Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gluten-free Banana-Walnut Cranberry Bread



I always have a surplus of bananas in my house. My little ones and I eat one banana every morning for breakfast. As long as my kids eat one whole banana and drink one glass of milk, I don't stress about them eating or not eating anything else for breakfast. Bananas here in the US are big and filling. Coming back to the ones in my home, sometimes they become overripe and mushy:( Thrifty that I am, I hate to throw them. Previously, I used to make halwa out of them, but now I automatically say " Banana Bread". This is thanks to my very dear friend Phani. She is efficiency personified! She is also a marvelous cook. She passed on this recipe to me and it is absolutely foolproof. Her version is with whole wheat flour. I have substituted it with Oat flour and added some cranberries. Oats is gluten-free as long as it is specified on the box. This is because quite often it is processed at the same factory/plant where wheat and wheat products are processed and therefore can be contaminated with wheat. This could be a issue if one is gluten-intolerant.

Everyone needs a little dessert now and  this is one of my few indulgences. I hardly eat more than a slice once-in-a-while. My husband relishes it more with his evening tea.

Servings:8


Ingredients:


Oat flour: 2 cups( for regular kind you can use wheat flour)

Baking soda: 1 tsp
Salt:1/4 tsp
Ground cinnamon: 1/2 tsp
Ground nutmeg: 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract:1 tsp
Butter:1/2 cup
Brown sugar:3/4 cup
Eggs: 3 beaten
Overripe bananas: 2 1/3 cups(6 bananas),mashed
Walnuts:1/2 cup,chopped(optional) 
Dried cranberries: 1/4 cup ( optional)


Method:


Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and keep aside.

Beat together the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg  in a medium bowl until fluffy. 

Add the mashed bananas, and eggs, beating until the mixture is homogenous. 

Add the flour and nuts, stirring until it is mixed well. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and let it rest uncovered for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes. 

Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more. 

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warm with tea.

For those who are not calorie conscious, you can spread some butter on it and eat.Absolutely divine! If you are even more enterprising, eat it warm with a scoop of your favorite ice-cream!

Enjoy!


Cooking made easy:


Before you start cooking make sure you have all the required ingredients in front of you. This way you don't have to run looking for something when you are halfway through the recipe.

Tip for healthy living:


Bananas are considered a complete food by itself. It is such a rich source of essential nutrients. My mother says that eating a banana first thing in the morning boosts your metabolism. Banana is rich in potassium helps keep the heart healthy.It is known to be a prebiotic and helps the good bacteria in the gut to flourish. It is also beneficial in the treatment of diarrhea.It also apparently has a beneficial role in people with diabetes, blood pressure & asthma .It supposedly also helps prevent cancer.

References:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/505406-top-ten-health-benefits-of-bananas/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=7
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php


Food for thought:


Never give up.( unknown)