The Best Ever Gluten-Free Banana Bread!

Elle's Awesome GF Banana Bread

Elle’s Awesome GF Banana Bread

Okay, to some people, it might not be the “best ever” per say…but it’s my favorite recipe. People seem to really like it. If you actually read my blog, which is unlikely, but if you do, then you know that I just said that after baking I never feel like blogging. That’s true usually, but this is while it’s still quiet in the house. The kids aren’t awake yet, the neighbors haven’t pulled out their power tools, and I’m enjoying the silence and a cup of coffee. This is before the four yapping dogs, drills, saws, and my bickering children have had a chance to crush my spirit for the day. Besides, the website where I originally found this recipe is down. I had to have my husband search the dark spaces of the internet for a cached copy, so that I could write it down (and tweak it a little).

For people who already know how to bake and don’t appreciate my witty monologue, trust me, I understand. In a couple of hours, I’m going to have two kids in the house who don’t care how it magically appeared. They will just want to consume my offerings and go numb their minds with some form of technology. Such is the life of tweens. (Editor’s note: I am not a bad parent, or at least the worst. Most of my kids’ games have been educational and non-violent. They also love reading. I’m not suggesting they are going to play DOOM or Grand Theft Auto while facebooking and tweeting.)

So, I’ll cut to the chase. Post the recipe here, and then go through it for clarification for some people who might not understand certain terms or know what substitutions can be made. People, say, perhaps a software engineer who might tell his wife that he can bake, but ever since the Great Cookie Debacle of ’07, she might tend to believe otherwise. (I’m lookin’ at you, Osmani.) He is a web wizard, though. If your ‘ key suddenly stops working, as mine did earlier, he will fix ‘er right up. If you need a caked iced, though, he’s more likely to lick the spoon when you’re finished than help. I know a lot of people who will see how long it takes to make this recipe or the ingredients, and they will feel intimidated and not try or just “wing” it. For those people, I’ll give a few tips at the bottom, but for people who know how to bake, I’ll shut up and get on with it.

Elle’s Awesome GF Banana Bread

(My recipe, so I get to name it.)

Ingredients:

(Dry Ingredients)

1 1/4 c. Gluten Free Flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. xantham gum

1 c. sugar

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

(Wet Ingredients)

2 eggs

2 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C

Prepare bread pan

Melt and cool coconut oil

Mash bananas with a fork. Mix wet ingredients along with the sugars together with hand mixer until combined.

Measure the remaining dry ingredients in separate bowl. Whisk until cinnamon, salt, xantham gum, and baking powder are incorporated into the flour.

Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix with hand mixer until combined.

Pour into pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy! Should make 1 loaf. ❤

Now, for the some people that might look at some of this like:

jackie-chan-confused

I mean, why is sugar a dry ingredient, but is almost always mixed with the wet ones? I don’t know. I’ll tell you what my Grams always tells me…because I said so, that’s why.

Some people don’t think pre-heating the oven is important. It takes a few minutes for the oven to heat up. You want your food to cook thoroughly and for it to come out at the correct time. Some people would say: I know that, I’m not an idiot. You would be surprised. I find myself forgetting to turn the oven on first sometimes. Usually before my first pot of coffee…

The difference between greased and prepared is pretty simple. A greased pan is coated with an oil. I prefer to use butter when I am baking (making sure to get into the corners really well.) I just think it works nicely and tastes better than trying to use say…olive oil. A prepared pan is greased, then you tap flour around the inside (cocoa powder if you are making something chocolate, like brownies or a cake) until it’s lightly dusted. Even though the oil I use in this recipe is coconut oil, I still prepared/greased the pan with butter (note: allow the butter to “soften” a little before you use it), and although this recipe only makes one loaf, I greased an extra pan to show the difference.

Greased vs. Prepared

Greased vs. Prepared

Now, when it comes to the coconut oil. I usually measure it out into a glass measuring cup, then I can just microwave it at 30 second intervals, adding a little oil if needed, as I go. This is the WARNING: that I write on my recipe cards, so that even I won’t forget it. Make sure the oil is cooled before you add it! Otherwise, it will scramble your eggs. Literally. You don’t want your eggs to start cooking until they are in the oven.

Not So Pro Tip: In the picture the eggs are in my other glass measuring cup (if you look closely you can see I have one for the US and one for the UK). I was taught to crack my eggs in a separate container, so that if you crack an egg with say a “gross little surprise” inside, it won’t go messing up all the ingredients you already have in the bowl. Also, it makes it easier to pick out shells.

Eggs & Oil

I’m sure you could try to an egg substitute if you wanted to make this a vegan gluten-free recipe. We like eggs, milk, and meat in this house, but the head of the household can’t handle his gluten. (I’m lookin’ at you, Osmani.) You could also use melted and cooled butter, sunflower, or canola oil instead of coconut oil. (It goes without saying that the sunflower and canola oils are already melted and cooled, but I’m saying it.) I like coconut oil in this recipe, because I think coconut oil is better for you, and the slight trace of coconut flavor compliments the banana more than it would say, fried chicken.

I find myself having to substitute quite often, but google it first, don’t go guessing all willy-nilly. I left the gluten free flour up to the imagination a little bit. There are a few types of GF flour. I use a blend. I would not compromise or omit the xantham gum if I were you, though. A lot of gluten-free baked goods are dry or crumbly. This is the ingredient that gives it that faux-gluten texture in my opinion.

When it comes to the bananas, make sure they are ripe. Try not to bake with green bananas. Brown ones are great. I like to buy the discounted brown bananas at the grocery store, peel them, and throw them in a bag in the freezer to use for pancakes, muffins, bread, and smoothies.

