Healthy Gluten-Free Baking: Gluten-Free and Flour-Free Banana Muffins

BY HEALTHY EATING 
For too long, gluten-free baking has been lacking in flavor, fiber and nutrition, as most recipes depend on gums, starches and refined flours. This method of baking, on the other hand , uses pre-soaked whole grains and is a wonderful alternative as it produces baked goods of great texture , taste and nutritional quality. It is also much less expensive to prepare than gluten-free blends and traditional gluten-free recipes. This has the added bonus of making healthy gluten-free recipes affordable and appealing to the whole family. (No longer making the gluten-intolerant family member eat differently from the rest of them!).

I usually refer to these recipes as "blender recipes" because whole grains are soaked for a period of time to allow the breakdown of enzyme inhibitors and increase nutritional value, and then processed in a blender for use in a pancake, muffin, cake or cookie recipe.

The texture of the baked goods made from blended grains is superior to those made from gluten-free flours and is much more similar to that of the white flour products we are used to. They are also more nutritious and more economical! Gluten-free "blender" recipes are some of my favorite recipes and it's definitely worth the extra effort to set some grains to soak in advance of baking time.

So here’s a basic blender recipe for-

Gluten-free Flour-free Banana Muffins

1 1/3 cups brown rice

1/2 cup whole millet

1/3 cup raw buckwheat

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

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1 1/4 cups water

2-3 ripe bananas

2 Tbsp. oil/butter

3+ Tbsp. honey*

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup ground flax

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

3/4 tsp. sea salt

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2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

Soak the grain overnight (or for at least 8 hours) in plenty of water plus 1 tbsp. It's vinegar. Drain and add the ingredients in the right column to the blender. When the batter is quite smooth, blend gently with the baking powder and the soda (sift through the sieve and whisk in to avoid lumps). Pour in the oiled muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. It's about 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

* or agave or maple syrup

Option: add 1 cup of raisins to muffin batter before baking.

Be sure to oil your muffin cups well so they release easily. I prefer using a baking stone (muffin top style) as the clean-up is simplified.

These muffins keep well and freeze great!
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