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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    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    Caution: the following recipe is not “healthy,” by any definition of the word, but oh — is it good!

    About a ten months ago this recipe for no-churn chocolate ice cream landed on my screen. Was it possible? A no-churn ice cream that was worth an almost perfect rating? Even after making it, I was boggled by how darn good (and easy to make) it was.

    That moment was a game changer, because I realized how easy it would be to adapt that chocolate ice cream recipe into any flavor I could dream of.

    First I folded chunks of grain-free peanut butter cookie into the chocolate base. (That was amazing, highly recommended for PB lovers).

    Then, I skipped the cocoa and folded in instant coffee powder, along cacao nibs and extra caramel sauce I had in the fridge (from this recipe). Also a hit — best afternoon pick me up. 😍

    Next, I made pistachio paste and mixed that in. This recipe was proving itself to be extraordinarily adaptable. I even squeezed the juice from fresh mint leaves, and made mint-chocolate swirl ice cream. (I promise to share some of these adaptions in the coming months!)

    But there was one thing I couldn’t get out of my head: rhubarb crisp ice cream. I have a thing for ice creams named after baked goods — or at least, the few ice creams I’ve had that fit this bill have been amazing. One was Ben & Jerry’s Pecan Pie Ice Cream, which they later discontinued (though I found out in the process of writing this post that they now have a similar flavor as a regional special). The second was oatmeal cookie ice cream from Lucky’s Bakehouse & Creamery in Boulder — wonderful with fresh peaches!

    Anyways — the best part of this ice cream, to me, is when the sweet vanilla cream swirls with the crispy, butter oat topping. 🤤

    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    No-Churn Rhubarb Crisp Ice Cream

    Published April 9, 2019 by
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    Serves: 12   |    Active Time: 20 active minutes; 5 hours in freezer



    Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 1 cup of leftover rhubarb crisp, full cooled! — if crisp is at all warm, it will melt the ice cream into a slop. Tip: the oaty crisp is the best part! Make sure you have some of that in there.

  • Directions:

    1. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
    2. In a separate large mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until peaks form (about 2 minutes on medium-high speed with a hand mixer).
    3. Fold 1 cup of the whipping cream into the condensed milk with a rubber spatula, then fold condensed milk mixture into whipped cream, folding gently so as to keep as much air in the whipped cream as possible. Fold until fully incorporated and few to no streaks of condensed milk remain (avoid over mixing).
    4. Pour mixture into a a 9x9 glass dish with a lid (a bread pan, or large pyrex Tupperware will work too). Cover and freeze for about 2 hours.
    5. Meanwhile, cut or crumble rhubarb crisp into small pieces. Rhubarb chunks should be bite-sized or smaller (aim for 1/2 inch pieces or smaller). Sprinkle rhubarb crisp over ice cream mixture, and then use a rubber spatula to gently swirl into the ice cream. Smooth ice cream in container, and then return to freezer for 3 more hours before serving.
    6. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

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    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    I am a big cucumber fan — the type that will take a bite straight from a whole cuke - but you don’t have to be to enjoy this salad.

    Smashed Cucumber Salad is a Chinese side dish, and I’ve adapted that dish into a recipe I can make any old day. The salad base is still just cucumber (a GREAT way to mix it up when you’re in a salad rut). The dressing is where the rubber really meets the road here. You could use this dressing on other salads, too — but I never have leftovers 😁

    The perfect balance of salt, acid, and sweet: rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey come together here. I haven’t yet watched Salt Fat Acid Heat (or read it), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a dish that balances all of it’s flavors well. What do you think — should I jump in and watch the show?

    Either way, this dressing is golden. Garlic and chili flakes add punch. Cucumber is plain and simple; but simple is just right with the dressing.

    Smashed Cucumber Salad
    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Smashed Cucumber Salad

    Published April 2, 2019 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 50 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2-3 english cucumbers 
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or white sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice or minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon minced cilantro, 2-3 small sprigs of mint (optional), lime wedges (optional)

  • Directions:

    1. Slice ends off of cucumber, and slice in half the long direction. Lay halved cucumbers seed-side down on a cutting board. Roll a rolling pin over cucumbers, smashing them just until the start to crack. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
    2. Place cucumber in a bowl and generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
    3. Place avocado oil, garlic and chili flakes in a small sauté pan and warm over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle. Stir occasionally, and allow garlic to turn golden. Remove from heat.
    4. In a jar, combine honey, rice vinegar, ginger juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and the chili-garlic oil. Stir (or close jar and shake) to combine.
    5. Toss cucumber in dressing. Top with minced cilantro, and optionally garnish with mint and lime wedges. Serve.

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