about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread.

On December 31st, I made a resolution that I’d go sugar-free for the month of January.  I am 24 days in, and I am very aware of all 24 of those.  I’ll probably write a whole post about this at the end of the month, but here’s the short version.  I love sugar, and I miss sugar.  But sugar and I had an unhealthy relationship, and we needed some time apart.

One of the good things that has come from this sugarless month is that I’m finding new, creative ways to satisfy what used to be a very sweet tooth.  Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, and even without added sugar, this loaf did not disappoint.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

For my own purposes, I’m defining sugar-free as eliminating cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, and other added sweeteners.  So I’m still eating fruit (and occasional dried fruit), which do contain natural sugars, but I’ve drastically reduced my overall sugar intake.  This bread is ever so lightly sweetened with fresh orange juice, and the orange zest and fennel seeds really take it up a notch.  It’s not your typical sweet breakfast bread, but it’s a savory treat you won’t be able to stop eating.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50-55 minutes

Ingredients (1 loaf)

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (whole)
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of one large orange


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – from flour through the spices.

In a separate, smaller dish, mash the bananas until they mostly liquid and there are minimal lumps. Add the eggs, vanilla, and orange juice, and whisk until all the wet ingredients are combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula. Once the mixture is combined, use a microplane to zest one large orange over the batter. Mix the zest into the bread batter, and then pour into a greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. The outside should have a nice golden brown crunchy crust, while the inside will be fluffy and moist. Allow bread to cool on a wire cooling rack for a few minutes before slicing.

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

Slice and serve! This bread pairs well with many things – butter, jelly, cream cheese – but I personally recommend coconut oil or coconut spread. Yum!

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

I think my favorite thing about this bread is the orange zest.  Seriously – don’t skimp on the zest.  I made this recipe twice, and I really bulked up the zest on the second version.  It was not a mistake – there is no such thing as too much!

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

I made this for my mom’s group on Wednesday (along with this veggie salad), and there was just a small stump left after everyone went home.  I warned them ahead of time that I was going to try some sugar-free baking, but no one seemed to mind judging by what was left over. 

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

Another bonus?  I can feed this to Cullen with zero guilt or worry.  At this stage in his life, he’s not really getting any sugar other than fruit, and a little bit of dried fruit.  I know there will come a time where he’ll know all about cupcakes and ice cream, but I figure there’s no real need for that right.  He’s been gobbling this bread down by the slice, and can’t get enough!  He doesn’t seem to know that it’s missing anything…

(Sugar-Free) Banana Orange Bread by Daily Garnish

Looking forward to my next batch of ripe bananas!

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105 Comments so far
Leave a comment

pam     at 11:59 am

I get that this probably has less sugar overall than using granulated sugar, but store bought juice is essentially just sugar. If you don’t want to feed your family so much sugar, shouldn’t you also cut out the juice?


laura Reply:

i gather that its freshly squeezed orange juice which eliminates processed sugar so you only get the natural sugars :)


Emily Malone Reply:

Exactly. Thanks, Laura!


Emily Malone Reply:

I juiced the orange that I zested, so it’s all just natural fruit juice!


pam Reply:

It’s not really made clear in the ingredients that you used fresh squeezed OJ. I see it in the description. I just think someone less informed will think that juice isn’t just as bad as sugar. I really enjoy your blog, Emily, but snarky comments like laura’s make me never want to return to your blog. I asked you a question about juice, perhaps to open up a wider discussion about sugar consumption. I’m sure one of your readers will say “if you don’t like it don’t come back here!”


Beth     at 1:19 pm

Thanks for this! I needed to take something to my neighbors for a favor they did for me, and this fit the bill. They are both diabetic so I wanted something low sugar. I didn’t have fennel seeds so I just left them out, and I used flax “eggs” instead of chicken eggs. I will make it for myself soon!


Emily Malone Reply:

I hope they liked it!


Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 6:18 pm

I so appreciate you making a sugar-free bread! I love your oatmeal banana bread but I too am trying to cut down on sugar. I made muffins recently using straight-up black bananas and I was pleasantly surprised that were sweet enough without added sugar!


laura     at 7:35 pm

I was very excited to try this recipe and so I made it tonight…..I omitted the fennel seeds and ginger because I didn’t have any on hand. I added 1/2 tsp of nutmeg….I just really wasn’t impressed. It had no taste and was very bland. I was very disappointed. I guess I will just be putting sugars into my banana bread from now on


Emily Malone Reply:

Hey Laura! Sorry you were disappointed. To be fair, you left out the fennel and ginger which are two of the main flavors of the bread. I’m not surprised it turned out bland! The fennel is the best part! Sorry again. I have a number of other (sugary) banana bread recipes you might like if you’re looking for something sweeter.


Jill Reply:

What??? This was the best banana bread I have ever made!!!!


Samantha     at 5:48 pm

This may officially be my new favorite banana bread.


Jill     at 2:38 pm

Made this today–the whole family loved it. Thank you so much!!!!!


The Bread Garden « Cupertino Chronicles     at 3:18 pm

[…] Sugar Free Banana Bread—–> YES PLEASE! […]

Kate     at 12:08 pm

Just made this and it is amazing. I know you called it savory, but it is the perfect sweetness to have with a cup of milk or tea. Absolutely delicious and my 18 month old daughter loved it too. Thanks!


Heather O.     at 9:12 am

I made this over the weekend (so easy!) and my husband and I are loving it! Thank you so much for sharing. I just had a slice for breakfast with a cup of cinnamon tea. Perfection!


Emily Malone Reply:

Glad to hear it! :)


Georgia     at 1:56 pm

Hi Emily, just wanted to thank you for this AMAZING recipe! I made it over the weekend and it was an absolute hit! I love how there’s a touch of sweetness with the bananas and OJ, but it’s not overbearing. The fennel is also delicious in there. I’ve been topping mine with fresh ricotta – yum! Thank you!! :)


Christine     at 3:10 pm

I bumped into this recipe yesterday and was intrigued. I also happened to have 3 over-ripe bananas. I did not skimp on the zest, used 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup emmer flour and added 1/2 cup walnuts. I like sweet things but I don’t like them very sweet, so this was a REVELATION.


Melissa     at 3:52 pm

I would like to make this for someone who is trying to avoid sugar, but doesn’t like orange juice. What would you suggest using? Apple juice? Apple sauce? Some other flavored juice?


Emily Malone Reply:

Apple juice would be good!


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