Sice of gluten-free banana zucchini bread on a dessert plate.

Gluten-free Banana-Zucchini Bread

Here is another great recipe from Carol Fenster’s “100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes.” This cookbook truly does have some of the best gluten-free recipes I have tried and a lot of good information, as well.

The original recipe called for three small bananas and I only had two, so I added some shredded zucchini instead. I ended up with a very moist and delicious quick bread that disappeared fast!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 small, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Carol’s sorghum blend
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Instructions:

Place rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 350ºF.

Generously grease a nonstick loaf pan. I used olive oil cooking spray.

Beat eggs in medium mixing bowl with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until blended. Add mashed banana, zucchini, oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add the mixture to the liquid ingredients, beating on low speed until thoroughly blended and batter thickens. Stir in walnuts or other optional ingredients, if desired. (I added walnuts.)

Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

Gluten-free banana zucchini bread batter in a baking pan.

I sprayed the pan with a little too much olive oil spray, but it didn’t seem to effect the final outcome.

Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve!

Freshly baked banana zucchini bread still in the baking pan.

The bread was nicely browned on top.

Freshly baked banana zucchini bread still in the baking pan.

Close up of sliced end of loaf of gluten-free banana zucchini bread on a plate.

The bread was moist on the inside and not too sticky – in other words, perfect!

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I don’t always bark at MIDNIGHT – but when I do, it’s for no reason.

 

Slice of gluten-free orange cranberry bread on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Orange Cranberry Bread

This quick bread is really good for breakfast, snack or dessert. It is sweet and tart with a nice crunch from the walnuts. It is probably better with fresh cranberries, but our store didn’t have any so I used Craisins.

Package of Craisins - dried cranberries

I used Craisins instead of fresh cranberries.

Below is a nice little video that highlights the health benefits of cranberries.

I had no idea they were so good for me – hope you enjoy this healthy recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 C gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Carol Fenster’s sorghum blend below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C fresh cranberries, roughly chopped (I used dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 C milk, room temperature (I used almond milk)
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 C vegetable or canola oil

Carol’s Sorghum Flour Blend

  • 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch (not potato flour) or cornstarch
  • 1 cup tapioca flour/starch

Whisk together thoroughly and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry, cool place.

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9″ x 5″ inch loaf pan.

Stir together milk and vinegar in a bowl or measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes.

Glass measuring cup containing almond milk and vinegar mix.

Almond milk mixed with vinegar.

Combine flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in cranberries and nuts.

White mixing bowl with dry ingredients mixed together.

Dry ingredients mixed together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, the milk/vinegar mixture, orange extract, vanilla extract, orange zest, brown sugar and oil until the brown sugar is dissolved.

Metal mixing bowl containg mixed wet ingredients and brown sugar with wire whisk.

Wet ingredients mixed together with brown sugar.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon until just combined.

Gluten-free orange cranberry bread batter in loaf pan.

Batter in pan ready to bake.

Pour batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before slicing.

Baked gluten-free orange cranberry bread in loaf pan.

Baked loaf right out of oven.

Baked gluten-free orange cranberry bread loaf on a plate ready to slice.

Let the loaf cool before cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut cleanly through the cranberries and walnuts.

Adapted from Cranberry Orange Bread at whattheforkfoodblog.com.

 

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Milo says….

Naps are better when you turn around three times first!

Gluten-free zucchini carrot muffin broken open on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Carrot Muffins

These healthy muffins are good for breakfast or snacking. I added walnuts to make them even healthier. I also added a little xanthan gum (the original recipe didn’t call for it) to help them hold together better. They turned out really light and moist. I didn’t put the “frosting” on mine, but I’m sure that would make them even better.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups finely shredded zucchini
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Frosting (optional)

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with no-stick spray or line with paper liners. I didn’t have enough paper liners, so I sprayed my second tin.

Shred the carrots and zucchini. I used a small food processor.

Food processor with shredded carrots inside.

Carrots shredded in food processor.

A glass measuring cup containing shredded zucchini.

Shredded zucchini

Combine the almond flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

White mixing bowl containing flours and other dry ingredients mixed together.

Dry ingredients mixed together.

Add the honey, oil, and eggs and stir with a spoon until well combined. The batter will be thick.

White mixing bowl with gluten-free muffin batter inside.

Eggs, honey and oil mixed with dry ingredients.

Add carrots, zucchini and walnuts, if you are using, and mix until evenly distributed.

White mixing bowl containing finished muffin batter ready to put into muffin tin.

Vegetables and walnuts are stirred into the batter until mixed evenly.

Fill each muffin tin cup about ¾ full of the batter.

Two 12-muffin pans with batter added, ready to bake.

I didn’t have enough paper liners for the second batch so I sprayed the pan with olive oil spray.

Close up shot of muffin tin with paper liners filled with batter, ready to bake.

Muffin batter ready to bake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool before frosting, if desired.

Close up of muffin tin containing fresh-baked muffins.

Bake muffins until golden brown on top.

You can change the proportion of carrots to zucchini – just be sure the total amount of shredded vegetables in the recipe is the same.

