Tag Archives: glutenfree

Gluten Free Banana Bread…Whole Grain, NO saturated fat!

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Whole Grain Banana Bread

Gluten Free Whole Grain, Saturate Fat-Free Banana Bread
Photo by Kate Chan

The other day at the market I picked up some bananas.  (Thrilling tidbit, I know.)  The deal was too good to resist:  39 cents/pound for ORGANIC bananas.  Say what?  I took a double-look to make sure I had read that right.  And yes, yes I had.  The “regular” (non-organic) bananas were selling for 88 cents/pound.  Now does that make sense to you?   Yeah.  It didn’t to me either, BUT it sure did get me to buy some tasty, perfect organic bananas.  And maybe more than I should have as I found myself with 3 overly-ripened bananas the other day.

And they were calling my name.

Big time.

Banana bread is something that doesn’t really beckon me, to be honest.  There’s something about adding a ton of butter to bread (I know.. I do it with the crescent rolls and croissants naturally are butter, butter and more butter) that just turns me off sometimes.  I am trying hard to LOSE weight – not put more butter in things.  So things are changing around here in the Gluten Free Gobsmacked household.  (And I’m not sure my meat-loving, protein-inhaling Love-bug is on the band wagon yet.  So change is slowly infused and when he can’t detect it.)

Making things saturated-fat-free is a good step.  That meant that my mom’s banana bread recipe was definitely OUT.  (Auf Wiedersehen, for you Heidi Klum/Project Runway fans.)  This doesn’t mean that flavor is out.  No way.  And if the flavors were lessened, I wouldn’t be able to sneak these new low-fat versions past my Love.  He’s way to food-smart for me to be able to do that.

So I started puttering around in the kitchen with my ripe bananas and DANG if I didn’t make the best freakin’ banana bread I’ve EVER had.  (And let me tell ya, growing up in Minnesota = eating banana bread.  It just does.)  I brought over some banana bread to share with my gluten-eating family (nephews) and some might-as-well-be-family friends last night.  I was a little worried, to be honest.  Our visiting family/friends don’t eat gluten-free and I wasn’t sure if the bread would go over well.

I worried for nothing.

The bread was DEVOURED by all.  My nephew even stopped playing guitar hero TWICE to go get more banana bread from the kitchen.  (Now THERE’S an endorsement you can take to the bank.)  And our visiting family/friends who don’t eat gluten-free?  They were all over it.

Hooray!  Success!

And the no-saturated-fat?   Did it pass my Love’s scrutiny?  Heck yea!  I’m sure he will first discover this news while reading this post.  (Bwahahahah)

This recipe has 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.  The walnuts add great Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils, but no saturated fats.  However, omitting the walnuts will lower the calories for each slice (I got a little more than 15 slices from my loaf) from 180 to 148 and the Total fat from 5g to 2g.  (You will also lose a gram of fiber if you omit the walnuts – just an FYI.)

I will be making these as mini-muffins this weekend for my school lunches or breakfasts.  Seriously.  I’m off to the store in search of the perfect bananas as soon as I get this post up and running.  These are good.  And dang are they gonna be great as mini-muffins too!

I hope you get a chance to try this too.

Gluten Free, Saturated Fat Free, Whole Grain Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf (standard bread loaf pan)
Servings: 1 slice/15 slices per loaf

3 super ripe bananas, peeled (about 1/2 pound or 250 grams)
2/3 cup non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt (or strained/drain plain, nonfat yogurt)
1 egg white
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup GF rolled oats + 2 Tablespoons of GF rolled oats for topping
1/2 cup tapioca starch flour
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
OPTIONAL:  1/2-2/3 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, drop the peel bananas, broken in half.  Mix/mash until evenly mashed.
  3. Add the yogurt. egg white, and brown sugar.  Mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together millet flour, GF rolled oats. tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet in the mixer and mix well.
  6. Add chopped walnuts and mix again until evenly distributed.  If using blueberries, stir them in gently by hand at this point.)
  7. Line a standard bread loaf pan with parchment paper OR spritz the inside with olive oil (if you use the oil, it will add a trivial amount of saturated fat).
  8. Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth into the corners and across the top evenly.  Sprinkle the top of the bread with the reserved two tablespoons of rolled oats (if desired).
  9. Bake at 350F for 60 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 205F-210F.  Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting for at least 10 minutes.

