Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Banana Bread

A few of my friends recently became gluten free. One of them is Emily, who introduced me to the amazing gluten free granola recipe I posted a few days ago. Anyway, she called a few times asking for my banana bread recipe. I looked and looked and couldn't find it. I knew that I had a fire (meaning, totally rad) zucchini bread recipe that I adapted from my grandmother's recipe and posted (before I had my own blog) on the (amazing) BijaBody blog. I sent that to her to tide her over. However, that did nothing for the brown bananas that we both had lying on our counter-tops.

I adapted several recipes with no luck (either too dry and crumbly, totally obscure ingredients or super fat-camp ingredients). 

Today, I made a loaf that I think is wonderful. Light and fluffy, moist and not crumbly at all. I plan to take it camping this weekend, and possibly make banana bread french toast. :)

First, you need to make this flour blend. You'll only use 1 1/2 cups of the blend for the banana bread recipe below. Store the extra in an air-tight container for future use. 

Amy's GF Oat Flour Blend:

1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup tapioca flour (sometimes called tapioca starch, same same.)
1 1/2 cups potato starch or corn starch (or, some combination of the two, whatever you've got on hand- as long as it equals 1 1/2 cups total)

Mix with your hand until combined. 


2 large eggs, at room temperature. *important. make sure they are room temp.
3/4 cups of sugar (I use Wholesome Sweetners Non-GMO Organic Sugar, Evaporated Cane Juice)
1 cup mashed (or three small) over-ripe bananas
1/3 cup 0% fat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Amy's GF Oat Flour Blend (recipe above)
1 tsp. xanthan gum (important: this is your binder. Bob's Red Mill has this in bags- it is spendy but you don't need much. A little will last a long time.)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*optional, but worth it: 1 tbsp. ground flax seed (if you only have whole you can grind it in a coffee grinder- provides a great nutty flavor and amazing health benefits) and 1 tbsp. whole flax seeds. They provide an unexpected crunch.
*1/2 cup of add-ins (either dark raisins or other dried fruit, roughly chopped nuts or chocolate chips.)


1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Prepare a loaf pan by greasing it with butter and sprinkling it with fine rice flour. (or whatever GF flour you have.)

2. In an electric mixer, beat the room temp. eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until well blended. Add the mashed banana, Greek yogurt and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together (by hand) the oat flour blend, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, ground flax seed and cinnamon. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients until they are well blended and the batter thickens slightly. Stir in the extras if you are using them- (whole flax seed and the dried fruit or chopped nuts or chocolate chips.)

4. Spread evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean- 45-50 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Remove the bread form the pans and cool completely on the wire rack. 

5. Slice and serve. Top with Greek yogurt and honey, honey butter or just serve it up plain. 


Monday, August 5, 2013

The Best Granola

Seriously, it is the best granola I've ever made. 
And, quite possibly the best granola I've ever had. 
Not too sweet, super crunchy, great flavor. 
Perfect as a snack or over yogurt, you will make this over and over!

The BEST Granola

1/4 cup coconut oil (can use canola oil if you don't have coconut)
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup organic, local honey
1tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional, but yummy if you have some lying around)
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking, certified GF if needed)
3/4 cup slivered almonds (or walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin needs
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup diced dried apricots (or any other dried fruit) *optional (I like to use apricots, prunes and cranberries/craisins)

(Check out more of my handmade ceramics! https://www.etsy.com/shop/PotsbyAmy)
{nailpolish- OPI Don't Touch my Tutu!}


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

2. Mix the  oil, agave, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extract together until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the oats, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, ground flax, and salt. 
(TIP-*depending on the dried fruit you use, you can put it in now, or wait until after it comes out. I used apricots and dried plums. The apricots were fine to go in and bake with the granola. The plums turned into super chewy plum rocks. Next time, I will add them at the end. To be safe, maybe wait till the end to add any dried fruit until you've tested it out.)

4. Add the wet to the dry and stir, making sure everything is coated evenly.
Spread evenly on the baking sheet. 
5. Bake, stirring once or twice, until golden and crispy. About 26-30 minutes. 

6. Remove the granola from the oven and break it into bite-sized clumps while it is still warm.
Let it cool completely and then add your dried fruit, if you didn't already in step 2. 
Store in an air-tight container.

Lovely with shredded coconut on top too! 

Serve over greek yogurt or with your favorite milk and fresh fruit. Yum!