Gluten-free Banana Bread, a Contemplation

I’ve been in a very contemplative mood this weekend. The Man was mountain biking in eastern Oregon all weekend, so I got some precious alone time at chez moi. I got on a mindful movie kick and watched “How to Cook Your Life,” the very awesome documentary about Edward Espe Brown, aka The Tassajara Bread Book guy. I remember when that book first came into my hands. I was twenty and living in San Francisco with a roommate who loved to cook. I believe she gave me the book or turned me onto it. I remember how aged the pages looked and felt, and how simple the recipes appeared (yeast being yeast, they could be pretty tricky). It felt by that time (early 90s) like something from a time capsule, and in a way, it was. I wanted to make all of the recipes and make them well. Now, post-celiac, I don’t even know where that book is. Funny thing, life.

I also watched this wacky documentary called  “Enlighten Up!” which was about the director’s big project of trying to convert a Regular Joe to the transformation that can be yoga. It was one of those films that said a lot more about the director than the subject: he doesn’t really transform (at least in the way the director seems to want him to), to the yoga Way by the end of the film. But he does enjoy yoga and seems to get a lot out of it, which I say is all to the good. Anyway, it’s worth a watch if you’re in that kind of mood, which, clearly, I was, because next I watched “Ram Dass: Fierce Grace”.

For those of you not familiar with Ram Dass, he’s a big alternative-yogi-zen-priest kind of guy, most famous for his book Be Here Now, and his LSD experiments with Timothy Leary while they were both psychology professors at Harvard in the 60s. Now Ram Dass is an old man who suffered a stroke ten years ago. The film is about his experience with the stroke, illness, and how it’s changed his life and his spiritual practices and outlook. It was rather moving, I have to say, given my shared interest in illness, the body, and the mind. I was in tears a couple of times, which is fairly unusual for me when watching a movie.

All this to say, I did some hot yoga today, dedicated to my dad, who is incredibly awesome. I am thinking of all the “father figures” out there who guide me and inspire me, and for the seeming coincidence of having watched all these male-centered documentaries about awesome men for father’s day weekend, which I didn’t plan but realized while I was doing yoga this afternoon.

So. Here’s some bread for you. It’s actually not based on a recipe by a father figure, but on one from Darina Allen and Rosemary Kearney’s amazing cookbook, Healthy Gluten-free Cooking. I’ve plugged this book before and I’ll plug it again many more times here, I’m sure. I used Bob’s gluten-free all-purpose flour because I’m trying to make things easier for myself these days. I messed with the dried fruit and nut content as well. I’m loving roasted pepitas in all things these days, like those cookies I made a while back.

Gluten-free Banana Bread

1 stick butter

1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

3 large mashed bananas

3/4 c Bob’s all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/2 c potato starch

5 T tapioca starch

2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/4 c raisins

1/3 c toasted hulled pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs in one at a time.
  4. Add in the mashed bananas.
  5. Sift together all the dry ingredients. I do this because the gluten-free baking powder I get is often hard-rock lumpy; sifting takes care of that problem.
  6. Mix the dries into the wets until just combined.
  7. Mix in the raisins and toasted pepitas.
  8. Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment and bake 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours at 350F.

Cut into eight pieces and then cut down the center to create 16 square-ish pieces. Each piece is about 180 calories. You can reduce this further by creating smaller pieces, of course.

Enjoy and happy father’s day to all the father figures out there.


Filed under bread, pepitas, Recipes

4 responses to “Gluten-free Banana Bread, a Contemplation

  1. Shari Adams

    I discovered your blog via Chowhound and noted your comment about eating gluten-free on the Oregon Coast.
    I’d value your input on gluten-free eating- we’re going to be out there in November, along the highway between Lincoln City and Yachats.

  2. mjennings26

    Hi Shari,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. We enjoyed Blackfish Cafe, Andaman Thai, and Otis Cafe (technically in Otis a few miles inland) in Lincoln City.

    For Yachats, it’s been quite a while since we’ve been there, so I can’t really recommend anything.

    In Newport, we liked Saffron Salmon on the waterfront with a great view of the bridge.

    Let us know places you like because we like to get out to the coast, but strangely, it’s not exactly known for the best food in the world.

    Good luck!

  3. Shari Adams

    Thanks for your suggestions. We rent a house, with a glorious kitchen, so it’s probably going to be more picnic lunches and dinner at “home” this year. I’m addicted to the smoked salmon from the shack by the BPOE.

    In the past, we’ve liked Tidal Raves in Depot Bay and Side Door in Gleneden. We’ll probably give them a try this year and see how they cope with gluten-free. Strangely enough, I can’t remember where we like in Newport – that’s puzzling.

    Haven’t been to Blackfish for a few years. Hilltop House in Lincoln City advertises as serving gluten-free, but we weren’t impressed with their food the couple of times we tried it about 5 years ago.


  4. mjennings26

    Thanks so much for these recommendations. I will definitely add them to my try-list for the coast. Yea!

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