Banana Nut Bread For The Holidays

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When it comes to Christmas one word comes to mind and that word is “LOVE”.

For me and my family, Christmas is a time of year when we show people that simple word in action.  I use the adjective “simple” to describe love because it really is if you think about it.  Love can’t be bought or sold it simply is a free gift that you can choose to give to another.  Love is an action word..so put your love in action this season and if we could all do that all year round.. think about what kind of world we would have.

One way I like to show love is by cooking or baking something homemade and from the heart to share with others.   This season I like most people will be doing a lot of that.

The other day I made my husband’s unit at work peppermint bark.  That simple recipe can be found on this blog in-case you have never tried to make it before.  It’s simple and easy.

Gluten Free Peppermint Bark

One other recipe that I make usually around the holidays is Banana nut bread. It’s another easy recipe and is so good in the toaster oven or just cut up with some sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Or if your a chocolate lover like myself spread some nutella right on top of a piece of banana nut bread it really hits the spot.
What ever you choose to do this Christmas Season choose to do it in Love and see how long you can keep sharing this free gift…as the saying goes be the change you would like to see in the world.

In Love, Jane

What you’ll need for Banana Nut Bread: (I double this recipe to get 2 loaves)

3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of walnuts or if you don’t like nuts you could use chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), grease a 4×8-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas until smooth.
Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the gluten free flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour(check at 50 minutes) at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve

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Easy Nutritious Smoothies

Blueberry, Mango, Kale, Spinach smoothie

I have just started drinking smoothies on a daily basis. One because I have noticed without a doubt my diet is in serious trouble and I needed to address it, yes I know thank you captain obvious! I’m not completely there but at least I am taking a step in the right direction.
Two it is such a filling and easy way to get nutrients that I have been lacking.  This one above has frozen blueberries, mango, fresh Kale,spinach and low fat milk.


Those of us that have to eat gluten free you know that it is difficult  to get proper nutrient absorption. Drinking smoothies is such an easy way to do it. And all those fruits and vegetables that we buy during the week and have great intentions to consume..well if you are anything like me half the fresh veggies got tossed and some of the fruit.
But I find making smoothies with them is so easy and I’m not pitching them at the end of the week and I am noticing more energy yay!!! Saving money and beginning to get healthier sounds great to me!

How about you do you have any recipes for smoothies that you can share? I’d love to hear about them. Thanks a bunch, Jane

I Love Gluten Free Biscotti……

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One cookie that I absolutely love is biscotti. I love dunking it into my coffee in the morning and the evening, it’s just good any time of the day.

When I found out that we had to eat a gluten free diet this is one of the things that I truly missed.

I thought about trying to make them myself but I was so intimidated.

You can find them in the grocery store where gluten free snacks are sold.  But honestly they were never as good and they cost a fortune $7.00 for 6 biscottis really?!

So I went on a research mission and found a regular biscotti recipe and adapted it to make it gluten free.  I have to say I am so happy with the results.   And am no longer intimidated by making them 🙂

Here’s is what you will be need to make Almond Anise Biscotti:

1 cup roasted blanched almonds

1 Tablespoon of Anise seed crushed

1 cup sweet brown rice flour

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (you can make your own, to find the recipe look under gluten free flours)

1 teaspoon of xanthan gum

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – McCormicks is gluten free

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract- McCormicks is gluten free

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

For Chocolate Dipped Biscotti: (optional) you will need:

6 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions To Make Almond Anise Biscotti:

  Preheat oven to 350F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. 

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F  and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

In a small bowl whisk the eggs with the vanilla and almond extracts.  

In a large bowl whisk the flours with the sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Stir in the chopped almonds and anise seeds. Then add the egg mixture and stir until a dough forms, don’t be afraid to use your hands.

Divide the dough in half, and on a lightly floured surface roll each half into a 7 inch long log that is about 3 – 4 inches wide. Transfer logs to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch (log will spread during baking so remember that when placing them on the sheet). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer logs to a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut logs into slices about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal. Place the slices of biscotti on the baking sheet and bake about 10-15 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until firm to the touch. (The longer you bake the biscotti the more crisp and crunchy they will be.) Remove from oven and let cool.  If you want them dipped in chocolate as the picture is above see directions below. 


