Friday, June 24, 2011

What Do You Eat?

What do you eat? A friend recently asked me that question when I mentioned our gluten and dairy free diet. I smiled a little as I remembered asking that very same question when the diet was first suggested to me. It seemed like an impossible hurdle to jump. What was left to eat?

Now after living the diet for a year, it feels much more feasible, but still challenging at times. Though there are more and more gluten-free and dairy-free foods available, they are limited and can be much more costly.

The gluten-free/dairy-free diet has made us much more aware of the importance of eating whole/natural foods and not just snacking on carbohydrates. I still wanted to serve baked goods that the entire family could eat without always having to purchase them.

A friend of mine found this simple banana bread recipe. This is one of my favorite recipes because the only flour it requires is rice flour. I use brown rice flour instead of white because brown rice flour is higher in protein and fiber and works well in this recipe.

Also, because the banana helps the dough stick together, this recipe doesn't require zanthan gum. Zanthan gum is used in a lot of gluten-free baking recipes. It makes the dough "stick together" like gluten does in wheat bread. Otherwise it would be crumbly and tend to fall apart.

I usually make muffins instead of bread with this recipe. The muffins are great for lunches and to grab for snacking. I feel they are just a little bit fluffier than the bread. Gluten-free dough tends to be heavier and raises better with a smaller amount of dough. My children reminded me that muffins are ALWAYS more fun with toppings. Our favorites are pecan with a little brown sugar and a few chocolate chips.

Notes and Tips:
  1. If you use muffin liners, spraying the papers lightly helps the muffin come out.
  2. I cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup when I use ripe sweet bananas.
  3. Canned pumpkin can be used in place of bananas. Use all of the sugar and add 1 - 1 1/2 t. of pumpkin pie spice.
  4. If you are short 1 - 2 T. of pumpkin or banana, you can use milk (non-dairy or dairy) in place of either.
This is an easy recipe for a child to help with. My eight-year-old daughter wants to learn to bake by herself this summer (minus the oven part). I put the dry ingredients together in a plastic baggie and made a mix for her to help the first time (helpful to do ahead of time if you want to save a little time also). She did the rest with a little instruction for the first time last week and did fantastic.

Go have some fun with this easy recipe and don't forget the toppings!


  1. I'm going to try to make the muffins this weekend! The brown sugar is a great idea!

  2. Those are delicious! The muffins are so yummy! The recipe is easy and it tastes great!

  3. Very delicious, anyone who likes muffins or maybe even people who don't like muffins would think that these muffins are really yummy! Not only are they gluten free, but it is one of those recipes that you can put your own mix on. A great idea for a snack as well!