In this ongoing blog series, Christine, a budget-minded first-time Mom and Team Member, explores ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both toddler and husband. See other posts on making homemade popsicles, vegetable soup out of a pea base, a carrot ginger soup from locally grown carrots, finger foods, zucchini pesto, berry cobbler and a green smoothie. She even hides vegetables in her pancakes. The smell of banana bread baking in the oven is AMAZING! But this afternoon, as the banana bread baked, I was a little bit nervous. This was a very special batch. It was my first attempt at a gluten-free bread and I was anxious to taste the results. I have recently been introduced to a community of mothers who feed their children gluten-free foods. I thought it would be fun to bring a gluten-free recipe home to my family. My mission: to create a healthy gluten-free dessert and answer the question, “Can desserts be delicious without the gluten?” Here’s what I did.
3 ripe bananas
1 egg and 2 egg whites
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free baking flour
½ cup organic cane sugar
½ cup organic light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel the bananas and place them in a small bowl. I find that really ripe bananas work best for this recipe. Mash the bananas until they turn into a smooth puree, about one cup. I used a fork to mash my bananas and it worked just fine.
Crack the eggs and place them in a separate, large bowl and beat them. Add the apple sauce, olive oil and vanilla extract to the eggs and mix together. Use whatever applesauce you like. I use organic apple sauce made from apples only (no additives). Slowly mix the bananas into the other wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the dry ingredients: gluten-free baking flour, cane sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix the dry ingredients and then add them to the wet ingredients and stir. Note that the texture of the batter will be soft. Its softer batter than you would expect, but trust me when I say that it will turn into bread when baked in the oven. At this point, you can add nuts, raisins or chocolate chips to the batter, but I left my banana bread plain.
Grease a loaf pan. I used a 9” x 4 1/2” bread pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Then, place the pan in the center of the warm oven and bake the bread for approximately 50-60 minutes. Oven times may vary, so in order to know if it’s done, stick a toothpick into the middle of the bread until it comes out clean. Once the bread has been baked, let it sit for 10 minutes to cool. Then, flip the loaf pan over and let the bread rest on a wire rack.
The bread looked very enticing! I kept walking past it and then gave in to my temptation. I just couldn’t wait for my husband and child to return home, so I sat down and ate a warm slice of banana bread, washed down with a glass of apple cider and it was pure bliss! This gluten-free banana bread is moist and flavorful. It makes a great snack or dessert and it can also be served for breakfast with some fresh fruit. My toddler loved it too. He was grinning from ear to ear when I served him the bread. And my husband was grinning, too! This recipe is easy, delicious, economical and gluten free. Not to mention, it is fantastic for this time of year! And now that Halloween is approaching, I am inspired to try some gluten-free pumpkin bread. So I guess I answered my own question. I have discovered that gluten-free desserts can be utterly fabulous and I can’t wait to try more. Do you know of any gluten-free pumpkin bread recipes or other gluten-free goodies?