Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Oh, the banana...such an underrated fruit.  All too often they sit on our counters, lonely and green with envy as the apples and berries have all the fun being used for more than just a quick breakfast on our way to work, but then, in the blink of an eye, our beautiful canary yellow bananas turn a potting soil brown. I know, sounds appetizing, but I beg you to resist the urge to throw out those bananas with the old coffee grounds. Instead, throw them into the freezer until you are ready to use them because what was old and brown can become new again, and sweet!

Gluten Free Banana Bread
Bananas past their so called peak of freshness can be used for all sorts of tasty treats such as one ingredient banana "ice cream" (slice them up, freeze, then blend to a soft serve consistency and you've got an amazing way to beat the summer heat); or, two ingredient banana pancakes (one banana mashed with 1-2 eggs lightly beaten and cook as you would any other pancake and you have a delicious breakfast for your toddler or hungry spouse). 

Personally, my favorite use for my ripe bananas is a good old fashion loaf of banana bread because the flavor never disappoints and goes great with my morning coffee or latte. There is just something so nostalgic about banana bread. I guess it reminds me of holiday mornings surrounded by my family; hanging out in our pjs and laughing about one thing or another.

This fabulous recipe was adapted from Hoosier Homemade's "Best Ever Banana Bread" was converted to a gluten free version for my school assignment and I have to say, it is one of the best banana breads I have ever eaten. It is all that you want a banana bread to be: soft, moist, slightly sweet and full of banana flavor, which you can thank those potting soil brown bananas for!!

Ingredients (makes 1 standard loaf)
2c MINUS 2tbsp GF Flour Blend**
1c sugar
1tsp GF baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2c GF Wesson Vegetable Oil (Soybean oil)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1tsp GF vanilla
Add 1/2c walnuts, chopped if your nuts are free of gluten ingredients
**See my post on my go to GF Flour Blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 1 standard bread pan with GF non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients and set aside.  In medium bowl, mash bananas, add eggs, vanilla and oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into well.  Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf only has a few crumbs.
Mise en place
Sift, Mash and Fold
Bake to Perfection
This bread was so delicious and once again my GF Flour Blend did not disappoint. I can't tell you how excited I was to see the height of the loaf through the oven window as it baked up because I had always been unable to achieve that kind of lift with other GF recipes.  You will love this loaf and if you don't want to make the leap to gluten free, I am sure that the original version is just as yummy so give it a try.
If you need to be strict on your gluten intake please be careful when choosing your ingredients.  I was very close to following the original recipe and adding walnuts, but when I looked at the ingredients on the walnut bag I noticed that they were produced with trace amounts of wheat, which is a no-no for gluten free eaters.  The same is true of baking powder and even vanilla so read the ingredients list closely!  If you need some extra help on deciphering whether the item is gluten free or need some options, head over to GF Overflow to check their database.
Please enjoy and let me know who you think. 
Happy baking!