Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cookbook Review and Gluten Free Banana Muffins!

imageI had the opportunity to review the book “Gluten-Free Cooking Made Easy” by Susan Bell.  What a great book!  I often run across the same problem with gluten free cookbooks that I do with gluten free blogs:  the recipes in them aren’t ones I want to prepare for my family.  This book is not one of those.  It’s very family friendly!

The description on Deseret Book says:
No more preparing two separate meals at dinnertime — one for family members with celiac disease and one for those without it. With Susan Bell's kitchen-tested recipes, you can serve meals your entire family will love. In this book, you'll find delicious breakfasts, breads and muffins, main dishes, soups and salads, side dishes, desserts, drinks, and even home-canning recipes.
The recipes looked good from reading them, but of course the true test is making them.

So I made the Banana Muffins!  IMG_2270
And it was easy!  

I’ve always used a gluten free baking flour mix or just plain rice flour and this was the first time I’ve bought Xantham Gum (shocking, I know… more about that another time).  I was a bit nervous to bake gluten free from scratch, but with this cookbook there was no need to be.
First I went to Whole Foods and bought my ingredients:IMG_2237I was able to get everything in the bulk section except the Xantham Gum and Sorghum Flour.
I pulled my ripe bananas out of the freezer:IMG_2239(They look gross, huh?  This is the best way to do banana bread though.  Anytime you have an over ripe banana, you don’t have to throw them out and you don’t have to suffer through eating them.  Just throw them in the freezer till you’re ready to bake your bread of muffins, then pull them out and let them thaw for a little while on the counter.)

Then I went to work making the muffins:IMG_2245
I had two awesome helpersIMG_2246
Who fought over who got to hold the bowl…
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and who liked to stir the dry ingredients with their hands…IMG_2250
But I kept working
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And so did my helpers
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And we were rewarded with some amazing muffins!IMG_2259
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I still can’t believe how delicious these things were!  I had planned on freezing at least half of them… but that didn’t happen.  They were gone within a few days.  And that was with me holding back, trying to make them last longer.
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I’m excited to try out the other muffins in the book (as in, I’ve been craving them since making these)!
Here’s the recipe from Susan Bell’s book “Gluten-Free Cooking Made Easy”

Gluten Free
Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

6 ripe bananas
1 cup cooking oil
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
¼ cup corn flour
¾ cup sorghum flour
1½ cups tapioca flour
½ cup brown rice flour
¾ cup potato starch
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt 

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Use a blender to mix the bananas, oil, and eggs at high speed until smooth.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add mixture in blender to dry ingredients and combine. (Overbeating the batter will cause the texture of the bread or muffins to become tough.)
  5. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, about ¾ full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  
This recipe freezes well.

Makes 26 to 28 muffins
 
For bread, use two greased pans (8½ x 4½ x 2 3/4 -inch) and bake the bread at 325ºF for 45 to 55 minutes.
 
We made one pan of mini muffins too, because my daughter insisted on it.  She thinks they’re “so cute.”  We baked them for 16 minutes.IMG_2271
Give them a try!  And be sure to check out Susan’s blog while you’re at it.
Her cookbook is for sale at deseretbook.com, amazon.com, latterdaylightbooks.com, barnesandnoble.com (all of these links are on her blog) and at your local LDS bookstore. It will also be available soon at associated food stores in Utah.  Check it out!IMG_2265

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