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Fat Free Banana Bread

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Fat free banana bread that does not taste fat-free.

banana breads

It is so soft and buttery.

I’m trying really hard not to say “moist” because I know everyone hates that word!

This bread actually wasn’t supposed to be fat-free. In fact, I was quite upset upon discovering—midway through preparing the recipe—only about a teaspoon’s worth of coconut oil lingered in my sad little jar. (Note to self: gather all ingredients before starting to cook a recipe. Will I ever learn?)

Since I’d already begun, I wasn’t going to put the recipe on hold; my heart stomach was set on banana bread! Option one was to use olive oil. However, I worried the oil’s strong flavor might affect the taste of my not-yet-tested banana bread recipe.

Option two was to make a Single-Serving Banana Bread.

But I really wanted a whole loaf. And I also wanted a new recipe so I could post about it, which is always more exciting than when I post about a recipe I’ve already published. Many lovely bloggers and readers assured me on twitter that fat-free would be fine. So I made a few changes and hoped for the best… I never imagined the results would be so good!

banana breads

For maximum enjoyment: Eat this for breakfast, while still in your pjs!

Fat Free Banana Bread

(Makes 10-12 slices)

  • 2 c spelt, white, or arrowhead mills gf flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c milk of choice OR oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, agave, or honey (Or, here’s a Sugar-Free Version.)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch uncut stevia OR 1 tbsp additional agave/maple syrup
  • 1 and 2/3 c tightly-packed, mashed banana (measured after mashing)
  • 1/3 cup berries of choice, or more banana (I actually used 1 full cup of sliced strawberries. The resulting bread was extremely gooey, but I loved it that way!)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix into dry. (Mix by hand, and don’t overmix.) Pour into a greased loaf pan and cook for 35-50 minutes, depending on how gooey you want it. (Tip: If the top is cooked but the inside is still gooey, put tin foil over the top and continue to cook.) After removing from the oven, let cool for ten minutes before slicing. After the first day, this bread is best stored in the fridge. Or cut into slices and freeze for later.

Nutrition Information at a Glance:

  •  130 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • Fiber depends on the flour you use

Add around 20 extra calories for the Polka-Dot Banana Bread.

fat free banana bread

banana bb

Question of the Day:
Do you ever lower the fat in a recipe or substitute applesauce for the oil?

I know many people are conscious of fat, so I try to offer lower-fat options whenever possible in my recipes. Yet, my own diet is actually pretty high in fat. I think “fat” has gotten a bad name. It sounds so negative, and society likens it to the devil. But, especially if you’re young and healthy, cutting out healthy fats (such as oils and nuts) can wreak havoc on your organs, skin, and hair.

As for this particular banana bread? It really does taste wonderful on its own. However, my slice didn’t stay fat-free for long. I painted that baby in a nice, thick coat of peanut butter. It was delicious!

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Meredyth says:

    I frequently sub 1/4 cup of applesauce for an egg- it works really well and keeps breads and muffins especially moist (the word is sometimes unavoidable…).

    1. LOL I actually like the word! Not as much as the word “gooey” though. That’s my favorite food word :).

  2. Hmm I ALWAYS reduce or substitute fat in a recipe because of 2 reasons:
    1. I really dislike the smell of oil and the trouble of washing oily dishes! (tons of soap needed!)
    2. My diet outside of meals self-cooked (mostly dessert-meals) are very high in fat (the food prepared outside are really oily and unhealthy) so having lower-fat/fat-free homemade goodies kind of balances up everything!
    On a side note, can the 1/3 cup berries/bananas extra be eliminated? (I have neither berries nor enough bananas!) Thanks.

    1. It *might* be a little drier, but yes, they can definitely be omitted.

  3. I sometimes sub applesauce for all or half of the oil, but I most certantly don’t have a low fat diet! I eat loads of peanut butter, always put oil on my salad and eat avocados whenever I can!
    The reason why I try to healthify and lower the amounts of fats and sugar in baked goods is that I love them so much i know I’ll eat big amounts so I might as well try and make them less heavy! Plus, they make me less too-much-sugar-and-fat-kind-of-sick…does that make any sense?

