The truth about ‘no added sugar’ & my Baby banana bread recipe

Honey, fruit juice, date syrup, maple syrup and other syrups (there are so many!) are all sugar and have very similar effects on blood glucose levels and the body as ‘refined sugar’. Some add a great flavour and so use them if you want it for that but don’t be fooled into thinking of it as ‘no added sugar’ as some trendy chefs would make you believe. I’m not saying never add sugar – that’s personal choice. I try not to because We don’t need it, but that’s a choice I make.  

You may say but the glycemic index is lower for honey or another ‘natural sugar’ but the reality is that it’s barely different from refined sugar, they usually have the same calories as sugar and the same effects on dental health. It’s also worth noting that the current advice is to avoid honey for babies under 1 due to the risk of botulism. 

For this banana bread I’ve used the whole fruit as the nutritional benefits associated with fruit is not just vitamins and minerals but also from the fibre of the whole fruit which is lost when you juice it. The fibre slows the release of the fruit sugars as well as having beneficial effects on things like bowel health. I intend to write ire about the benefits of fibre soon so won’t go on here!

This banana bread recipe is based on my normal banana bread and adapted for babies and children with no added sugar or syrups. All of the sweetness comes from whole fruit. 

It’s the first time I’ve made this recipe and it’s come out well so I thought I’d share right away. I might play around with the recipe a bit more and will let you know how that goes. I’ve used stewed apple and pear this time but lots of combos should work. I quite fancy replacing the apple &/or pear for mango or pineapple for a more tropical taste..!

I’ve cut it up into slices and popped into the freezer so that I can get a few bits out for a snack to take out n about. 


1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp cream if tatar

5oz oil (I used vegetable oil made from rapeseed as this is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats)

7oz self raising flour

2 eggs

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 small ripe bananas, mashed (I often freeze bananas just before they turn ie when very ripe and then defrost them quickly in the microwave – use the liquid that is released too)

5oz stewed apple and pear


Preheat oven to about 180’C (170’C fan)

Add 1-2 tbsp water to the bicarbonate and cream of tatar. 

Mix in all but the fruit until well combined. 

Mix in the fruit

Pour into a lined cake tin (I used a large square tin so that is get a thin cake to make baby sized slices). 

Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. 

Don’t be disappointed (as I initially was!) if it looks like it rises well and then falls back as mine did this but still has a nice texture to it 😀

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