Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Bread + How to Make Homemade Oat Flour

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Long post alert!  We have had quite the exciting dramatic eventful week over here, folks.  Memorial Day weekend brought the unofficial official kickoff to Santa Barbara's fire season - complete with a brand new fire, dubbed the "White Fire":

Around 2:30 Monday afternoon I thought I smelled smoke.  Hubby had said that the neighbors were getting ready to BBQ, so I thought maybe they had tossed some wood into their pit.  A bit later as Chico and I were in the backyard, I noticed the telltale red tinge when I looked around... then looked up and saw a thick, heavy blanket of smoke in the sky.  These images were taken from La Cumbre peak using my iPhone. 

Firefighters here in Santa Barbara work so hard during fire season.  This area is notorious for its many wildfires, and the red, smoky sky is, unfortunately, an all too familiar sight to us locals.  Thankfully, this fire has stayed on the other side of the mountains. Despite strong winds and soaring temps, not a single home has burned and no one has been injured.  Fires in the past (Painted Cave, Tea FireJesusita Fire, Lightning Series Fires) have had devastating, long term effects on California and its residents.  Many of our friends have lost homes over the years, and Hubby's family came extremely close to losing their home during the Painted Cave Fire.  We are very thankful that this one has not come down into town!

Mother Nature couldn't let us get too comfortable once the fire was somewhat controlled... Wednesday as I was about to leave for work, I heard a loud *BANG* as the house lurched and started shaking to the tune of a 4.9 earthquake hitting just 3 miles off of our coast. It was so loud I thought someone/something had crashed into our house!  Dramatic little city, aren't we?  I think I've had enough excitement for one week.

So, anyway, back to the good stuff - food!

You may remember the Flaxseed Nutella Banana Bread recipe that I posted last year.  As delicious as that recipe is, it desperately needed a healthy makeover.  Lately I've been really paying attention to how I feel after I eat certain things; I feel my best when I keep to lean proteins such as fish and chicken.  Sugar gives me an awful headache and a jittery feeling in my gut, so I've been trying my hardest to keep it out of my diet. I allow myself to indulge in moderation, which keeps my sweet tooth satisfied without making me feel like crap.   Win!

This banana bread freezes well, and isn't overly sweet.  Hubby loves it drizzled with local honey.  Feel free to toss in some golden raisins, mini chocolate chips or whatever your heart desires.  At the last minute I decided to top mine with oats mixed with a smidge of brown sugar and cinnamon.  It gives the bread the perfect tiny bit of sweetness.

Gluten Free Banana Bread
| Servings: 1 loaf | Prep: 10 mins. | Bake: 50 Mins |
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
1/4 c (scant) agave
1/4 c honey
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 c oat flour (see below)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 c bananas, overripe, mashed
1/2 c chopped nuts
For the topping
1/4 c oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x5 loaf pan lightly with non-stick spray.  Set aside. {Alternately, you could make this recipe into muffins - bake for about 15-20, or until cake tester comes out clean.)

In a small bowl, mix together the coconut oil, greek yogurt, agave, honey, egg and vanilla and bananas.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Stir the wet ingredients into flour mixture until thoroughly incorporated.  Gently fold in the chopped nuts and any other additions (dried fruit, choc chips, etc.) and stir until just combined. Pour bread dough into the prepared loaf pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the 1/4 c oats, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over the top of the bread dough.  Bake bread for 45-55 mins., or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool completely before slicing and serving.  Or not.  It's really great still warm.

To make the oat flour...

I will not call this a "recipe" because it simply involves one ingredient and one easy step.  "Gluten Free" is everywhere and I personally know several people who are intolerant to gluten, so I wanted to make this recipe accessible to all.  If you have gluten free oats on hand, you can make this oat flour to use in your baking adventures.  Woohoo!

Gluten Free Oat Flour
Makes 2 cups
What you need:
2 cups gluten free oats*
Food processor

Pour the oats into the food processor and pulse until finely ground.  Tada!  Oat flour!

*Not all oats are gluten free.  Trader Joe's carries a large bag of GF oats for $3.99.



  1. The banana bread looks wonderful! How incredibly frightening with the fire and the earthquake!! So happy to have found your blog and very happy to follow!
    Mary x

    1. Hi, Mary! Thank you so much for stopping by =) Glad to have you as a follower and can't wait to bring you more yummy recipes!


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