Big Banana Muffins (Gluten-Free)

Gluten free banana muffins
Gluten-free banana muffins. Oh yeah.

Sometimes you crave banana bread but not the slice. 


You have a hankering for the whole, not the part. A thing intact. Weighty and complete and an entity all on its own. All yours. Maybe it's the simplicity you want. The curve and weight of it snug in your hand. Hefty but compact. Portable.

You want a muffin.

Maybe even a big muffin. A jumbo muffin tender and sweet and fragrant. Worthy of sinking your teeth into. Worthy of the calories. That kind of muffin. The trouble is, most standard gluten-free muffins turn out so small they resemble snack time for tiny people. I'm not exactly sure why, but I've noticed the shrinkage factor with gluten-free baking in general. You use the same amount of flour as an old school wheat flour recipe, but when all is said and done, when the muffins are baked and cool and ready to wrap- or better yet, nosh- you hold one up to the morning light to inspect it and think, What the Hades happened? Did it shrink- or is it me? Am I imagining this minor disappointment?

Am I getting neurotic about muffin size now?

I don't have the answer for you. I'm a cook not a scientist. But I suspect it is the lack of gluten that makes the difference between yummy-plump and expansive and, well, shrunken and kinda sad. Gluten is a giving protein that lends breads and muffins that lovely je ne sais quoi (French for, I don't know what). That It Factor, that elastic, rising... generosity (even if it is evil for celiacs).

My point? I began to wonder if twelve Lillipution muffins were worth the effort. If I might be better satisfied by going for six. The jumbo set. Less servings, true. But.

Maybe baking these babies larger would produce a more muffiny muffin. You decide.




Gluten free banana muffins
Big gluten-free banana muffins. Hungry?

Big Banana Muffins Recipe


We put mini chocolate chips in our jumbo muffins. For two reasons. First because I like using the word mini and jumbo in the same sentence. Second. I like chocolate with my banana. What can I say?

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease a 6-muffin jumbo muffin pan and dust with a whisker of rice or sorghum flour.

Combine in a large bowl:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup light olive or safflower oil
1 cup organic light brown sugar
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs mixed with warm water or use 2 organic free-range eggs
1/4 teaspoon mild rice vinegar

Whisk together in a separate bowl:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and beat or stir until smooth. If the batter looks too thick and dry, add some non-dairy milk such as vanilla hemp or rice milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the batter is smooth- but thicker than cake batter.

Add in options:

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup dried fruit- cherries, cranberries, or blueberries

Mix in your choice of add-in.

Instructions:

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or so (a wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean). (If you cheat and use a smaller pan with 12 cups, check sooner- after 15 to 18 minutes.)

Cool the muffins briefly in the pan, on a wire rack; then turn them out of the pan to keep them from getting soggy; continue to cool on a wire rack or serve warm.

Wrap leftover muffins; bag and freeze for easy on-the-go treats. Reheat briefly in a microwave, if you wish. You know, to melt the chocolate just a little.

This recipe is blissfully gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and rice-free.



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Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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Karina's Notes on gluten-free vegan muffin batter:


Gluten-free vegan muffin batters are a tad different than wheat and white flour batters. They are stiffer at first, then stretch and get sticky as the xanthan gum and egg replacer do their thing.

If the batter "climbs" the beaters, slow down the speed and slightly lift the beaters to encourage the batter to move back down into the bowl. Move your beater around the bowl in figure eights, at a slight angle. Practice your technique- soon you'll be winging around gluten-free vegan baking like a pro.

For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

Karina

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