Today: Shauna shows us that a classic like banana bread can be equally as delicious sans grains.
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Once you are released from gluten, you find out something you didn't know when you automatically reached for that bag of all-purpose bleached wheat flour: flours have flavors.
Quinoa flour is a little grassy, and very savory. Buckwheat is nutty, and teff flour has a faint chocolate-y, molasses taste. If you choose flours based on their flavors, you might stop thinking about gluten altogether. You'll choose the flours you have for how they can make a banana bread sing, for they how they'll make your children say yum after they take their first bite.
We go through a lot of quick breads at our house. Our 5-year-old runs hard and dances through her day -- she rarely sits down -- and so she has the metabolism of a hummingbird, quick to tire if she doesn't eat. To combat that, I like giving her homemade squash bread, pumpkin bread, and zucchini bread. Her favorite by far is banana bread.
Recently, I started baking with more almond flour for her sake. High in protein, almond flour has fewer carbohydrates than bleached white flour (or rice flour), is lower on the glycemic index, and has more fiber as well. She doesn't know any of this. She just thinks this banana bread is good.
And that's because I thought about the flavors with these flours: bananas and almonds are complementary flavors, as are maple syrup, cinnamon, buckwheat, and coconut. Throw them all in together and bake them in a loaf pan? You have a warm, nutty banana bread that is ever-so-slightly sweet. Without the refined sugars, this banana bread tastes more of bananas than sweetness. You taste the nuts and their fats. You taste bananas and almonds and maple syrup.
The fact that it's gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free? Well, that's nice for the people who need those things. But for you? This is a darned fine banana bread.
Shauna writes about food. Danny cooks it.
We grow excited every Saturday morning to go to the farmers' market. This time of year, a Billy Allstot tomato is enough to make us look like goons at the stand, jumping up and down with excitement. We will eat one slice with sea salt, standing over the sink. Another goes to our baby daughter. The rest might go into the smoker to make smoked tomato salsa, or thrown together with watermelon and good olive oil for a watermelon gazpacho, or stacked with smoked salmon and drizzled with horseradish sour cream.
Every day is new. I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight. But I'm sure interested to find out.