A healthy and vegan banana bread made with dates and sweetened with molasses
This healthy banana bread sweetened with molasses and dates is guaranteed to become your new go-to banana bread. It is so full of goodness that you will likely jump to correct anyone who wants to call it a cake. Made with a combination of regular all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour, sweetened with a bit of molasses and studded with beautiful Medjool dates, this healthy banana bread is perfect for breakfast, as a mid-morning snack, and it is the perfect bit of sweetness to accompany your late evening cup of chamomile tea.
What makes this banana bread healthy?
Our banana bread with dates uses a combination of all-purpose white flour and whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour contains the bran and germ of the wheat kernels, and is rich in protein, fiber and several minerals, making it healthier than white flour. The reason we don’t use only whole wheat flour is because it gives a less fluffy texture to baked goods than white flour does; the combination we use in this recipe is the perfect balance between nutrition and texture.
This cake also contains no refined white sugar. Instead, the banana bread is sweetened with a bit of molasses and chopped dates. Most sources agree than molasses (even the basic dark molasses used in this recipe) is preferable to refined white sugar; the molasses does contain some vitamins and minerals versus refined sugar which does not contain any. The best part though is that the dates also add a wonderful sweetness to this banana bread.
Are dates good for you?
Dates are naturally sweet, and loaded with nutrients. The Medjool dates that we prefer to use in this recipe are high in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium, calcium and phosphorus. They are the perfect snack, and the perfect addition to this banana bread.
How do you chop sticky dates?
This was often a bit of a frustration! Dates are sticky, and as you chop them they tend to stick to the blade of your knife making it a messy and slow job. Then we realized that if you spray the blade of your knife with some cooking spray (or grease it with some vegetable oil – carefully), the task is much easier!
How to bake a vegan banana bread.
We love that we are able to make this delicious and healthy banana bread with dates vegan! This is perfect for periods of lent when we abstain from dairy and eggs, and it’s also perfect for offering to vegans we love! In this recipe we use flaxseeds as an egg substitute:
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 2 1/2 tablespoon water, mixed together = 1 large egg
If you don’t have flax seeds you can use chia seeds instead. Of course, if you don’t need or want to make this banana bread vegan, simply substitute the flax seeds and water with eggs (the recipe will call for 2 large eggs).
The easiest way to mash bananas!
We use our stand mixer with paddle attachment to mash our bananas when we make banana bread. This is so much easier than using a fork or anything else. This recipe is especially easy because once you mash your bananas, you simply add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Easy, minimal clean-up and quick! We love that!!
You can freeze this healthy banana bread with dates.
Definitely a good tip! Banana bread freezes beautifully, and this one is no exception. Either freeze the entire loaf or freeze individually wrapped slices. Individual portions are perfect for popping into a lunch bag. Still slightly frozen when it’s time for lunch? No worries, a quick trip in the microwave is all it needs! We like to wrap our banana bread in plastic wrap, and then insert it into a freezer safe bag for double protection against freezer burn.
Looking for more delicious banana breads? We’ve got these:
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Healthy banana bread with dates
- Stand mixer or hand held mixer
- Loaf pan
- Parchment paper
- 1 cup (150 grams) chopped dates, pitted approximately 10 Medjool dates
- 1 cup (150 grams) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 bananas, medium size
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 5 tbsp (75 mL) water
- ½ cup (125 mL) vegetable or avocado oil
- ¼ cup (65 grams) dark molasses not blackstrap molasses
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place your chopped dates into a small bowl and cover them with boiling or very hot water. Set aside.1 cup (150 grams) chopped dates, pitted
- In medium size bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.1 cup (150 grams) all purpose flour, ½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer add your bananas and beat at medium speed until pureed. Next add the ground flax seeds, water and oil. Beat for 2 - 3 minutes at medium speed. Add the molasses and beat for an additional minute.2 bananas, medium size, 2 tbsp ground flax seeds, 5 tbsp (75 mL) water, ½ cup (125 mL) vegetable or avocado oil, ¼ cup (65 grams) dark molasses
- With the mixer speed set to low slowly add in the dry ingredients. Beat until just well combined.
- Drain the dates and add them to the batter. Beat until combined.
- Pour the batter into a parchment lined loaf pan and bake in the middle rack of your oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a cooling rack.