Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread

Thanks for all of your comments on my last WIAW. If you haven’t read it yet, check  it out!

Also, I have been updating my Recipe Page so all of my recipes are now on there… Including my newest:

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It is is pretty easy to making quick bread that tastes good. Add a lot of sugar, some salt and a variety of spices and you pretty much have a guaranteed success. Sugar-free baking is still pretty easy. Substitute an equal amount of stevia for the sugar and it still tastes pretty good. Baking without eggs is a little trickier. Should you use the 1/4 cup fruit puree, the store-bought egg replacement, or a chia/flaxseed gel? Gluten-free is a whole other level of difficult. No all purpose flour-Your bread doesn’t like to stick together. Now, combine the tasks of sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free all in one and you have my worst nightmare. And my reality.

 

This weekend I decided that once and for all I would conquer the task of gluten-free baking. No added sugars. No weird gums (terrible for digestion). And still tasty?

Yes, this recipe is all that and more.

Thanks to the wonderful research of Gluten-Free Girl, I have now discovered the use of ratios. What’s that you ask? Well, basically it is the idea that using the weights of different ingredients in a certain ratio will yield good results every time. And it actually works!

For more on Gluten-Free Girl‘s explanation of ratios in gluten-free baking, click here to read about how the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally began, and the ratios used for gluten-free quick breads.

Gluten-Free Sugar-Free Vegan Banana Bread

The ratio that I used for this quick bread is 2:2:1:1 (Flour:Liquid:Fat:Egg)*

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp chia seeds, ground (8 grams)
  • 6 tbsp water (88 grams)
  • 3 bananas, mashed (320 grams)
  • unsweetened applesauce (80 grams)*
  • 80 grams tapioca flour*
  • 70 grams brown rice flour*
  • 50 grams sorghum flour*
  • 30 grams millet flour*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 10 packets stevia (equivalent of 20 tsp granulated sweetener)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×4 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the ground chia seeds with 6 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until boiling and thickened slightly.
  3. In a large bowl combine the chia gel, mashed bananas, applesauce and stevia. Mix well.
  4. Add in the same bowl the four different flours and baking soda. Mix until totally combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 40-60 minutes (mine was done in 50 minutes, but I left it in until 60… and it was a little dry, so 50 should be good.)
  6. Let cool for a few minutes and then remove carefully from paper lining. Slice and enjoy!

Notes:

1. This recipe is obviously egg and (added) fat free, so I used the idea of fruit purees and chia gels to substitute for these ingredients. Banana puree was the “liquid.” Chia gel was the “egg.” And applesauce was the “fat.” All in all, I just made sure that the dry ingredients were in proportion to the wet ingredients 2:4.

2. I didn’t have applesauce at home, so I made my own. First I peeled and cubed a small apple. Then I placed the apple pieces in a bowl and filled it with water. Then I microwaved the bowl for 3 minutes until the apple pieces were tender. To make it smooth I placed the apple pieces in a food processor and blended away!

3. These flours are not necessary to make a great gluten-free bread. You can substitute any flour you wish as long as they are equal in weight. I would recommend though, that you replace the tapioca flour with an equally light-weight and refined starch. Also, alternative flours like almond and coconut may not work here. I do not use them because of their fat content, so let me know if you try them here and they work. No guarantees though!

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What is your favorite type of quick bread?

Have you done the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally?

Does xantham and/or guar gums bother your stomach? This issue was addressed on Stuft Mama’s blog today was well. Personally I try to stay away from them because I feel better when I don’t use them.

What I Ate/Watched Wednesday

I’m back from Fall Break!

First, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who commented on last week’s WIAW in Stratford, Canada. That post is officially most commented page to date. And that’s all because of you!!

Now, as you may remember, I was pretty excited to go home this weekend because my Fall Break lasted a total of four, long blissful days.

To recap, I spent a majority of that time lounging around and relaxing, but I also did some productive things. On Friday night I went to my old high school’s Homecoming football game. We ended up losing, but I mostly went to catch up with my friends anyways!

