Date and Chestnut Banana Bread

date chestnut banana bread

date chestnut banana bread

I have been experimenting with banana bread for a long time, and I think I may finally have a winner. This date and chestnut banana bread is fluffy and delicious and definitely a healthier alternative to your usual banana bread. I normally make this when I have a few neglected bananas lying around that I forgot to freeze, which avoids wasting them and more importantly converts them into a delicious treat! The recipe is really easy to follow and once you have done it a few times you will be able to whip it up with your eyes closed! It is adapted from the wonderful ‘My Darling Lemon Thyme’ cookbook by Emma Galloway – a great book to add to your shelf if you don’t have it already! Enjoy! Michelle xo

Date and Chestnut Banana Bread

Prep time: 20 mins - Cook time: 1 hour - Total time: 1 hour 20 mins

Serves: 10 slices

This fluffy and delicious banana bread is a creative and healthier take on your normal banana bread!


  • 1 cup Dates, pitted and very finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (if you don’t have this, just leave this out)

  • 2 tablespoons Boiling Water

  • 1 ½ cups Mashed Banana (approx. 3 large or 4 small very ripe bananas, I am talking black peel ripe!)

  • ½ cup Olive Oil

  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup (or Honey)

  • 2 tablespoons Chia Seeds

  • 8 tablespoons Cold Water

  • (you can replace the chia seeds + water with 2 eggs if you prefer)

  • 1 teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla or Vanilla Extract

  • Grated zest of ½ Lemon

  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

  • Pinch Sea Salt

  • 1 cup Chestnut Flour

  • 1 cup Spelt Flour

  • (you can replace the above flours with whole wheat or gluten free flour if either of these are not available)

  • Handful Sunflower seeds (for sprinkling on top)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use some olive oil to grease the loaf tin, then line it with a sheet of baking paper. Set aside.

  2. Place the chia seeds in a cup, add the 8 tablespoons of cold water. Leave to sit until the chia seeds have absorbed all the water, usually around 10-15 mins.

  3. Place the chopped dates, baking soda and boiling water in a small bowl to soak. If you are using medjool dates that are already soft just use half the amount of water.

  4. Combine the mashed banana, olive oil, maple syrup (of honey), chia mixture, vanilla and lemon zest in a large bowl. Mix together until mixture is smooth. Sift in the chestnut flour and the spelt flour. Add the baking powder. I am going to say that again because you don’t want to forget it – ADD THE BAKING POWDER. Just helping you to learn from my mistakes ;) Add a pinch of sea salt. Mix together until well combined.

  5. Add the dates to the above mixture, including any water that remains in the small bowl. Stir until well combined and evenly distributed. Break up any clumps where the dates are sticking together.

  6. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the greased and lined loaf tin. Use spatula to spread the mixture so it is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds.

  7. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for approximately 1 hour. When ready, the top should be lightly browned and a skewer should come out clean when inserted in the middle. Depending on your oven and your loaf tin you may need more or less time, so just check it a bit before the 1-hour mark and adjust accordingly.

  8. When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. But honestly, if you are like me and can’t wait, you can slice it hot and just deal with the fact that the slices are not so neat and clean, up to you :)

  9. Store for up to 4/5 days in an airtight container in the fridge, or for a few months in the freezer.