Here’s another little tip that I learned when I first started baking. Another, oh, yeah, that’s totally obvious tip. Don’t measure your ingredients into the cups/spoons over top of your mixture. Measure out over another bowl or plate, so that if you go overboard, you don’t have to adjust all your ingredients accordingly. For sugar this isn’t as bad as say accidentally spilling a tablespoon of salt into the recipe.

I could just tell you this, but I am adding a photo to show off my heart shaped measuring cups, because they are pretty.

<3 Measuring

And here comes the heart-shaped whisk (but if you aren’t fab enough for the heart shaped whisk, you can use a fork). Make sure the flour, baking powder, salt, and xantham gum are blended before you add them to the wet mixture, so they are evenly distributed. You don’t want a clump of salt in your food.

<3 Whisk

Don’t over mix the bananas with the hand mixer. The original recipe said you could combine everything in the blender or food processor, but I like to make things harder on myself. Which is why I mixed everything by hand, because I like to be difficult and forgot to remind myself before my first cup of coffee about the arthritis in my hands and wrists. Ususally, though, I use a hand mixer for this recipe.

Not So Pro Tip: When you put the bread into the oven, put it on a middle rack, so that you don’t over bake the top of the bottom. I have a tiny British oven, so I put it on the middle rack for 45 minutes, then check the bread, usually moving it down to a lower rack for the last 10-15 mins, so that the top/edges don’t burn.

Since the pan was prepared beforehand, it should pop right out of the pan after you pull it from the oven. I put my bread on a wire cooling rack, but it barely had a chance to say hello to the air and let me take a picture before it was gobbled up. This is a family and friend favorite recipe. If you found out before now that I don’t actually eat the banana bread, you might have stopped earlier and said “screw this.” It’s a great recipe. People love it (I have one friend who seems to ask me every Sunday at church when I’m going to bring her some more), but I prefer cookies.  *insert winky face*

I hope that I helped people who might need to eat Gluten-Free but think they can’t bake much more than a frozen pizza. It’s not as hard as it looks/sounds. Promise.

So, Good Night Day and Good Luck.

Love and Loaves,

L

xoxo


Geekin’ the Gaga

This one goes out to all the nerds, but mostly my husband, because he understands java script, and it’s all Greek to me.

However, you don’t have to read Java Script to think this video is hehehaha.

I just know I’m going to hear “I soooo saw that last year,” but whatev’s.

It’s eight a.m., and I last posted at like three thirty, you do the math. This girl is taking a two hour nap and keeping it short and sweet for once.

Before I go, let me ask, what is your favorite nerdy pleasure?

Mine is old school computer games. Oregon Trail, Where in the World/U.S. is Carmen San Diego?, and Caesar II. Don’t even get me started on my Sega Genesis collection…

Kickin’ it Old School,
xoxo
L.


z0migah! SHE’S ALIVE!!!

Barely.

I did have a pretty bad car crash in November. I survived. My car …not so lucky.

I went to England in December to see my husband. Jolly good times. It smelled a bit like curry and not as many people spoke English as you’d assume would, you know, being the birthplace of the English language and all.

HOWEVER…

I got to see my husband, and I saw Wicked on the West End, so it was a fabulous trip all in all.

I didn’t get to eat a crumpet or meet the Queen, though…

Next time, perhaps.

A couple holidays have come and gone. I became an Aunt, and I celebrated a birthday, but I think in a couple of years when I hit 29, I’m just going to stay there. Like Fran on the Nanny (loves that show!). Eventually not even the FBI will know my real age.

Am I boring you yet?

I’m boring the crap out of myself.

But I found this amusing.

 

 

This is one of those rants that I would usually have with myself. If you knew of me in what some might call “real” life (psh. like I have a life), then you would know that I often talk to myself. I sometimes find better company that way.  However, it’s not just in a one sided conversation either. Sometimes I argue with myself.  Do I have an imaginary friend? No, but that would be awesome. Just sayin’.

At any rate, people have no idea how long I look for videos for my blog. Hours sometimes. Watching Wal Mart pranks, how to get thrown out of Wal mart. I don’t know how I originally started with prank calls…or was it puppies kissing monkeys? No…that’s right. Emo Kid Babysitter. Anywho, I LOVE this video. Not because it’s a prank, but because of the message that he broadcast to what could easily be over a hundred people. Think of what he could accomplish by calling a national news network during one of those “call-in” segments that they do. Bwha!

But WalMart and insider terrorism just got pwned, and that would make me laugh. My best friend, Ace, would probably high five me for that video (figuratively, of course, since he lives like six states west of me), but I don’t necessarily believe 9/11 was an inside job, I just think it’s funny that I could get him to watch a video filmed in WalMart (aka his own personal version of hell).

What do you think? Was 9/11 an inside job? Do you even care?

Yeesh. What’s wrong with the world today?

Not to sound like a complete and total nerd, but one of my favorite sites is cnn.com. I like to stay in touch with the world today, but I haven’t read up on anything in what seems like months. For example, I wasn’t aware of bombings in the middle east, nuclear waste in Japan, or that our government was going on strike…until what seems like the last minute. Doesn’t surprise me, though. I’m usually the last to know. I feel like those teenage kids I always shake my finger at when they can’t name the Vice President.

It’s still Gore, right?

xoxo

L

PS- Do you really think I’d leave asking a lame question about 9/11 coverups? Puh-lease. What I really want to know is what is the best prank you’ve ever pulled?