Banana Pumpkin Breakfast Bread

Power through your mornings with this nutrient-packed fall treat from triathlete-chef Lentine Zahler.

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Power through your mornings with this nutrient-packed fall treat from triathlete-chef Lentine Zahler.


1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup spelt flour (or whole-wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cup puréed pumpkin (home roasted or canned)
1 ripe banana, mashed
½ cup unsweetened, canned coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 T unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup evaporated cane juice (cane sugar)
2 large eggs*
1 cup golden and red raisins
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Powdered sugar (optional)
*Can substitute 2 T ground flaxseed and 4 T warm water

RELATED – Pro Recipe: Andy Potts’ Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a loaf pan (or line with parchment paper). Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices into a medium bowl, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana with the pumpkin, vanilla and coconut milk, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and evaporated cane juice on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy. Turn the machine speed to low and add one egg. Mix until completely incorporated, then add the second egg. Mix again until completely incorporated. Add half of the banana mixture to the mixer bowl and blend completely on a low speed. Then add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Repeat with the other half of the banana mixture and the other half of the flour. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and, with a spatula, gently fold in the raisins and pumpkin seeds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tapping the whole pan lightly on your work surface to make sure that it rests evenly, then bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Sprinkle the top of the bread with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Allow the loaf to stand in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Chef Lentine Zahler recommends this recipe for a filling breakfast or portable ride food, as it’s packed with potassium, healthy fats and protein.

RELATED – Recipe Of The Week: Pumpkin Bisque With Roasted Pesto Veggies

Meet the Triathlete-Chef

Eight years ago, classically trained pastry chef Lentine Zahler discovered her love for triathlon while living in Southern Japan, where her husband was stationed as a Green Beret. A former high school swimmer, she was riding a borrowed tri bike when she saw a posting for a local half-iron-distance triathlon on the island of Izena. She entered and ended up winning the race. “They gave me something like 3 gallons of sake and a huge bag of rice and a crown of fake flowers,” she says. “I was hooked.” Zahler did her first Ironman six months later and qualified for the Ironman World Championship. Simultaneously, while fueling her training, she started to crave baked goods: “I wanted muffins, I wanted bread. I needed those carbohydrates, more than just rice.” Her baking experiments led to studying at Le Cordon Bleu, then working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Angeles, before she realized her true calling in the kitchen was recipe development for athletes. Zahler, now in the San Francisco Bay Area, is working on a healthy baking and dessert-focused cookbook for athletes. “I know that I wouldn’t be nearly as successful as I have been as an athlete if I didn’t care for the things I eat and the things I put in my body as much as I do,” she says. Learn more at

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