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Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Sugar Free and Gluten Free options)

If you’ve always got a few ripening bananas on your counter and a half eaten jar of nut butter in your pantry, then this recipe will be your new best friend!  This deliciously perfect peanut butter banana bread combines three of the best ingredients on the planet – bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate!  The result is moist and tender, is packed with protein and potassium and happiness (aka- chocolate chips), and can be made in just one bowl.  Fully vegan, and options for gluten free and sugar free!

Three slices stacked on each other with a hand lifting the top one halfway up

I LOVE banana bread.  I mean, I’m not a monster.  Who doesn’t?!  But the reason I never ACTUALLY eat banana bread for breakfast is if I am doing sugar in the morning, I need to balance it with protein, or else my body is not happy with me.  Peanut butter is my go-to morning protein, and so I thought, what could be better than combining these already beautifully harmonious flavors into one perfect bread?? 

Oh, right, adding chocolate chips could be better.  So I did that, too.

I did about 6 trials of this bread before I nailed the exact right amounts for each ingredient to keep it super moist but still structured enough so you can pick up slices and eat it with your hands on the go.  It needed to taste like both bananas AND peanut butter, not let one drown the other out.  It needed a little bit of oil to keep it tender, but not so much that it was heavy.  And I’ll be honest, even at it’s “worst” version of the trials, I still found myself eating half the loaf in one sitting, because these ingredients taste amazing together no matter what you do to them.

Let’s get started making you your new favorite banana bread!!

Looking down on three slices on a white background

How To Make It

This banana bread – like most banana breads – is easy easy easy.  You can do it all in one bowl, it’ll only take you a few minutes to toss the ingredients together, and you’ll be eating it for breakfast (and an afternoon snack.. and dessert..) for the whole week!

Start by mashing up your bananas in a large bowl.  3 large bananas should be the perfect amount, and this recipe is forgiving so if you don’t want to measure it exactly you don’t have to, but it’ll come to around 1½ cups mashed.  Then add in the peanut butter (more on this below), neutral oil, sugar (see Ingredients Needed section to learn how to make this sugar free), and vanilla extract, and stir or whisk together until fully combined.  This is the first photo below.  Then add in gluten free (or all-purpose) flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, and mix again.  Then last but not least, add in any mix-ins you plan to use – chocolate chips, nuts, coconut flakes, etc.  I used 1 cup of chocolate chips in the photos you see here, I wouldn’t recommend doing more than that, but you can certainly do less if you prefer. 

*A quick note on peanut butter!  This is a tricky ingredient in that using different brands, natural peanut butter vs regular, etc, can all make a difference. I use Skippy peanut butter in all my PB based recipes since I find that to be the most accessible brand for most people. If you are using a natural peanut butter, make sure to look at the consistency of my final batter so if yours is a little off you can either add more oil or more flour to make it match.

Fully combined batter in a glass bowl, including chocolate chips
Time to bake!

Pour the batter into a parchment lined loaf pan and optionally toss some more chocolate chips on top.  Now, to bake!  Here’s where you get to make your own choice – do you like your banana bread moister and mushier on the inside, or do you like it more crispy on the edges and crumbly on the insides?  I note the bake time as 50-58 minutes.  Closer to 50, it will be cooked all the way through on the edges and the end pieces, but as you get farther into the middle, it will definitely be a little mushier and undercooked.  Closer to 58 it will get toasty on the outside and be cooked all the way through to the center.  Everyone has their own perfect number, so I leave it to you!  (personally I like mine around 52-53 minutes).

Batter in a loaf pan, uncooked
Cooked banana bread still in the pan

Once you remove the peanut butter banana bread from the oven, let it sit in the pan for a few minutes before removing using the parchment paper and moving to a cooling rack.  I recommend letting it cool entirely before slicing it open, especially if you went the mushier route! 

Storage:

After the bread has fully cooled, seal in an air-tight container and keep at room temperature.  It will stay good around 5 days.   

Four slices stacked on top of one another

Pro Tips & Tools:

  • Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Make sure you measure your liquid ingredients using liquid measuring cups.  This will ensure accuracy!  I love this set.
  • If you are using chocolate chips, make sure they are vegan!  I love these for dark chocolate chips, and these for semi-sweet.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Bananas – around 3 large ones should be perfect
  • Peanut butter – I use smooth Skippy peanut butter in all my PB recipes
  • Neutral oil – I always use grapeseed
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar – If you want to make this sugar free, I love using this Monkfruit Sweetener in place of granulated sugar.
  • Flour – Make sure you are measuring your flour either by weight or using the spoon and level method.  Do not scoop directly from the container, as you will wind up with too much! This is so important! If you want to buy a pre-made gluten free flour blend, make sure it’s King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour, it is BY FAR the best one for my recipes, NOT Bob’s Red Mills or any others. If you want to make a homemade blend, here is a link to the one I use.
  • Baking powder – I recommend using baking powder that has no added aluminum. This one is my go-to.
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Chocolate chips – optional, but highly recommended! If you want dark chocolate chips, these are my favorites, or for semi-sweet chocolate chips, I go for these.
Looking down on two slices cut from the full loaf, plus a spoonful of peanut butter

What To Bake Next:

Three slices stacked on each other with a hand lifting the top one halfway up

Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Sugar Free and Gluten Free options)

If you’ve always got a few ripening bananas on your counter and a half eaten jar of nut butter in your pantry, then this recipe will be your new best friend!  This deliciously perfect bread combines three of the best ingredients on the planet – bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate!  The result is moist and tender, it’s packed with protein and potassium and happiness (aka- chocolate chips), and can be made in just one bowl.  Fully vegan, and options for gluten free and sugar free!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 58 mins
Total Time 1 hr 8 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Lunch Box, Snack
Servings 10 slices

Ingredients
  

  • 3 large bananas mashed will come to around 1½ cups, but the recipe is forgiving if it’s a bit off
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp peanut butter I use Skippy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • ¾ heaping cup granulated sugar *see notes for more specifics on”heaping”, and also if you want a sugar free option, this links to my favorite sweetener, you can substitute it 1:1 in place of regular granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cups gluten free flour can sub all-purpose if desired. This links to my favorite store bought gluten free flour blend that works best with all of my recipes, or see “Ingredients Needed” section for further info.
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mash up 3 large bananas using a fork.  It should measure to about 1½ cups mashed, but the recipe is forgiving if it’s a little off.  Add in the peanut butter, neutral oil, sugar, and vanilla extract, and stir or whisk together until combined.  Then add in the gluten free flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix until fully combined.  Finally, add in chocolate chips (or chopped nuts or any mix-ins you are using) and mix throughout.
  • Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan and put in the oven.  Baking time will vary from 50-58 minutes, depending on how wet or dry you like your banana bread.  If you prefer it very moist and undercooked in the middle, cook for around 50-54 minutes.  If you want it more crispy on the outside and crumbly and fully cooked through on the inside, cook for 55-58 minutes.
  • When it’s done, remove from the oven and let it stay in the pan for about 15 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing into.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Notes

Confused by the phrase “heaping” cup of sugar?  Basically this means – when you scoop the sugar from the container, instead of leveling it off at the top of the measuring cup, you can leave that little pile of excess sugar on top.  
Keyword banana, banana bread, banana peanut butter, chocolate chip banana bread, peanut butter banana bread, peanut butter chocolate
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