A blog by runners. For runners.

Recipe: banana breakfast bars


One of my biggest issues with getting up early to run is what to eat beforehand. I’m the sort of person who feels nauseous upon waking before I’m ready, so eating anything can be a struggle. If I skip a small breakfast, though, my run ultimately suffers — greatly. So, I developed a recipe for something healthy, satisfying, and — most importantly — inoffensive to a sensitive stomach like mine.

Key ingredients:

  • Bananas are a well-known powerhouse food for runners, containing a hefty dose of potassium as well as vitamins A, C, and E. In addition, bananas are considered a good pre-run food because they’re unlikely to cause stomach problems.
  • Sprouted flour isn’t required for this recipe (you can swap it out with whole wheat or all-purpose), but I like that it “digests like a vegetable” and — again — is easier on the stomach.
  • Coconut sugar is a great alternative to refined sugars because it contains more nutrients and is lower on the glycemic index. If sugar is an issue for you, consider dropping it altogether from this recipe — the bananas, especially when ripe, should provide enough sweetness for flavor naturally.
  • Flax meal is something I regularly add to baked goods because it is a fantastic source of omega-3s, something as a vegetarian (and runner) I’m always looking to add to my diet. What better way than first thing in the morning?
  • Almond milk is a good source of plant protein. There isn’t much of it in this recipe, so feel free to use whatever dairy or soy (etc.) milk you have on hand or replace entirely with water.

Banana breakfast bars


  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-1/2 cups sprouted flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz a with oil.
  2. Mash your bananas by hand (with a fork) or by using your mixer’s paddle attachment. Then mix in the sugar, vanilla extract, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and almond milk.
  3. Add the flour, flax seeds, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix by hand until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into your prepared dish and tap gently on your kitchen counter to distribute evenly.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and start to pull away slightly.
  6. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing into 24 small squares. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

What do you eat before an early morning run?

Written by Ashley Marcin.