Do you love banana bread?
It’s one of those desserts/breakfasts/snacks/whatever that tastes exactly like my childhood. We always made banana bread. Not only was it perfect for our tight budget (no food waste here!), but it was a tasty treat for me and my brothers and sisters.
As we grew up, we learned how to substitute the white flour for whole-grain flour. As a mother of kids with food allergies, I learned how to make our favorite banana bread dairy-free, low-gluten, and egg-free.
I even learned how to substitute the sweetener for something more nourishing. And the best part is that it still tastes like the banana bread of my childhood.
Whether you’re trying to eat more whole grains or just trying to get better quality food into your family’s body, we have got to talk about spelt flour and this spelt banana bread recipe.
This spelt banana bread recipe is:
- Whole grains
- Ancient grains
- Dairy-free options
- Egg-free options
- Naturally-sweetened (with maple syrup or honey)
- No food waste (as all good banana bread recipes should be)
- Easy! Even your kids can make it.
What is Spelt Flour?
Spelt grain is an ancient form of wheat. It was around long before our modern versions of wheat grains were developed. It’s low-gluten and tastes and acts very similar to whole wheat flour in recipes.
This was great news, because as a member of the wheat family, spelt can be substituted for wheat flour and acts a lot like whole wheat in bread recipes. Since it’s low-gluten, it doesn’t rise as high as wheat or white flour. However, it’s delicious and we love it.
It works perfectly for this low-gluten spelt banana bread.
Is Spelt Gluten-Free?
Since it’s part of the wheat family, it is not completely gluten-free. However, it is low-gluten. This means that if you are simply gluten-intolerant (not celiac), you may be able to stomach spelt flour.
When my kids were gluten-free, we eventually tried spelt flour and found that they could eat it no problem! Whole wheat banana bread was back on the menu!
RELATED: 7 beginner gluten-free survival tips!
Can You Substitute Spelt Flour for Plain Flour?
If you are gluten-intolerant, Spelt flour is an ideal substitute for wheat flour. You can substitute it cup for cup with wheat flour in most recipes. However, if you are baking yeast bread, it will not rise as high and it will be more crumbly.
This is because spelt is very low-gluten. If you’re not gluten-intolerant, you can substitute up to half of your white flour with spelt flour and make a very decent batch of whole wheat bread.
We found that when our kids were gluten-intolerant, we could make an all spelt loaf of bread, and it turned out great. Since gluten-free alternatives were more complicated or expensive, we were totally happy with the results of a simple loaf of spelt bread.
Spelt flour gave us whole wheat banana bread and anything else we wanted to bake, we didn’t have to adjust our favorite recipes.
Healthy Banana Bread with Spelt Flour
This spelt banana bread recipe is simple to make, delicious, and has an almost identical texture to any normal whole wheat banana bread recipe. However, with the spelt flour, it is low-gluten, loaded with fiber, and easier on our stomachs.
Butter or Oil
To make this banana bread, we use real butter instead of oil. If you’re dairy-free feel free to substitute the butter with avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or melted palm shortening. We’ve done all of that, and it works great! I would not use olive oil, because olive oil has a strong flavor that can be overpowering for sweet baked goods (except in this dairy-free chocolate cake recipe! It’s perfect in there).
RELATED: Tips for going dairy free with kids!
If you’re egg-free, use flax eggs or chia eggs instead of the eggs called for here.
Finally, we sweeten our spelt banana bread recipe with maple syrup or honey. Honey is roughly twice as sweet as maple syrup, so if you want a sweeter bread, use honey. However, we use maple syrup all the time (because it’s cheaper for us), and it’s plenty sweet.
If you don’t have maple syrup or honey, use any kind of granulated sweetener, like turbinado or sucanat. I’ll share instructions for substituting for those in the recipe notes.
The goal of Smart Sweets: 30 Desserts to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth is to give you options that are way better for you than you’ll find in the grocery store, usually better for you than another homemade version, and sometimes downright good for you.
You’ll find less sugar, healthier sweeteners, whole grains, soaked and sprouted grains, no grains, probiotics, and even some vegetables in these dessert recipes.
If you always feel guilty when you give into sweet things, this book is definitely for you.
Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe
Because spelt is still part of the wheat family, this is still a “whole wheat” banana bread recipe – it’s just low-gluten, easier on our stomachs, and still delicious!
For us, we found that the most effective way to afford whole grains that also tasted really good was to get a flour grinder. This takes all kinds of wheat (or spelt) “berries” (the individual grains) and grinds them into flour right in your kitchen.
You can buy the wheat berries in bulk, store them for long periods of time, and grind them whenever you need to bake something. This ensures you not only save money, but that you bake with really fresh, delicious, and nutritious grains.
Our Wondermill has saved us so much money over the years. Katie loves and uses a Mockmill.
To save time, I usually grind large amounts of flour ahead of time and stash it in the freezer so it’s easy to use when I want to bake.
Spelt Banana Bread Recipe Kids Love
My kids love this recipe. It’s easy enough that they can make it themselves, and we can bake it loaf pans, cake pans, and muffin tins.
This is really good news if we are doubling or tripling (or even quadrupling!) the batch in order to stash some in the freezer for easy breakfasts and snacks.
This whole wheat banana bread recipe is easy to make, delicious and easy on your stomach.
- 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- 2 eggs (or flax or chia eggs)
- 1/2 cup oil or melted butter (coconut oil and palm shortening work great)
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour (white, whole wheat or sprouted flour works here too)
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup, (or 1 cup sugar)
- 1/4 tsp.
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, stirring well.
- Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
- If using granulated sweetener, bake at 350 F for 1 hour, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If using liquid sweetener, bake at 325 F for 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking after 1 hour.
- Allow to cool thoroughly before serving (trust me – it tastes best this way!).
You can substitute up to half the oil for applesauce!
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 217
- Sugar: 20g
- Sodium: 293mg
- Fat: 11g
- Saturated Fat: 7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 63mg
Keywords: comfort food, snack recipe, quick bread
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If you’re gluten-intolerant, or simply trying to eat better quality whole grains, try this 100% spelt banana bread recipe! It’s easy, delicious, and your family will love it!