Desserts, Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Vegetarian

Olive Oil Almond Banana Bread

Olive Oil Banana Bread

I often make banana bread when I want to have something at home that is sweet, but not a full-blown dessert with hundreds of calories. This bread is pretty much vegan as there are are no animal products in it.

But even if you are not a vegetarian , this bread/cake is delicious with very little saturated fat. I used olive oil in the place of butter, olive oil in baked goods is a common practice in Mediterranean cuisine and goes very well with desserts that contain fruit. Make sure your olive oil is fresh and  not rancid, otherwise it will ruin the recipe. There are no eggs, and I also added some thinly sliced almonds which go nicely with the banana rather than the commonly used walnut. I also used a bit of whole wheat flour, just to add a bit more fiber to it, and you can add more as well. And yes, I added a few mini dark chocolate chips, just enough to give a hint of chocolate.

This bread/cake has about 180 calories per generous piece. What I like about is that texture-wise it is more a cake then bread and it is very filling, plus the kids love it!

Olive Oil Almond Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: dessert, cake

Cuisine: Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian

Yield: 15

Serving Size: 1 slice (1 inch thick)

Calories per serving: 180

Olive Oil Almond Banana Bread


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium bananas mashed (about 1 -1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 Celsius)
  2. Mash the bananas in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl mix the olive oil with the sugar, until smooth. Add the vanilla and banana and mix some more.
  4. In a medium bowl, blend the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix well. It will be somewhat thick.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and the almonds and blend.
  6. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased loaf pan 8 x 4 or similar size.
  7. Bake for about 45-60 minutes. Check with toothpick.
  8. Let it cool for about 15 minutes and then remove from pan.


Photo by Olive Tomato All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Plaka Maro April 28, 2014 at 4:41 am

    I like your recepies very much
    I will like to tell you that when we talk about Mediteranean diet and the good that comes out of it we have to concider the fasting periods in the year.
    We have long fasting without meat fish poultry oil butter wine eggs. 40 days for Easter 40 days for Christmas 15 days for Virgin Marys (!-15) of August and some days after the Pentakost And every wednesday and friday so our system is clean for a long period during the year. Mediteranian Diet goes with Orthodox way of life

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 28, 2014 at 5:19 am

      Thank you Maro. Yes, definitely. I have spoken of the benefits of the Greek orthodox fasting often here.

  • Reply Recipe: Almond-Dark Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Made With Extra Virgin Olive Oil | Olive Oil Market July 28, 2013 at 11:02 am

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  • Reply Mary Jo April 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Hi!!! Having married a Middle Eastern, I have come to love the way they cook and have learned to make many of the dishes. I was wondering though, do you ever do Gluten Free?? Our daughter is allergic to wheat, milk, soy and yeast. YIKES!!! Many of the middle eastern dishes she can eat, but it’s still a struggle finding things that are “wonderful” Now that we’re in Lent, the potluck meals after the lenten services, which have to be lenten of course, are always amazing……do you ever get ideas from our lenten diet? We have a book that was sold to help with lent….called “Taste and See”. ever heard of it?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Mary Jo. It must be challenging for your daughter. Most of the vegetable dishes on this site are gluten-free as they really are a combination of vegetables, olive oil, herbs and spices, but I don’t really label them as so. I’d love to hear about the recipes you have for lent.

      • Reply Mary Jo April 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        Elana, would you like the info on the book? I could send a picure of it and also the publishing info. Or maybe send one to you….

        • Reply Elena Paravantes RD April 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm

          Sure! Thanks

          • Kate July 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

            Mary Jo – (If I may…) Try making this with all buckwheat flour. It is gluten free and has a great, nutty taste and a nice toasty color that mimics the whole wheat flour. I have made it both ways and my “tasters” loved it both times! Another winner from Olive Tomato.

          • Elena Paravantes RD July 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm

            Kate, Thanks for the suggestion!

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