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Eat. Train. Race. Travel.

Welcome to Athlete Food - our continuous adventure to seek out healthy food around the globe and at our own dinner tables. Hope you are inspired to get on a plane or get out the plates and cook a healthy dinner tonight!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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My go to training food when I'm in mid-season intense training is a peanut butter and honey slathered rice cake, inhaled, in seconds, over the kitchen sick. But on these cold December off-season training days, I feel like I deserve a little variety and more substance. Something to be savored alongside a hot cup of coffee, now that my workouts are shorter and I have time for such a luxury.

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Amy's nanny, Mamzie, agrees. After watching me run around from the gym to the pool to the track for the last several months, she says it's time to slow down, relax a little and eat more. So this week, she made a big batch of her famous chocolate chip banana carrot bread.

Mamzie makes this recipe from her head, nothing written down, but she does offer these tips:

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-grate the carrots with a box grater. They provide a little extra sweetness, but disappear in the cake, so picky eaters won't even notice they are there.

-mash cinnamon into the bananas: this makes the spice evenly distributed throughout the batter

-use mini chocolate chips: they don't sink to the bottom of the cake as much as regular-sized chips.

-use ripe, but not overripe bananas, so that the bread is not too sweet.

All week, I've had a slice or two before my bike trainer workouts this week...and maybe another slice or two for dessert!

We hope you find a few minutes to make this bread over the holiday season.

-Bec

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (with carrots!)

3 bananas (not overripe)

3 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3 medium carrots, grated with a box grater (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mixing, use a fork to mash bananas with cinnamon.

In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium (or rigorously by hand) until the sugar starts to dissolve or as Mamzie says, "melts into the other ingredients."

Add flour, baking powder and baking soda to oil/egg mixture, mixing by hand until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Stir in carrots, mashed bananas and chocolate chips.

Divide mixture into 4 greased mini loaf pans, filling each one about halfway.

Bake 35-40 minutes for mini loaves. If using a regular loaf pan, bake for longer, around 60 minutes. The edges should be golden and a tooth pick inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Make sure to do this toothpick test because oven temperatures may vary.

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