great Fall Recipes!
I hope you love this recipe! If you are looking for more Fall cooking inspiration, take a peek at the seasonal recipes below. Happy baking!
Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread
- 1 Loaf Pan greased
- 2 Mixing bowls
- 1 Whisk
- 1 Spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 cup All purpose flour
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour can also use white whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Ground flax seed
- 2 Very ripe bananas smashed
- ⅔ cup Pumpkin puree
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 Large eggs
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 6 tablespoon Butter melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin spice extract or vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f
- Add both flours, the baking powder, salt and flax seed to a large mixing bowl and whisk together1 cup All purpose flour, 1 cup Whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Salt, 2 tablespoon Ground flax seed
- In a separate bowl add the bananas, pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, Greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice and extract. Stir together2 Very ripe bananas, ⅔ cup Pumpkin puree, ½ cup Sugar, 2 Large eggs, ¼ cup Greek yogurt, 6 tablespoon Butter, 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon Pumpkin spice extract
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir together until well combined, but do not overmix. Pour into a greased 9"x5" loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-75 minutes, removing from oven when toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean. See recipe note about cooking times and doneness