This simple and wholesome spelt banana bread is delicious, moist and filled with dark chocolate chips. Makes for a healthy breakfast, snack or dessert for your whole family and is amazing for meal-prepping ahead. 100% vegan, egg-free and dairy-free.
Who doesn't love a good banana bread? They are naturally sweet and moist and healthier, plus they are such a good way to use your overripe bananas!
I customize my vegan 5-ingredients banana bread often by adding nuts and chocolate and I make this single-portion banana bread in a mug when I need a sweet healthy treat super quickly and without having to use my oven.
But, I had all that spelt flour in my pantry! So I experimented with spelt flour this time and made a delicious spelt banana bread.
And it definitely didn’t disappoint! Spelt flour is a whole grain flour that's filled with nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and plant-based protein. Even a little more nutrition compared to whole wheat flour. Spelt flour makes a loaf that's super healthy and filling, while still being moist, super tasty and with a nice nutty flavor.
This recipe makes for such a nutritious and energizing coffee treat, after-school snack or light dessert, but we usually enjoy it for breakfast. Like most families with young kids, we are always SO busy during the week and mornings are mostly hectic, so I make it during the weekend to eat it later in the week. Our kids cheer for this whole grain spelt bread!
This recipe is fully vegan, meaning it is made without eggs or dairy, plus it is sweetened naturally by the copious amount of bananas (2 cups!) and a little extra maple syrup (and the chocolate chips). Other than the sugar in the chocolate, I didn’t use any granulated sugar to make it.
Plus, it is super easy-to-make! I love that this is a 1-bowl recipe that uses simple ingredients. Adding chocolate chips to this spelt loaf bread makes it more of a treat, but feel free to use walnuts or almonds for an even healthier recipe.
Let me know how you liked it! 🙂
Why make banana bread with spelt flour?
Spelt is considered an ancient grain (a cereal grain), meaning it is not crossed with any other grains. Many people actually consider it a "pure" grain! It is related to wheat, making it a grain that contains gluten and NOT suitable for gluten-free diets, but it is known to be a little easier to digest than wheat for some people.
Spelt is a great source of multiple nutrients, such as fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. It also contains a fair amount of plant-based protein, making it a great choice to bake sweets and meals that are more satisfying and filling.
What to love about this recipe
- Delicious loaf that bursts with a natural sweetness (thanks to the bananas).
- Easy 1-bowl recipe, no rising or kneading required.
- Perfect for breakfast, snacking or dessert.
- Kids and family-friendly.
- Great for meal-prep.
- Nutritious and filling.
- Full of amazing nutty flavors.
- 100% vegan, dairy-free, egg-free and plant-based. Can also easily be made nut-free (simply use nut-free plant milk and allergen-free chocolate chips!).
Ingredients you'll need
- Spelt flour: you can usually find whole spelt flour is most grocery stores in the baking section. If you cannot find it, then you can also get it online. I used the organic spelt flour from the brand Arrowhead Mills.
- Banana: use ripe bananas to make this recipe to ensure it is moist and sweet. You will need 2 cups of mashed ripe bananas to make it, which means about 4 large bananas.
- Ground flax seeds: helps provide a nice texture to the loaf, but also brings extra fiber and omega-3 fats.
- Baking powder: leveling agent. Make sure to use a fresh and not outdated product for best result.
- Plant-based milk: any kind of milk will work for this recipe, so simply use the one you already have and use an oat milk or soy milk for a nut-free loaf.
- Coconut oil: helps keep the loaf moist and soft. Use a refined oil to avoid a coconut flavor.
- Maple syrup: just a small amount to top off the natural sugar from the bananas.
- Cinnamon and vanilla extract: to flavor the loaf, can be omitted or swapped for other spices.
- Chocolate chips: optional, but such an amazing classic combination of flavor with the bananas. I like using the vegan mini chocolate chips from the brand Enjoy Life (they are small, so you have some in each bite!)
How to make spelt banana bread
Pre-heat the oven to 350º and line a loaf baking dish with parchment paper.
Make the batter
In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking powder, ground flax seed, cinnamon and salt.
Then, using a fork, mash the bananas on a plate and measure the 2 cups (or weigh it: 500g.) you need. Then, add the mashed bananas over the bowl with the dry ingredients alongside the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, plant-based milk and vanilla extract.
Add the vegan chocolate chips, stir well until combined and then, pour in the prepared baking dish.
Garnish and bake
Feel-free to garnish the loaf with more vegan chocolate chips or some chopped walnuts, if you prefer. You can also top with a few slices of banana just for a nice presentation or sprinkle some shredded coconut over for added texture.
Bake in the oven for about 60 minutes or until the middle is completely cooked. I highly recommend to check for doneness using a tooth pick: it should come out clean (unless you poke in a piece of melted chocolate!).
Keep the loaf in the baking dish for about 20 more minutes and unmold by pulling on the extra pieces of parchment paper. Let it completely cool down on a cooling rack and then slice.
Watch how to make it
- If you have a scale, then I recommend you weight the flour and the mashed bananas to ensure best result. If you don't have a scale, then it is important to measure the spelt flour using the spoon and level method.
