Best Banana Bread Ever!

I know this is a strong claim, but hear me out. Perhaps it should come with a caveat: best banana bread ever for midlife women!

I baked this banana bread for my recent afternoon Thrive Mini Retreat and it went down a storm, with several attendees asking for the recipe. It was good, but what made it even better was the fact that it was vegan, with ground flax seeds replacing the eggs to bind it all together. And if I have learned one thing about being a perimenopausal women is that I must add flax seeds to my diet at every available opportunity.

But while that tweak was good, and the bread delicious, I wondered if it could be improved upon.

As a gift that keeps on giving, my own perimenopause has brought me super sensitive skin. Having eliminated all sorts of irritants (including feather pillows and duvets from my bed – and I’ll refrain from making the obvious joke here), I began to wonder whether there was a correlation between sugar consumption and my skin flare-ups. And cutting out sugar does seem to help. Obviously this is good news for my skin (not to mention my waistline), but bad news for my cake baking habit.

So this time I experimented again and tried to make this bread both vegan and…. SUGAR FREE! (Well, mostly, aside from the small amount of sugar in the chocolate chips). On a blind taste test, remarkably no-one in the household could actually tell that there was a) no butter in the recipe and b) no sugar. The younger son, when pressed, suggested I may have added cinnamon to it. Which I had, but then I add that to all my banana bread, so he didn’t win any prizes.

To recap, this bread is wonderful and not just because it tastes great. It is vegan, contains flaxseeds (a vital source of phytoestrogens), dark chocolate (for extra magnesium, which helps with sleep regulation) and cinnamon (an adaptogen which works to balances stress hormones). And the best bit? I replaced the sugar with Stevia which, unlike sugar, does not produce a surge in glucose levels. There’s also growing evidence that it may also have a beneficial impact on the microbiome.

The best bit for me was that it didn’t seem to aggravate my skin!



  • 2 large, very ripe bananas
  • 45g stevia
  • 80 ml coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 4 tbsp boiling water
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 150g dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C
  2. Mash the bananas and then add melted coconut oil and stevia
  3. Whisk together until fully combined
  4. In a small bowl mix together the flaxseed with the boiling water until it turns gloopy
  5. Pour this in and mix well
  6. Add flour, baking power, bicarb of soda and combine
  7. Mix in chocolate chips
  8. Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake for 45-50 mins
  9. Leave to cool for 20 mins before slicing – if you can wait that long!


Now, I’m in no way suggesting this is a health food in the same category as broccoli might be. But it will give an awful lot more joy than the broccoli does and if you have a sweet tooth, then it’s a great recipe to try.

Next up, I’m going to experiment with making it gluten-free. If I manage to crack that then it really might be the best banana bread ever.

NOTE: This has now indeed been made with gluten-free flour and I can confirm it is still delicious and ticks ALL the boxes.

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