Over the weekend my family also rented The Avengers from Redbox. What did you think of the movie? Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how long and boring it was. There were definitely some cool parts, but overall I was left feeling underwhelmed, especially when some people were proclaiming it to be “The Best Movie of the Year!”

During my brother’s homecoming dance my mom and I watched The Five-Year Engagement. Overall better than The Avengers, but not much of a comparison because they are two completely different genres. It was pretty funny, but the middle dragged and was a tad depressing.

 

One movie I can’t wait to see though is Pitch Perfect. I watched “Fat Amy” on Ellen DeGeneres the other day and she was so HILARIOUS!

*I apologize for the language. Just. Too. Funny. To. Pass. Up.
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Let’s get to the real reason why you all are reading, shall we?

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW!

Thanks Peas and Crayons.

Breakfast:

Another banana protein bread made in the microwave.

Made with the last of my brown rice protein powder…

Thankfully I got some more in the mail today though!

Love you amazon and your amazing 2-day shipping!!

Unfortunately, the boxes are not that easy to open.

Stupid tape.

Lunch:

A salad of cucumber slices, lettuce and red grapes.

And blueberry banana bread cake made with my brand new protein powder!

Basically, you just make my microwave banana bread and push some blueberries into the top before cooking. When done, you have a sweet, berry syrup on top and moist bread underneath!

Snack:

Carrots. Deformed and lovely as ever.

Dinner:

A humongous plate of four grilled chicken pieces and steamed zucchini and yellow squash. (Unpictured plates of lettuce, grapes and shredded carrots).

Snack:

Quinoa porridge.

Remember how I told you in this post that I would explain how to make it? Well, I forgot. But I am going to explain the directions now:

How to Make Quinoa Porridge (Breakfast Cereal)

Step 1: Place uncooked quinoa flakes in large bowl (I use about 1/4-1/3 cup).

Step 2: Fill the bowl with double the water (compared to flakes).

Step 3: Microwave quinoa flakes for 2-3 minutes until thick.

Step 4: Add more water as necessary and microwave until desired consistency.

Step 5: Pour a packet of stevia over top. Before mixing, drizzle a little water over the granules of sweetener to prevent clumping.

ENJOY!

I also had a lot of pumpkin protein concoctions.

Including a mash-up of pumpkin puree, protein powder and frozen blueberries.

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So, continuing with all of my healthy snacks for the day, I also have a sneak peak of a recipe that I will be posting soon:

A much better version of Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread!

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What did you do this weekend?

Have you seen The Avengers, The Five-Year Engagement or Pitch Perfect?

Have you watched OSU’s viral half-time video yet? Proud to say that I watched this video before it went viral and its views were still in the thousands!!

WIAW In Stratford, Canada

Happy Wednesday my fellow WIAW-ers! Thank you all for your wonderful comments and insight on last week’s WIAW question. You guys really made me think!

As I mentioned in my WIAW last week, this weekend I went with my Honor’s Learning Community to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Canada! 24 students along with 3 chaperones all loaded onto a charter bus at 6:15 Saturday morning to drive up and see two of Shakespeare’s plays!

Today’s WIAW will feature one new recipe and a whole lot of pictures from my trip to Canada.

Thanks to Jenn once again for her brilliant hosting skills and awesome themes:

Let’s get started!

Here is the Breakfast I ate before I left for Canada:

Banana Pumpkin Protein Bread (2 variations)

2 servings

High in protein, high in fiber, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, allergy-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup protein powder (I used plain brown rice protein)
  • 2 tbsp quinoa flakes (or oatmeal)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (corn and sodium-free)
  • sweetener if desired (I omitted)
  • water if needed

This bread is WAY bigger than it looks in this picture.

Directions: Combine all ingredients and pour into microwaveable container. Microwave for 5-8 minutes (depending on microwave power).

Much better.

See? Look how thick this is!

Why, what’s that on my hand?

Oh, just the result of a particularly “long” Business Administration class and a student with an exploding ink pen…

Hi. How you doing?.

I also made a single-serving version when I got back.

