Food Funk (with Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread)

Something Bryce and I say to each other frequently is “What would you do without me?” This is usually after one of us has saved the other from some embarrassment, like admitting that we have a customized voice for our dog and we hold complete conversations with him in which we provide both sides of dialogue, or from actual physical harm, because is it just me getting old and crotchety or do people not know how to drive in parking lots anymore?

Well, in May Bryce went on a week-long retreat and I found out that what I do eating-wise without Bryce is consume cereal and Chinese leftovers for a week and cook nothing. The other thing I do is get freaked out by every noise the house makes and then remind myself my personal bodyguard AKA Tater will protect me from, you know, the Furnace Goblin or the Sump Pump Specter.

We then went to a week-long conference in Minneapolis, and it’s taken the rest of the month to get out of the food funk, hence the total silence. We’re not set to go anywhere for a while and the farmer’s market is starting up, so I’m hoping between those two we get things cooking again.

Get it? Get things cooking again?

We’ll move on from puns.

In the quiet between of cereal, Chinese, and trying to remember how to cook every day, I made these dog treats for Tater.dscn0738

I’ll post the recipe as soon as I remember where I scribbled it down, but they are insanely easy — just need three ingredients, a huge chunk of time, and an ability to overcome the repetition of rolling out and cutting small shapes.

The other thing we’ve been doing is eating a lot of banana bread, specifically this gluten free banana bread which happens to be low fat and low sugar.

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Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread
yields one loaf

1/4 cup butter (half of one stick) softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temp
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 mashed ripe bananas
1 1/3 cup gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in egg, yogurt, and mashed bananas until well combined. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until it forms a dough. Fold in the walnuts, if using.

Transfer dough into the loaf pan. It’ll be a bit thick, so spread it into the loaf pan with a spatula if needed.

Bake for around 50 minutes. At about the 35 minute mark, if you don’t want the top to get too dark, cover the loaf with foil for the remainder of baking.

If you want, you could also toast the walnuts like I did in my carrot cake recipe. I usually don’t do this for the bread because this recipe is so quick and easy to whip up, but it would add a nice flavor level.

Note on gluten free flour: I make this using a homemade GF flour mix. I don’t think it’d be an issue to sub a store-bought one, but if you want a more economical choice or if you do a lot of GF baking, here is the guideline for the homemade flour mix I used for this particular recipe. The specific blend I used is as follows:

Gluten Free Rice Flour Blend

1 cup white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup corn starch
3 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Mix all ingredients. Store in cool, dry place.

I’ve found the flour ingredients to be pretty forgiving, so if you can’t find a specific flour type you can easily substitute. I’ve used varying combos of oat flour, rice flour (either kind) and coconut flour. It’s astounding how well it works in baked goods. I definitely don’t recommend subbing the starches, though. It’s really important to keep those ratios as they are.

dscn0743
“Watching and waiting, Mama… always…”

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