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Healthy Banana Bread With Fruit, Nuts and Seeds (Diabetic-Friendly)

I used to work in my family's restaurant and helped run it. I love good food, and I've cooked family meals for over 60 years.

My family loves my healthy banana bread!

My family loves my healthy banana bread!

Fruit, Nuts and Seeds for Extra Nutrition and Flavour

Banana bread is a cross between bread and cake, made with overripe mashed bananas.

According to Wikipedia, "Banana bread first became a standard feature of American cookbooks with the popularization of baking soda and baking powder in the 1930s."

During the coronavirus pandemic, it became one of the most sought-after recipes on the internet, according to Google.

After trying it out, and being keen on experimentation, I developed my own version to include more fibre and nutritious ingredients to help with health problems.

Pandemic Baking

Before the coronavirus pandemic started in December 2019, I had only eaten banana bread a couple of times.

When there was talk of lockdown and before it had even started in earnest, supermarket shelves were emptied of flour, rice and pasta by panic-stricken shoppers. After a short period, it became clear that this was a short-term problem, and these items once more became available. The shoppers, myself included, were left with a larger-than-needed quantity of these basic foods (not to mention toilet paper!) which had to be used up as soon as possible, to make space in their overflowing cupboards.

After the lockdown in March 2020, online shopping became the order of the day, but delivery slots were often unavailable, which led to householders having occasional temporary shortages of fresh foods. Thus, with more time on our hands to try making our own bread, many of us started to experiment and that's when I learnt how to make banana bread. It was quite nice but I thought it might be improved with a little manipulation of the recipe. I discovered that the addition of chopped dates and raisins made it tastier and that the addition of extra sweetening made it into more of a cake than just a bread.

Diabetic-Friendly Banana Bread

As I am diabetic I am supposed to cut down on sugar and salt, so I experimented and used mostly Hermesetas, an artificial sweetener instead of sugar. I also added some raisins, cranberries and chopped dates. I found that the other ingredients hid the rather distinctive taste of Hermesetas and that the replacement of most of the sugar with Hermesetas was not obvious. Neither did it seem to affect the texture or rising of the bread.

I also used only half a teaspoonful of salt instead of the teaspoonful recommended in other recipes. This did not spoil the flavour at all.

Then I tried adding a few chopped or flaked nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and chia seeds. These didn't change the flavour but did add a great deal of nutrition and a slight, but not unpleasant, change in texture.

And thus my final recipe as set out below had materialized.


  • 9x5-inch loaf tin (or 2 smaller ones if, like me, that's all you have)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Fork, spoon and measuring spoons
Don't worry if your baking tin is too small. Just use two smaller ones.

Don't worry if your baking tin is too small. Just use two smaller ones.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

55 min

1 hour 15 min

10 to 12 servings


Basic Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces brown flour
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Hermesetas, or similar sugar-free sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons honey or brown/white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavouring
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons mixed seeds, dried fruit and nuts, choose any smalll dried fruit or even crystallized ginger

Optional Additions:

  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 dessert spoon finely chopped nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (350°C, Moderate) and line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Lightly grease the paper with olive oil or butter.
  2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl and then add the olive oil, eggs, honey, vanilla essence, cinnamon and salt together, plus optional turmeric and powdered ginger (if using) and mix them all together.
  3. Add the flour and stir it into the mixture.
  4. In a separate container pour in a quarter of a cup of warm water and add the Hermesetas baking soda and baking powder, stirring until the Hermesetas has melted and the baking powders are slightly foaming. Then pour them into the mixture. Then add the seeds, fruit and nuts and stir until they are fully integrated into the mixture.
  5. Add the mixture to the loaf tin which has been lined with greaseproof paper. Cook at gas mark 4 (350°C, Moderate) for 55 to 60 minutes. If not sure whether it is cooked enough you can test the loaf by sticking a sharp knife or toothpick into it. If it comes out clean then it is cooked, but if the mixture sticks to it, cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the loaf tin and put it on a rack to cool off.
  6. If not eating immediately, store in a cool dry place or cake tin.
The finished loaf

The finished loaf

I store a knife in the tin so that it's ready to slice the bread without having to search for a clean knife.

I store a knife in the tin so that it's ready to slice the bread without having to search for a clean knife.

Here is a nice slice of bread ready to eat.

Here is a nice slice of bread ready to eat.

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