Carrot Coconut Breakfast Loaf

Five days to go until the Dubai marathon. I ran my last training run today, 12k at marathon pace. It felt good. I know from experience that I find it harder to get into a certain pace in training runs, but don't seem to have the problem at races (where it actually counts). My adrenaline works very reliable then, and gets my competitive side going.
I decided not run until Friday, to have rested legs. I am a firm believer in rested legs. In the past (intended or not) I often did not run at all for 4-5 days before a race. So it has become part of my religion or race superstition. It might get hard not to run by Wednesday, as my nerves will surely get jittery by then. I have planned to carb-load on Tuesday and Wednesday, and just eat normally and light on Thursday. Too many carbs can you make feel quite heavy, and I want them stored in my muscles and otherwise out of my system when I line up at the starting line on Friday morning.
The weather conditions will be good. The forecast now says it will be around 18C. That's quite cool for Dubai, and surely good enough to run a marathon.

I have trained hard to run this marathon in 3:45:00. Please keep your fingers crossed that I will make it. I feel confident. I know I can do it.

I hope it will pay off that I not only trained hard and systematically, but also paid more attention than ever to my diet. I hardly ever eat processed foods, refined sugars and flours are eliminated to almost 100% from my daily menu. I eat as wholesome as possible, with a good variety of raw and cooked veggies, fruit, nuts, legumes, lean meats and eggs. I go gluten-free wherever I can. I am feeling energized, balanced and healthy.

Today's recipe is a breakfast loaf that I have been baking for 4-5 times in a row. It fits the bill for all the dietary adjustments mentioned above. It's good enough for breakfast or as mid-afternoon snack. A good snack to have after a long run too. I also baked this loaf for a friend who gave birth to a baby girl a month ago. Delicious, wholesome and nutritious for breastfeeding mothers. A no-guilt cake for absolutely everyone!

(Print Recipe)

3/4 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup mashed bananas (2 very ripe medium bananas)

1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup carrots, coarsely grated
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup pistachios or hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cranberries

Yields 1 loaf
Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Grease or line loaf tin with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine almond meal, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Stir in vanilla, coconut oil and mashed bananas. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in dates, carrots, coconut, cranberries and chopped nuts. Break up bigger lumps of dates if they stick together.

Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

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