Snacks

November 29, 2021

The Best Healthy Lactation Banana Bread

This Healthy Lactation Banana Bread is made with lactogenic foods like oat flour, protein powder, flaxseed, and almond butter. It's the perfect breastfeeding snack to boost your milk supply! It's also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Hopefully the title convinced you this is a must-have recipe for your kitchen, but if not, let me just tell you that today's recipe is one of my recipes I'm most proud of! This Healthy Lactation Banana Bread has been on repeat in my house every week for the past 5 months and we're still not sick of it (yes, my husband included)!

During the last trimester of my first pregnancy, I started planning recipes for healthy lactation snacks. When I looked on Pinterest for lactation snacks, all I could find were cookies and energy bites. Those are great and all, but that's all I could fine! Too basic.

So I got thinking about other lactation snacks I could make and realized banana bread had to happen! I talked to some of my vegan friends for some pointers and after months and months, I finally nailed it.

I packed this lactation banana bread full of all the best lactation foods and it really will help you boost your milk supply! Better yet, it's also naturally gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan, so anybody and everybody can have some!

A loaf of Lactation Banana Bread

Ingredients for healthy lactation banana bread

I will admit, I'm not vegan, and vegan baking is hard, so this banana bread took so many tests to get right. But, once I figured out the magic combination, it was perfect! For this vegan lactation banana bread, you'll need:

  • Ripe bananas: the best bananas for banana bread are ones with lots of brown spots, but if your bananas are brown, those will work too. The riper they are, the sweeter [and easier to mash] they are!
  • Stevia: to keep this healthy banana bread refined sugar-free. If you want to use maple syrup, you'll only need 3-4 tablespoons.
  • Almond butter: a vegan substitute for butter and oil. Almonds are also one of the best lactation foods for boosting milk supply, so I opted for almond butter instead of coconut oil. I also love the flavor the almond butter gives! Be sure to get the natural "drippy" almond butter that has a natural oil separation at the top!
  • Flax eggs: flaxseed is another one of the top lactation foods so of course I had to use it as an egg! All you need is flaxseed meal and water.
  • Rolled oats: blended into flour to keep this banana bread gluten-free. They also add a subtle nutty flavor to the bread that's just unparalleled. You can make your own oat flour or buy pre-made oat flour here.
  • Vanilla protein powder: for a boost of protein because protein helps boost your milk supply as well. To keep this banana bread truly vegan, be sure to choose a vegan protein powder and use the correct amount by weight (49g).
  • Spices: I stuck with cinnamon and nutmeg, but you could also add cloves, all spice, or cardamom.
  • Chocolate chips: the best vegan chocolate chips are from this brand, but if you don't need to have vegan chocolate chips, this brand is my favorite (not sponsored)!

A loaf of banana bread cut into slices

Why this lactation banana bread will boost your milk supply

  • It's made with oats: oats are one of the top three lactation foods, and this banana bread is made with oat flour instead of regular flour! This gives it a nutty flavor and keeps your lactation banana bread gluten-free.
  • It's packed with protein: thanks to oats, protein powder, and almond butter, each slice of this lactation banana bread has 7g of protein! Protein is an essential macronutrient for muscle growth, cell development, fighting illness, boosting metabolism, and increasing satiety, and mothers pass on all of these benefits to their babies through breastmilk. You need protein to keep you healthy and help baby grow!
  • It's naturally sweetened: sugar cravings are real during pregnancy and postpartum breastfeeding because your body needs more fuel to feed baby. Luckily, I made sure this vegan banana bread recipe was also refined sugar-free. It is naturally sweetened with bananas and Stevia to make sure you are fueled with plant-based carbs rather than processed ones.
  • It's allergen-friendly: no gluten, dairy, sugar, peanuts, oil, or eggs in this vegan banana bread recipe! If you are sensitive to all nuts, you can substitute the almond butter for equal parts room temperature dairy-free butter (this brand is my favorite!), sunbutter, or tahini. I have not tested this recipe with coconut oil.
  • It's nutrient dense AND calorie dense: both nutrition and calories are important while breastfeeding. Don't let the number scare you - this banana bread recipe is made with only clean eating ingredients that will help boost your milk supply. Your body and your baby will thank you!

Slices of Lactation Banana Bread

Expert tips

  1. Use a good blender: since you're making homemade oat flour, you're going to need a really powerful blender or food processor. The difference between a fine oat flour and ground oats is actually quite big. The times I settled for ground oats (more grainy in texture with some whole oats leftover) my bread was quite crumbly and gritty. If you're not confident your appliance can make true oat flour, I recommend purchasing a good quality oat flour like this one and keeping it on hand. You will be so much happier! See the recipe notes for how to bake with store bought oat flour.
  2. Refrigerate the flax egg: I did lots of research of recipes using flax eggs and they all said to just "let sit for 5 minutes" on the counter before using. I found it didn't quite thicken as much as I liked for this recipe, so make the egg first, then stick in the fridge until you need it.
  3. Follow the directions exactly: this seems intuitive, but I know we all cheat a little bit with recipes, myself included! For example, this recipe says to whisk the Stevia into the mashed bananas before adding the rest of the wet ingredients, so do it! I've tested this recipe over 30 times, so I promise I know what I'm talking about!
  4. Don't mix until you're ready to bake: because this vegan banana bread calls for baking powder, you need to be ready to bake before you combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The longer you let the bread batter sit without baking, the dryer your final bread will be. Make sure your oven is completely preheated and your bread pan is greased and lined with parchment paper before you mix.
  5. Let cool completely in the pan: I know banana bread fresh out of the oven sounds amazing, but because this banana bread recipe is gluten-free AND vegan, it needs all the time in the hot pan to finish baking. Otherwise, you'll end up with a crumbly bread that won't hold together in your hands. Trust me when I say it doesn't taste as good if you're impatient!