For Chocolate Dipped Biscotti:

Place 4 ounces of the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat. Add the remaining chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it has completely melted and is smooth and glossy. Taking one biscotti at a time, dip bottom into the melted chocolate and place on a parchment or wax paper- lined baking sheet. Once all the biscotti have been dipped in the chocolate, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Then store in an air tight container for several weeks.

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As always Enjoy!

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins…

There are a lot of ways that I can think of to start off the morning.
Give me a good cup of coffee and I am off to great start, add in a blueberry muffin and I am even better!

Yesterday my husband told me that he had to take some desserts, snacks etc. into work with him today because they were having a Christmas party.    He leaves very early in the morning and was planning on   just stopping somewhere to pick something up on his way.
“No don’t do that, I’ll make you something”  I said.
Needless to say the day got away from me and long story short, I was up baking till about midnight. Ha ha..famous last words right?

But you know what? In all honesty that’s OK with me.   It was all worth it because now my husbands coworkers that eat gluten free have something yummy to enjoy along with everyone else.  I know what that is like when you are at a party checking out the food spread and thinking to yourself well I can eat from the fruit and vegetable platter, not that they aren’t good for you but please, I like a little more don’t you?

Well needless to say this morning even gets better.   I had an extra little bonus from my 7 year old daughter.
She ate two this morning 🙂  It was so sweet after her first one she came skipping through the kitchen singing a song about the muffins and how good they were and then took a second.  Too sweet and you can’t get any better feed back than that!

And to be honest I didn’t mind her having two, compared to some of the usual breakfast foods that she likes these were pretty nutritious.  They have millet and blueberries in them, protein and antioxidants. As a mom, I’ll take that!

So if your thinking about giving these goodies a try here is what you’ll need.

10 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
2 Large eggs
2-3 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 cups of all-purpose flour (recipe on the blog)
1 cup of millet flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 cups blueberries I used the frozen kind
And raw sugar to sprinkle on top, I like to use it liberally gives the muffin a nice crispy top

Next you will:
Preheat oven to 375 F
Combine all dry ingredients
Cream butter and sugar add eggs one at a time and beat after each
Add 1/2 the dry ingredients
1/3 yogurt and then repeat till all ingredients are gone
Add lemon zest
Add blueberries and mix well
Place into muffin tins I use cupcake wrappers when making mine, makes clean up a whole lot easier
Fill wrapper 2/3 of the way up with batter and sprinkle with raw sugar
Bake 30 minutes after they are done baking take them out and put onto a cooling rack
Let cool and enjoy!
Makes about 24 muffins

Have an awesome day!

Love When Gluten Free Is Made Easy…..

Yummy New Breakfast Cereal From Kashi…….

 

I just love when we stumble upon a new product especially when it is in a local grocery store.  Kashi has a new cereal called Indigo Morning and it is made of grains that are gluten free.  It is such a nice change from our normal chex cereals, not that they aren’t yummy as well but Kashi offers something completely different in texture and taste.  The box is not marked gluten free but a spokesperson from Kashi stated that it was.  So next time your in the cereal isle check it out.

 
Here is another awesome gluten free product that you can find easily in your local grocery store.  I found this at Weis Market.  My kids love these and so do I.  They are so chocolatey and moist and take no time at all to whip up!
 My son asked me to make him a batch to take along with him to Ocean City Maryland.   He  went down for a few days with some friends.  I guess one last outing with friends before school starts up again.    His friends were so cool they made gluten free things for him to eat as well,  very thoughtful!
I hope this little bit of information helps, I am always on the look out for great products that you and I can easily pick up in a local grocery store and that are time saving.   
After all couldn’t we all  use a few extra minutes in our day to enjoy our loved ones. 
As always enjoy life and start by enjoying the day!
 
John 3:16

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Muffins

 
Cranberry Orange Muffins
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
10 tablespoons of softened butter
 1 cup white sugar
1 cup sweet potato starch
1 cup sticky rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 -1 1/2 cup craisins (cranberry raisins)
1 tablespoon of golden flax seed meal
Mix all wet ingredients first slowly add the dry. Batter will be thick fill cupcake wrappers 3/4 of the way.   Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes I use cupcake wrappers in my muffin tins because I had a bad experience once when I didn’t I think we needed a chisel to get them out.

