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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  • I really love the macro’s. Mine cooked just fine in 25 minutes. The only downside is that the Bread really tastes like eggwhites more then anything else. Thanks for the recipe though. Will make some changes to it so it’ll taste more like banana Bread.

    • Hey Sabrina! The eggs are really a component to creating the higher protein content, some people seem to be more sensitive to the egg taste, you can definitely adjust the amount of eggs to lessen that taste! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Made this last night, and it was great! Did 1/2 banana extra instead of applesauce and added a handful of chocolate chips. Had to bake closer to 30 minutes (I used greek yogurt), but still came out great!

  • I just finished making these. I decided to do muffins instead of loaves. I cooked them for 25 min at 375 and they were slightly overcooked. They are still very yummy, though. I added 1/3 cup of oldfashioned oats due to people saying they were still very moist inside. I think this helped absorb some of the excess moisture. I added a few extra packets of stevia and I also added cinnamon and sliced banana on top of each. I will defintely make again and cook slightly less time or the same amount of time at 350-325.

  • I just made a batch of this tonight (with bananas I purchased wholly for the purpose of ripening so that I could make some beloved banana bread!) and it turned out wonderfully! I subbed another 1/2 banana for the applesauce, mixed in some cinnamon and walnuts and topped with some banana slices and overall I’m really pleased! It’s moist and quite flavorful. After checking the comments I went ahead and lowered the oven to 325 after 25 minutes at 375, covered with foil and let it cook another ten minutes. I used Optimum Nutrition’s whey isolate in vanilla ice cream and the final result is somewhat sweet with lots of banana flavor, perfect toasted with a slab of butter on top! (I may or may not have just eaten this for dinner tonight, no judging!) 😉 Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Hi Eleanor! Mmm the addition of cinnamon and walnuts sounds wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it – also, did you use Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt? I understand there’s variations in the cooking time according to the yogurt used, I want to make sure that’s noted in the recipe!

  • Are you sure this is 75kcal per serving, that means it’s 75000 calories per serving which is more than any diet should consume and a slice of this has that much?

  • This sounds weird, but I usually crave the smell of banana bread more than the taste! The aroma of fresh spices and sweetness filling the oven is just pure magic. I love that you made this recipe high in protein and super easy! What could you substitute for egg whites as a vegan alternative?

    • Haha that’s not weird, it does smell AMAZING! For the egg whites you could make flax eggs! I would do 3 flax eggs! (1 flax egg = 3 tbsp water + 1 tbsp flaxseed, let sit until thick)

  • I saw someone mentioned the fat free yogurt gave a strong sour flavor, so I used 2% fat greek yogurt. I used the 8×8 pan, and mine came out underdone in the middle, so I covered it with foil, dropped the temperature 50 degrees and baked it ten more minutes. Perfect! I wish I had thought to add walnuts. In the future, I think I will reeplace the applesauce with half of another banana. Tasty! My five-year-old ate it happily, and that’s the true test for me!

    • HI Vanessa,

      Thanks so much for the feedback! I’m glad it worked out with your adaptations and I love the idea of adding walnuts too!

  • I tried this with a mix of 3/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 Fairlife whole milk (in place of the yoghurt – I just prefer my dairy to be as close to whole-far as possible). At any rate, it worked, and I love that it’s not very sweet! I added cinnamon and cardamom to mine as well for the flavor! It’s perfect with my homemade blackberry and fig jams.

    • Hi Kate! Thanks for the comment, so glad it worked with your substitutions and yum… homemade blackberry jam sounds amazing!

        • Hi Ann, sure! I would remove the applesauce and use 1/3 cup pure maple syrup in total in place of the applesauce and stevia.

  • Just made! Followed recipe to a T. Baked 375 for 25 but center wasn’t set so I covered with foil, dropped temp to 325 and baked an additional 10. Perfect! Delicious, moist, amazing. Thank you

    • Hi Carly! I have had a couple comments on this recipe not cooking fully according to instructions so I’m glad you were able to make it work out in the end! I believe it may just have to do with difference in ovens?!