Banana bread doesn’t have to be on your “do not eat” list when you’re training hard for a race. If you make it with the right ingredients, it can actually be a runner’s superfood! Bananas, of course, have many health benefits, but some key nutrients are potassium, vitamin B6, managanese, magnesium, and yes, even a little vitamin C. Coconut oil is an immune booster, having antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and capryilc acid which have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Yogurt (cow’s milk) is a complete protein, with calcium and probiotics. Cinnamon works as an anti-inflammatory and is high in antioxidants. Below is a recipe that I use:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup whole milk greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup agave nector, honey, OR pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups of flour (I use, 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup coconut flour, and 1/4 cup sprouted rye flour, or some other random grain flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- If you want, you can add chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, sliced almonds, dried blueberries, etc. Use your own judgement on how much you want in there.
- Grease/spray baking dish(es) and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all ingredients except whatever additive you decide to use (if any).
- Make sure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly, then stir in additive.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
This recipe makes two loaves, but you can also use an 8×8 baking pan. If you do, try baking it at 325 degrees F for 35 minutes instead.
I use frozen bananas (thawed) because they are much easier to mush. But because they are cold, they tend to harden the coconut oil, making it impossible to mix. So what I do, is heat up the oil on low in a sauce pan with the bananas and get that mixture warm before stirring it into the rest of the batter.
The batter is kind of thick, so you’ll probably need to smooth out the top with a spatula before you put it in the oven.
This is a great post-run, second breakfast meal. It has the carbs to replenish your body and fuel to move on to the rest of your day. It’s calorie dense, but filled with very useful calories. You can also use it as an alternative to common baked goods, if you’re slowly trying to step away from the sweets. If you add chocolate chips, it definitely could pass as a dessert, and then all you have to feel guilty about is the chocolate. Ha! Enjoy.