Banana Bread – Run Fast. Eat Slow

Makes 1 loaf; Prep time: 30 minutes

We, runners, love our bananas – and for good reason. Bananas are a highly digestive source of energy that can quickly replenish depleted glycogen levels in our hardworking muscles. They’re also a fantastic natural source of electrolytes, including potassium and magnesium.

But before you go chowing down a Mom’s banana bread take a peek at the list of ingredients. The key to achieving sweet perfection with a lot less sugar is to use very, very ripe bananas.

Now Go put those long-forgotten brown-speckled bananas to good use.

What is spelt flour? Spelt is an ancient grain in the wheat family. It looks very similar to wheat in appearance. It has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor, similar to that of whole wheat flour. Spelt’s rise to the popular kid in the grain class is because it is very tasty and easy to work into existing recipes. Spelt flour does contain gluten, which makes it very easy to substitute it into “regular” wheat cookie, bread, etc. recipes that would typically call for all purpose flour. By adding spelt, you’ll get the flavor and nutritional benefits of the whole grain flour without screwing up the texture of your baked good.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups spelt flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine sea salt

1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temp

¼ cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

1½ cups mashed bananas (3-4 very ripe)

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

½ cup date pieces or golden raisins (optional)

METOD:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use cooking spray to grease a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan (or use butter).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, use a handheld mixer or stand mixer to beat together the butter and sugar on low until combined. Add the eggs and continue to beat for 1 minute. Add the bananas and vanilla and beat just until combined.
  • Pour into the loaf pan and shake the pan to spread out the batter evenly. Sprinkle the top with coconut if using. Bake in the center of the oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean (about 50-60 minutes).
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Use a knife around the edges to loosen and to carefully remove the loaf.

This nutty, moist, not-too-sweet bread is perfect with your morning coffee or a great satisfying mid-afternoon snack to give you that energy boost to finish off the day. 

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