    1. Julia says:

      Yes!! Haha I totally feel the same way! I love desserts so much so I want to make them healthy as possible so I can eat TONS of them!! 😛 Haha!!

  4. I often substitue applesauce for oil but it depends on what. For cakes, usually that’s a special occasion and I like the consistency of oil better. Muffins, breads – those are fine with applesauce. I also like making brownies with yogurt.

  5. Looks amazing!!! I like using both in recipes, heck I try every recipe really! Haha 🙂

  6. Gen says:

    Yummy!!!!!! I bet this tastes amazing!! Even if I do eat or make reduced fat food, I usually make up for it later w/ peanut butter! hahaha

    1. Sharon Hartwig says:

      Have you tried PB2? Lots less fat!

  7. Lisa C says:

    Yum, girl! This looks awesome! I love the name, especially :).

  8. Michaela says:

    “Pajama Banana Bread”, hahaha 😀
    I pretty much always substitute applesauce for oil or just reduce the amount of fat, but not because I hate fat (I love it!!!!!! Gives so much flavour, protects our organs, helps keep hair shiny and skin soft…), but simply because I don´t believe all that fat in baked good is necessary and I´d rather “save” some fat in baked goods, so I can have more pb in my oatmeal 😉
    To me, though, taste is king, and I was baking some pancakes this morning that just tasted bland without any fat, so I added coconut butter and they were so much better.

  9. Krysten says:

    I absolutely HATE the word “moist!” My fiance teases me about it incessantly. And I always try to lower the fat in recipes. I’m not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I try to eat as healthy as possible, and that includes low-fat or fat-free chesses, yogurts, milks, etc., as well as low-fat cooking and baking. It doesn’t make sense NOT to!

  10. abby says:

    i admit i am pretty afraid of fat, still. your blog has done wonders to help me in getting over this fear, but i still have a long way to go. katie, there was a time when i wouldn’t touch peanut butter AT ALL! now i can at least allow myself a little, and it’s all thanks to you. really, your blog has helped me so much!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Ditto this. I’m currently battling an eating disorder, and Katie’s blog has helped me to see food as something to be enjoyed, whereas previously I viewed it as the enemy. For the first time in a long while, I actually want to get healthy!

      1. Tiffany says:

        I used to completely be this way (would make sure I ate 10g or less a day) and now I realized for me it had a lot more to do with total calories than anything else. Now I focus on eating healthy, and if that means gobs of peanut butter and hoardes of avocados…I do it!! I’ve even recently started using butter and oils again. 🙂 You can get over it, I promise. I’m losing weight and eating as much fat as I want.

      2. Julia says:

        Same with me!! Katie is such a role model to me and she is really the one who helped me out of struggling with an eating disorder too! I hope she sees these posts so she can know, because I really cannot thank you enough Katie!!! 🙂

        1. Thank you… your comments really made me happy. Life is short, and it’s unfair that the media or other outside influences have the power to make people feel guilty for enjoying good food, spinning things like chocolate and dessert as something negative. Chocolate is NOT negative ;). And if you eat dessert every day, you are not a bad person. And if you eat a healthy diet with lots of healthy fat, it will not make you fat and should definitely not make anyone feel guilty.

  11. Leslie says:

    Haha can’t believe it’s taken you this long to get a banana bread recipe on your site! 😉

  12. MMmmmm…this looks so yummy! Everyone needs to have a good banana bread recipe in their arsenal!

  13. I pay very little attention to fat and a lot more to sugar. I avoid “fat-free” foods, with the exception of plain greek yogurt. It seems like they are usually jammed full of sugar.
    That being said- I go easy on butter and oil most of the time and often used mashed bananas, applesauce, pureed pumpkin, etc when baking.

    But more importantly- how did the date go???

  14. Mmmm I LOVE banana bread, and I’m so glad you’ve posted a recipe for it!! I know a CCK banana bread will be be better than any other 🙂

    Haha I usually ADD fat to recipes! Peanut butter makes EVERYTHING better! 😀

  15. Lauren says:

    Yum! I love banana bread. I’m going to try some caramelized bananas instead of the sugar. Oh, Katie, I made your cookie dough dip, the sugar free version. When I saw the recipe, I thought, “Maybe instead of dates a caramelized banana would work.” It was perfect! I didn’t even need nut butter because the banana was so creamy and delicious. I made one batch with just the banana and chocolate chips, and the second batch with banana, peanut butter, and chocolate chips and they were both amazing!

