Making the choice to switch to a plant-based diet shouldn’t mean giving up your gains — in fact, incorporating more plant-based foods may even give you an athletic advantage — provided you know how to properly fuel your body while eating vegan. The Vegan Athlete’s Nutrition Handbook by registered dietitian nutritionist Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, is a comprehensive guidebook for anyone looking to dive deep into the science behind plant-based eating and peak performance.
This book includes over 25 flavorful and fueling vegan recipes such as the recipe for Endurance Banana Bread below. A key component to good nutrition and staying fueled is having whole, unprocessed food ready to-go whenever you need it.
Endurance Banana Bread
Serves: 6 • Prep Time: 10 minutes • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
A key component to good nutrition and staying fueled is having whole, unprocessed food ready to-go whenever you need it.
Plant-Based Buttermilk Ingredients
¼ cup plant-based milk, unsweetened (soy seems to work best!)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups mashed banana (about 3 medium ripe bananas)
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan (or similar size) by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it with oil.
2. Make the buttermilk: In a small bowl, add the milk and the apple cider vinegar. Stir then set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
3. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir. Set aside.
4. Mix the mashed banana, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and stir. Don’t overmix! A little lumpiness is okay.
6. Stir in the walnuts (omit for nut-free).
7. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through the center (baking time may vary depending on your oven).
8. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To store in the freezer, slice the bread into individual pieces and wrap them separately in parchment paper before storing in the freezer for up to 30 days.
Read Nichole’s article here on the 13 Benefits of Plant-Based Diet for Athletes.
Nichole Dandrea-Russert, MS, RDN, has been a registered dietitian nutritionist for more than 25 years, specializing in heart disease, diabetes, sports nutrition and women’s health. For more than a decade, she has focused on plant-based lifestyles through inspiring and educating people about plant-based eating to optimize their health and the health of the planet. Nichole has been featured in Eating Well, Business Insider and Atlanta Journal Constitution. She is also a media spokesperson for The Weather Channel and local Atlanta television networks. A former triathlete and current yoga instructor, she shares her passion through her website Purely Planted. Nichole is the author of The Fiber Effect and The Vegan Athlete’s Nutrition Handbook. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband.