When I was a kid, whenever we had a few overripe bananas (which was quite often) my mom would make banana bread. She always used the same recipe from this old, beat-up Pillsbury Family cookbook – which is one of the few things of hers I’ve managed to hang on to all these years.
There’s something about the smell of banana bread baking that totally transports me back to my childhood – hanging out with my mom in the kitchen. It was always hard to let it cool long enough to eat it…and I always ate it with a smear of cream cheese. Yum.
Now, fast forward 20-something years later. My mom is no longer with us, the cookbook is falling apart, and I am now gluten-free – but the appearance of overripe bananas in the fruit bowl still stirs the urge to bake banana bread.
I decided to try making my mom’s old recipe in a new way – gluten-free and vegan! Now, I’m not vegan by any stretch, but it just so happened that I had everything in the coffers to make this recipe that way.
My “new” version:
Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Muffins
2 cups sifted gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum (I used BeeFree All-Purpose Flour Blend – find it here)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread (you could probably do coconut oil…)
1 cup vegan cane sugar
2 tablespoons milled flax seed
6 tablespoons water
1 cup (2 medium sized) mashed bananas
1/3 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used toasted pecans)
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flax seed and water and place in refrigerator while oven is preheating – about 15 minutes. Sift flour with baking soda and salt. Cream together vegan margarine and butter until light and fluffy. Remove flax/water mixture from refrigerator and beat (like you would eggs) until the consistency is like beaten eggs. Add banans and flax to the sugar mixture and blend thoroughly. Combine almond milk and lemon juice. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture alternately with the almond milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition. Stir in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins (this recipe made 16 muffins) and bake 20-30 minutes, or until muffins spring back when touched lightly.
Here they are…
Okay – so they didn’t exactly have the same texture as my usual recipe – they’re a bit dense. But they are still yummy, and banana-y, and definitely satisfied both the craving for a trip down memory lane and a purpose for my overripe bananas.
Have you experimented with gluten-free baking?
Any great successes or epic fails?
What’s your favorite flour or flour blend?
Stay tuned for more gluten-free experiments…