Gluten-Free Banana Lime Muffins (Sort of)

This summer I took up wheel pottery. I needed a creative and social outlet where I could take my mind off everything else in the day and force myself to focus on the medium infront of me. Clay demands an extreme amount of attention, but practice and patience reward the artist with a beautiful piece.

Even if your pot doesn’t turn out how you intended, you can often salvage it into something else. A flopped vase or bowl evolves into what my teacher calls more “organic” than a perfectly circular pot. Experimentation with cooking is akin to pottery: you start with an idea, but it can take on a life of its own. Oh, and experimentation with baking is like playing with fire! Maybe your recipe will be delicious. Maybe it will blow up in the kiln (or oven). Have I taken this metaphor far enough?

My good intentions (making Dad “legal” desserts that don’t have flour or cane sugar) led me to adapt a recipe I made last weekend from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. Last weekend’s treat was a delicious, dense, moist banana lime bread so good that I carried a big chunk of it outside in the morning with my coffee, only to return 2 minutes later for another big chunk. I couldn’t get enough, but Dad couldn’t have any. Clearly it was time to start  substituting critical baking ingredients with absolutely no experience! HEY, at least the result was edible. Not just that, but good.

Okay, okay, so what went wrong?… my first experimentation in baking with gluten-free “flours” didn’t turn out as planned. I could blame it on my mom’s suggestion of an amount of molasses to use. I could blame it on leaving out the additional egg someone suggested for extra rise while baking. But I don’t need to blame this unexpected result on anything, because these muffins still good! No… I cannot taste the banana or lime. But they’re in there… somewhere! It’s mostly molasses-y. It’s moist. It’s healthy. Dad can eat it. Dad likes it. Sevi (our golden retreiver puppy) was patient during her impromptu photo shoot. Missions accomplished.

Since this was an extremely amateur attempt at baking, I’ve included both my recipe and the original recipe. I made my version into muffins because I was nervous the almond flour would never cook all the way through in a loaf pan. The instructions for both recipes are the same, save for the slight changes in ingredients. The loaf has an additional, optional glaze. I thought it was fine without, but why not indulge?

Gluten-Free Banana Lime Muffins
Adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
Makes 12 muffins

1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted

2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

 

Yellowman’s Banana Lime Bread
From Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
Makes 1 loaf

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted

2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon rum
3 tablespoons fresh lime uice
1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut, toasted

 

Note: Spread the grated coconut on an ungreased baking tray and toast at 300 degrees F in the oven or toaster oven for about a minute. Be careful not to let it burn!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line your muffin tins, or butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar (or agave/molasses) and butter. Stir in the eggs, bananas, milk (omitted in gluten-free), and lime juice. Add the salt, ginger, and grated coconut, and mix well. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then mix into wet ingredients until smooth.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins (ice cream scoop!) and bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Or, pour the batter into the buttered loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the optional glaze, combine the brown sugar, butter, rum, and lime juice in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until it becomes a thin syrup. Pour the glaze over the loaf, spreading it to coat the top and sides. Sprinkle toasted grated coconut evenly over the glazed loaf.

One Thought on “Gluten-Free Banana Lime Muffins (Sort of)

  1. I don’t even like bananas and I want a piece of this 🙂

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