Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Allergy friendly banana bread

I think I may have a problem in my marriage.

Ever since I got my gorgeous, empire red Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer (with an amazing grinder attachment —*sigh*), I've been having lustful thoughts about all manner of things I can make with it. My poor husband isn't even allowed to touch the thing without me following behind him and wiping off the fingerprints or food spatters.

Much the same way a man might obsess about his shiny red convertible, I am having a serious love affair with my mixer. It is nothing short of amazing. I can't believe I waited so long to get one. For that, I have to say I am actually grateful to my son for not being ready to move beyond pureed and ground foods yet. The cost of buying jars of baby food was getting so outrageous —roughly ten dollars a day— that I was able to make the case with my husband that this sexy new machine would pay for itself in just a couple of months.

It has changed my life. The way I cook, the way I think about the food instead of the work involved to prepare it. Unbelievable. I don't know how I ever lived without it. My husband thinks I'm a tad obsessive.

Pffft, whatever, dear.

Once upon a time, the idea of making banana bread in my minuscule kitchen would have given me hives. Seriously, I only have a few feet of actual work space between my sink and my stove —and that's on a good day. The idea of sifting flours and dry ingredients in one bowl, using the hand mixer to mash the bananas and wet ingredients in another, then coordinating pouring the flour mixture into the batter bowl while mixing and not spilling on the counter and floor? Oy vey. Imagine Lucy Ricardo and you get the idea; it's not exactly motivating to bake yummy things when it takes so much work.

But once my cherry red Kitchenaid entered my life? (Cue sexy siren song...) Easy peasy. *breathy sigh*

Tonight, I simply dumped all the wet ingredients including —gasp— unmashed bananas right into the bowl and let that hot mama do her thing. Then, I dumped in the dry ingredients —measured them right into the bowl as the mixer was running!— and my trusty mixer turned the lumpy goo into a smooth, satiny batter in moments. Moments, I tell you.

The hardest part is waiting as my little loaves bake to their golden, banana-y goodness. What? Banana-y is too a word; I just made it up. So there!

This recipe is so easy even my husband could make it. If I ever decide to let him near my beautiful new mixer, that is.

2 C all purpose GF flour blend
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 C canola oil
1 C sugar
1 large egg
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 C rice milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease loaf pan or use non-stick pans. (Makes one large or four mini loaves.)

Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.

In large bowl combine oil and sugar. Add mashed bananas, stir well.
Add milk and lemon juice. Stir well.
Add flour mixture, stirring well until all lumps disappear.
Pour into loaf pan(s). (Be sure not to overfill your pans as the bread will rise during cooking.)

Bake at 350F until toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
For mini loaves, allow 45 minutes.
For large loaf allow 60 minutes.

Turn onto wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting. (Resist the temptation! GF flours are very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and this will make the bread very gooey.)

A few tips about this particular recipe: I've tried it a number of ways —with egg, without egg, using a sorghum flour blend, using a rice flour blend and adding some flax meal. In my opinion, if you don't need to avoid eggs, add the egg. Otherwise, simply omit the egg —but expect the bread to be much denser and moister than the typical banana bread —a bit sticky; the "mouth feel" will be heavier. If you must avoid eggs, you can add a couple generous tablespoons of finely ground flax which will add some extra fiber as well as absorb some of the extra moisture.

I've read that sorghum flour behaves more like wheat flour in terms of texture and elasticity. However, I think it has a much stronger flavor and competes with the sweet banana flavor of the bread. I prefer a rice flour blend.

Remember how I said I just dumped everything in the bowl and let 'er rip? Here's your proof:


  1. The breads are pretty, but even prettier? Those loaf pans! Me want! Where'd you get them?

  2. Looks amazing! And might I add that another dear blogger once told me that adding butterscotch chips to banana bread was very "English" and so I tried it and I have to admit, it was pretty delicious... The Kitchenaid: yes, to die for. I love mine. The pan: where did you get it?? I want one!!

  3. Beautiful. I wish Charlotte liked bananas as I would love to make this. Well maybe I will anyway, but just for the rest of us.

    I too am lusting over those loaf pans.

  4. Proof that blogger doesn't like me...I posted a reply about the pan early this morning. Pffft...gone!

    Target, ladies! Twelve bucks. It's a Wilton brand pan which sells for twice that on the Wilton site. If you can't find it there, try somepleace like Michael's or A.C. Moore where they sell specialty pans for cakes, etc.

  5. Seriously: this sounds great but my eyes were glued to the pan!!

  6. oh yeah I need that pan! The kids and I love to make and eat banana bread! Will have to try the butterscotch chips too...

  7. I think I'm going to have to try this banana bread recipe...and add that pan to my Christmas list! I use mini loaf pans, but they are all individual and are a pain to get in and out of the oven.

    A little off topic - what kind of gluten free flour do you use? Do you mix up your own blend or buy one premixed? I'm happy with the two blends I use, but I'm always curious to hear what other people use and if they're happy with it :)

  8. Keri, not off topic at all! I've been experiementing with a few different blends which I make myself. Many of the ready-made blends have either soy flour or some sort of bean flour. I can't have soy and Nik can't have the other some beans.

    I like some of the blends I've found in Living Without magazine ( They have great info on substituting things for allergy-friendly recipes. I've also tried some flour blends I've seen on other blogs.

    I would suggest making the same recipe using different blends to see what you prefer. Also, I've gotten very friendly with a woman at my local health food store; she's very knowledgeable about GFCF and has great advice.

    Maybe Goodfountain and I need to put together a GFCF resource link?

  9. I started out using a brown rice flour blend that I mix myself from the Annalise Roberts cookbook, and I really like it in some baked goods. It just gets to be kind of a pain mixing it up all the time because I do so much baking with the boys. Then I heard about Better Batter flour that can be used cup for cup in regular recipes, and I really like that also. I order 25 pound bags and store them in our extra freezer in the garage. Just depends on what I'm making.

    It's nice to read your blog and hear that other people are dealing with some of the same food issues and modifying recipes. I love it when a GF recipe comes out tasting as good as a gluten filled one!