A Dietitian Shares Her Naturally Sweet Banana Bread Recipe (No Refined Sugar) by Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN

A Dietitian Shares Her Naturally Sweet Banana Bread Recipe (No Refined Sugar)

I experimented with using dates in lieu of sugar in this pecan date banana bread recipe, and it turned out deliciously. Nobody needs refined sugar in their life! 

This amazing bread recipe is naturally sweet and delicious. It makes an energizing snack or healthier dessert!

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: Makes 1 loaf


  • 4 small ripe bananas, peeled (about 1 cup)
  • 6 fresh dates, pitted (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place bananas in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place dates in another bowl and pour the hot water over them. Allow them to soak for a minute.
  4. In a mixer add butter and dates. Blend together well. Add eggs and mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, add both flours, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix together.
  6. Add flour mixture to the mixer and blend well.
  7. Add bananas, buttermilk, vanilla and pecans. Mix until well combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan. 
  8. Place in the oven for 60 minutes. Check with a toothpick; if comes out clean, the bread is ready. Remove from oven. Cool and serve.

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Dates $3 & Up
Pecans $6 & Up
Vanilla Extract $4 & Up
Baking Soda $1 & Up

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Donna John
Yum! Love that there's no white sugar. You use "roasted cinnamon." How do you roast cinnamon? Please share! Very curious. Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN
Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN
Thanks for the comment and for posting my recipe. The roasted cinnamon is from McCormick's - you can buy it at your local grocer. I love it as it imparts a more robust flavor.
Donna John
I have never heard or seen roasted cinnamon. I added it to the Amazon links. It's now on my shopping list. I'm a cinnamon lover and this sounds heavenly! Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN
Elisa Schmitz
Oh, yum! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN . Banana bread is a weakness of mine, so I love that this is a healthier version! :-)
Tiffany Zook
Roasted cinnamon , sounds heavenly! Have you ever tried smoked paprika? It’s amazing!!
Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN
Yes, I love smoked paprika! It's a staple. ;)
Alexie Linn
I love the adaptation for no sugar! I, personally, want to taste each ingredient, not sugar. And my recipes reflect it. Thanks for sharing.

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