    1. Ooh I’d love to know how caramelized bananas would work in it. Did you see the sugar-free version? It uses dates as the sweetener. It’s pretty good!

      1. Lauren says:

        Yep, I saw the date version! For some reason, dates freak me out haha! I literally have no idea why. The way so many people feel towards brussel sprouts is how I feel towards dates (and prunes). Actually, now that I think about it I don’t like any dried fruit…even raisins and banana chips! I know, I’m weird lol!

        1. Rebecca says:

          Oh Lauren! Definitely make an effort to get on the date (and PRUNE) bandwagon! Seriously..soooo good. Dates freaked me out a bit at first too—until I figured out how to actually cook with them. Also, there are different types of dates with different flavors (ex. Medjool are very caramel-y, Halawi are very sweet and super-gooey, and noor dates? Me no likely too much—they get kind of dry).

          Here’s a tip to get into dates: I sprinkle on (or mix in if you can stand mashing them up..with a fork if only using one or two) cinnamon and cayenne—and then I usually put them in small heart-shaped molds because I’m dorky like that. They taste like a cinnamon gummy bear!

          Also, I love love love prunes. I made a pretty healthy chocolate fondue recipe that used prune puree and ever since I was addicted. (This is the only recipe I have ever lost—sooo sad)! I think what turns people off to prunes is the texture. ***My solution? Keep them in the FRIDGE! They firm up quite nicely (also, the ones with potassium sorbate—a common preservative used on them…even in health food stores…tend to be too gooey. So look for prunes without any preservatives…and definitely keep in the fridge). ALSO, dip them in PEANUT BUTTER (or almond butter if that’s your thing)! SO ADDICTIVE, SO DELICIOUS! (I do this with dried black mission figs also!)

          Hope this catapults you into date/prune love!

  16. Fat is definitely good for you – but I do sub in applesauce when I’m trying to lower saturated fats like butter in recipes.

    Btw, I voted for you today! Yay for a healthy dessert blog hopefully winning! And…how did the blind date go??

    1. Thank you SO much!!

      I will talk more about it tomorrow, but probably not a lot… because he and all my friends know about my blog!

  17. Iris says:

    I often use applesauce in place of some of the fat in gluten-free baking because it helps gives recipes a moister crumb. Your bread looks beautiful!

  18. Katy says:

    Katie, I noticed that your gf substitution suggestions recently have been arrowhead mills instead of Bob’s. It looks like their all-purpose blend is based on brown rice and potato starches (not beans), so I would love to try it if I can find it. But I was just curious whether you switched the recommendation based on general experience/suggestions or if it’s recipe-specific?

    1. It’s actually because another blogger alerted me to the fact that Bob’s just made a HUGE donation to a company that tests on animals, which I’m not ok with. I did a little research and was sad to find out it was true.

      But then I found the Arrowhead Mills gf mix, and I love how it is based on brown rice flour. I also often buy some of their other flours.

      So… lol long answer! It’s not recipe specific. 🙂

      1. Katy says:

        Okay, thank you! Also, I almost can’t believe I didn’t hear about that; a simple google search brought up lots of blog material and a few official statements. I will be looking for Arrowhead Mills anyway 🙂

  19. Melissa says:

    I will sometimes sub in applesauce in things like muffins, but not for brownies or cakes. I find it takes away from the gooey-ness too much. I sometimes use Smart Balance instead of butter and that works out really well for individual lava cakes. 🙂

  20. Jenny says:

    I used to always reduce the amount of fat in a recipe, and I would never, ever bake with butter. Then, one day I realised… meh, fat makes everything taste better. And I realised, also, that fat doesn’t make us fat, especially if we eat it in moderation as we should eat everything. Now I bake usually with the oils or butter or fat called for in a recipe (I’ve never baked and never will bake with shortening, though; that is one thing I draw the line at) but drastically reduce the sugar or replace it with more natural sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, or stevia). 🙂 Fat free baked treats are nice when you want something light and just to nibble on, though – that much I can admit! Also good if you don’t want a heavy breakfast weighing you down or a heavy dinner.