Feels like a Muffin kinda day….

This weekend when  my son was home from college.   We talked about  food, he has a love for culinary as well.

I asked him what he misses most and he expressed that he misses Chinese food.   We love Chinese food, I will be visiting my niece this coming weekend she lives in Philadelphia so I will certainly take advantage of visiting Chinatown to stock up on some ingredients.

When I can master some good gluten free Chinese dishes you bet you’ll see them up here.

As for the rest of our conversation I told him I wanted make some gluten free muffins and he expressed his interest in different flavors.    As I pondered them, this is what I came up with for the basic recipe, you can add to it as I did with different toppings to make it your own.  I hope you enjoy them!

Cranberry Orange Muffins basic recipe
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
10 tablespoons of softened butter
 1 cup white sugar
1 cup sweet potato starch
1 cup sticky rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 -1 1/2 cup craisins (cranberry raisins)
1 tablespoon of golden flax seed meal
Mix all wet ingredients first slowly add the dry. Batter will be thick fill cupcake wrappers 3/4 of the way.   Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes I use cupcake wrappers in my muffin tins because I had a bad experience once when I didn’t I think we needed a chisel to get them out.

 

Muffins are always good any time of year but especially on a cold winters morning and that is what we have today our area was suppose to get an ice storm but it missed us no complaining on my part.

These are craisin and orange muffins.  Here they are topped with extra craisins and brown sugar.

This one is topped with honey and crushed almonds.. very good.  I think this is my favorite the honey just gives it that perfect combination of flavor and the almonds add some crunch.

Jenna’s favorite just basic recipe plain… well actually she did suggest to me that I put some frosting on top, love that kid.
Whatever way you prefer muffins they are so yummy on a cold winter morning or anytime.

Looking pretty in a child’s tea cup

Enjoy The Day!
All My Love,
Jane

Hello Pancakes Oh Have We Missed You!!!!

Since my kids have been diagnosed I have every now and then tried to make a really good pancake.  I have tried boxed mixes, no luck.  I have tried different recipes I found on the internet..about the same results, remember that Gluten Free Face. That facial expression that looks like they have swallowed a bug and are constipated at the same time?    Well that’s the looks I have gotten with my attempts for Gluten Free pancakes.   That is until today, I am super excited!!
What is really great is that I just kinda stumbled upon this one, well… really there are no accidents are there?   You see I had some left over cake batter from my daughters cupcakes that I kept in the refrigerator.  I thought I would make a small cake with it, maybe add some lemon and have lemon cake you get the idea.
Anyhow then I got to thinking pancakes they are really just cakes made in a pan right?  As I looked at the batter I thought this looks so much like pancake batter.  So off to the stove top I went with my batter in hand.   See the batter had time to thicken in the refrigerator, ah that’s the trick it just needed to sit a while and thicken up and get happy!
As the skillet warmed up I put a small amount of vegetable oil in the bottom and let that heat up.  Then I ladled two small amounts of the batter into the hot oil.  Oh my Gosh!  It looks like a pancake..as it began to cook it bubbled just like pancakes do.  I am thinking to myself as I write… does anyone think that this sounds silly?  But if your like me and have children that would love a good pancake and have gone without one for so long then your answer would be NO!
Back to the pancake, so as it bubbled I flipped it over it was fluffy just like I remember, wow!  Next would come the taste test.  Oh My Gosh!  They are fluffy and have a wonderful flavor, consistency and how easy!
What a great stumble upon.
So my thoughts now, next time you are making a cake just whip up some extra batter and keep it to the side refrigerate over night  and there you are good for breakfast in the morning!

Here is what you will need if you want to try the pancakes.

1 1/2 cups fine white rice flour or fine brown rice flour
3/4 cup of tapioca flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup white granulated sugar ( you can use splenda in place of the sugar it works well for pancakes but not for when making a cake I don’t know why)
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk or rice milk
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
Mix all dry ingredients and set to the side.  After that mix all wet ingredients and slowly add a little at a time, to the dry ingredients.   Let set over night in your refrigerator.  And in the morning you’ll have pancake batter, re-stir before pouring into the skillet.