Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

This recipe for banana pecan cake stemmed from a well-loved recipe on the New York Times.

Following recipes has never been my style—I’m guess many of you are the same way. I like to have an outline, but then I go from there: Frosting? Hmm, too much sugar for an afternoon snack for me. Will this work with a gluten-free flour blend? Let’s give it a shot. Ingredient by ingredient I swap in and swap out. This is how I like to navigate a kitchen, and I find, when I follow my gut, I like the output more.

Everyone has unique tastes and preferences. It’s for that reason that I hope everyone will do some tweaking and twisting while they prep their dinners. It’s for their own good! There have been countless times when I followed a recipe to a “T” and later regretted it, wishing I had swerved in a different direction.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake
Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Baking (more of a science) provides less wiggle room for adjustments, though you can still make changes if you know your ingredients well. An easy personalization here would be to swap pecans for walnuts, or leave out the nuts all together. I know that nuts are an extremely divisive ingredient in banana bread … the original NYTimes version does not call for them, however since I skipped the frosting, I wanted to add something that would give this cake a second dimension. No regrets.

The line between bread and cake is blurry, especially when it comes to sweet breads, like banana bread. It is really bread? You can call it what you want — I’m calling this one a cake, though, it’s a cake I would (and do) eat for breakfast.

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Snacking Cake

Published April 16, 2019 by
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Serves: 9   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2-3 bananas) 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups measure for measure gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (affiliatel ink))
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • Optional- 1/4 cup pecan pieces

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and fit a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer.
    3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and blend until a uniform batter forms.
    4. Spread batter in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecan pieces.
    5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes, then lift from baking dish and slice into squares. Serve.

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    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    “Hidden sugars,” I’m sure I’ve said, with sass loaded into my voice, about granola. When I have an opinion, I can get sassy about it — and I’ve been a bit down on granola before. In some ways, rightly so: the store bought kind is usually full of sugar, despite the “healthy” aura granola has compared to other cereals.

    But homemade granola deserves a second look. I admit it. There are no hidden sugars when you’re doing the cooking, and even better you can tweak and adjust and make a version that totally fits your tastes.

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    In this recipe, the only sweetener is maple syrup (the flavor of maple syrup is perfect with oats in the morning). Everything else in the bowl is simple, too: rolled oats, pecan pieces, butter, chia seeds, ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add that all to a bowl, mix it up, and toast it — you’re on your way to a delicious morning bowl! Easy peasy lemon squeezey. 🍋

    The house and my clothes smelled like maple and cinnamon for a full day after pulling a big tray out of the oven. ✨

    Pictured here: Granola, blueberries and banana in my breakfast bowl, topped with milk. BUT we also enjoyed this granola with yogurt (adds great crunch!) and as a desk snack (still have a jar-full for next week!).

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

    Published February 5, 2019 by
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    Yields: 2.5 cups   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. In the bottom of a large microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut/butter. Add: oats, pecan pieces, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Use a spatula to stir until everything is evenly distributed.
    3. Spread oat mixture on prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
    4. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight contain. Serve with fruit and milk like cereal, eat plain as a snack, or sprinkle over yogurt for a parfait.
    5. Store in an air-tight container.

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    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Leftover quinoa in the fridge? This one is for you. 😊

    I recently bought a bag full of quinoa because I wanted to try my hand at popping it (like popcorn). Popped quinoa is something that was sold roadside and in artisan markets when I visited northern Chile. It was a novelty for me — though I had eaten plenty of quinoa before, and knew it was local to the Andean region, seeing it puffed was different. Think puffed rice, but round, smaller, and with a delicious nutty flavor.

    I tried two methods for popping the grains (one stove top, one in the microwave) and neither produced the results I was looking for. The final product was like a toasted quinoa seed, which was crunchy and nutty and great on yogurt. But it wasn’t a “pop” or a “puff” by any standard. Have you popped quinoa? How did you do it? Do I need an air popper? I have dreams of a chocolate almond butter granola bar with puffed quinoa and need your help!!

    On the bright side: these experiments have meant I’ve had plenty of quinoa in the pantry.

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowls have been the highlight of my quinoa-filled week.

    They are an “oooooh, yummy” and also “oh that looks nourishing” kind of dish, at the same time.

    Making these in the morning is easiest when you have leftover quinoa and already cooked (or canned) black beans to start with. You can totally cook up a fresh batch to make these bowls, but using leftovers makes this easy, and easy mornings = good. Next time you’re making quinoa, make extra with tomorrow’s breakfast in mind.

    Then, all you have to do is sauté the bell peppers (doing this over low heat, with a pinch of patience, yields pepper strips that are almost caramelized… 😍 though in a rush, you can crank the heat and char the peppers a bit — just don’t burn the kitchen down - and get something more savory), fry an egg or two, and top with avocado.

    Something else I love about this breakfast bowl is that it starts with 3 extremely simple ingredients: grains, beans, and eggs. The basics really can “wow!”

    Last comment before the recipe — Is quinoa a grain or a seed? And what’s all this talk about “pseudocereal?” Well… first, you may be interested in this article covering the difference between a grain and a seed (it’s not a huge difference, and has to do with the coating on the seed). A pseudocereal is a crop that is not a grass grain but is used like one. Which is exactly how we tend to think of quinoa, even though it is not a grass grain! SO: Yes, quinoa is a seed. It’s used like a grain, making it a “pseudocereal.” Now that we have that bit of business covered…. Let’s eat!

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Published January 24, 2019 by
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    Serves: 2   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, warmed
  • 1/2 cup black beans, canned or pre-cooked and strained, warmed
  • For serving: salt & pepper, sliced avocado, minced cilantro, lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Divide quinoa and black beans between two serving bowls.
    2. Cook the peppers: Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil glistens, tilt the pan back and forth to coat it in oil. Place red peppers in pan, and sauté, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until peppers are soft and edges are browning. Transfer peppers to serving bowls.
    3. If your pan is dry, add a bit more oil. Crack the eggs into the pan, one at a time, and reduce heat to low. Cook until whites are completely set and yolks have reached your desired doneness. Use a spatula to transfer eggs to serving bowls.
    4. Top each bowl with salt & pepper to taste, sliced avocado, minced cilantro, and a lime wedge. Serve warm.

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