Gluten and Dairy Free Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Happy Muffins_CloseUp

I have a real love hate relationship with bananas.

I love the taste and the port-a-blility of bananas. For as long as I can remember, bananas have been a staple in my diet. Back in the days before so many kids were diagnosed with peanut allergies, you could guarantee I’d have a banana in my school lunchbox 2-3 times a week. Usually it was in the form of a peanut butter and banana sandwich but just as often I’d find the fruit (which is actually a berry) as is.

As I entered by teen years and my love for cooking, especially baking, grew, the more I came to love bananas. I mean, who doesn’t love Banana Bread, Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies or Warm Campfire Banana Sundaes? Ever since I bought my first cookbook (D.C.I. Music Department’s Favourite Recipes) I have been on the hunt for the very best banana bread recipe. If you were to look though my cookbook collection, you would definitely find that the pages that have banana flavoured bakery recipes are the most splattered, smudged and well used. I thought I had finally found “The One”. Then I went gluten and dairy free and the search has since resumed.

I think of myself as someone who tries to stay active and I take a lot of pride in eating healthy so I love that bananas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, potassium, B6 and Vitamin C.

Bananas promote good digestion and mood balancing. Good for me as I am recovering from intestinal issues and also good because I often take the drug Prednisone which can cause depression as a side effect.

I know, so far this post sounds like a love fest for bananas. So where’s the hate part???

I hate that when the warmer weather finally comes to southern Ontario, my bananas get ripe faster than I can eat them…. I know, it’s not a big reason…but  it made for an interesting opening line.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and realized that I had three bananas that had got to the point of no return and just had to be baked into something. So, my plan for showcasing the fresh Ontario strawberries, now available in my area will have to wait.

I give you Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Oatmeal Banana Chip Muffins Mis En Plas

Oatmeal Banana Chip Muffins Mis En Plas

1 ¼ cup all purpose gluten free flour (my blend or your favourite)
¼ cup high protein gluten free flour blend (my blend or more of your favourite)
½  cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½  tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp double acting baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup rice milk
1/3 cup melted coconut or canola oil
1 egg
¾ cup gluten free oats
¾ cup dairy free chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Grease or line 18 regular size muffin cups

In small bowl, combine oats and chocolate chips, set aside.
In large bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.  Add all wet ingredients to dry. Mix well.
Fold in the oat/chocolate mixture.
Fill muffin cups to within one third of the top. Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Store in airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month

Fresh Out Of the Oven

Smilin' Mmuffins

Smilin’ Mmuffins

Gluten Free Flour Part 2

Hallelujah, it’s Wednesday!

Last week, in  All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Part 1  I posted about my favourite go-to  gluten free all purpose flour recipe.

I also mentioned that it was one of my two favourite recipes, implying, of course that there is a second favourite recipe.  Gluten Free Higher Protein Blend All Purpose Flour

This is a great blend for  tea and yeast breads, cakes and muffins. I use it as the main flour and in addition to my All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. Basically any recipe where I want to have a chewier, more bread like texture, I add some of this mix.  I regularly add some to almost all my muffin recipes and I even add a bit to my waffle recipes, if I plan to use the waffles for sandwiches.

As with my All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend, it is key to use a fine grind of brown rice flour. Brown rice is a good source of protein and delivers a better flavour and more nutrients than white rice flour, getting a fine grind provides a smooth texture. In addition to the brown rice flour, I use quinoa and chickpea flours as both are also good sources of protein.

Gluten Free Higher Protein Blend All Purpose Flour

tapioca starch
brown rice flour
potato starch
quinoa flour
chickpea flour
xanthan gum

Measure ingredients into a large bowl, in order  listed. By putting the tapioca starch on the bottom, the other ingredients will help keep this very light “flour” from “poofing up” all over the place. With a large whisk, thoroughly blend all ingredients. Store in an air tight container and refrigerate.

Yesterday, in my post Daily Prompts: Red Pill Blue Pill I included a photo of these muffins.

Today I give you the recipe:

Wake Me Up! Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Espresso Muffins

1 1/4 cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/4 cup Gluten Free Higher Protein Blend All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup espresso or strong brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup rice milk, or other dairy free milk
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips
muffin cup liners

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In medium size bowl, combine first six ingredients, whisk to combine. Add in all the wet ingredients and mix well.
Fold in chocolate chips.  Scoop batter into lined muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into centre of muffin comes out clean, approx. 20 min for large muffins, 10 minutes for mini muffins.

This batch will yield about 18 large muffins. Store in an air tight container 2-3 days.  These muffins, wrapped individually,  freeze very well.

Wake Me Up! Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Espresso Muffins

Wake Me Up! Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Espresso Muffins

»Daily Prompt: Red Pill, Blue PillIf you could get

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Daily Prompt: Red Pill, Blue Pill

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?

 

Hmmm, this requires a list of pros and cons…

 

The Pro List:

  • Ok, so I’d have loads of spare time freed up by the fact that I would no longer need to plan, shop for and cook my meals.
  • Those of us with food allergies could probably even get an allergy free version (and not even miss the difference between ours and the “regular” pill).
  • I wouldn’t have the stress  of trying to accommodate the different food likes and dislikes of family members.
  • I could get rid of all my dishes, pots, pans, cooking and eating utensils and my dining table, my chest freezer, my fridge, my dishwasher
  • H…and gain loads of extra space in my home.

