Kelly Holmes’ figgy seeded banana bread

This delicious figgy seeded banana bread is packed with protein from the nuts, seeds and wholemeal spelt flour, plus glucose for readily available energy. Small squares of this are a great pre-workout snack, particularly if you need something on the go.

Peter Cassidy


250g wholemeal spelt flour
150g coconut sugar or light muscovado
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 heaped teaspoon Ceylon ground cinnamon
2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
100g dried figs, roughly chopped
100g walnuts, chopped
125ml light olive oil or coconut oil, melted
2 eggs, lightly whisked
50g pumpkin seeds

sliced banana and peanut butter or cherries and yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Line a 23cm square cake tin with baking parchment (or use a 900g loaf tin).

2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, bananas, figs and half the walnuts into a large bowl. Add the oil and eggs and mix well to combine. Tip the mix into the lined tin. Scatter over the remaining walnuts and seeds. Bake for 40 minutes.

3. Cool on a wire rack and cut into squares. Pack up for snacking on the go. Serve with peanut butter and banana or cherries and yogurt.

Gold medal-winning Olympic athlete Dame Kelly Holmes has written Running Life, a guide to how mindset, exercise and diet can transform your overall wellbeing. In the book she explains how, ‘The right diet helps every part of us feel its best – good skin, healthy hair, lower body fat, more energy, increased strength and focus. It has a 360◦ effect that goes far beyond just seeing a decreasing number on the scales. With my high fitness levels and stamina as a former athlete, I know that making healthier food choices and creating balance in my daily food intake makes all the difference. No one wants to live a life of denial, it’s all about finding that magical happy spot called moderation…

Recipe from Running Life by Dame Kelly Holmes, published by Kyle Books.