Whenever I have bananas that get a bit too ripe, banana bread is my go to recipe. Most recipes involve butter and at least a cup of sugar. This version uses olive oil instead of butter, honey instead of sugar (and less of it), and whole-wheat pastry flour.

To give credit where credit's due, this recipe is based on Dr. Weil's Healthy Banana Bread recipe. While it's a great recipe, it can use a few tweaks (more nuts, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, and olive oil instead of canola oil). Also, the cooking time of the original recipe seems to be bit off.

My version of the recipe uses cacao nibs, which an uncommon ingredient. Cacao nibs are essentially, roasted and shelled pieces of cacao beans, which means cacao nibs taste like chocolate without sugar. They're a little tough to eat by themselves (imagine extremely bitter dark chocolate), but they work well when combined with other flavors.



  • Whole-wheat pastry flour (1 ½ cups)
  • Ripe bananas (3)
  • Cacao nibs (2 tbsp)
  • Dark chocolate chips (2 tbsp)
  • Pecans (1 cup)
  • Salt (¼ tsp)
  • Baking soda (1 ½ tsp)
  • Olive oil (3 tbsp)
  • Honey (½ cup)—for vegans, instead use agave syrup or even maple syrup.
  • Vanilla extract (1 tsp)

Pans etc.

  • 9.5 × 2.5 loaf pan (mine on Amazon)
  • Cooling rack (on Amazon)

1.  Mix the batter

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Next, in a small mixing bowl, add and mix the wet ingredients:
    Bananas (3)
    Olive oil (3 tbsp)
    Honey (½ cup)
    Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
  3. Next, mix in the:
    Cacao nibs (2 tbsp)
    Dark chocolate chips (2 tbsp)
    Pecans (1 cup)
  4. And finally mix in the other dry ingredients:
    Whole-wheat pastry flour (1 ½ cups)
    Salt (¼ tsp)
    Baking soda (1 ½ tsp)

2.  Bake the bread

When you're ready to bake:

  1. Grease a loaf pan (9.5 × 2.5), and then pour the batter into the pan.
  2. Bake for about 50 – 55 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can stick a chopstick (or skewer or toothpick) into the center and pull it out clean.
  3. Once it's done, let it cool on a cooling rack.

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