Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gluten-free Banana Nut Cake

I found this recipe online about 2 years ago from a woman’s website whose name is Mary Glenda. Sadly, I can’t find the website any longer or any information about her… except obituaries for a few Mary Glendas. (I hope she is not one of them.) From reading the website, she said that she cured her multiple health problems by eating a lower fat, gluten-free and sugar-free diet. (However, if she’s one of the ones in the obituaries I wonder how healthy her diet really was.)

At any rate, below is a recipe for her Go Nuts Banana Nut Cake that is - as expected - gluten-free and sugar-free. The sweetener is honey which is not considered “sugar” per se. Honey is often touted as being healthier than sugar because it contains anti-bacterial compounds and releases more slowly into your bloodstream than regular sugar. Not sure if there is any merit to that or not, but it’s what I’ve read. I don’t eat a gluten-free, sugar-free diet because frankly I am not sure if it’s possible to rule out those things entirely from my life. Thankfully I don’t have a gluten intolerance that feels like shards of glass in my stomach every time I eat gluten. I imagine that if I did, it would be easier to not eat gluten because I would not want to feel that way afterward. I do however think it’s smart to have a diet rich in variety so that you can get as many nutrients as possible from all different kinds of foods and experiment with your likes and dislikes. I think when it comes to food that moderation, joy, awareness and relaxation are key elements. I am still learning this J

Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl combine:

1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce

(mix with spoon)

½ cup of honey (sometimes I fill a ½ cup with a mixture of honey and agave syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)

(mix with spoon)

2 cups ripe banana peeled and mashed
1-1/4 cups brown rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup purified water

(mix with spoon)

1 cup chopped walnuts (black walnuts or regular walnuts, or whichever nut you have on hand)

(mix with spoon)

Pour batter into a lightly greased 11 x 17 pyrex dish. You can also use an aluminum cake pan which is what I used this time. Place in oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off and let the cake sit in the oven. Check with a knife every 5 minutes until knife comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool and set before diving in to your deliciously moist, dense and filling banana nut cake!

For best results eat within 1-2 days of making and keep refrigerated.

A few words of caution…

This cake is VERY moist, and seems almost undercooked. It is not a typical cake that is light, airy and fluffy. In the center it tastes more like a wet, gooey and dense bread pudding. I think this is a result of the brown rice flour, spelt flour and honey. Also important to note: spelt is sometimes considered gluten-free and sometimes not depending on the person.

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