The Best Dairy-Free Banana Bread
It’s Fall! And that means its time to bake! Banana bread is one of my favorite things to make when the weather starts to turn cold. Or when I have too many overripe bananas. Not only is it the perfect fall treat, but it is also a great option for a pre-workout snack!
There’s no problem in that (my sweet tooth understands)! Fueling with foods you like is an important component of a proper fueling plan. Food is fuel for your body but also something to enjoy!
Many of you have shared that you are looking for more plant-based and sustainable recipes to fuel with. My dairy-free banana bread is just that! This recipe for the best dairy-free banana bread is great for those who can’t consume dairy and can easily be made vegan using a flax egg or other substitute.
Banana bread is rich in carbohydrates and can be part of a great pre-workout snack. Add some sliced banana and all-natural nut butter and you are good to go!
That being said, not all banana bread recipes are created to use to fuel before practice! Tons of recipes are packed with lots of sugar that can leave you crashing during training. All foods are amazing in moderation but you want to make sure your banana bread is appropriate for fueling if it is before a training session. This recipe is dairy-free, low sugar, and low fat – making it the perfect healthy treat for athletes. You’ll need 2.5 ripe bananas (I know, an annoying measurement), but feel free to snack on that last half while you bake or add in the top for fun toppings.
Not only does banana bread taste delicious, but this recipe is also made with a lot of ingredients that are great for fueling! Check them out below.
Applesauce is a great addition to baking because it adds incredible moistness to the bread and helps decrease the fat content of the bread. The applesauce replaces the butter or oil to help make a low-fat bread that is easy to digest before training! Because unsweetened applesauce’s main only ingredient is apples, you can secretly add-in “color” into the bread. Not only are you adding a serving of fruit to your bread, but you are also providing additional energy that is easy to digest!
Besides the obvious, that dairy-free milk can prevent lactose intolerant symptoms, dairy-free milk is a great option because it is rich in calcium! This nutrient is important for you, as an athlete, because it helps keep your bones maintain strength and prevent damage. Almond milk has the same amount of calcium in it as cow’s milk and some fortified versions meet 50% of your daily calcium needs.
Additionally, many athletes have low Vitamin D levels. Like calcium, vitamin D plays a crucial role in bone health. You can get vitamin D through food (salmon, fortified whole fat cows milk, egg yolks) or make it naturally when your skin gets hit by sunlight. Many athletes have low vitamin D stores and you can prevent this by making sure your calcium intake is adequate.
Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices as it bumps up the sweet flavors in practically any dish. Consuming cinnamon can also help control your blood sugar! It has anti-inflammatory effects and is packed with antioxidants, both of which are great for athletes and their recovery.
Another one of my favorite ways to make banana bread is to switch up the fillings and toppings. Get creative with it! My personal favorites are dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts, but add any combo of chocolate, nuts, seeds, or fruit and it will instantly step up your dairy-free banana bread game.
Best Dairy-Free Banana Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or dairy free milk of choice)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2.5 ripe bananas (mashed)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat over to 325 degrees F
- Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt)
- Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl (applesauce, eggs, almond milk, vanilla, mashed banana, sugar)
- Combine wet and dry ingredients by folding in dry ingredients
- Pour batter into a greased bread loaf pan
- Top the batter with your favorite toppings (chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, fresh or dried fruit)
- Cook for 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted comes out cleanly.
Let me know how your banana bread turns out in the comments below. Looking for more sweet treats? Check out my healthy cookie-dough protein bites. Have fun baking and happy fueling!