NUTRITIONAL DATA PER SLICE WITH NUTS (no blueberries): Calories 180, Calories from fat 44, Total Fat 5g (O Sat, 0 Trans), Cholesterol 0, Sodium 91mg, Total Carbs 31g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 12g, Protein 5g.

NUTRITIONAL DATA PER SLICE WITHOUT NUTS (no blueberries):  Calories 148, Calories from fat 17, Total fat 2g (0 Sat, 0 Trans), Cholesterol 0, Sodium 91mg, Total Carbs 30g, Dietary fiber 3g, Sugars 12g, Protein 4g.

(Nutritional Data obtained through recipe analysis at NutrionData.com)

Happy Banana Bread Baking!
I know I’m loving it!

Gluten-Free: Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich Bread

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On Sunday afternoon, I made this great sandwich bread. I tend to make bread on Sundays so that I can have sandwiches for lunch the first few days of the week. It makes for an easy lunch to pack and quite honestly, I really enjoy a good sandwich. Maybe that is what I missed the most – being able to stop at Costello’s (a local grinder shop near where we lived in Chicago) for sandwiches. I would often stop there on my way home from my grad classes which kept me on campus until 9PM after a long day of teaching.

While out shopping this weekend, I found a vacuum pack of sun-dried tomatoes. After missing the sun, thanks to our Pacific Northwest winter days, I thought a little sun-kissed goodness would be in order. (If you can’t find the vacuum-packed ones, don’t worry! While I made this recipe with sun-dried tomatoes that were not packed in oil, you can easily make this recipe with the oil packed kind as well.)

Last night, my love wanted sandwiches for dinner. Normally 3-4 days after making bread, I know that I should probably make grilled sandwiches or at least toasted ones. I didn’t need to do that with this bread, though. After 4 days, I am enjoying the last of my sun-dried tomato bread and it is STILL moist and fabulous.

In fact, my husband (who eats gluten-free with me) remarked how moist his bread was last night too. He even asked for seconds. And if you ask me, when a someone who doesn’t *have* to be gluten-free asks for seconds, you pay attention.

Today I have the last two slices for my sandwich at lunch. I’ve had a sandwich everyday this week which is unheard of! Usually, by the end of the week, I am the leftover queen. And to be honest, I don’t mind the leftovers at all. My love is an amazing cook and we have fun coming up with new recipes and ideas together. I’d rather be eating my leftovers than some of the other options or previous (pre-GF) choices (like the school cafeteria!).

But oh it’s so nice to have a week of sandwiches again. 😉

Here are a few recipe thoughts and tips:

  • I made this recipe with the 1.5 pound bread pans (10″ x 5″). (You can find some here.) But this recipe is really a better fit (and would make a taller loaf) in a regular bread pan – so no worries. I just grabbed the first one in the cupboard and the larger one was there because I had just made some Millet andQuinoa Bread. (Go Natalie!).
  • Let the bread rise in the pre-warmed oven, but be sure to turn the oven off. I tend to turn the oven to warm while mixing the ingredients and then turn it off while the bread is in the final 5-minute mix. That way the top of the bread will not begin to bake or dry out.
  • When the rising time has finished, don’t bother taking the bread out. Just turn the oven up to the baking temperature and bake from there. It you are worried about it, be sure to check back at the half-way point. If the bread is browning faster than you would like, cover the top with aluminum foil to slow the browning down.
  • Bread storage: I know some people slice and freeze their gluten-free bread. Since I don’t make a lot of bread (usually only what we will consume in a week), I do not slice it until I need to. I store my bread (unsliced) in an airtight Ziploc (with the air squished out) on the kitchen counter. This method keeps the bread perfectly fine for the week. With this loaf, even after 5 days of being stored like this it is still perfectly moist and chewy.

