RECIPE THURSDAY: Deliciously Moist Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe

deliciously moist gluten-free banana bread

deliciously moist gluten-free banana bread

If you ever find yourself with some over-ripe bananas, this is a great way to use them up. In fact, the more ripe and black your bananas, the better because, as bananas age, their sugars develop which makes them sweeter, stickier, and more moist. These are all great characteristics for gluten-free baking which can easily be crumbly and dry. Because of the bananas’ natural sugars, this recipe only needs a slight boost in sweetness with a touch of stevia.

I have made this recipe many times, and the biggest variable is the ripeness of the bananas. If your bananas are not mostly black, you may need to add more sweetner or more liquid ingredients. As with any batter, always check the batter for texture before you cook it. Even your local humidity and pressure can affect your recipe, so adjust your batter with extra flour or extra water if it looks like such an adjustment is needed.

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cups sweet rice flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/4 tsp stevia powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 mashed ripe bananas

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with an electric hand mixer. Add sea salt, oil and vanilla. Whisk until very light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
4. At low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with bananas just until smooth. Pour batter into lined loaf pan.
5. Bake 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Allow bread to cool before slicing and enjoy!

I converted this recipe into a gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free version from an old recipe I found from my husband’s great aunt’s estate. To learn how to convert your own favourite family recipes, check out my book!

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Relaunch of Gluten-Free Living Blog

Victoria Yeh gluten-free expo

Hi everyone! I know that I’ve been really far behind on updating this blog this year. It’s been a hugely hectic and busy year, and even though I’ve had this weekly reminder in my calendar to post new recipes and articles, I unfortunately haven’t been getting around to it.

So what have I been up to and where the heck have I been? Over the past year, I’ve had a few TV appearances including on Daytime Toronto, Daytime Peel, Live Healthy Now and CBC News. In May, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to Cuisine Courante, a group of amazing women in Etobicoke that gather every month to learn new things about food and nutrition – they even made a few of my recipes and served it to the group after the meeting… what a treat to have people cook for me! I have also become a regular columnist for Village Living Magazine.

For those of you who don’t know about my other passion – I am also a professional musician in Toronto. So on top of sharing my love for gluten-free food, I have also been busy this summer performing across the city at halls, clubs, weddings and private events as both a classical and an electric rock violinist (yes! you read it right!). If you are curious about my music, I have a few videos online. I also recently released an album with my original band Violet Fusion, and will be touring it up north in the spring. If you’d like to see me perform live, I’ll be at Gallery 345 with a good friend of mine, Greg Byers, an amazingly talented electric cellist and songwriter on Friday September 20th.

Now back to food! With a new season turning the corner, I am relaunching the Gluten-Free Living blog. You’ll notice the new site look, which I hope you’ll all find much easier to navigate than before. I also added a couple easy links back to my website and a contact form. Recipe Thursdays will be starting again this week too!

I have had so much spam that I had to unfortunately delete all your historical comments … but I still want to hear from YOU! If you have any questions at all, any recipe requests, kitchen experiment woes or tales of success, please do share them with me; I love hearing from you!

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Gluten-Free and Back To School

This article was originally published in Village Living Magazine August 28, 2013
http://villagelivingmagazine.ca/gluten-free-and-back-to-school-knowledge-is-power/

The summer is almost over and it’s time to send your kids back to school. Apart from the obvious school supplies and clothes, for children who are Celiac or gluten intolerant, now is also the time to ensure they are ready to navigate the many food choices they will face outside of your watchful eye and supervision. Here are some great age appropriate tips on how you can teach your kids about their food restrictions:

Ages 4-5

Young children may not be able to read proficiently, but you can teach them to recognize simple words such as “gluten-free” and to always check the front of boxes for these words before choosing to eat something new that isn’t a whole fruit or veggie. Make it fun by getting them to find and read these words on packages at home every time they eat.

Ages 6-10

As your children continue to develop their reading skills, you can teach them more food related words, such as ingredient names. Print a list in big letters, or use colourful alphabet magnets to spell out ingredient names together on the fridge. It’s a fun activity, and will be something they’ll look at every morning before school, and every afternoon when they come home. These can include words such as: wheat, barley, rye, semolina, kamut, spelt, malt, (brewers) yeast and others. While new gluten-free labelling requirements are coming into effect in Canada which will make identifying safe gluten-free foods much more easily, it never hurts to arm your child with this kind of knowledge early and often.

Ages 11+

Chances are your kids will be computer or tablet savvy enough for this next activity much earlier than this! Challenge your children to search for ingredients of both the foods that they must avoid AND healthy foods that they CAN enjoy. Get them to creatively organize the list into a quick reference guide to carry around in their backpack (or even create a shortcut for it on their phone). Good foods can be colour coded green, while foods to avoid can be colour coded red.

All ages

Knowing that your children will be outside of your care and supervision, it’s important to have a conversation with your kids’ teachers to ensure they understand their needs and food restrictions. While Celiac disease is becoming more widely recognized, most people still do not fully understand what foods are safe and what foods are not. It may help to provide teachers with a list of foods to avoid, which you can download from the Canadian Celiac Association.  If your child’s teacher periodically hands out treats during class, be sure to provide the teacher with a small box of appropriate non-perishable treats that your child enjoys.
While food restrictions may often times seem tedious and troublesome, these are some simple ways that you can make them more manageable. By arming your children with critical knowledge, you’re not only helping them to make good decisions for themselves, you’re also helping them embrace and celebrate their health – which is one of the best lessons they can ever learn!
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