Best-Ever High Protein Banana Bread

This delicious high protein protein banana bread is super moist, nutritious, and dairy free. It’s filling and packed with protein power and topped with an optional cashew cream cheese!

high protein banana bread in a stack

Life-changing High Protein Banana Bread

 

Do you ever crave banana bread? The almost intoxicating smell that fills the house while it’s baking, the deliciously dense texture, and perfectly sweet flavour? I do. Yes, I sure do. 

 

Banana bread is definitely one of my favourites and I’m revamping this recipe yet again for the blog today… I honestly feel it’s a recipe that can be changed so many ways and today I’ve seriously taken it up a notch. Did someone say cashew cream cheese frosting?! 

fresh baked protein banana bread loaf

This bread is delicious, super moist, dense, hearty, and full of protein, complex carbohydrates, and a nice amount of healthy fats. 

 

Years ago I would always order the “reduced-fat, healthy”  banana chocolate chip coffee cake at Starbucks (before I knew any better!) but now I almost always make my own at home. That banana bread was delicious, but one day my curiosity got the best of me and I looked up the nutritional details on the Starbucks website and let’s just say, like usual, “reduced fat” = “a crap-load of sugar” and seriously, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dietary fat anyways, so the whole “reduced fat” label (especially when one piece is still 400 calories) is just plain silly. A perfect example of deceptive food-industry marketing.

 

I decided shortly after my Starbucks awakening that I’d have to find or create a better, more balanced and healthy banana bread. To my delight I stumbled across a recipe from Brittany at Little B’s Healthy Habits that seemed like a good starting point (she has since made her blog private and it can’t be accessed anymore!).

 

Brittany’s recipe for high protein banana bread was packed with protein from the addition of whey protein powder and Greek yogurt. Unfortunately, due to my dairy allergy I can’t do either so instead I’ve created a couple adaptations based off of Brittany’s banana bread recipe that are dairy free and contain plant-based protein powder and egg whites to bring in a great amount of protein. 

high protein banana bread with protein icing and sprinkled nuts

What Makes This Banana Bread High Protein?

  • Protein powder – Vanilla plant-based protein powder isn’t all created equal though so my suggestion is to stick with a powder that is either brown rice based, (organic) soy based, or pea based for this recipe. You can also use vanilla whey protein powder if dairy is not an issue.
  • Egg whites – Egg whites are a great, affordable source of protein that really add to this recipe. 

 

  • Yogurt – If you are A-ok with dairy, you can opt for fat-free (0%) plain Greek yogurt, which also adds an additional boost of protein. If not, no problem – you can simply substitute it with coconut yogurt, though you will lose a few grams of protein and the bread will turn out a bit more dense and fudge-y with this option.
  • Protein icing – Feeling a little extra? While the cashew cream cheese icing is optional, it brings up the protein a bit more as it contains both vanilla protein powder and cashew nuts.

 

stack of high protein banana bread

The wonderful thing about protein packed banana bread is that it helps keep blood sugar levels stable which can in turn prevent sugar cravings. When I used to work with nutrition clients I would always assess their daily protein intake (especially if sugar cravings were an issue) and it was amazing how often cravings and mindless snacking would disappear when protein intake wasn’t lacking. 

 

Healthy dietary fats can also help with cravings as they make you feel more satisfied, full, and slow the release of sugars into the blood stream. The cashews in the delicious dairy free cream cheese frosting for this banana bread bring in healthy fats (and some more protein!), and blend perfectly with vanilla protein powder, a touch of vanilla extract, maple syrup, and almond milk.

 

The frosting is totally optional for this recipe as it makes the loaf more indulgent and a touch messy (but really, does that even matter when it tastes so darn good?!).

Healthy Protein-Packed Gluten Free Banana Bread

Tips for this Banana Bread

  • Yogurt type –  You have the option to use either plain 0% Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt, which is higher in fat. The Greek yogurt will give the bread a lighter, airier consistency whereas the coconut yogurt is going to make the bread more dense and fudge-y. You will also probably need to increase cooking time with the coconut yogurt again because the fat content is higher.
  • Protein powder – The type and brand of protein powder you use in this recipe won’t really change the texture but it will affect the flavour as different brands taste differently. Just choose your favourite. (One exception: I don’t recommend using coconut-based protein powders as they’re too absorbent in this application.)
  • Cooking time – My suggestion is to not stray from the recipe too much with substitutions and cook the bread for as long as you need until a toothpick pulls clean from the centre of the loaf, checking it often.