 

The Con List:

  • There would be no reason to make this
Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos

Chili Lime Shrimp Tacos

or these

Wake Me Up! Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Espresso Muffins

Wake Me Up! Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Espresso Muffins

or these

Lemon Tart Cookies II

Lemon Tart Cookies II

 

I think I’d vote no. : )

How would you vote?

 

Happy Gluten & Dairy Free Cranberry Quinoa Cookies

To start today’s post off I’d like to apologize for the unexpected hiatus last week. I mentioned in my earlier post “In The Beginning Part 2” that I suffer from sinus polyps. Often I am treated with Prednisone, which is a  (a type of anti inflammatory medication), to shrink the polyps. I can’t take over the counter anti-inflammatory meds (like Aspirin) because they cause my asthma to go into overdrive, so to speak. I also take a regular asthma medication, which contains some corticosteroid too, to prevent attacks. In addition to that, I take a nasal spray to keep my sinus passages open and (you guessed it) that contains a corticosteroid also. Who knew that taking three different medications all containing corticosteroids, at the same time, could cause an adverse reaction?? If you or someone you know requires this type of medication to feel better, please send them to this link at MedlinePlus . The list of medications that contain corticosteroids is long and by no means complete….you may have to read the teeny tiny fine print on the medication to find it, but it’s worth it because the list of symptoms of over use range from simple dry skin to convulsions to psychosis. The last thing my family wants is for me to suffer from that last symptom….I’ve seen waaaay to many episodes of C.S.I, Criminal Minds and Hannibal for their liking. >; )

Of course, now that I know this…I can take greater care of myself. : )

Ok now, let’s move on to more Dee’Lectable topics.

Now that I feel more or less myself, I am all about the baking, the gluten and dairy free baking, that is.
I’ve been playing with recipes like Lemon Tart Cookies (with a lime variation too!), lots of muffins, and I’ve even decided to resume my search for a good GF/DF bread.

Today I want to share a recipe that I’ve been playing with for more than a year. I was inspired by a recipe in the January 2012 issue of Bon Appetite Magazine for Cranberry Quinoa Cookies.  These are meant to be cakey breakfast style cookies, reminiscent of hot bowl of cereal but portable.

Cranberry Quinoa Cookies
yield: Makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup fancy molasses
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup gluten free oats, old-fashioned style
1 cup dried cranberries
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup slivered unsalted almonds, optional

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, both sugars, and molasses in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs and extracts; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in quinoa, oats, cranberries, and almonds. Spoon dough in 2-tablespoon portions onto prepared sheets, spacing 1″ apart. Bake cookies until golden, 12–15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Gluten and dairy free cakey breakfast style cookies, reminiscent of hot bowl of cereal but portable!

Gluten and dairy free cakey breakfast style cookies, reminiscent of hot bowl of cereal but portable!

Fun, Nutritious, Portable Breakfast Style Cookies!

Fun, Nutritious, Portable Breakfast Style Cookies!

What’s Your Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies?

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One of my favourite things to do in the kitchen is bake. I find baking to be part alchemy, part chemistry, part artistry. Take a list or ingredients and add them together in just the right way, in just the right order and apply just the right amount of heat for just the right amount of time…and viola! You get something warm and delicious at the end. It’s like magic.

When I first switched to a gluten free diet, I was determined to find an all purpose flour recipe I could use to make delicious cookies. It took several (dozen?) trial batches to get things just right. My favourite mix is based on this recipe , by Silvanna Nardone. This recipe makes a big batch and works really well for cookies but I’ve tweaked it since the first time I tried it. Now I use brown rice flour in place of the white.

In my opinion, there is nothing as comforting, or decadent, as a freshly baked cookie, still warm from the oven and chocolate chip cookies are one of my favourites.

There are so many ways to make a chocolate chip cookie:

  • soft
  • crisp
  • with lots of vanilla
  • heavy on the brown sugar
  • with or without nuts
  • big or little chips
  • milk or dark chocolate
  • with exotic flavours like mint or cinnamon

Initially, I was so proud to be able to bake a delicious cookie that my family couldn’t tell was gluten and dairy free, I’d bake several batches a week. I kind of over did it for a while. Then, although I’d share them generously, I’d eat them and my waistline started to suffer…

These days, I try not to keep too many tempting sweets around the house. However, since I’ve had my sense of smell back, I have been craving my favourite chocolate chip cookie:

Spiced Orange Chocolate Chip

Gluten & Dairy Free Spiced Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten & Dairy Free Spiced Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

A classic combo of chocolate and orange with a hint of spice, these cookies are amazing with cup of tea or coffee. The recipe doubles easily and I rarely make a small batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ c all purpose gluten free flour mix
  • ½ c brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1/2 c dairy free all vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • ¾ c pure semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F

In large bowl, beat both sugars and shortening. Add egg, orange rind and vanilla, beat until fluffy. In separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients except chocolate chips. Whisk to combine. Add to sugar mixture, mix well. Add Chips. Drop onto tray by rounded tablespoon, 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy and don’t forget to share!

I love reading feedback and getting your thoughts , so I’m gonna pose a question to you dear readers.

How do you like your chocolate chip cookies? Please take a moment to fill out the form