Well, I guess it was about time I tried making something healthy. If any of you know me and my family, we (and I mean my mom) are fanatics over “all natural” this and “all natural” that. The shampoo and conditioner that I use is all natural. On occasion, the toothpaste I use is all natural. Our family takes in a lot of chinese herbs on a regular basis, not because we have to, but its to keep ourselves healthy. So when my mom started trying to go gluten free, it wasn’t that big of a shocker. For her, she is in it to try to create a healthier life style for herself. For me, I like to try new recipes and trying gluten free seemed like a good challenge. Would I ever go gluten free myself? I don’t ever think so. I consider myself a carb addict. I love bread, the softness of the bread that comes from gluten, the chewiness within each bite. Oooo I just want to go buy a loaf of french bread from Safeway just thinking about it. But anyways, I wanted to try to make some breads that were both delicious and healthy to eat, whether you are on a gluten free diet or not.
I must say, I have never baked anything from such healthy, such all natural, and such organic ingredients. It was quite out of my comfort zone to use such interesting ingredients. Just to name the things I used in this bread alone: Wheat/Dairy/Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (All natural Product), Pure Baking Soda (All Natural), Organic Unsweetened Applesauce, Large Organic Brown Eggs, Organic Pure Vanilla Extract, Organic Dried and Sweetened Cranberries, and Organic Coconut Sugar. There’s a photo of it all to follow so you can see which brands used. But my oh my. I have never used so much organics or naturals in one baking project, but it’s good to know that the finished result is made from quality products.
Just a few things I’ve learned about Gluten Free so far. It’s more expensive. The cost of flour is about three times the cost of your normal all purpose flour. The added cost of organic vanilla, baking soda, eggs, and coconut sugar would have also been way too expensive, but thankfully we already had those items in the pantry. I had never known there was such thing as coconut sugar until I saw it sitting on our kitchen table this morning. I tasted a little bit of it, and while it seems to be a barely there kind of sweet, it has an earthy, toasted taste to it. I figured I could just use it in the banana bread since the bread is already an earthy flavor so it couldn’t hurt!
Gluten Free Banana Bread with Cranberries
3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 c olive oil or applesauce
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 c gluten free all purpose flour
small handful of dried cranberries (I used too little in mine so you may want to use a large handful)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mash bananas completely, then whisk in sugars, egg, vanilla, and oil or applesauce until well combined. Sift in baking soda, salt, and flour. Lightly dust cranberries with some excess flour and fold in. Pour into a parchment lined 4 by 8 loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Cool completely before slicing and enjoying.