Gluten Free Banana Muffins


If you have a gluten sensitivity, get ready to be disappointed.  A lot. The gluten free “alternative” products taste . . . well, they tend to taste either like corn, at their best, or cardboard, at their worst.  So many ingredients contain “hidden” gluten, too.  Even bouillon cubes contain gluten!  Goodness.
My good friend, Jacqui, has Celiac disease, and I can only imagine how boring it is to have to pass on the “good stuff,” constantly, while everyone else can just dig in.  While everyone else is enjoying seconds of delicious, steaming spaghetti and Parmesan foccacia, you’re reading labels and weeding through unknown ingredients.  Because nothing says “party hardy” like Monosodium Glutamate, right?  “Bon appetit.”
I am always on the lookout for recipes that can be easily made into GF alternative recipes, or that I can tweak to become more tasty.  I can’t remember where this recipe came from, originally, but I have tweaked it to my own tastes, and you should, too!  If you know the original author, let me know, and I’ll gladly give him/her credit for the original 🙂
What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!
Gluten Free Banana Muffins
2 cups GF flour (NOT baking mix)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
4-5 mashed bananas
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Directions: Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in beaten eggs, mashed bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil, and vanilla until just combined.  Stir in chopped nuts, if you are adding them.  Place batter into muffin cups and top with coarse sugar, if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Place on cooling rack to cool, completely.  This recipe makes 18 muffins.
Now, in pictures!
To start making GF muffins, you need . . . (drum roll . . .) Gluten free flour!  You can create your own mix, if you like, using a variety of potato, rice, and nut flours.  I prefer to use King Arthur all-purpose GF flour, because it seems to be a nice mix between taste and texture.  Plus– I don’t have to pre-mix it, and that’s a definite plus 🙂
To start with, whisk together your flour, baking soda, and salt.  You want to make sure that you get everything nice and mixed in there.  (Hint: If your toddler has uttered the dreaded words, “Mommy, can I HELP??” this would be a great place to let him “stir,” since mess is minimal, at this point.  You’re welcome).
Next, take those 4-5 bananas you’ve had sitting on the counter for about 30 seconds until they get overripe (don’t bananas seem to go from green to brown in like, 2 seconds flat?) and mash ’em.  A potato masher works great.  If you’d rather not have pieces of banana, you can whip these babies in a blender, instead.
Now, let’s talk applesauce.  “Criss-cross, applesauce!”  Sorry. I couldn’t resist.  Anyway . . . I just happen to know that a small, individual “fruit cup” size applesauce is exactly 1/2 cup.  Well . . . close enough.  No measuring required for this, and you don’t have to open an entire container that you know you’ll never use, as it languishes into retirement in the back of the fridge.  Just get a pack of these babies and open up a single every time you want these muffins.  Easy peasy.
Now, take your eggs (beat them with a fork, first, to get the yolks mixed around), applesauce, sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Stir everything up nice and mixed.
If you want to add chopped nuts, go ahead and add those, here.  Just stir them in.  The more, the merrier.  Chocolate chips are always a nice addition, too (I know, I know– when is chocolate NOT a nice addition?  Probably never).
Use a muffin scoop to place your batter into muffin cups.  I sprinkled mine with a little turbinado sugar (the brown chunky sugar you can find in your baking aisle at Walmart– also called “Sugar in the Raw”) just to make them pretty.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes– until the muffins are nice and toasty golden brown.  A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins will come out clean when they are baked fully.
The muffins will kind of “absorb” the sugar into their glorious brown tops. The crust will be kind of sparkly and sweet.  These are so tasty– I think you might even possibly make the mistake of thinking they are regular banana muffins, instead of Gluten Free.
They’re that good.
And since they’re gluten free, everyone can join in on the fun– no crazy, code-cracking label reading required 🙂
And you did this for them.  I’m just so proud of you 🙂


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