Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wheat-Free Banana Muffins or Bread

Like most people, I don't like to throw out food. Most food, as it gets "older" just gets closer and closer to the garbage (or disposal or compost bin). But one food, bananas, can change from a mushy, smelly fruit to a delicious muffin or bread.

For whatever reason, last week, I bought too many bananas. Today I had 5, gold in color with brown spots. I figured I could use 3 for muffins. I have also been trying to go gluten free for the last 2 weeks and doing very well. However, the last 2 days I have re-introduced barley and have had some oats. My system seems to think this is ok, so I decided to try the muffins made with these flours instead of traditional white (which is derived from wheat) flour. I have been hearing more and more that our bodies, especially when we (ahem) get older, can have a hard time digesting wheat. It also means I have to be more creative with other grains, fruits and veggies.

The other part of the story is the topping. I meant to put some chopped walnuts in the batter and realized right after I had portioned the muffins, I had left it out. I put about 1 tsp of nuts on each muffin along with maybe 1/2 tsp of brown sugar. I gave it a little stir and hoped for the best. That was a good mistake!

Anyway, I hope you'll give these a try. Of course, you can use wheat flour (white or whole wheat) if you don't have barley or oat.

**Please note: these are NOT gluten-free; only wheat-free. I made them while I was experimenting with a wheat-free diet. I have learned I cannot tolerate barley.

Wheat-Free Banana Muffins or Bread

1 cup Barley flour
1 cup Oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle of cinnamon (to taste)

2 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter or veg oil
2/3 cup milk or yogurt (I had used sweetened yogurt, therefore only used 1/2 cup sugar)
1/2 – 3/4 cup sweetener like sugar, brown sugar, succanat, etc
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 ripe, mashed bananas

Optional: add ½ cup chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans to the wet ingredients.

1. Pre-heat oven (see Temperature Guidelines below) and get pans ready.
2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients).
3. In a smaller bowl, mix the eggs, then add the butter or oil, milk or yogurt, sugar, vanilla and banana.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently.
5. Portion out muffins or loaf.

Tip: If using a muffin tin, try using an ice cream scoop. If you don’t have one, go to a restaurant supply store that sells many different sizes; these are the best ones.

Temperature Guidelines:
1 loaf pan: Bake at 350° F for 45-55 minutes.
Regular muffin pan: Bake at 375° F for 20-25 minutes, yield 12-16 muffins
Mini muffin pan: Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes, yield 40 mini muffins

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