And now the recipe:

Gluten-Free Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich Bread
1/4 cup buttermilk powder
3/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 Tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
1 cup warm water
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomato
1 Tablespoon olive oil (omit if using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil)
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to warm (200F).
  2. In a deep bowl (enough for 2 cups+ of liquid), proof the yeast in the cup of warm water and 2 Tablespoons of agave nectar (or honey).
  3. Blend together dry ingredients with a whisk or in the mixing bowl of your mixer.
  4. Once the yeast has gotten foamy (about 5 minutes), add the eggs, oil and cider vinegar to the mixture and whisk together to break apart eggs and blend the liquid ingredients evenly.
  5. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix together a low-medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Turn off the oven but leave it closed.
  7. Turn the mixer to high and beat together for 5 minutes.
  8. While the bread is mixing, spray the bottom (and a little of the sides) of your bread pan with olive oil/cooking spray.
  9. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pans and even it out.
  10. Slide the bread pan into the warm oven to rise for 45 minutes.
  11. Turn the oven to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and/or a temperature of 190F is reached.
  12. Turn out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool mostly before slicing (if you can stand it).
  13. Allow the bread to cool completely before storing. Store unsliced bread in a Ziploc or airtight container on the counter. If you wish, you can slice and freeze the bread as well.

I’m off for now with visions of my sandwiches dancing in my head.
Who needs sugar plums when you have soft gluten-free bread? lol

GF: Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Sometimes I wonder what the big life plan is for us as individuals. Don’t we all?

Before I was lucky enough to have met my love, I went on a few noteworthy (in the incredibly hilarious sense) dates. I decided in the midst of these dates that there *really* should be a huge map of life. Something similar to a road map with windy and twisting roads along side the interstates and express lanes. Each road would have different pit stops along side marked with phrases that would indicate a person’s mental state at the moment (or lifetime mood, in some cases).

Take this thought, for instance….
Picture the road map with a long windy road alongside some campgrounds and lakes. These “pit stops” could be marked with phrases like “I’m not looking for anything serious, just recreation.”

Or more literally…. a broken down car along the freeway of life could just announce, “I have baggage, can you help me schlep it along?”

There are a million scenarios, I’m sure. And I don’t know if I’m expressing what I see in my brain well enough or not. But here’s the point. At some point in the first date, you could just take out the road map, slap it on the table and point to your spot on the roadway and say, “I’m here. Where are you on this thing?”

Wouldn’t that just cut to the chase? LOL Okay, maybe not graciously, but I have been (and I’m sure you have as well) on a few dates where it would have made pointing out the obvious lack-of-connection a HECK of a lot easier. (Boy, howdy! How I could have used this help with a couple of wonderful souls too.)

This past week, my love and I have found ourselves staring at the decisions revolving around the adoption process together. Some moments it was like watching fish in a pond where we could both silently meditate on the dream of having our own family. Other moments were like looking for gold flakes in the sandy bottom of the pond as we tried to figure out the details and make sure we had all the things we needed in place.

And when there is the pain of not being able to have our own children together, there is a lot to contemplate and meditate. We’ve been trying for years and have seen the doctors. Our options are either fertility or adoption. Neither one of us knows if we are strong enough to go through the loss of another pregnancy, so we’ve chosen adoption.

And just when you think you’ve made your decision, you ease out onto the path you’ve chosen only to see that it, too, is riddled with a million more decisions we have yet to make. The longer we take, the longer we wait for the dream.

Oh, man! I am NOT as patient as I think I’m going to have to be on this path. Why is it that when you think about having kids or adopting, every pregnant woman and every baby born within a 100 mile radius of your house just HAPPEN to be shopping at the same store you are shopping at? Is it just me, LOL, or does this happen to you as well?

So, what is one to do when lost in dreams and big thoughts? Why make something in the kitchen, of course! In honor of my weekend wishes for summer sunshine and kids playing at my feet, I made some ice cream sandwiches. Last night, I delivered them to my sister and her family. Not only are ice cream sandwiches completely kid-worthy, but I sure as heck didn’t need 8 of them sitting my freezer. It’s bad enough I ate one before it was frozen the same night I made then! (Now I know why they make movies of women eating ice cream when they are contemplative. Ice cream sandwiches work better though. Trust me.)

