Thursday 13 October 2016

Gluten Free Oatmeal-Banana Bread

My 9 yr old's Gluten Free Oatmeal-Banana Bread...all made in the Vitamix!

I'm the only person in the household that avoids gluten because of my autoimmune disease...Hashimoto's.  One of the things I miss a lot is a really good Banana Bread...full of gluten. There's something about the texture of gluten-full banana bread that I miss!  But lucky for you I hit upon a lovely oat flour banana bread that is not only super easy to make (in one container!) but has an amazing texture and flavour.

She made mini doughnuts too! They were absolutely delicious with my espresso...and my 15 hours of marking
My homemade gf flour blend is great for cakes and I usually add psyllium husk powder to help with the texture (this works really well, by the way).  But sometimes I don't want to buy all those flours and have all those bags half-full of varieties of flours.  It's a pain because you have too much of one and not enough of the other!  

My 9 yr old loves anything mini and cute.  Here is her little Mouse Chef for to  my one shot of espresso.  The kid's mini banana bread doughnuts were so moist and gave me energy to power through 15 hours of marking. geesh
Mostly all of the gf baked goods I buy in stores and gf bakeries are too dense or heavy and I don't know about you but sometimes gf flour is pasty or painfully grainy.  I have yet to find a really good gf bread that's chewy, crusty and slices well (still working on that!)  I've had great success with my own gf flour blend when I bake cakes but a recent spate of moths found in my cabinets had me throwing out everything.  I think the rice that I had stored in the cupboard had brought in some moth eggs. They even got into sealed plastic containers! ew.  Anyway, I store my oats in a sealed plastic container in a different area of the house and I thought they would make a perfect substitution for my usual gf flour blend.  There's something satisfying about grinding your own oat flour and only having to wash one container.  And only ONE flour! yay! And case in point...avoid those moths from the multitude of half-used flours you need to make your own flour blend!  

Bake your loaves until they have lovely cracks...don't be afraid to bake longer by up to 10 minutes because sometimes your bananas might be big so your batter might need the extra baking time
As a treat for the kid because after all, she did all the mixing and baking (and all I did was grind the oat flour)...I took a few of the mini banana bread doughnuts she made...and the next day coated them with a white glaze and cake sprinkles! Can you spot Mickey Mouse on Hello Kitty? 
yes, I only had red Mickey Mouse cake sprinkles so put 2 heads together for Hello Kitty's red bow
So not only is grinding your own oat flour in a Vitamix easy, but it is also a resounding success flavour-wise.  To boot, it's way cheaper than gf flour or bagged oat flour.  The oats add an amazing nutty flavour and you'll find yourself wanting to experiment with oat flour in other baked goods too (like me!) Let me know in the comments if you'd like more Vitamix recipes (which I can do because I use it a lot...but I have no idea if people actually want that?)

  • 2 Cups oat flour**[see note for how to use the Vitamix to grind oats into oat flour] (If you are Celiac, you should buy certified gluten free oats. Some Celiacs may be sensitive to gf oats too so play safe and maybe replace with a gf flour blend if you wish. I used Trader Joe's Rolled Oats) 
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend [any gf blend will do but I used "Namaste GF Organic Perfect Flour Blend" that I bought at Costco.  If you don't have any gf flour, you can just use another 1/2 cup of oat flour. Everything will turn out just fine!  If you're not avoiding gluten, just use 2 1/2 cups total of all-purpose flour]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened [yes, you read right...SALTED. You can use unsalted but it will taste different]
  • 1 1/2 Cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3 Cups ripe bananas mashed (about 7 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, nuts or whatever chunky dried fruit cranks your wheel
You will need the "Dry Grains Container" for your Vitamix for this and approximately 3 cups of rolled oats or steel cut oats.
Place the oats into the Vitamix Dry Grains Container.  Set the Vitamix to variable speed.  Start out low and slow and pulse until the oats are ground into a powder.  You may need to stop the machine and stir down any chunks that cling to the side.  Continue to do this until the oats have been finely ground.  You will have more than enough for the recipe above so you can store the rest of the oat flour in an air tight container.  1 cup of rolled oats will yield approximately 1 cup of oat flour.

1. Preheat oven to 325degrees F.  Prepare 2 loaf pans by spraying with nonstick spray (I used coconut oil spray) and line with parchment paper. [My 9 yr old used 1 mini doughnut pan and 2 small loaf tins. You can also use paper-lined muffin tins but adjust baking times according to the size of your tins]

2. In the regular ("Classic") Vitamix container, place your salted butter and brown sugar.  Pulse on variable speed until the mixture appears creamy and cohesive.  Add 2 eggs and vanilla...continue to pulse to mix well.  

3.  Turn off the machine and periodically scrape down the sides of the Vitamix container with a rubber spatula to ensure that all the contents are evenly mixed. 

4.  With the Vitamix running on medium variable speed, add the whole bananas one at a time through the lid's chute.  Continue to blend until the mixture is smooth...this should take a couple of minutes

5.  Add all the dry ingredients to the Vitamix: the oat flour, gf flour, salt and baking soda.  Blend on Variable speed until the mixture is combined well; turning off to scrape down the sides if needed.

6.  If you want to go crazy, toss in chocolate chips at this point and just stir to combine with your rubber spatula before pouring into your prepared loaf tins.

7.  Pour prepared batter into the lined loaf tins. For regular-sized loaves, bake for 60-70 minutes until toothpick inserted reveals crumbs.  [My girl's mini doughnuts took 12 minutes.  Regular muffins might take anywhere from 12-15 minutes.  The small loves took 45 minutes. Don't worry...just check that there is no jiggle in the middle and use that toothpick-test to ensure it is baked through well. If your bananas are large sometimes you will have to bake up to 10 minutes longer]

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