Guest Blogger: Nicole Mundt: Gluten-Free Banana Bread
I have number of friends living the Gluten-Free (GF) lifestyle. A few have been diagnosed as having Celiac’s and others have taken the GF route in light other autoimmune diseases. I feel like I am always learning about GF food and recipes. Learning new things is always a bonus and I can cook for my GF friends! My dear friend Nicki went GF about 8 months ago. She’s been exploring the GF world of restaurants and recipes (and beer). She posted the below pic on Facebook recently and (after some drool) I asked her to write about her experience and to also share her recipe. So, you get a double treat here – a delish recipe and a fun post (Nicki is an amazing writer). Enjoy!
So I’ve been gluten free for about 8 months now… and it’s the best it’s ever been. While I use that phrase seemingly indiscriminately, I really mean it this time. THE best it’s ever been.However, there are two things I have missed desperately. First, dark beer. I have a chocolate lab named Stout and a bit of a refined beer palate (if I do say so myself). In fact, just writing about dark beer is making my mouth water (and yes, I realize the irony here, for those of you who know that salivation actually has a big something to do with my GF lifestyle shift). Anyway, I digress. I have also REALLY, REALLY missed banana bread. Now, I know there are GF versions of just about everything under the sun… but I hadn’t found a banana bread that looked appetizing enough to try. And frankly, a mediocre banana bread might have just depressed me back into gluten consumption.Also, an important note for the purposes of this post: I don’t really like bananas. I don’t like bananas, but I know they’re good for me… especially when I’m training. And I’ve been training a lot this summer. So that means that I always have the best of intentions when I’m grocery shopping, so I generally purchase between 3 and 5 bananas on any given trip to the store. Then, I get home and start my week, and… I still hate bananas. So I’ve been stock piling over-ripe, brown bananas in my freezer for the last couple of months. Honestly, it was getting a little out of hand. My friend’s baby shower this weekend was the perfect opportunity to put those bananas to use and try my hand at my first GF baking experience.[Actually, hold the phone. If I'm being completely honest, I had one other GF baking attempt in my past. It went something like this: About a year ago, a good friend of mine had a baby girl. This friend also has Celiac's (which is a bona fide gluten allergy. Like, no gluten, ever, or bad things happen). So, I decided to make her some gluten free brownies. It should also be noted that baking isn't generally my thing. High altitude baking is even less "my thing." So I got home and ambitiously jumped in to making the brownies, when I suddenly recalled a piece of advice my then-boyfriend's mother had given me about altitude baking (she's basically the Denver Betty Crocker): You just add a 1/4 cup of flour to any out-of-the-box mix and cook it for 10 minutes longer than it says on the box. So I did. Fortunately for my friend, I realized my mistake while the brownies were in the oven and showed up to her house empty-handed (...but with a good story to tell).]So, to put a bow on this little back story, to say I was skeptical of this gluten-free, high-altitude-baked banana bread is the understatement of the day. But it turned out INCREDIBLE. Like better than incredible. And that is not because I had set the bar at a negative. Try it and see for yourself.Also, resist the urge to put cinnamon in this recipe. I really, really wanted to because it just didn’t seem right without cinnamon. Don’t do it. But do remember to put in the almond extract and leave lots of chunks of banana.Your friends won’t even know it’s gluten free Enjoy!Check more insightful posts by Nicki at The Recovering Lawyer.
4c white rice flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
4t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c Canola oil (healthy alternative: apple sauce)
1 1/2 c brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten (healthy alternative: egg beaters)
4 1/2 c mashed bananas (This is a lot more bananas than you would think. I have been saving up my old bananas in my freezer, and I probably used 10 bananas to get 4.5 cups)
2t pure vanilla extract
2t pure almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the oil and sugar together. Stir in eggs and bananas until blended.
4. Add vanilla and almond extracts
5. Stir mixture until well combined
6. Pour into greased pan
7. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Note: I undercooked it just a bit and was really happy with how moist it was).
8. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.