Banana Bread with Carob Chips

chocolatechipbananabread2Okay, okay, it’s a recycled recipe. But here’s the good news.

I shaved 11 WW points (roughly 500 calories) from the original recipe by changing one flour and eliminating the oil altogether. Thank you, applesauce, for being such a great replacement!

Using millet flour instead of rice flour not only added nutrition and cut points, it also got rid of the need for milk—another calorie savings. Millet flour, I’m learning, is less thirsty than rice flour.

Of course, the applesauce may have something to do with it, but who knows? This is the kind of mystery that makes gluten-free, low-calorie baking so intriguing…she says with a smile.

Anyway, light and delicious, this banana bread can be served as a loaf, a muffin, or a square (as shown in the photo.)

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Focaccia Mini-Loaves

I am truly, honestly, thrilled by these mini-loaves.

In the gluten-free, dairy-free, diet journey that is my life, I have been truly thrilled on three occasions:

  • When I made my first gf baked product—cornbread. I was ecstatic at having a starch to eat that wasn’t rice, potatoes, or rice cakes.
  • When I made my first successful loaf of gf bread. I was ecstatic that I had advanced beyond creating heavy door stops!
  • When I discovered bean bakes. I was ecstatic that beans and eggs could provide me with low-cal, easy-to-make, and healthy alternatives to flour-based products.

Real thrills. Ordinary people would tell me to get a life, but you and I know differently, right? So I hope you’ll be thrilled along with me about these mini-loaves. They provide a yeast bread experience without the yeast! Rich, satisfying, and delicious.

Three more things:

(1) I’m not really sure whether these loaves classify as focaccia. They’re not made with yeast or are flat and dimpled, but they do have spices, including rosemary, on top. But they’re made with yogurt, not water…yada, yada, yada…but, what the hey, they need a name.

(2) This is an adaption of an already gf recipe. Many thanks to April at the Gluten Free Zen blog for a great recipe: “Italian Flatbread.” I knew her bread would be delicious but, alas, not for me. It wouldn’t fit into my diet at 22.5 points per mini-loaf. So I changed the flours, altered the ratio of flours to starches, cut the oils as far back as I could, and managed to just about halve the point value: each mini-loaf is now 12.5 points, and a ¼ portion at 3.25 points makes a fine and low-cal addition to a soup or salad.

(3) These freeze beautifully and taste just as good after defrosting.

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Millet-Quinoa Gluten-Free Bread

Millet-Quinoa Gluten-Free Bread
I am THRILLED beyond measure because I have finally made a lovely loaf of yeast bread.  I know exactly what you’re thinking: “Lady, get a life!”

Well, bread is the staff of life, and I am delighted to welcome it back into my existence after some notable failures, including a tasteless loaf, a use-it-as-doorstop loaf, and a generally awful tasting loaf. (However, notably, all of these resulted in excellent gf bread crumbs.)

But this loaf made the grade: it rose beautifully, has a lovely mild taste, and a respectable shape.  While the bread was still warm, I slathered ½ tsp. of butter on a slice and luxuriated in the rich flavour that only comes from eating a newly baked piece of bread.

FYI: Prior to making this loaf, I had been contemplating buying a bread machine because many gluten-free bread makers use them, including the author of the recipe from which I adapted Millet-Quinoa Bread.  However, while discussing this potential purchase with the spouse, he pointed out, oh-so-logically, a flaw in my thinking.

He noted that the only reason we have bread machines really is because they take over the arduous task of kneading gluten dough.  And since gluten-free dough doesn’t require kneading…well, I had to concede the point although I adore buying kitchen gadgetry.  (Sigh.)  In fact, I didn’t even need a mixer to make this bread: only a whisk and a wooden spoon—old-fashioned but still extremely effective technologies.

So…with the help of the original recipe as well as advice from gluten-free cookbook authors, Bette Hagman and Carol Fenster, I set out, sans machines, on this bread-making journey:

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