Single-serving version:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup protein powder (I used plain brown rice protein)
  • 1 tbsp quinoa flakes (or oatmeal)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Water as needed

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 packet stevia

Directions: Combine all ingredients and spread out into a large bowl. Microwave for 4 minutes (depends on microwave power). Remove from bowl and place on a plate. Then combine the topping ingredients and spread on the microwave bread.

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When entering/leaving Canada we had to stop our charter bus at Border protection. Two officers came on and we had to hold up our passports to our faces. These people were SERIOUS about their jobs. Talk about scary!

When we arrived in Stratford, the first things we saw were a variety of old shops downtown.

Later, after checking into our hotel, we were left to explore…

Awesome bookstores:

With awesomely-huge racks and street corner sales.

Free carriage rides, although sadly we didn’t partake:

And quirky toy stores:

With walls full of teacher goodies (from pencils to plastic animals to GINORMOUS plastic dice!).

And all of the rockets a child could ever need want.

We also visited a cool Scottish shop, but I was too scared to take a picture inside. Just imagine walls covered in expensive kilts, and hundreds of coasters with Scottish family crests:

I just noticed the woman’s expression on her face. I think she’s saying… “Oh! Kilts. Need to get me one of THOSE!” 🙂

For lunch we visited a fancy Canadian burger place where I got a steak. It was just “eh.” Really pink on the inside, pretty chewy. Instead of a food picture though, you get an image of me in the bathroom.

Aren’t I just creepy lovely?

After lunch we started heading back to our hotel, walking through a beautiful park on the way there:

Along the edge of the pond’s water there were chest tables. I’ve always wanted to play at one of these things!

Around the pond there were also hundreds of ducks and geese:

Our final stop before going to our hotel was this random thing that my friends dubbed “The Bridge to Nowhere.” It literally went from grass to grass = NOWHERE!

That night we watched Henry V at the 8:00 pm showing. It was pretty interesting, but very very long. I may or may not have fell asleep part way through… The ending was awesome though. I just love royal weddings!

We watched Henry V here:

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The next day we returned to the same playhouse as the night before for a special tour. Sadly we weren’t allowed to take any pictures.

Brunch on Sunday:

Then we went back to our hotel for the largest brunch I have ever seen! They had over twenty different salads to choose from, an omelet station, pastry bars, baskets of rolls, a hot bar of bacon, eggs and hash-browns, and build-your-own-waffle maker (<<<If I wasn’t allergic I would have totally hit this up!).

I settled for a plate of fresh produce and boiled shrimp (times this by two!):

We watched another play that day at the same playhouse as before called Much Ado About Nothing. This was a comedy and I thought it was hilarious! I liked it a lot more than Henry V. The actors were so talented.

And let’s not forget the most important picture of this entire trip… A photo-op with the big man himself!

Souvenirs in hand for my family!

Close-up:

Does anyone else think Shakespeare’s eyes kind of look like C3PO’s off of Star Wars?

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Overall it was an awesome trip! There were a few rough patches (like me losing my tickets right before the show…) but everything worked out in the end.

When I got back to school I had to kick it into high gear because just today I had two papers due AND  mid-term. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, this is college after all.

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Have you ever been to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford? Or have you ever seen a Shakespeare play performed live? Which is your favorite? I personally love Romeo and Juliet. I heard that they are performing it next year!

What is your favorite place out of the country? I have only ever been to Canada!

Have you ever lost tickets to an extremely important event? If so, how did you cope? Let’s just say that I did not cope well at all. A minor panic attack actually ensued…

Tomorrow is also my fall break, so in honor of this month’s WIAW theme of Healthy Snacks, here are my two favorite healthy food recipes that I’ve pinned recently:

 

WIAW, My Weekend, and a Serious Question

Heyyy my favorite people in the world!

Seriously. If you are not a book, paper or teacher, I L-O-V-E (love) you right now!

School is still going great and I really am enjoying all of my classes, but I just found out that I have two big papers due on Tuesday plus a mid-term. Yikes.

It’s alright though, because Wednesdays make it all better. I’m only three days away from my trip to Canada, and I have WIAW to keep me occupied all day long!

Breakfast has been consistently my Microwave Banana Breads (with protein powder) almost every single day.

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