Saturday, September 12, 2009

Banana Nut Muffins

I haven't really been much in the mood for trying new things and blogging about them. Obviously. I've had a really busy summer, kids, mother-in-law visit, garage cleaning, setting up a new business, birthdays, etc. Not to mention that I still work full time. I've just been using the same old recipes over and over again. I have been able to incorporate gluten-free into some of the meals I make for the family. Burritos, for instance. I just substitute corn tortillas and have tacos. We also grilled a lot of hamburgers on the grill this summer and all I needed to do was buy some gluten-free hamburger buns. My local Fred Meyer has EnerG brand "Seattle" buns.

Today, however, before we went grocery shopping, I decided to bake something. I always have bananas in the freezer and I knew we were buying a bunch of frozen goods so I decided to use up those bananas and bake myself something. I went with banana nut muffins. Perfect for breakfast, or for a snack. These turned out good enough that my (now) fiance even likes them. He's usually really picky about gluten free things so if he likes it I know it passes the test for tasting just as good as the "real" thing. I used a flour blend that I got from the Gluten-Free Baking book. It's an all purpose mix and this was my first time trying it with a regular recipe, substituting the flour. To make this basic gluten-free mix you'll need brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. I buy the Bob's Red Mill brand. You can find it at most health food stores or grocery stores that have an organic or natural section.

Basic Glute-Free Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

Mix it all up and keep in an airtight container. Refrigerated is best but not necessary. I often don't have room in my refrigerator and have never had a problem. If you're using a gluten-free recipe, it will tell you how much xanthan gum to use. If you're using this mix to substitute flour in a regular recipe, figure about a teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour. On to the recipe, yes?

What you'll need
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 ripe bananas*
2 cups basic gluten-free mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (may be omitted)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend sugar, egg, and oil until well blended. Add in bananas. Add in flour, xanthan gum, and baking soda. Mix until nice and smooth. Fold in walnuts. Spoon drop into greased muffin pan, or ungreased muffin papers. (I used the disposable foil muffin pans with the papers and they didn't stick.) Bake for 30-40 minutes. You'll know when they're done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Enjoy!

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