What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

October 24, 2010

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread (Lower Fat Version)

Filed under: Breads,Desserts — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 9:14 am

For a quick bread, this is pretty low fat.  The original recipe comes from a King Arthur Flour Cook Book that’s been in my pantry for years.  I’ve used low fat Buttermilk in place of full fat Sour Cream which insures the bread remains moist despite only 1/3 cup oil in the batter. 

I was going to make Pumpkin Bread again, but these bananas were calling out to me.

They look much worse that they are because we store our bananas in the refrigerator.  Some people say that’s a no-no, but I find that as soon as the bananas reach the perfect ripeness – which in and of itself a contentious matter at my house (just a touch of green left according to me but spotted with brown according to my husband) – placing them in the refrigerator will cause them to stop ripening, so you can enjoy the perfect texture and ripeness you like for at least a few days.  Oh, they won’t look very good, since the outside will begin to brown despite refrigeration, but the interior will still be perfect days later.  Try it.

Unlike with most of my baking, I decided to include the walnuts my children detest since I just can’t fathom Banana Bread any other way!  Spawn #1 still ate it, but he picked the nuts out of his slice.  Crazy Boy!

 What you’ll need:

2 Large Eggs

1 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 cup mashed (very ripe) Bananas

2 tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Solda

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

2 2/3 cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (I used Brown Rice Flour Mix – see below*)

1 cup Buttermilk (or Yogurt or Sour Cream)

1 cup chopped Nuts

(*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line with Parchment Paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together well.

In bowl of mixer, beat together Eggs, Sugar and Oil. 

Blend in mashed Bananas and Vanilla.

Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Add Buttermilk and mix again,  just until combined.

Stir in nuts.

Spread in prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in center of the bread comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Slice and serve spread with butter or whipped cream cheese! 

Sure, to you that may seem to defeat the purpose of the lowfat bread but in my view, making a lower fat version of anything is the perfect excuse to compensate with the toppings!  For example: At Starbucks, I always order a Venti Decaf Nonfat Cafe Mocha topped with Whipped Cream!  Come to think of it, that would be a very tasty accompaniment to a slice of this bread!

Oh..and while your enjoying that little slice of Banana Nut Heaven, would you mind chiming in and telling me…who’s right about the Bananas?  Me? Or my husband?  When do YOU think they are the perfect ripeness?

August 2, 2010

Love At First Bite: Walnut & Basil Pesto

Filed under: Appetizers & Dips,Pasta,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 8:56 pm

I thought I wouldn’t like it. 

I had a somewhat vague recollection of trying Pesto years ago and from what I recalled, it was not a good experience.  But since I absolutely love Basil and Garlic, I figured it must have been the Pine Nuts that were the problem.  

As I’m sure you know, Pine Nuts are expensive!  I wasn’t willing to shell out the dough to give it another whirl when I thought there was a pretty darn good chance I would just be repeating the bad experience I’d remembered!  So, when I saw this recipe suggesting that Walnuts be used as a substitute for Pine Nuts, I figured I’d finally give it another go. 

This recipe comes from my friend Twinks over at Tasty Kitchen.  She was my first friend over at TK, and this is the first recipe I ever tried from that site. 

I am so glad I did.

You’ll need:

2 Cups Basil Leaves, washed and stems removed

3 Garlic Cloves, peeled

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup shredded or grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Walnuts

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

What to do:

Place walnuts, garlic cloves and salt in bowl of food processor.

Pulse until finely chopped.  Then, add olive oil.

Add cheese and pulse slightly.

Now add basil and pulse a few times again.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Replace cover and finish pulsing until well combined and finely chopped. 

Remove to serving bowl and enjoy!

You can spread this on bread like we did tonight, or toss with hot pasta.  Either way, I doubt you’ll have any leftovers.  We sure didn’t!

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