Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lunchbox treats for gluten free bakers: Banana muffins

Although I am the only Coeliac in my immediate family, I decided when I was diagnosed that I would only bake gluten free in my kitchen. I buy and use gluten-containing prepared products for my family (especially bread), but I try to keep the actual cooking to gluten free ingredients, to help minimise the risks of contamination.

One of the treats I used to bake often in the days before a) I was a Coeliac and b) the First Great Banana Crisis (I think around 2006? 2007 maybe?) was banana-based food - banana bread, banana cake, and banana muffins. My Coeliac diagnosis, and two years of bananas that were too pricey to let go mushy for baking, meant that it was 2008 before I started playing around with recipes for banana-based sweets again.

After much fiddling, here is the banana muffin recipe I have developed. It can be made lactose free - I have made it with lactose free milk and the muffins taste identical, and I have made it with rice milk and they still work although taste a little "thinner", if I can put it that way.

These muffins can be made in standard-sized muffin tins or in mini muffin tins (I make the minis for the kids' school lunches; they're a perfect size for lunchboxes and kids' appetites). They freeze well too. If not freezing, store them in an airtight container and they'll be good for up to a week (which, for gluten free stuff, isn't too bad!)

Easy gluten free banana muffins

2 3/4 cups gluten free self raising flour
1 teaspoon xanthum gum (this can be omitted; if you haven't got any, use a tablespoon more flour)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk or milk substitute (but def do not use soy - it tastes so wrong)
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 egg (I have not tried using egg replacer but I think it would
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large ripe or overripe bananas (if they are fermenting already, you've waited too long :-)

Combine the milk or milk-substitute, egg, marg / butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer or hand held beater.

Mush up the bananas with a fork and add them to the milk mixture, then beat again.

Sift flour, xanthum gum and sugar into a separate bowl, then milk in milk / banana mixture with a wooden spoon.

Pour the mixture into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 mins or so at 180C (check them at 15 mins as it really depends on your oven).

They don't really need icing but I sometimes stick some cream cheese on top of them to eat at home.


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