Gluten Free Banana Cookies

gfbcWith several overripe bananas staring me in the face, I decided that it was high time I defied the excessive late summer heat, cranked up the oven, and made the first banana bread of fall. I also decided that I should try making some gluten free banana bread.

As you may have noticed, this is a post about Banana Cookies, not Banana Bread. That is because I learned an important lesson in my baking today. There is not an exact quantity match between regular flour and gluten free flour, at least not Coconut Flour. I probably should have read up on how to properly convert a recipe to gluten free BEFORE I started baking, but it was 6:30 AM, so that kind of baking research was simply not going to happen.

So there I was with what was more like dough than batter. I could have just tossed the whole mess and made my regular Banana Bread but that seemed wasteful. So I decided to just go for it. I shaped my dough into cookie like shapes put them in the oven, and decided to name them after they were done and I could see how they looked.

Gluten Free Banana Cookies
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups coconut flour
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Combine the first five ingredients and mix until all the banana lumps are gone.
  2. Stir in the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. The flour is going to absorb all the moisture very quickly. If your dough seems too dry, add some milk, but no more than 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Stir in the nuts, if you are including them.
  4. Shape into patties and bake for 20 minutes at 350.

The cookies will come out soft and a little crumbly. Definitely cookies, though.  With the Chinese Five Spice, they have a very rich, sort of exotic flavor. And since there isn’t a lot of sugar, they aren’t very sweet. I would totally have these for breakfast with some fruit. Coconut flour is pretty high in fiber (5 grams per 2 TBSP compared with 3.4 grams of fiber per CUP of wheat flour) so one cookie is pretty filling.

I am thinking that if I had used butter instead of oil, these would have been less crumbly. I will probably try again with butter and see how that works. I am pleased with my final product and am looking forward to having them for breakfast this week.

Enjoy!

Melon Basil Smoothie

mbsThe melon was clearly very ripe on Friday when we brought it home in our CSA box. And it seemed with each hour that passed, the aroma of ripe melon filled the house more and more. Sadly, melon is another one of those things which few in my home enjoy.

I came home from a lovely long walk this morning and the aroma had taken a slight turn to desperation. “Please,” it pleaded. “Won’t you just give me a try?”

Since I had taken an award winning walk (at least according to my activity monitor), my hunger was exceeded only by my thirst and sweatiness. Perfect morning for a smoothie! And I was even in a generous enough mood for giving melon a try.

Melon Basil Smoothie
1 cup ripe melon
1 6 oz. container of yogurt
6 or 7 ice cubes
2 basil leaves

  1. Place the ingredients in your blender in the order listed.
  2. Start on low, and blend until smooth.

Two basil leaves was the perfect amount for me. They didn’t take over the smoothie leaving me feeling like I was drinking a big glass of pesto. And would you look at that beautiful light green? Doesn’t it just scream refreshing!

This recipe is a perfect example of how NOT having an editorial calendar, or any sort of blog plan works well for me. Many of the things I make are very spur of the moment ideas that come to me in classic “if you give a pig a pancake” fashion. For example, the smoothie today evolved somewhat like this…

(Comes in the door after record breaking walk) Wow! That melon is starting to smell kind of bad. I’m hot. And hungry. I’m hot and hungry. What should I eat? Jeez that melon doesn’t smell very good. Should I make a smoothie? YES! I’ll make a smoothie with the melon! (Cutting melon by the sink, while looking out at the pathetic garden bed). The basil looks really good! I wonder how my smoothie would taste with basil in it? I think I’ll put a little in!

You get the idea.

I hope you enjoy your Labor Day and that the weather where you are is just as delightful as it is right now in Central Maryland.

 

French Press Cold Brew

fpcbIf I were the kind of blogger who had an actual editorial calendar, I would plan out my posts and I would hit all the cute little food holidays and other life events that scream for a special recipe. I am not. I apologize for that. But thanks for tuning in anyway!

The Well Organized Blogger would have posted this recipe in time for all the tired parents to enjoy already prepared coffee, fresh from the fridge, as they got their kids off to school. Again. I apologize for that. But here we are, Labor Day weekend. Sort of a respite from the back to school grind and I have a nice treat for you.

French Press Cold Brew
3/4 ground coffee
3 1/2 cups water
French Press coffee pot

  1. Combine the coffee and water in your French Press pot. Stir.
  2. Push the plunger down just far enough so you can get the pot into the fridge. DO NOT PLUNGE ALL THE WAY! You want the coffee to float around the water a bit.
  3. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Surely you’ve seen Cold Brew at your favorite coffee shop. If you’ve tried it, you hopefully found it to be slightly less bitter than regular iced coffee made with hot coffee that is allowed to cool. I did. In fact, I drink my regular iced coffee with plenty of milk and I had no problem drinking this black. I also enjoyed it with my favorite chocolate almond coconut milk as pictured.

I truly had no idea that Cold Brew was so easy to make. I thought it required some fancy equipment. I’m so happy I was wrong! And now you know! So skip that trip to Starbucks! Pop your old French Press into the fridge and you’ll be ready for the morning rush on Tuesday.

My only complaint with Cold Brew is that it does require more coffee grounds than coffee brewed with hot water. And for some reason, we have been going through a lot of coffee lately! Could be that My Faithful Assistant has started high school and is now having an iced latte every day. Therefore, in order to conserve my precious beans, I will save this recipe for special occasions only.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Peach Smoothie

rpsAnd so again, we watch as the boxes and bags are packed with the belongings critical to a young man’s happiness and academic success, load them into a friend’s van, and head off for another year of college. It wasn’t so hard this time. So many emotions last year that were calmed by the boy’s success and the recovery of other boys from many trying times.

I made a smoothie for breakfast for myself, thinking that we might share it for one last meal together. He had other plans. Egg whites. My shared meal dream will have to wait for another time.

Peach Raspberry Smoothie
1 peach, chopped
1 container of raspberry yogurt
2 tbsp almond butter
1/2 frozen raspberries
Splash of water if needed

  1. Place ingredients in the blender in the order listed.
  2. Starting on low, slowly increase the speed until you get the desired consistency.

The smoothie was resting on my son’s box of music. It’s going to be quiet in here without his cello and piano playing. Here’s a (smoothie) toast to all the moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and college students themselves muddling through their first weekend with a new household dynamic. I hope it isn’t too hard.

Enjoy!

 

Falafel Waffles

fwYesterday, I picked up some garbanzo bean flour. I had given the last of mine to a friend at work who was making savory waffles. I has thinking about making Farinata again.

But this morning as I was waking up, I thought I would make falafel. Then I wondered how my friend’s waffles turned out. Then I thought how funny falafel waffle sounded. Then I decided that Falafel Waffles was not only fun to say, but were probably a pretty tasty treat. Falafel Waffles were a must. If you give a mom a full night of sleep…

Falafel Waffles (5 small)
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp parsley
Dash of cayenne
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup hot water

  1. Combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Add the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the lemon juice and water and combine to form batter.
  4. Heat your waffle iron and drop about a quarter cup of batter in each side. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to brown.

I served my Falafel Waffles with some chopped tomatoes and cucumber. They were delicious! Because I used garbanzo bean flour, these waffles do not have the grainy texture of falafel but they had all the great flavors of falafel but were ready in a fraction of the time. And since there is no frying involved, clean up was a breeze. I could see making little tiny waffles and serving them on a skewer with a cherry tomato and a chunk of cucumber with some Tzatziki sauce on the side.

My Faithful Assistant is a big fan of all things waffled so I expect he and I will be enjoying these for dinner this fall. Stay tuned for more waffling adventures!

Enjoy!