Sorghum Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

sorghum banana muffin

sorghum banana muffin photo by vsimon

Oh, these are big and beautiful. These muffins are adapted from a recipe for banana bread with chocolate chips.

Now it is gluten free, dairy free, and whole grain.

Banana pure makes them very moist and tender, not crumbly. And they hold well in the fridge without getting dry.

Vince says (always) that he would prefer some banana chunks, not all blended up. That suggestion (always) causes me to make faces. Banana chunks are just too slippery for me. He will have to make his own if he wants chunks. He (always) knows this.

I use dark brown sugar because it has more antioxidants than many other sweeteners. To me, 1 cup of dark brown sugar overwhelms the banana flavor, adding a molasses undertone. But most people like their muffins very sweet. And these are plenty sweet.

Some people (me) would be happy with less, say 3/4 cup of sugar. The ripeness of the bananas impacts the sweetness too. The riper they are, the sweeter they are. This is a great place to use bananas that are getting really soft, spotty, and fragrant.

The demerara sugar topping is fun. But it is optional. Demerara sugar is washed raw cane sugar, in big crunchy crystals.

sorghum banana muffin

nice tender texture photo by vsimon

Sorghum Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

makes 12 metric measures
3 large very ripe bananas, peeled 500 gm
¼ cup canola oil 60 ml
1 large egg 50 gm
2 cups sorghum flour 250 gm
1 tsp xanthan 4 gm
1 cup dark brown sugar, or less 200 gm
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 6 gm
½ tsp salt 4 gm
¼ cup chocolate chips 40 gm
2 tablespoons demerara sugar, optional 25 gm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put bananas, oil and egg in a blender and process until smooth.

In a large bowl, mix flour, xanthan, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Pour blended bananas into the flour mixture. Stir until smooth.

Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the xanthan to rehydrate. The batter will get thicker.

Put papers in muffins tins.

Stir the chocolate chips into the batter.

Evenly divide the batter into the muffin papers. Sprinkle generously with demerara sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes. It really does take this long.

PS I love banana muffins, but will not eat a raw banana. Most people just cannot understand that. I say, everyone doesn’t like something. For me, it is raw bananas. Do you love them? Or turn them into treats?

PPS Your opinion counts! Please see the poll in the sidebar and vote for the 3 topics you would most like to see in video cooking classes.

Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy

(reposted from 2009)

Tasty? Yes. Creamy? Yes. Healthy? Yes. Simple? Yes. 

Missing anything? No.

pumpkin_custard (5)

dairy free pumpkin custard photo by vsimon

You would never guess this creamy pumpkin custard is dairy free. I simply take a standard pumpkin pie filling recipe and substitute firm silken tofu for the evaporated milk in the recipe.

And can you believe it? I did not have the recipe written down. There are hundreds of recipes in my files, and no pumpkin custard recipe. Even though I make it every fall. Apparently, I have been relying on the recipe on the can, and the substitution was in my head. Time to write it down!

Uh oh, I am in trouble.

There was NO canned pumpkin in the store a few weeks ago. There was just a big, sad, bare, spot where the pumpkin usually resides. I could bake a pie pumpkin and use the flesh. But then it would not be a simple, easy recipe.

I am happy to report the store now has cases of canned pumpkin featured on the end caps. Cases and cases. The pile is as tall as I am.

So now we have pumpkin custard. This makes a perfect ending to a gluten free Thanksgiving. Or a pretty nice “on the go” breakfast when you have made it the night before. Protein, fiber, vitamin A.

I admit I have two if it is all I am having for breakfast. 🙂

pumpkin_custard

pumpkin custard, hold the dairy photo by vsimon

Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy

Adapted from Libbey’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe. I ditched the crust, subbed tofu for evaporated milk, and increased the sugar a bit. Evaporated milk has some natural sweetness, tofu does not.

Yield: 6 servings metric measures
1 cup dark brown sugar 240 gm
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 gm
½ teaspoon ground ginger 1 gm
¼ teaspoon ground cloves .5 gm
½ teaspoon salt 3 gm
2 large eggs 100 gm
1-15 oz can pure pumpkin 425 gm
1-12 oz package firm silken tofu 350 gm
1/4 cup chopped pecans 30 gm

freshly grated nutmeg, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put dark brown sugar, spices, salt, eggs, pumpkin, and tofu in a blender and process until smooth, about a minute.

