Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil

Classic banana bread with a wholesome twist! This banana bread with olive oil uses white whole wheat flour for a denser and more protein rich breakfast bread.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil and Cardamom | hungrybynature.com

There is something so comforting about banana bread. It fills your house with the richest smell and when eaten warm with a good smear of peanut butter, all seems to be right in the world.

If you follow me on Instagram and you saw this post on Father’s Day, then you probably figured out that my dad has passed away. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in January of 2011 and after fighting for 3 and a half years, he lost his life in July of 2014.

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There will be a time (and a post) when I want to share more of that with all of you – specifically how his illness changed the way our family viewed food and what we put into our bodies for nourishment. But for now, I just want to tell you about this banana bread.

Pat was gone this weekend so on Sunday morning, I was sitting in a completely quiet house with my cup of coffee, eating breakfast, and remembering my dad. I had two slices of this banana bread and was comforted. Banana bread always does that for me; it wraps me up in a big bear hug and never lets go.

You know that feeling with something just feels right? Well that’s what this was. And I don’t have a better way to describe it. It just felt right and I knew that he was there with me.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil and Cardamom | hungrybynature.com

Now on to the main show: this whole wheat banana bread with olive oil. Gah, this is good! I always have bananas in my house – and they undoubtedly get brown and spotted before I can eat them all. So when I saw three ripe ones on the counter last week, I knew exactly how to put them to use! I started with this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Deb was one of the first food bloggers that I began following years ago and I am still following her religiously to this day. Plus her cookbook is amaze.

I made a few swaps / additions to her recipe:

  1. Subbed in white whole wheat flour for all-purpose.  This added a little more wheat flavor to the bread, but also added in more protein.
  2. Swapped out the butter for olive oil.  I wanted to make this banana bread a little more savory than the traditional sweet flavoring.
  3. I decreased the brown sugar amount to cut back on the sweetness but also because I think that most baked goods could cut out about 1/3-1/2 of the sugar and still taste the same.
  4. Added in cardamom and removed nutmeg and cloves.  I really wanted the cardamom to shine through in this recipe so I added 1 teaspoon and I loved it! Cardamom has a spicy, herbal flavor and goes well with the olive oil.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil and Cardamom | hungrybynature.com

Looking for more banana breakfast ideas?  I am guest posting over on Beauty in Christ’s blog today!  Head over there to check out a Coconut Flour Banana Breakfast Cake. That’s right… breakfast cake – get it! And don’t forget about my Banana Oat Flour Muffins – they are a reader favorite!

Use up those spotted browned bananas and make this Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil for a savory and dense breakfast bread! Don’t forget to post a picture social media and use the hashtag #imhungrybynature for a chance to be featured!

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Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 5x9 inch loaf 1x


  • 3 large ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 5×9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil.
  2. Add olive oil to mashed bananas and stir to combine in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla, then the spices.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, and flour. Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix. Pour mixture into your prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.


I used my homemade Vanilla Bourbon Extract – you can find the recipe in the archives!

I’m dreaming about that slice right now…

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil and Cardamom | hungrybynature.com

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil and Cardamom | hungrybynature.com

11 thoughts on “Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Olive Oil

  1. Kristy from Southern In Law

    This looks absolutely perfect, Ellie!

    Banana bread is always a homey comforting food for me – and it always brings back memories of when my Mum (who is NOT a baker) would surprise us with warm banana bread when we got home from school. We’d always beg her to make it more often but the fact it was almost once in a blue moon actually made it even more special!

    1. Ellie | Hungry by Nature Post author

      Thank you Kristy! I think banana bread is a comforting food for so many people and I am happy to hear it brought back good memories for you :))

  2. Mary Ellen @ VNutrition

    This looks delicious! I am obsessed with banana bread so I’ll have to give this a try with some flax “eggs” (since I don’t eat eggs) but I think it will be a winner. I love how you did a number of healthy subs. I’ve never tried olive oil in baked goods but I can see how it would give it a rich texture. 🙂

    1. Ellie | Hungry by Nature Post author

      Thanks Mary Ellen! I would love to hear how it turns out with flax eggs – I’ve actually never made or baked with a flax egg before! And you should definitely try using olive oil. I love it in baked goods!

  3. Hilary

    I love your substitution for olive oil, such a fantastic idea, I will have to try that next time I make some!

  4. Laura

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. It is so hard when we lose people we love so much. I’m sure he would’ve loved this bread!

    1. Ellie | Hungry by Nature Post author

      Thank you Laura, you’re so sweet. He was such a wonderful father and I’m sad everyday that he isn’t here, but so so blessed to have him for 25 years!

  5. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with white whole wheat flour and I LOVE it! I’m a huge fan of banana bread so I’ll definitely have to give this a try 🙂

  6. Pingback: Blood Orange Scones with Cacao & Olive Oil - Hungry by Nature

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