A View on being Gluten-Free
There is, at once, a lot to say and not very much to say about Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She is the rare bird that leapt from reality TV stardom (via Survivor: The Australian Outback) to hold a permanent position on morning television. I could tell you how she is the conservative counterpoint to the rest of the ladies on The View. I could tell you how she campaigned heavily for Sarah Palin in Florida (Oy). I could tell you a bunch of things, but what I really want to tell you about is Elisabeth’s cookbook, Deliciously G-Free.
As you might have guessed by the title, Elisabeth’s book is focused on the gluten-free lifestyle (Elisabeth herself was diagnosed with celiac disease), and I decided to dive into the pages headlong and give GF (yes, this is the common slangy term) baking a spin. Thumbing through Deliciously G-Free, I noticed a very sexy looking Banana Walnut loaf. The directions were simple and straightforward, and the ingredients didn’t scream “chemistry lab” except for maybe xanthan gum.
Xanthan gum is commonly used in GF baking (it acts as a thickener/binder) and though I didn’t exactly imagine I would be using a whole bag of the stuff, I kinda/sorta had to purchase a whole bag of the stuff (the recipe only uses ½ teaspoon) at a whopping $15.98. I guess I can sell extra teaspoons of xanthan gum on ebay.
End result: This pricey Banana Walnut Loaf was tasty. The brown rice and millet flours actually worked well with the bananas and walnuts. The consistency was perfect and nothing about it screamed gluten-free (I usually think of gluten free baked goods as chewy, cakey, or just strange). In fact, this loaf reminded me of many regular banana breads. I am not exactly sure if the xanthan gum was a savior, though I am going to let myself believe it was crucial. Enjoy Elisabeth’s recipe and share with your GF pals. Oh, and email me if you want me to snail mail you a tablespoon of xanthan.
Banana Walnut Loaf from Deliciously G-Free by Elisabeth Hasselbeck
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups mashed banana (about 3 large, very ripe bananas)
1 cup brown rice flour
¾ cup millet flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil and coat foil with cooking spray.
2. Beat butter and sugar with paddle attachment in an electric mixer on high speed until mixture is light yellow and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on medium until thoroughly combined.
3. Add banana and ⅓ cup water and mix on low for 1 minute. Sprinkle brown rice flour, millet flour, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder over batter. Add nuts, if desired. Stir batter just until ingredients are combined.
4. Spoon into pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until center of loaf springs back to the touch.
5. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Lift bread out of pan and let it cool completely on rack.