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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Banana Bread Revisited - Healthy Gluten-Free




Vegan and gluten-free eating seems to be something I hear more and more about in my circle of friends, family and colleagues.  I have experimented on a few occasions with gluten free baking and have to admit that the Butternut Squash Breakfast Cake Recipe is quite good.  However, my first attempt at a gluten free banana bread was OK but a little too sandy in texture (due to the rice flour) to my liking.  So, in an attempt to make it better, I have been studying the best way to bake gluten free without compromising on taste and texture.


I was thrilled to discover a web site entitled Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and if you are interested in this type of cooking, I encourage you to visit it.  It is very well done.

I learned here that gluten-free flours (rice, chick pea, corn, etc) are heavier and denser than white flour, and that in order to produce baked goods that are light in texture, the flour must be balanced with a starch (corn starch, potato starch, arrowroot, etc) at a ratio of 70% flour - 30% starch.  I kept this in mind when developing this new Banana Bread recipe.  I also understood, from experience, that the batter itself must be more liquid in order to produce a moist cake.

This is my newest attempt and so far has gotten really good reviews from the family.  I hope you enjoy it too.  It is also sweetened with maple syrup and coconut oil (a product I also seem to be hearing a lot about) and yoghurt are used as the fat instead of butter - so it's also very healthy and not too sweet.  I will soon try to replace the egg with chia for the vegans - but I'm not there yet - will keep you posted.

You will need:  for 1 Banana Bread (can be doubled easily by just X 2 on everything)

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbsp (15ml) of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 (120ml) cup of plan yoghurt
  • 1 cup of brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 1tsp of baking powder
  • 1tsp of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • large handful of chopped walnuts
  • large handful of 70% chocolate chopped (the chocolate is optional but helps add a little sweetness - if you don't add the chocolate, you may want to increase the maple syrup to 1/2 cup - 120ml).
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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C);
  2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl;
  3. Add the egg (1), pure vanilla extract (1tbsp - 15ml), maple syrup (1/4 cup - 60ml), melted coconut oil (1/4 cup - 60ml) and yoghurt (1/3 cup - 80ml) and blend together well;
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the brown rice flour (1 cup -     g), corn starch (1/2 cup -     g), baking powder (1tsp), baking soda (1tsp) and salt.  Whisk together to sift and combine;
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend together;
  6. Stir in walnuts and chocolate pieces;
  7. Coat a loaf pan with some of the melted coconut oil to prevent sticking;
  8. Pour in the batter and cook until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (about 50 minutes);
  9. Cool and enjoy!  - can be frozen to enjoy later.


SMILE OF THE DAY :)




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