 

If you love banana bread as much as I do and want to increase your protein intake to ward off sugar cravings, this protein packed banana bread is a perfect way to do just that! Be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save this post for later and of course, share the love! 

 

More Banana-Based Recipes

 Healthy Homemade Chocolate Banana Bread Donuts

 Cocoa Banana Bread Protein Bites

 Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Energy Bars

 

Try this healthy and delicious high protein banana bread recipes that’s gluten free, dairy free, and made with protein powder, yogurt (Greek or coconut) and cashew cream frosting!

Healthy Protein-Packed Banana Bread

Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This delicious gluten free protein banana bread is super moist, nutritious, and dairy free. It's filling and packed with protein power and topped with an optional cashew cream cheese!

Ingredients

Banana Bread

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup of oat flour
  • 6 grams granulated stevia OR 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (using coconut palm sugar will make the loaf a darker color)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (whey or plant-based - avoid coconut based protein powders)
  • 1 cup of 0% fat Plain Greek yogurt OR 3/4 cup plain coconut yogurt
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting (Optional)

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional Garnishes:

  • Sliced banana
  • crushed walnuts
  • hemp seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pace bananas in a mixing bowl and mash until you have a thick pudding-like consistency.
  3. Add all remaining banana bread ingredients to bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Grease two small loaf pans (8" x 2 1/2") with coconut oil or line with parchment paper (alternatively you can use one larger loaf pan but this will increase cooking time)
  5. Divide batter between both pans and bake for 25 minutes (if using 0% Greek yogurt) or 40 minutes (if using coconut yogurt) or until a toothpick pulls clean when tested.
  6. While the banana bread is baking prepare the cashew cream cheese by soaking the cashews then draining and adding to a high speed blender with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Blend until completely smooth, transfer to a bowl then set in the fridge to chill.
  8. When bread is done baking, remove from oven and cool completely before frosting with the cream cheese and garnishing.
  9. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Try this healthy and delicious high protein banana bread recipes that’s gluten free, dairy free, and made with protein powder, yogurt (Greek or coconut) and cashew cream frosting!

 

P.S. If you love this recipe you have to try my Vegan Protein Gluten-Free Banana Muffins recipe!

 

Have an awesome day!

Christal // NITK

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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  • Hi! I’m trying to find high protein recipes for my mother in-law that is in chemo. She’s having a hard time eating much. I think this recipe looks great to try for her. I’d like to use higher fat Greek yoghurt. She’s very thin so needs anything she can get. Do you think that will be ok to change up in the recipe?

  • Update from me here: I tried it in the bread maker and it didn’t work well. It’s too liquid / moist for the bread maker. I ended up adding more flour and also oats and chia seeds to have the batter be less liquid. The bread came out great but not the same as the recipe above (I’ve made this several times now). A shame – it would have been a good option in the summer when I don’t want to have the oven on.
    Thank you for the recipe! We are addicts! 🙂 I tend to add some oats and chia seeds and recommend this as well.

    • Thank you for the update Chantal, this will be good for others to know! I don’t have a bread maker but I’d like to get one. If I do I’ll try an adaption for this recipe 🙂

  • Do you know if it’s possible to bake this bread in a bread maker? If so, what would I have to modify? Thank you!

    • Hi Chantal, I haven’t tried that and have zero experience with bread makers so I wouldn’t recommend it, only because I have no idea if it would work! If you do end up trying, let us know how it goes!

  • This recipe is amazing! I did a few things differently – I used a scant 3/4c of mashed sweet potato instead of apple sauce, and baked in silicone muffin molds – 1/4c of batter in each, which made 14 servings, baked in 10 minutes – and it came out sooo good! I also have just unflavored protein, so added an extra tablespoon of vanilla extract. My frosting came out much darker than yours though, I wonder if that’s because I only had roasted cashews?
    Thank you for the recipe! I will be making this very regularly!

  • I just wanted to comment and say this recipe is fabulous! I tried a different recipe the first time and my banana bread was tough and rock hard. This one was so moist! The only thing I did differently is put all of my batter in one pan and cooked for about 40 minutes (probably could have done a tad less). I also added chia seeds and a few dark chocolate chips. So good! Thanks again for sharing.

  • Banana bread, ah, it is such a tasty snack/dessert/breakfast! I wouldn’t use egg whites, but I would love to use garbanzo bean flour or a mixture of peanut butter powder with almond milk or water instead of Greek yogurt too. However, the cashew cream cheese looks divine too! You are absolutely right about dietary fats. They are perfect for feeling satisfied and aiding in cravings. I find that eating more nuts and seeds, even avocados, help with satiety. Hey, any excuse to eat more fats is a good one!