Blueberry Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free)

I’ve always adored banana bread, and have experimented with many plant based versions in the past. That’s why I was so excited when I perfected this blueberry banana bread recipe! It uses purely plant based and gluten free ingredients, and the addition of the moist blueberries makes them the perfect healthy treat. Try it warm with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and a drizzle of nut butter.

Why Are Older Bananas Better For Banana Bread?

Older bananas are often preferred for making blueberry banana bread (and indeed, all banana breads) for several reasons:

  1. Flavor: As bananas ripen, their flavor becomes more pronounced and sweeter. The natural sugars in the bananas become more concentrated, which adds a delightful sweetness to the banana bread.
  2. Texture: Older bananas are softer and easier to mash. This makes them blend more smoothly into the batter, resulting in a smoother texture for the banana bread.
  3. Moisture: Ripe bananas have a higher moisture content, which helps keep the banana bread moist and prevents it from becoming too dry during baking.
  4. Aroma: Overripe bananas often have a stronger aroma. This aroma contributes to the overall sensory experience of the banana bread, making it more appealing.
  5. Nutrient Availability: As bananas ripen, they continue to develop nutrients. While the vitamin C content may decrease slightly, the levels of other nutrients, such as antioxidants and certain B vitamins, may increase as the banana ripens.

So, while you can use bananas at various stages of ripeness, older, fully ripe bananas are generally preferred for banana bread because of the enhanced flavor, texture, moisture, and overall baking qualities they bring to the recipe.

blueberry banana bread
blueberry banana bread

Blueberry Banana Bread Ingredients

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I like detail. I like to understand WHY ingredients are used (rather than simply just chucking them). So that’s why I break down each ingredient and explain why they contribute to the end product. In this case, my wonderful (if I do say so myself) Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe…

  1. Bananas (4 small, ripe): Bananas add natural sweetness, moisture, and flavor to the bread. They also contribute to the overall texture and help bind the ingredients together.
  2. Chia Seed Egg (1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water for 10 mins until a gel has formed): This serves as an egg substitute and adds moisture and binding properties to the bread. Chia seeds also provide a source of healthy fats and fiber.
  3. Maple Syrup (1/3 cup): Adds sweetness and a distinct caramel-like flavor. It also contributes to the moistness of the bread.
  4. Melted Coconut Oil (1/2 cup): Provides moisture and a subtle coconut flavor to the bread. It also adds richness and helps with the texture.
  5. Vanilla Extract (1 tsp): Enhances the overall flavor profile of the bread, adding a warm and inviting aroma.
  6. Dairy-Free Milk (Splash): This adds additional moisture and helps achieve the desired batter consistency. It’s also used to adjust the thickness of the batter based on personal preference.
  7. Ground Almonds (1/2 cup): These add a nutty flavor, moisture, and a slight crumbly texture to the bread. They’re also a good source of healthy fats and protein.
  8. Buckwheat Flour (1 cup): A gluten-free flour option that contributes to the structure and texture of the bread. It has a slightly nutty flavor.
  9. Ground Cinnamon (2 tsp): Adds warmth and depth of flavor to the bread, complementing the other ingredients. Cinnamon is a classic spice in banana bread.
  10. Baking Powder (1 tsp) and Baking Soda (3/4 tsp): These leavening agents help the bread rise and become fluffy during baking.
  11. Salt (1 pinch): Enhances the overall flavor of the bread and balances the sweetness.
  12. Blueberries (1 cup, frozen or fresh): These provide bursts of juicy sweetness and vibrant color throughout the bread.
  13. Chopped Pecans (optional – for topping): If included, pecans add crunch, texture, and a delicious nutty flavor to the top of the bread.
Blueberry Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Blueberry Banana Bread (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Georgina Burgess
I've always adored banana bread, and have experimented with many plant based versions in the past. That's why I was so excited when I perfected this recipe! It uses purely plant based and gluten free ingredients, and the addition of the moist blueberries makes them the perfect healthy treat. Try it warm with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and a drizzle of nut butter.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Healthy Snack


  • 4 small Bananas ripe
  • 1 Chia Seed Egg 1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water for 10 mins until a gel has formed
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Coconut Oil left to cool slightly
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Splash of Dairy Free Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Ground Almonds
  • 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 1 Cup Blueberries Frozen or Fresh
  • Chopped Pecans optional – for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 190c and line a load tin with baking paper
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until a mostly smooth consistency forms with minimal lumps
  • Add in all of the other wet ingredients and mix thoroughly
  • In another large mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients (apart from the blueberries) and stir well
  • Pour in the banana mixture and mix very well until a batter forms
  • If the batter is too thick, add a splash more of plant milk
  • Add in the blueberries and fold in carefully until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, take out the banana bread and cover with tin foil, then place back in the oven for 30 more minutes
  • You will know it has cooked through if a skewer comes out clean (if not, let it bake for longer)


I recommend eating it warm; either on it’s own or with a generous spread of nut butter! 
If you don’t think you can get through the whole loaf, a good idea is to slice it up and store in the freezer, then take out and defrost when you fancy a piece!  
Keyword vegan breakfast, vegan dessert, vegan snacks


blueberry banana bread

Is Banana Bread Healthy or Not? I’m Confused!

The answer, unfortunately, is…. ‘it depends’. Banana bread can vary in terms of its healthiness based on the ingredients used and the portion size. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Ingredients: The main ingredient, bananas, provides essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. However, other ingredients like sugar, butter, and flour can significantly affect the overall healthiness. Using whole wheat flour, reducing added sugars, and opting for healthier fats (e.g., olive oil) can make banana bread healthier.
  2. Portion Size: Like any baked good, portion size matters. A small slice of banana bread can be a reasonable snack, but eating large portions with high calorie and sugar content isn’t as healthy.
  3. Variations: There are healthier variations of banana bread, such as vegan or gluten-free options, which may use alternative ingredients like almond flour or coconut oil.
  4. Customization: You can add nutrient-rich ingredients like nuts, seeds, or even dark chocolate chips to boost the healthfulness.

Banana bread has the potential to be a reasonably healthy treat, especially if you make conscious ingredient choices and control portion sizes. It can provide some beneficial nutrients but should still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Why Do You Put Baking Powder in Banana Bread?

I’ve touched on this above, but will go into more detail here (or you can read this article I wrote)…

Baking soda is a common ingredient in banana bread (and many other baked goods) for several important reasons:

  1. Leavening Agent: Baking soda is a leavening agent, which means it helps the bread rise by producing carbon dioxide gas when it reacts with acidic ingredients in the batter, such as the natural acids found in ripe bananas or the acids added to recipes (like vinegar or buttermilk). This gas formation creates air pockets in the batter, leading to a lighter and fluffier texture in the finished bread.
  2. Neutralizing Acidity: Ripe bananas, which are often used in banana bread recipes, tend to be acidic. Baking soda helps neutralize this acidity, making the overall flavor of the bread more balanced.
  3. Browning: Baking soda can contribute to the browning of the crust during baking, giving the banana bread a desirable golden-brown appearance.
  4. Taste: Baking soda can affect the taste of the bread, helping to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients and providing a pleasant, slightly tangy taste that complements the sweetness of the bananas.

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