Just a side note before the recipe: I’m going to a conference for three days/nights this week. This is a completely unusual event for us teacher-people. I have to admit that I am quite anxious to (1) mind our adoption budget which means spending little to nothing and (2) eating gluten free while managing a (1) budget) and (2) living in a hotel/convention center for three days. Any tips guys? I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have them. Thanks for your help.

While I figure out how to get myself ready for a hotel, I know I will wear off the anxiety by baking and cooking a little. In fact, I think maybe this is the perfect time for me to get some baking down from my “Adopt-A-GF Blogger” event with Seamaiden at Book of Yum. I’ve “adopted” Naomi from Gluten Free Mommy. She’s got a million recipes I’ve had my tummy eye on and now is the time to get them done. I think I will start with her much raved about sandwich bread. If you have an inkling to adopt a GF Blogger, please check out Seamaiden’s event idea here.

While you are figuring out your own adoption, maybe you should whip up some ice cream sandwiches (takes under an hour to make… and then they freeze overnight)?

The treats will be ready by the time you’ve figured out your next move. I promise. It worked for us. :)

Gluten Free Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Inspired by my favorite treats as a kid, Williams Sonoma and some wickedly tasty pictures on flickr
Recipe makes 8 2″ ice cream sandwiches

For the outside cookie:
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powdered (or dark chocolate cocoa powder)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup gluten free flour mix (rice or bean based)
OR – in place of the GF flour mix use:
1/2 cup rice flour + 1/4 cup tapioca starch

For the center:
1 quart of your favorite GF ice cream flavor – don’t be shy! Any flavor works here
(I found it easier to work with ice cream sold in square cartons as it is easier to cut, but any ice cream will work.)

For the outside “edge decoration”:
mini chocolate chips
mini peanut butter chips
chopped nuts
mini M & Ms, Reese’s, etc
or just omit this idea


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment or spritz with oil.
  3. Mix melted butter and cocoa powder together until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and blend again until smooth.
  5. Add vanilla and eggs. Blend again until smooth.
  6. Add gf flour (or flour/starch) and beat together for 2 minutes. Mixture will be like thick brownie dough but should not have any lumps.
  7. Using a spatula dipped in water, spread the cookie batter to 1/2″ thickness into a large rectangle (about 12″ by 10″ or larger). If the dough sticks to the spatula, dip the spatula into cool water and continue spreading. Try *not* to get the dough “wet” or have standing water on top.
  8. Bake the cookie at 350F for 15 – 18 minutes or until firm/set but not crusty on top. (It will harden as it cools.)
  9. Working quickly once the cookie is out of the oven, either (1) use ice cream sandwich molds (follow instructions from manufacturer), (2) cut the rectangle in half so that the two sides can fit one over the other or (3) cut out your sandwich shapes with your favorite cookie cutter and set them on a cooling rack. (I cut my heart shapes out and let them cool while I readied the ice cream.)

Making the Sandwich:

  1. Soften your ice cream just enough that it slides out of the its container easily but isn’t wet/squishy. (I found that leaving it on the counter when I’m cutting the cookie shapes works perfectly.)
  2. Use a wet knife to loosen the sides of the ice cream from the carton and slide it out onto a cutting board.
  3. Slice the ice cream into slabs as thick as you would like your ice cream center to be (about 1″ in my case).
  4. Use your cookie cutter to cut your ice cream into shapes, lift the cut shape up and put two cookie shapes on for the top and bottom.
  5. Roll the ice cream sandwich edges into your “edge decoration” of choice (mini chocolate chips, etc) and set onto a plate in the freezer.
  6. Work quickly to finish making/rolling ice cream sandwiches, storing each completed sandwich in the freezer as you finish.
  7. Once all of the sandwiches are done and store in the freezer, it’s time to pack them so they stay fresh.

Packing/Storing your Ice Cream Sandwiches:

  1. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap. Be sure to have the plastic wrap touching the ice cream edges to prevent freezer burned ice cream.
  2. Wrap each plastic wrapped sandwich in wax paper.
  3. Store the wax paper wrapped sandwiches in either two Ziploc freezer bags (one inside the other) or one Ziploc and one freezer airtight plastic container.

These sandwiches will store well and, if your house is like mine, the sandwiches will disappear before you know it.

Happy GF Eating and Baking… and living!