Gluten-free zucchini carrot muffin broken open on a dessert plate.

The muffins turned out light and moist on the inside.

Frosting (optional)

Whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the honey and continue mixing until combined.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

Adapted from recipe at FlippinDelicious.com.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

The ground is like a giant dog newspaper – SNIFFING it is how I keep up with CURRENT EVENTS!

A serving of gluten-free apple crisp in a white dessert bowl.

Gluten-free Apple Crisp

When you don’t have time to role out a traditional pie crust, apple crisp is a quick and easy alternative. This recipe is from the Whole Grains Council. I added walnuts just because I think everything is better with nuts – and they’re really good for you!

Apples are a really healthy choice for dessert. They are a relatively good source of potassium, a mineral not affected by cooking, with about 200 milligrams per cup. One baked apple is a good source of fiber with 5 grams total, which is 19 percent of the daily target.

I think this recipe would be really good using other fruits, as well, like blueberries or peaches.

Ingredients

For the fruit filling:

  • 4 cups sliced apples (or other fruit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

For the crumble topping:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or trans-free margarine
  • 3/4 cup of sugar or brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Slice apples into an 8 x 8 inch greased pan or similar-sized casserole dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add walnuts, if you are using them. I also sprinkled the apples with a few drops of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown while I prepared the topping.

Casserole dish containing sliced apples, cinnamon and walnuts.

I added cinnamon and walnuts to the sliced apples, plus a few drops of lemon juice.

Combine crumble ingredients and sprinkle evenly over apples.

White mixing bowl containing sorghum flour, sugar, butter and a pastry blender.

I mixed the butter, flour and sugar together with a pastry blender until the mixture was crumbly.

White circular casserole dish containing sliced apples with crumbly topping added to the top.

Topping added to the sliced apples.

Bake at 350°F for approximately 1 hour or until topping turns light brown.

Gluten-free apple crisp, baked.

It came out of the oven crispy and brown on top, bubbly underneath.

Add a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Note: You can also use an alternate version of the crumble topping, with less sugar and butter: 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter or trans-free margarine. (Jenny Rees, University of Nebraska Extension Educator)

Nutrition facts per serving:  Calories: 250 , Total Fat: 12 g, (Saturated Fat: 7 g), Sodium: 10 mg, Carbohydrate: 37 g, Fiber: 3 g,  Protein: 2 g.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Go! Walk! Snack! Certain words just make my tail wag.

Closeup of two gluten-free chocolate chip cookies on a dessert plate.

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

The original recipe for these cookies came from Bob’s Red Mill. I thought it was funny that it says “low carb” in the recipe description. Maybe that’s a relative term …

I followed the recipe pretty closely with just a few changes. I used Earth Balance buttery baking sticks instead of butter and margarine. I used a 10 oz bag of chocolate chips instead of 8 oz. (very chocolatey!) I also added coconut, as well as walnuts.

I had never used Earth Balance before and I found that the cookies seemed a bit greasy, especially while still warm. I didn’t use parchment paper but I think it would be a good idea to use it for these cookies. The cookies fell apart when they were still warm (always have to have a taste!) but they were less fragile after they cooled.

I took some to work and everyone who tried one gave me the thumbs up. Overall, I think this is a good recipe to keep around for gluten-free snacking.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cups Sorghum Flour
  • 3/4 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg (large)
  • 1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla Extract
  • 8 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips * (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chips)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts – optional
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut – optional

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure dry ingredients (1 – 5) and sift them together.

Let buttery sticks soften and bring egg to room temperature.

Cream buttery baking sticks and sugars.

Add egg and vanilla and mix for 1 minute.

Add dry ingredients in three parts, mixing between additions, until all ingredients are combined.

Add chocolate chips and fold them into dough. Fold in nuts and/or coconut, if using. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes.

 

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in a white mixing bowl.

The dough was sticky, but easier to handle after chilling in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

 

Twelve blobs of cookie dough on baking sheet.

First batch of cookies ready to bake.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Leave enough space between cookies to allow them to spread. Bake 8 – 10 minutes.

Baked chocolate chip cookies on baking sheet. Cookies are all touching.

My first batch of cookies ran together. Maybe I made them too big?

Baked chocolate chip cookies on baking sheet.

I made the cookies a little smaller for the second batch.

Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies piled up on a plate.

Finished chocolate chip cookies ready to eat!

Recipe adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies. bobsredmill.com

 

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I have a BIG stick I like to chew on in the back yard. Maizy laughs at me when I drag it around – it’s bigger than ME! Biting a stick is a good STRESS reliever!

Gluten-Free Cereals Review

I generally try to limit my consumption of processed foods in my quest to get proper nutrition while sticking to a gluten-free diet, but I do enjoy having a plain old bowl of cereal for breakfast every now and then. I admit that most gluten-free cereals aren’t very good, especially for the price, and many of them have a lot of added sugar to help them taste better.

I like to add walnuts and fruit to my cereal to increase the nutritional content. Gluten-free cereals tend to be low on certain nutrients, especially B vitamins, unless they are enriched or fortified.