A slice of the best lactation banana bread with a bite out of it

Frequently asked questions

Is this lactation banana bread gluten-free?

Yes! This banana bread recipe is made with oat flour, but just to be sure, you should purchase certified gluten-free oats or oat flour.

Does this lactation banana bread need brewer's yeast?

No! I chose to write the recipe without brewer's yeast because it wasn't very accessible to me and if it wasn't accessible to me, it probably wouldn't be for you either. Don't worry though, every other ingredient boosts your milk supply, so you're not missing out!

Why is my banana bread crumbling apart when I slice it?

Because this banana bread recipe is vegan, it naturally isn't as stable as other quick breads. However, I've made sure that this banana bread holds together, so there could be four reasons why your bread is falling apart:

  1. You didn't let the bread cool completely in the pan after baking. This is arguably one of the most important steps! This cooling time in the hot pan outside the oven allows the inside to finish baking without burning the top.
  2. You didn't bake it long enough. At 350°F, I usually bake mine for 50 minutes, but you might need a bit longer. The top should be a little dark, slightly risen, and just barely crispy.
  3. You didn't have a fine enough oat flour. If the oat flour you use or make it more gritty and grainy than a fine flour, it won't completely incorporate with the wet ingredients.
  4. You didn't have the right amount of protein powder. Sometimes protein powder acts as a wet ingredient, but for this recipe it's a dry ingredient. This means there needs to be enough of it to help bind the batter together. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but in reality, you need 49-50g. If you can, use a kitchen scale to get the exact amount of protein powder; if not, scoop your measuring cup directly into the protein powder to pack it in.

How do I store my banana bread?

At room temperature: I've found it keeps best in a glass tupperware for up to 4 days, including the day you made it. If you store in a ziploc bag, it keeps for 3 days. Slicing the entire loaf will shorten the amount of time your banana bread stays fresh, so don't slice until you're ready to serve.

In the freezer: cut into slices, then wrap individually in aluminum foil and store in a ziploc bag for up to three months. Thaw on the counter overnight at room temperature. If you want, you can also warm in the microwave after thawing for 10 seconds.

More lactation snacks to try

Nourishing Vegan Vanilla Almond Granola

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

Healthy Lean Green Smoothie

Maple Pecan Protein Donuts (baked, not fried!)

Heart-Healthy Blueberry Crisp Smoothie

A pile of slices of the best vegan lactation banana bread

I hope you make this healthy Lactation Banana Bread as much as I do! It's easy to make, incredibly moist, and helps boost your milk supply!

Be sure to leave a star rating and review below if you try this recipe so other readers know how you liked it! You can also tag me on Instagram. I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen! Happy milk-making!

Get my FREE exclusive "Best Cookie Recipes" eBook!

More free stuff? Yup! My email subscribers are the first to hear about new recipes, special offers, new products, and get exclusive access to FREE bonus content. Sign up below!

Congrats! Download your eBook and check your inbox for a welcome email from me ❤️
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The Best Healthy Lactation Banana Bread

This Healthy Lactation Banana Bread is made with lactogenic foods like oat flour, protein powder, flaxseed, and almond butter. It's the perfect breastfeeding snack to boost your milk supply! It's also gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Author:

Brooke Harmer

Prep:

20

min

cook:

50

min

total:

70

min

servings:

10

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ⅓ C Stevia
  • ¼ C 100% natural almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1¼ C rolled oats* (gluten-free if necessary)
  • ½ C vanilla protein powder** (vegan if necessary)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ C chocolate chips (vegan if necessary)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, grease a 9x5 bread pan, and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed with ⅓ cup water until combined. Place in the fridge to thicken.
  3. Using a high powered blender or food processor, grind the oats into a fine flour. Sift with the protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mash the bananas well. Stir in the Stevia until completely dissolved. Stir in the almond butter, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Remove the flax egg from the fridge, stir to combine, then add to the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the chocolate chips, folding until just combined. Pour the banana bread batter into the prepared bread pan and top with remaining chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes. The top should be slightly risen, darkened, and firm. Let cool in the pan COMPLETELY, about 2 hours, then slice into 10 slices and enjoy!***

Notes

*If you have store bought oat flour, use 1 cup oat flour, an extra tablespoon milk, and reduce the bake time by 5-10 minutes.

**The protein powder I tested this recipe with has a 49g scoop, which is equivalent to about 1/2 cup, but when you use your favorite protein powder, I recommend measuring by weight.

***See blog post for storing instructions.

Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of 1 slice of banana bread, including chocolate chips.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 slice / Calories: 190 / Fat: 8.8g / Carbohydrates: 23.1g / Fiber: 6.7g / Protein: 6.8g