- Don't over-mix the batter: once it is uniform without clumps of dry flour, then it is ready to pour in your baking dish. Over-mixing can result in a tougher and denser loaf.
- Avoid slicing the loaf when still hot as this can create the bread to "roll" as you cut.
- Make sure you don't under-bake or over-bake the bread! I bake mine for 60 minutes, but every oven is different, so yours might need plus or minus a few minutes. I recommend to do a check after 55 minutes, especially if you know your oven is stronger. The bread is done when golden brown on top with a large crack and also, a tooth pick should come out clean without any wet batter sticking on it.
You can customize this bread by swapping the chocolate chips with chopped walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts or almonds. The loaf will be a little less sweet, but so full of interesting texture. This can be a better option for you if you want to enjoy it for breakfast and keep the sugar lower. Or, for a little more sweetness in a healthy way, then add a handful of dried fruits such as raisins or chopped Medjool dates.
The cinnamon flavor is very subtle and mostly helps balance out the other ingredients, so if you want more of a punch of spices, then you can also include nutmeg, cardamom, chai spices, pumpkin pie spices, cloves, ground ginger, etc. You could also simply double the amount of cinnamon!
If you love the almond flavor, then try swapping the vanilla extract for almond extract and add some chopped almonds to the loaf. Almond extract tends to boost the natural sweetness of a recipe, which will work well here.
Wait for the loaf to be fully cooled down before storing to avoid trapping the steam and the moisture. Once cool, then you can slice the whole loaf and transfer to an air-tight container. I'll usually keep it in the container on the counter for 1 day, but transfer to the fridge for longer storage to help keep it moist. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This loaf also freezes beautifully! So, don't hesitate to double the recipe and make 2 breads to freeze for later. It keeps well in the freezer for up to 3 months and I recommend to pre-slice the loaf so you can simply grab one piece at the time. Thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours or simply thaw and warm up straight from the freezer using your mini toaster oven (or microwave).
We love this bread warm as it makes the chocolate melt and the texture simply is softer and more tender. Once the loaf has stored for a little while, then I recommend to warm it up in the microwave (a few seconds at the time) or using a toaster oven or a regular toaster. Don't warm it up for too long so the bread doesn't dry out!
For an even more complete and filling breakfast or snack, spread some almond butter (or pumpkin seed butter for a nut-free option) over your slice of bread. You can also sprinkle with cinnamon if you want. Topping with chia jam would also be amazing here and add even more nutrition to keep you full for a while. I'll spread some vegan butter over for my kids's slices sometimes too.
This healthy spelt bread is SO amazing with a warm drink! Try pairing with my recent peanut butter coffee (yum!) or for a lighter version, this cardamom latte or lavender milk tea. For kids, pair with this oat milk hot chocolate for a nutritious treat they will adore!
I actually wanted to make this recipe without oil! I tested a bunch of time without the coconut oil, but was never happy with the final texture, so I decided to include it after all. If you are following an oil-free diet, then you can make it by swapping the coconut oil for more plant-based milk or apple sauce, although the texture will be slightly different.
Different kind of flour act so differently and I didn't test with any other flours, so I do not recommend using a different kind of flour. If you must use a different flour, then the best swap would be using whole wheat flour.
No! Spelt is related to wheat which makes this spelt banana bread not free of gluten.
More recipes to use your overripe bananas
- Vegan banana brownies
- 5-ingredients healthy banana bread (oil-free)
- Banana strawberry smoothie bowl
- Chocolate strawberry smoothie
- Buckwheat banana pancakes
- Banana carrot smoothie
- Vegan banana mug cake
- Watermelon banana smoothie
- Vegan banana muffins
- Watermelon smoothie bowl
- Chocolate banana milkshake
- 3-ingredient banana oatmeal muffins
- Peanut butter banana bread
I hope you like this vegan banana bread recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Spelt Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
- 2 cups whole spelt flour (300g) - weight the flour or use the spoon and level method to measure the flour in cups.
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups bananas (I used 3-4 large bananas, 500g total) - mashed
- ¼ cup plant-based milk
- 2 tbsp coconut oil - melted
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup vegan dark chocolate chips or chopped walnuts - I used the mini chocolate chips from Enjoy Life
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground flax seeds and salt.
- Mash the bananas on a plate using a fork and then add to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Then, add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, plant-based milk and vanilla extract. Stir until combined without over-mixing the batter.
- Incorporate the chocolate chips in the batter and pour in the prepared loaf pan. You can also garnish with more chocolate chips over or some chopped walnuts.
- Bake in the oven for 55-65 minutes. Check for doneness by poking a tooth pick in the loaf: it should come out clean without any wet batter sticking to it.
- Let the loaf cool down in the pan before unmolding, then slice.
- Once completely cooled down, then store in an air-tight container at room temperature for 24 hours and the transfer to the fridge. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or the toaster oven before enjoying.
- Feel-free to personalize your loaf with chopped walnuts or pecans, dried fruits (raisins or chopped dates), nutmeg, almond extract, chai spices, etc.
- This spelt bread is not gluten-free. To make it nut-free, then use a nut-free milk, such as oat or soy milk, and use allergen-free chocolate chips.