Place 6 ramekins in a 9×13 baking pan. Add water to the 9×13 pan, until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. This is called a water bath and allows gentle heat to bake the custard. You can bake the custard without it, but it won’t be quite as creamy.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool and remove ramekins from the 9×13 pan. Drain the water. Put the ramekins back in the 9×13 pan and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Garnish with chopped pecans and nutmeg. Enjoy!

Note: you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

11-1-09 These beauties were submitted to the pumpkin packed October issue of Go Ahead Honey, it is Gluten Free. This monthly blogging event was started by Naomi Devlin of Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried. And hosted in October by Life, Gluten Free. There were over 20 sweet and savory ideas. Very tempting!

11-04-09 Mary Frances Pickett of Gluten Free Cooking School is holding a Thanksgiving blogging event. Head over and share your specialty. All are welcome, you do not need to have a blog.

11-15-09 Bon Appetit magazine is holding a blogger Holiday Bake-Off. I have entered these Pumpkin Custards. There are several categories, including cakes, pies, custards, cookies, more. Add your creations at BA Holiday Bake-Off. And be sure to vote for your favorite in each category.

Mexican Meatball Soup

mexican-meatball-soup

Mexican meatball soup photo by vsimon

Soup for supper? This soup is hearty enough. Garnish with diced avocado and serve with cornbread or corn chips. Ah, comfort food.

Keep it simple

This was a tasty recipe as written. But I simplified it a bit, using a convenience ingredient available in the freezer section. It is a diced blend of onion, celery and sweet pepper.

I use it all the time to cut down on chopping (ha-ha). If you love the meditative rhythm of chopping, you can use 3 cups total of diced raw onion, celery and bell pepper. Any combination will do.

Keep it healthy

Super lean ground beef works well here. These little meatballs made with cornmeal are so tender. No need for greasy high fat ground meat. So I omitted the ground pork found in the original recipe.

And I subbed cooked whole grain brown rice for the white rice. I always cook this in a pressure cooker because it is fast and easy. It may be time to make friends with one.

Or, if you are not ready to make that first step yet, you can cook a batch of brown rice on the stovetop. Cool, and freeze some to add later to soups like this. It can go right from the freezer into the soup pot.

Keep it gluten free

Read the label on the salsa if you buy it instead of make it yourself. Most are gluten free, but check.

Mexican Meatball Soup with Rice and Cilantro

Adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com by Jill Cole of Fallbrook, California.

Servings: 6 to 8 supper servings.

Ingredients metric measures
10 oz frozen chopped onions/ celery/ pepper blend 300 gm
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 gm
3 cups water                                  720 ml
1 28-ounce canned or jarred diced tomatoes in juice 800 gm
1 pound lean ground beef .5 kg
6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal 55 gm
1/4 cup liquid, milk or water 60 ml
1 large egg 50 gm
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 gm
1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice ? Can you tell me?
1/2 cup chunky tomato salsa 120 ml
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 20 gm

salt and pepper to taste 

diced avocado to garnish, optional                       

Preparation

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion blend and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.

Add water and tomatoes with juices. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, make meatballs. Combine ground beef, cornmeal, liquid, egg, salt, pepper, and cumin, in a medium bowl. Mix well.

Shape meat mixture into little ½” balls. Add meatballs to simmering soup as you shape each one. Gently stir occasionally to keep them from clumping together.

Cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

Add cooked rice, salsa, and most of the cilantro. Save a bit of cilantro for a garnish if you like.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

We like thick soups, but you can add additional water to desired consistency. Cook a bit longer if needed to warm it up.

Pour into soup bowls and garnish with diced avocado.

Leftovers? Heat them up in the morning and put in a thermos for lunch.

New info on rice

Arsenic in some rice? Really? Darn! Do I need to be concerned?

Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, writes a blog called Living Gluten Free at diet.com. Tricia is an expert on gluten free ingredients and labeling. A recent post is called Gluten-Free Diet, Arsenic, and Rice.

As noted in Tricia’s post, cooking rice in large volumes of low arsenic water and draining off the water can lower the arsenic content of the finished rice. See a scientific abstract at ScienceDirect titled Arsenic burden of cooked rice: Traditional and modern methods.

Bottom line: I am not overly concerned about the levels of arsenic in rice. I will continue to enjoy whole grain rices. And I will continue to cook it in a pressure cooker without lots of extra water. But my diet is not based on rice or rice flour.

Enjoy the large variety of gluten free ingredients, don’t get stuck on just a few. There are many gluten free whole grains and flours to choose from.

And in this recipe, you can omit the rice if you like. The soup will not be as thick, it will still be tasty.