One of my favorite gluten-free cereals is Perky’s Crunchy Flax with Chia by Enjoy Life. What I like about this cereal is that it’s slightly sweet without being too sweet and it sticks with me throughout the morning. I believe it’s staying power comes from my favorite ingredient – whole grain sorghum flour!

Perky's Crunchy Flax with Chia box front

Sorghum is high in insoluble fiber, which, combined with protein and starch in the sorghum endosperm, makes it more slowly digested than other cereals. The slower rate of digestibility of sorghum products makes them more filling and may be beneficial to diabetics. Enjoy Life is one of the first companies in the U.S. that has used sorghum as a main ingredient.

Side of the Crunchy Flax box showing ingredients and some nutritional information

Sorghum flour is the first ingredient.

 

Another gluten-free cereal I tried recently is Ancient Grain Flakes by Freedom Foods, an Australian company.

Ancient Grain Flakes box front.

Although the flavor of the cereal was ok for a gluten-free cereal, I was disappointed by the misleading description of the cereal on the front of the box. It says the cereal is “made from buckwheat and sorghum”, but when you look at the ingredient list on the side of the box, it has rice and corn listed as the first two ingredients, then sorghum and buckwheat.

Ancient Grain Flakes - side of box showing ingredients and some of the nutrition information.

Sorghum is the third ingredient.

It’s funny to me that the Freedom Foods logo at the top of the box has the words “honest, nutritious & free” underneath. It’s seems like a more honest statement would be “contains buckwheat and sorghum.”

One thing I did like about the Freedom Foods cereals was the allergen symbols at the bottom. This makes it easier to see which common allergens have been eliminated from the product.

Close up of the bottom of the Ancient Grain Flakes box showing FREE FROM and seven icons for various allergens, gluten being the first.

The allergen icons at the bottom of the Ancient Grain Flakes box are a nice idea.

The flakes have a definite corn flavor when you first bite into them. I found that I was hungry again about two hours after I ate this cereal. I probably won’t be getting this one again.

Update: Here is a pdf from the Enjoy Life that has all the nutrition information for Crunchy Flax with Chia cereal. 100 gm breakdown Cereal Crunchy Flax with Chia

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Happiness is LICKING the cereal bowl when Maizy is finished with it!

Finished sorghum salad with lime dressing on a plate ready to eat.

Whole Grain Sorghum Salad with Mango, Black Beans and Avocado

Here is another recipe using whole grain sorghum. I found a new company called Wondergrain that sells whole grain sorghum online, so I decided to give them a try. Their prices seemed very reasonable. I used the pearled sorghum for this recipe, but you could you either one. The whole grain sorghum still has the bran on the outside and is a little chewier. The pearled sorghum is lighter and fluffier, more like white rice.

Two bags of Wondergrain whole grain sorghum.

This is a new brand of whole grain sorghum I’m trying.

I have swiss chard (which I LOVE) growing in my garden, so I used that instead of the cilantro called for in the original recipe.

Fresh picked swiss chard leaves laying on a kitchen towel.

I used swiss chard from my garden instead of cilantro.

The lime juice and the mango in this salad make it very sweet, refreshing and light. You could eat this salad as a meal by itself or as a side dish.

Salad ingredients on counter before chopping them up - garlic, olive oil, bag of sorghum, mango, cucumber, tomatoes, lime, onion, avacado.

Ingredients for this salad, except for the swiss chard and the beans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked whole grain sorghum (about 3/4 cup dry)
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 cup of canned organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, quartered the long way, then sliced
  • 1 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced

Dressing:

  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • zest from 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Bag of Wondergrain whole grain sorghum next to glass measuring cup holding sorghum grains.

I used about 3/4 cup of dry sorghum, which turned out to be about 1/2 cup too much after cooking.

Soak whole grain sorghum 2-3 hours, then cook in 2 cups of water until soft and all water is absorbed – about one hour. After it is cooked, fluff the sorghum grains with a fork and set aside to cool.

While the sorghum grains are cooling, mix the dressing in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Mix together all of the fruit and vegetables in a large bowl.

All vegetables and fruit chopped up and mixed together in a white bowl

All vegetables and fruit chopped up and mixed together.

Once the whole grain sorghum is cooled, combine with other ingredients in large bowl. Pour the dressing over top the salad, and stir gently to evenly coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sorghum salad with all ingredients mixed together in a white bowl.

Here it is after adding the cooked sorghum and the dressing.

Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or more so the sorghum grains can absorb the dressing a little bit.

Adapted from Tasty Yummies – Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Mango, Black Beans and Avocado

Since I had about 1/2 cup of cooked sorghum left over I decided to try it for breakfast. I warmed it up in the microwave and then added a teaspoon of honey, a few shakes of cinnamon and some raisins and walnuts. It was really good – and filling!

Warmed up leftover sorghum in a bowl with cinnamon, honey, raisins and walnuts.

Warmed up leftover sorghum for breakfast with cinnamon, honey, raisins and walnuts.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I went for a RIDE in the car with Maizy and it was SO FUN! She made the window go down and I put my head out and SNIFFED everything. The wind blew all the GOOD SMELLS right into my nose!