Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mama’s banana bread, with a twist!

The cool, rainy, dreary weather created an irresistible urge to play in the kitchen… As I went through my cookbooks, I found a little book my mother put together a few years ago, containing several of my grandmother’s favorite dessert recipes. Her banana bread was always delicious, and I luckily had a few overripe bananas on hand.

I also have a variety of flours I’ve been wanting to experiment with. I stocked up on almond, millet, quinoa, and other types of gluten-free flours awhile ago for a few different cookbook recipes. So instead of using the all-purpose flour the recipe called for, I created my own flour combination. Regular wheat flour (all-purpose flour) is made by grinding roots and grains together, and each gluten-free flour is a particular kind of grain, starch, bean, or nut. They taste best when a few are combined together.

I chose quinoa, millet, and buckwheat flours for a few simple reasons. I never tried quinoa or buckwheat flours, and I had just a little bit of millet leftover. I also wanted to use millet flour because it’s slightly sweet and adds a crumbly texture to baked goods. Quinoa flour was an easy choice because I’ve seen several recipes for cakes and cupcakes that use it, and I read that buckwheat flour pairs great with chocolate. (Have to love anything that pairs well with chocolate!)

Back to Mama’s recipe. The first ingredient – 1/2 cup of shortening. That was quickly replaced with a 1/2 stick of unsalted butter. The 2 cups of all-purpose flour was replaced with 2/3 cups of each gluten-free flour. Chocolate isn’t in her original recipe, but I had a bag of semi-sweet chips on hand, so why not add that too?

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

The first attempt was pretty decent. The loaf could have stayed in the oven for another 10 minutes – it took a lot longer to bake than what Mama’s recipe instructed. It also came out really sweet, and a bit dense for my liking. So I tried again. I cut down the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup, and traded in the semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate. I also made sure the butter was at room temperature before mixing it in with the sugar, and mixed it for a lot longer than what I did the first time around. (It took about 6-7 minutes for the sugar and butter to cream together.)

The result was much better the second time around. While banana bread isn’t meant to be light and spongy, it came out less dense than the first loaf. Cutting down the sugar and changing the chocolate was another good call. This is a rich bread – not a super sweet cake. That, and dark chocolate rules. Enjoy the weekend!

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Mama's (Gluten-Free!) Banana Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
The prep time is approximate.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅔ cup quinoa flour
  • ⅔ cup millet flour
  • ⅔ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 11.5 package of extra dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make sour milk, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the ¼ cup of milk.
  3. Prepare the flour mixture - in a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until well combined.
  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar.
  5. Beat in the eggs, then add the sour milk and vanilla. Mix until everything is combined.
  6. Continuing to mix the wet ingredients, gradually add the dry.
  7. Once the dry ingredients are fully mixed in, add the bananas.
  8. Pour in the chocolate chips and fold into the batter.
  9. Line a 5" x 9" loaf pan with parchment paper, and pour the mixture in.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes.

 

Easiest Healthy Breakfast Ever – Granola Parfaits

Besides pouring some cereal into a bowl and drowning it in milk, how much easier can breakfast get? After a few weeks of eating too many bagels on-the-go, a change in routine was a necessity. One of the brunch items at the Food Blog Forum conference was a mason jar parfait filled with yogurt, fruit, and granola. With a package of Bear Naked granola tucked in the conference swag bag (fruit and nut mix), there was no good reason to skip making this at home!

Breakfast Granola parfait

I picked up Choboni greek yogurt, tossed in some blackberries and sliced strawberries, and topped it off with the fruit and nut granola. I made several small containers for the week so I could save time each morning. I’m not a ball of sunshine and energy at 6am – the less I have to do before a few cups of coffee, the better! Since the fruit is layered between the yogurt and granola, the granola never got soggy. The serving size container kept everything fresh.

breakfast granola parfaits

 

Easiest Breakfast Ever - Granola Parfaits
Cuisine: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup granola
  • Whatever berries or other fruit you would like
Instructions
  1. Yogurt goes on the bottom
  2. Layer the fruit on top of the yogurt (this prevents the granola from becoming soggy)
  3. Top it off with the granola

 

Food Blog Forum – Brunch at Whole Foods in Orlando

Food Blog Forum

 The brunch at Whole Foods in Orlando gets a separate post because I was able to photograph food in decent light. (And the other posts were getting lengthy… 😉 )

Mason jar parfaits, BBQ pork on habanero corn bread, quinoa breakfast salad, strawberry caprese… After all the excitement of the weekend, a leisurely Sunday brunch was a great way to unwind and spend more time with new friends. I’m not going to “talk” too much in this post… I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

 Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Food Blog Forum

Whole Foods Orlando

Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Loved seeing Diane and Todd again!

I met some really cool, wonderful, talented people during the conference. Some of them are writers, others are chefs, and most simply enjoy sharing their love of cooking and food. I hope you take a few minutes to check out their blogs!

In no particular order:

Julius of Droolius

Erin of Eat Bake Drink Cook

Vijay of NoshOnIt.com

Annelies of The Food Poet

Kiran of KiranTarun.com

Kasey of Kasey’s Kitchen

Charles of Local Forkful

Lindsey of Love and Olive Oil

Heather of Heather Likes Food

Katie of Katie’s Cucina

Ashley of Couture Palate

Tricia of Once a Month Mom

Stephanie of Macaroni and Cheesecake

Jessica of Cooking Bright