Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Oat Muffins

The best part about banana bread is that you don't have to think "Hmm ... Should I bake some today?" because those freckled bananas about to rot on your counter make it so you have no choice. Let's not be wasteful here, grab two for these Banana Oat Muffins and toss the rest in the freezer for another day's smoothies.

The muffins are wheat free! Baking without wheat, and therefore without gluten, can be challenging but I was feeling rather adventurous today, so I did some research and came up with this flour blend. The result was a browned outside, soft inside, subty sweet, addicting muffin that does not make you feel like you are eating an unfrosted cupcake for breakfast.

I know you are tempted to bake this in a loaf tin, but for gluten free baking it is recommended to bake in small shapes that do not need to be cut. Without gluten to bind, you won't always get that nice clean slice. Use a muffin or mini-muffin tin to avoid any dilemmas.

Note: These minis are technically not 100% gluten free because oats get contaminated with gluten when grown and packaged. However, to those with mild gluten sensitives, oats are usually not a problem. So for someone with Celiac's disease, these muffins are not "gluten free enough". For those who just need a break from digesting a lot of gluten, these are perfect.

Yields 1 dozen muffins or 2 dozen minis

1 cup rolled oats (Buy Certified GF Rolled Oats if necessary)
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1 tablespoon oat flour (grind oats in a food processor to get a coarse meal)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almond milk
2 overripe bananas, mashed with a fork
2 tablespoons ground flax, mixed with 6 tablespoons hot water, let set until gooey
1/3 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons molasses
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly grease muffin or mini muffin baking sheets. (Do not use paper liners, muffins will stay stuck.)

In a large bowl, whisk oats, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, garbanzo bean flour, oat flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir almond milk, mashed bananas, flax mix, applesauce, molasses, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients, stir until no flour clumps remain. If batter is too thick, add more almond milk. Fold in walnuts. Scoop generous amounts into muffin tins, bake until golden and inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Mini muffins will bake quicker, about 12 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from baking sheet.

As with all gluten free muffins, do not let sit overnight. If you need to store them, let them freeze and then reheat when needed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Strawberry Blueberry Granola Crumble

Happy Fourth of July! Another holiday, another excuse to bake something exciting. Don't even think that using red, white, and blue sprinkles will cut it for America's birthday. You want to impress her, bake with the fruit grown from her land.

I'd salute it.

You cannot get any more summery-American than this Strawberry Blueberry Granola Crumble. Ripe strawberries, plump blueberries, hearty oats ... the sweet, simple, guiltless desserts are always devoured the quickest. My advice: Make two, bring one to the  BBQ tomorrow and keep the other safe at home.

1 1/2 cups oats, ground in the food processor
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 quart blueberries
1 quart strawberries, diced
2 tablespoons arrowroot
squeeze of lemon juice

Heat oven to 350F and lightly grease a clear casserole dish.

Mix together ground oats, whole oats, almonds, salt and cinnamon. Add oil and syrup, mix using finger tips until a coarse crumble is achieved. Set aside.

In a large bowl toss blueberries, strawberries, arrowroot, and lemon juice until fruit is all-coated. Pour into casserole dish. Using a large spoon, drop granola crumble on top. Bake until topping is golden and fruit is steaming, about 20 minutes. Let cool a bit before eating. If feeling adventurous, serve with coconut ice cream.