Gluten Free Banana Bread

This is my favorite quickbread recipe and also my most frequently used recipe over all. It makes a great breakfast item or a nice snack with a cup of coffee. It works well for potlucks, bake sales, welcome wagons/baskets, gifts, and as an easy breakfast when you have visitors. I have even brought one, instead of the customary casserole, to a grieving family. They really appreciated a breakfast option, since everyone else gave them lunch or dinner items.

This recipe is a favorite, because I love adaptable recipes. The batter can be scooped into muffin tins for those who don’t like having to slice a loaf. It can be topped with oats, crushed nuts, or a gluten free streusel to make it more attractive. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can switch out the nuts for dried fruit or chocolate chips. Cranberries add a holiday flair! You can also experiment with the spices or leave them out for a more basic banana bread. I have been known to add a gluten free bourbon or coconut flavoring in the past too! Just be careful not to add more than two tbsp of liquid (this includes the vanilla) or it will effect how the bread rises.

Ingredients

2 c GF Flour blend – I used Domata in this one, but have used Bob’s Red Mill and Wholesome Chow with success in the past

1 tsp Xanthan gum – only if your flour blend doesn’t already contain it

2 tsp GF baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 c sugar, granulated

1/2 c sugar, brown, not packed

1 stick butter, margarine, or earth balance, melted

3 bananas, medium, smashed

2 ea egg, large, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 c pecans, pieces

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Sift flour, Xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon , and nutmeg together.

3. Mix in both sugars.

4. Mix in melted butter, mashed bananas, and eggs.

5. Fold in pecans.

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6. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, then pour in batter.

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7. Bake 45-60 minutes until crust is golden or until a knife or toothpick you stick in the middle comes out clean.

8. Allow to cool in a pan for 30-40 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack.

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Pro Tips:

*DO NOT open the oven to check on the bread while it is baking. I know this is a well ingrained habit, but gluten free baked goods will collapse if you do this! Gluten is what normally gives breads and cakes their structure and stability. The rapid change in temperature caused by opening the oven will collapse what little structure is created by the xanthan gum. It is better to use the oven light to check on your baked goods through the oven window. I do not recommend opening the oven until the 45 minute mark to quickly check the doneness on this specific bread.

*If you have parchment or wax paper on hand, cut a piece the size and shape of the bottom of your pan (this works for cakes and bar cookies too!) place it in the pan after it has been greased. Having this paper at the bottom of the pan, keeps your baked good from sticking to the bottom of the pan and tearing apart when removing it.

Lactose-free Hot Crab Dip

Ingredients

8 oz can jumbo lump crab, picked clean of shells

8 oz tub of dairy free cream cheese (I used Tofutti)

8 oz of Cabot Sharp cheddar cheese (naturally lactose free), or dairy free cheese of choice

1 stalk of green onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbl paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar (optional, if you like a little sweet)

1 tsp chili powder (optional, if you like a little spice)

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Scale out all of your ingredients. Break up the cheese if it comes in a block, like mine did. Pre-shredded cheese works fine to.

*You can replace the seasonings with Lawry’s season salt (McCormick states that it is GF, even though the packaging does not mention it), if you need to make this quickly.

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Mix it all together and spoon it into a 1 to 1.5 quart baker.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes until bubbly.

*Keep in mind that if you used dairy free cheese, it will take longer to melt.

*For a faster cook time, you can heat it in a pan on the stove, stirring constantly until melted.

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Serve with your favorite gluten free crackers or bread. I served mine with both rice crackers and lentil crackers. Enjoy!