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Sugar Free Banana Bread With Oats, Dates & Nuts

Banana bread is a staple in our home, an easy breakfast for me when I have little time to eat, a treat for tea which I almost always in, and a sweet enough snack for Thurston who has the sweet tooth in the family. It is no surprise that during lock-down, the world is baking. Literally almost everyone on the planning is baking bread, cakes, pastry on a daily basis to the point that eggs and flour are now some of the most difficult ingredients to get your hands on. Besides the anticipation of a sweet treat, or warm loaf of bread to dig into, baking can be rather therapeutic for many. I must confess, this isn't always the case for me, as I am an intuitive cook and I don't often like to be bugged down by strict measurements.
I too, have been baking a little more. Since Thurston is working from home, he is steadily depleting my usual generous stock of banana bread. I decided to share this recipe with the kids from our Kids cookery club which has now been transformed into an online cookery club. Each group baked several versions depending on ingredient each family had at home. Mine was loaded with a lot of dates, almonds and coconut shavings, while others had chocolate chips, dried fruits and honey. One group baked their's in muffin tins which is genius for sharing.

Lerato’s Sugar Free Banana Bread

After making banana bread twice in one week and struggling to take proper photos, after baking this at our online kids cookery club, we rushed in a quick photo as the sun came down.  

As this is a sugar free banana bread, the sweet ripened bananas, dates and date syrup provide all the sweetness you could ever wish for.
Leave the nuts out if you have allergies, and if you don't have whole dates, you could substitute with dried fruits like raisins. If you don't have date syrup you could bake with honey or agave nectar. Do note that although this recipe is sugar free, fructose which are fruit sugars and honey must also be eaten in moderation. So don't stuff your face with cups of dates every day!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I cannot wait to see how you make it your own.


I love seeing your delicious creations. Do remember to use hashtag #leratofoods & tag me @leratofoods on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter so I can easily find and share your delicious creations.

       Lerato’s Sugar Free Banana Bread

Sugar Free Banana Bread With Oats, Dates & Nuts

Wet ingredients

100 ml olive oil, avocado oil or melted coconut oil 

2 large eggs

100 g / 6 tbsp yoghurt

150 ml date syrup or honey

2 large ripe bananas, mashed


Dry Ingredients  

220 g oat flour

1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)

a sprinkle of sea salt

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp bicarbonate soda 

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp dried ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 cup / 150 g pitted dates

1 cup / 140 almonds


Let's get baking! 

1. Preheat oven to 160C Fan/180C and prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin or a muffin tray. (This mixture can fit into two large muffin trays) Grease the tin with oil and dust flour around the entire surface, or line with greaseproof paper.

2. Grind the oats in a dry food processor or blender and set aside. In a mixing bowl whisk the olive oil and eggs until fluffy. Add yoghurt, honey and bananas mashed with a fork. Mix well before adding the dry ingredients. 

3. Chop the nuts, reserving a table spoon of chopped nuts, for the final step before baking. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing all in one at a time to incorporate ingredients properly. Of course all this can be done in a mixer or food processor, but there is much beauty and therapy in mixing by hand and connecting with your food. 

4. Pour mixture into your prepared tin, making sure the batter is levelled evenly. Add the reserved nuts on top of the batter, gently pushing the nuts in.

5. Bake for up to 50 minutes depending on the strength of your oven. Bake at 160 C if using a fan oven which may be hotter than usual. Typically your banana bread should be cooked at 40 minutes but could also take up to an hour. It will cook much quicker in muffin tins. 

6. Once cooked, leave to cool in the tin for 20 - 30 minutes before serving with your favourite ice cream or yogurt. 


Chef's Tip: Be patient. Check using a cake tester or small sharp knife pierced in the middle of the loaf. If the tester comes out very wet with crumbs stuck on, this means your loaf needs more time. If the top of the loaf is sufficiently cooked after 40 minutes and the inside is not, give it an extra 5 minutes before you check again, checking every 5 minutes until cooked.

To store: Slice your banana bread, wrap in grease proof paper and place in an airtight container. Your banana bread will keep for up to 3 days, 7 days in the refrigerator or even frozen for a few weeks.


 Check out my cookery classes if you will like to join our fabulous feasts. If you enjoyed this recipe, please like and share with the world. I love reading from you, and seeing your wonderful twists added to my recipes, so share your pictures when you do try it.

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