Mixing ingredients for banana bread recipe

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Recipe

Published: January 2022

It's a great day when you learn you can make banana bread in the slow cooker! Set your oven aside for this one – this recipe is packed with health benefits and is extra-easy. With homemade oat flour and your slow cooker doing all the work, this recipe is the perfect way to use up ripe bananas, get creative with flavor variations, and impress your neighbors.

I always loved homemade banana bread growing up, and a few years ago I learned how simple it is to make homemade oat flour. Since then I use oat flour as a 1:1 substitution; the oats yield a great texture, they're affordable, and they're packed with fiber and health benefits.

Oats come in seven different forms, some more common than others:

  • Whole oat groats

  • Steel cut / Irish oats

  • Scottish oats

  • Rolled / old fashioned oats

  • Quick / instant

  • Oat bran

  • Oat flour

To make homemade oat flour for this recipe, it's best to use rolled/old fashioned oats, quick oats, or instant oats from the list above. Those options will blend nicely into a flour, whereas steel cut oats or Scottish oats will result in a coarser texture. You'll notice that you can purchase oats already in flour form, but it's more affordable to make your own. Plus, when you have old fashioned oats always stocked in your pantry, you can make a variety of recipes versus only using the oat flour form.

This slow cooker banana bread has a combination of a perfectly moist slice, a crisp outside, and just the right amount of banana flavor. Bananas are a great source of potassium. For those who find a benefit in a gluten free diet, this oat flour banana bread checks that box, too!

Baking tips

Whisking ingredients to make banana bread

If you like an added crunch to your banana bread, stir in crushed pecans. If you like a little extra sweetness, sprinkle the top of your batter with coarse sugar. If you're like me and you love chocolate, add some chocolate chips to the top of your slow cooker banana bread. Have some fruit on hand? Stir in some fresh blueberries or raspberries.

This recipe also has an easy vegan substitution by using flax eggs (1 tbsp of flax + 3 tbsp of water = 1 flax egg); simply swap each egg for a flax egg. The options are endless, and what's guaranteed is that you'll love how easy this recipe is using your slow cooker.

You'll notice this recipe calls for honey in place of some of the sugar. Honey can be helpful to maintain already-healthy blood sugar levels and contains powerful antioxidants. If you're making this into a vegan recipe, substitute maple syrup for the honey.

I recommend using a smaller-sized slow cooker for this oat flour banana bread so that your bread comes out slightly thicker. If you compare the base of your slow cooker to a traditional loaf pan, the slow cooker is more spread out – the smaller the slow cooker, the thicker your banana bread. I used a 4.5 qt; if you do have a larger slow cooker, you can double the recipe and freeze your extra banana bread slices.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Banana Bread with Oats

Homemade slow cooker banana bread

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1/3 cup crushed walnuts

Directions

  1. Add ripe bananas to a bowl and mash with a fork.
  2. Stir in oil, eggs, brown sugar, honey, almond milk, and vanilla with bananas.
  3. Make homemade oat flour by adding oats to a food processor and blending until fine.
  4. Stir oat flour into banana mixture with remaining dry ingredients (baking powder and salt).
  5. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray and pour mixture into slow cooker. Spread evenly in bottom of pot. If desired, top with crushed walnuts.
  6. Bake on low for 3-4 hours (check after two hours to determine if middle of banana bread is cooked thoroughly).
  7. Let banana bread fully cool, carefully remove from pot, slice, and serve!

What's next? Keeping your banana bread moist

Moist homemade banana bread

One of the most essential elements of the perfect banana bread is having a perfectly moist slice (nobody wants banana bread that is too dry or crumbly!). To ensure you have a perfect slice every time, wrap your banana bread in foil when storing on the counter, and refrigerate it after three days. If you haven't devoured it after five days, slice it and freeze the individual slices to enjoy from your freezer within the next six months.

"Hot" tip: Warm up a slice of banana bread by putting it in the toaster. Not only will it heat your slice (aka preparing to melt your slice of butter), it'll ensure the edges of your banana bread stay slightly crispy.

More with your slow cooker: overnight oats

Bowl with mixed oats, bananas, and nuts

Now that you've learned all about the various forms of oats and how easy it is to use your slow cooker to make so much more than traditional soups and stews, let's not forget the ever-popular steel cut overnight oats in your slow cooker – they're just as easy as this banana bread!

If you love banana bread as much as me but prefer to eat your oats in oatmeal form (versus in a bread) create banana bread flavored steel cut oatmeal by adding a 1:2 ratio of steel cut oats to milk along with mashed bananas, peanut butter, maple syrup, and chia seeds to your slow cooker. Stir and let cook overnight. Serve your steel cut oats in the morning with your favorite fruit and another drizzle of maple syrup.

Health benefits of oats & beta-glucans

Bowl with mixed oats, bananas and nuts

Oats carry a long list of health benefits, and the primary type of soluble fiber in oats are beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have been researched to help support healthy digestion, increase satiety, and inhibit appetite. Beta-glucans also play a beneficial role in supporting your metabolism, promoting insulin resistance, and maintaining a healthy weight.

The body doesn't produce beta-glucans naturally, so in addition to consuming foods that naturally contain beta-glucans, adding them to your daily diet via supplements can play a significant role in keeping your body healthy and fighting immune challenges. Supplements are a great way to provide additional support for your immune system, especially during winter months.

In between enjoying slow cooker banana bread with oat flour, Life Extension's Mushroom Immune with Beta Glucans is a vegetarian capsule that promotes a balanced, healthy immune response. Along with the health benefits of mushrooms, this mushroom immune supplement contains a patented beta-glucan in an easy-to-take capsule form, shown in clinical studies to offer immune promoting benefits. The combination of three mushrooms in this supplement provide nearly one and a half servings of fresh mushrooms to support your healthy immune response.

While this slow cooker banana bread is packed with oats and its beta glucans, it is easier to achieve clinically studied levels of healthy immune function with a daily supplement.

About the Author: Jasmine Shea, MS, is the author of over a dozen e-cookbooks and the founder of Your Dinner Is Planned: the fastest and most affordable way to prepare dinners. With Jasmine's passion for sharing cooking tips, she generates over one million impressions weekly with recipe and lifestyle content to show others that eating delicious food can be easy and fun!

Website: https://www.jazzythings.com/about

References

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

By: Jasmine Shea