Sunday, August 4, 2013

Banana Nut Muffins: Gluten Free (GF) & Sugar Free

Seriously?! GF and SF?  Yes, it's possible for something so healthy and tasty to exist. With a little research and finesse, it can be done.

This recipe is based on one from my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook. For me, it's that cookbook I've owned forever, because my mom, and her mom, and her mom before her had one just like it - it's been a staple in our kitchens. It has everything in it.  While I rarely make a recipe straight from the Joy book anymore, it's a great starting place for deciding what ingredients should be in most basic recipes. It has a lot of cooking and food storage tips as well...I learn a lot here.
- a glimpse of the original recipe -
The next step was to research an all-purpose (AP) gluten-free (GF) flour mixture. I have a coconut AP flour mix that I found online, but have yet to create anything successful with it. Fortunately, I came across this amazing GF site Gluten Free Girl and their trusty advice on how to make your own gluten-free all-purpose flour mix.  I discovered that using the Coconut flour mix on it's own wasn't sufficient. It needed to be anchored with a wheat flour. Coincidentally, the original Banana Nut Muffin recipe also called for wheat flour. I was in business.

1 C coconut flour blend (I like Mama's Coconut Blend by Gluten Free Mama)
1/2 C whole wheat flour (Bob's)
1/4 C ground flax seed
1/4 C Almond meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 C coarsely chopped walnuts
1 large egg
1/2 C applesauce
1/4 C brown rice syrup (or honey)
3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C almond butter

Servings:: Makes 12 standard-size muffins

How to::
1. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl.
2. In stand mixer (or in a large bowl for a hand mixer), beat wet ingredients until mixed.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a third at a time making sure to incorporate. Since you are using GF flours you don't have to worry about over mixing since there is no gluten to break down! You want to make sure all the flour is mixed in so you don't end up with white lumpy patches in your muffins - ew, gross.  If you so choose, add in some walnuts for added healthiness and yummy texture.

4. Divide the batter among muffin cups. You can line your muffin tin with liners or I used a little coconut oil to grease them up.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for the following times::
mini - 10-12 minutes
standard size - 20-25 minutes
jumbo - 22-25 minutes

6. Insert a toothpick in 1 or 2 muffins to be sure they are done. Let cool 2-3 minutes before removing from pan, which makes them easier to remove. Preferably serve the day they are baked, but I store mine in the refrigerator to enjoy all week for breakfast and snacks.

**Baby and husband approved** I love giving these to my little guy because it's an easy finger food when cut up and his favorite food is currently bananas.

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