Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread

Recently, I’ve been on a quest to eliminate processed sweeteners from my diet.  Say goodbye to Splenda, Truvia, and good ‘ol fashioned granulated white sugar.  Sounds a little hippy, to be sure, but I figured that cutting out processed sugar as much as possible can’t be a bad thing.  Since this quest isn’t managing to quiet my incessant sweet tooth, this has let me on a constant search for sweetening replacements in baked goods.  Hello, honey-sweetened baked goods!

slices and loaf

This uber-moist banana bread is made with whole-wheat pastry flour, sweetened with honey and all starts with an olive oil base.  Studded with toasted walnuts and wild blueberries this loaf packs a subtle nutty, banana flavor.  With a tangy sweetness from the honey, this moist quick bread is sure to become a family favorite in no time.


I don’t mean to suggest that this is the end of the Granulated Sugar Era here on A Dash of Sass.  It most certainly is not.  Let’s be honest, there are certain recipes which simply couldn’t be duplicated without the scientific perfection of processed sugar.  In fact, I’m currently dreaming of some thick, chewy, oatmeal raisin cookies that would be impossible without a proper amount of brown sugar.  My aim is simply to broaden my horizons when it comes to sweetening baked goods.  Sometimes it feels good to leave out the heaping cups of white sugar.


The benefits of raw honey have been heavily touted by health food nuts.  It brings nutritional elements to the table that processed sugar can’t even begin to match.  A unique benefit of using honey to sweetened baked goods is the depth of flavor that honey adds.  With this banana bread, you can certainly taste the lingering flavor of the dark, buckwheat honey I used in this loaf.

blueberry banana bread

Who doesn’t love a handful of perfectly plump, fresh blueberries?  While I would love nothing more than to always have a solid supply of fresh, wild blueberries, living in the urban confines of New York City, my blueberry supplies are strictly limited.  The good news is that organic, wild blueberries are readily available in the frozen food section of the grocery store!  They pack all the same antioxidants as their fresher cousins and they bake up beautifully!  Give them a toss in flour before gently adding them to the batter and you will avoid that dreaded “sinkage” problem where all your berries end up on the bottom of your bread.

sliced blueberry banana bread

My two suggestions for this banana bread: (1) Slice it thick and (2) serve it warm, slathered with butter. It doesn’t get better than that!

bitten slice of blueberry banana bread


Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50-60 minutes


1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
2/3 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)


- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and honey until combined. Add the eggs. Whisk until fully combined.
- Stir in the vanilla and the mashed bananas.
- Stir in the flour and salt.
- In a small, separate bowl, add the baking soda to the hot water. Let it fizz. Add the fizzy mixture to the rest of the batter.
- Blend in the chopped walnuts.
- Lightly toss the blueberries in whole wheat flour. Carefully stir in the blueberries into the batter until just combined. Pour batter into greased pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- Store in airtight container for up to a week (if it lasts that long!).

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16 Responses to “Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Bread”

  1. 1
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 13, 2011 8:07 pm

    I love the combination of bananas and blueberries in baked goods. The fact that this is healthy is even better!

  2. 2
    Joanne — March 13, 2011 8:08 pm

    I’m definitely trying to bake less for a while to try to tame my refined sugar cravings a bit and so that I can eat something sweet that I can feel good about! This blueberry banana bread looks like just the thing!

  3. 3
    nanvy@skinnykitchen.com — March 13, 2011 9:18 pm

    This quick bread sounds really yummy! I too have been using a bit of honey in my healthy apple bran muffins and they taste really good!

  4. 4

    This recipe is a keeper! I’ve also been trying to cut down on processed sweeteners. I’ve totally given up artificial sweeteners and have cut back on sugar. This banana bread is a perfect healthful treat!

  5. 5
    Laurie — March 15, 2011 9:55 pm

    I made this blueberry banana bread today and it was moist and tasty. Next time I will add a little more salt( and I typically cut salt down) to bring out the flavors. This is a keeper….love the use of honey instead of sugar.

    • kate replied: — March 15th, 2011 10:23 pm

      Laurie — So glad to hear you liked it! I’m already dreaming of my next batch.

  6. 6
    franny — March 30, 2011 8:45 pm

    this looks delicious! I’ll have to make it sometime!

  7. 7
    Susan — July 24, 2011 2:43 pm

    Has anyone tried using agave nectar instead of the honey?

    • kate replied: — July 24th, 2011 3:32 pm

      Susan — You can absolutely substitute agave nectar for the honey. They are basically interchangeable in recipes like this. Go for it!

  8. 8
    Susan — August 16, 2011 12:10 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe today for the first time. I doubled it and made the other half into muffins… they are fabulous! I also didn’t have enough walnuts, so had to substitute pecans, which were fine. Will make it again after I get some more walnuts. Glad I found this site… will keep an eye out for updates. Thank you for sharing!

  9. 9
    Beth — September 14, 2011 4:49 am

    fANTASTIC! How come yours didn’t burn with the honey? I have an AMAZING carrot cake recipe but I add some honey to give it an extra sweet edge and it burns in places on top every time so I cant post it on my blog. I still make it :) Just pick off the burns bits! I have a sugar/honey free banana bread recipe (vegan, using flax instead of eggs, not that I object to eggs as such) but I am thinking this will be more cakey-bread because of the honey. I am totally trying this!

  10. 10
    Louise — November 28, 2011 3:30 pm

    Is there a way to only print the recipe without all the comments,etc??? Have enjoyed a few that I’ve tried!

    • kate replied: — November 28th, 2011 9:14 pm

      Louise — Yes! You can print the recipe along with the post text (but no photos and no comments) by clicking on the Print link in the grey box at the bottom of the recipe. I’m working on a new feature which will allow readers to print just the recipe alone which should be rolled out in the next few months. Stay tuned!

  11. 11
    Sarah — February 18, 2012 9:12 pm

    I just made this today. I followed the recipe except for the nuts. I left them out because I’m just not a fan. Also I just used plain wheat flour, no pastry flour. The bread was delicious! It is so moist, and is wonderfully reminisce of a blueberry muffin. I used a cactus flower honey. This recipe was right up my ally. I love it! I will make it again soon.

  12. 12
    Jakki — April 20, 2012 5:04 pm

    I just tried this recipe last weekend. I loved that it was whole wheat and sweetened with honey. I was a little worried because I couldn’t really get the baking soda and water to fizz but it didn’t seem to cause any problems. The bread turned out fantastic. Between my roommates and my cousin it was all gone within two days.

    This is definitely my go to banana bread recipe for now on.

  13. 13
    LZ — April 17, 2013 7:42 am

    I don’t normally comment on these things but I really enjoyed this cake, I even went and bought raw honey (not an easy feat in my town) so I could make a second batch in less than a week! Really a lovely cake, sweet but not sickly, flavoursome and satisfying.

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