Gluten-free baking success at last!
If you’ve followed my blog you know that while I’m not the greatest of bakers it’s mostly because I have a hard time following a recipe “as written”. With baking, not following the directions to the letter can often end with inedible results.
But not today. Today I translated a regular recipe for banana bread into something that is gluten-free, wheat-free, tapioca-free, rice-free, dairy-free, and lower in fat than the original to boot.
And it’s a delicious recipe. I think my kids each ate 9 of them already.
So then I made another version that is wheat-free but not entirely gluten-free (it uses spelt flour), that is perhaps even a tad bit better, though the jury is still out. Since my son is sensitive to wheat but tolerant of spelt, it’s one of my favorite alternative flours to use.
I needed to make a lot of banana bread because Door-to-Door Organics produce delivery service was kind enough to sponsor my presence at the Land of Nutrition at the Denver and Boulder Walk MS events this month with beautiful crates of organic apples, strawberries, and bananas to distribute to hungry walkers. Most were eaten at the event, but a week later I was still looking at more than a dozen organic bananas getting browner by the day. To me, that says “banana bread.”
Or rather, mini-muffins this time. So much fun to eat!
Ever since we discovered my son was sensitive to wheat through the MRT test, we have gone wheat-free in our household. It’s really wonderful that there are so many wheat-free products on the market these days that cater to those with problems digesting gluten (Celiac’s disease). It makes it easier than ever to find wheat-free alternatives to many packaged foods.
Unfortunately for us, my son is also sensitive to the most common substitutions for wheat in baked goods, namely tapioca flour, corn flour, and potato starch, which puts a lot of those products off limits to us and makes successful baking that much more challenging.
Spelt has some gluten since it is related to wheat, but in much smaller doses. Because it does have some gluten, it is one of the easiest non-wheat flours to bake with. I often add a little xanthan gum and arrowroot starch to my non-wheat flours when baking to give the dough that stickiness that gives baked goods structure.
While my son used to be sensitive to eggs, we eliminated them for a while and have been able to add them back in for baked goods. To make this recipe egg-free, see my egg-free egg-substitute post.
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Banana Bread or Mini Muffins
makes 1 loaf or about 48 mini muffins
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup safflower oil (or other oil)
1 cup sugar (or other sweetener)
2 eggs (or egg substitutes)
1/4 cup coconut milk (or other dairy or dairy alternative)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (not “flavoring”)
1 cup amaranth flour or spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (name notwithstanding, buckwheat is not related to wheat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum powder
Optional add ins: 1/2 cup nuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream applesauce, oil, sugar, and eggs together.
Add milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas and blend.
Mix remaining dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add to bananas and mix well.
Grease loaf pan or mini muffin tins well and bake for approximately 20 – 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.