Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recipe for Gluten-free Psylly Banana-Raisin-Walnut Loaf



The Psyllium plant (Wikipedia)
In this morning's variation ("psylly banana-raisin-walnut") on my two previous loafs (Susan's Fave Banana-Nut Bread and Banana-Cranberry-Walnut) I substitute psyllium seed for flaxseed, and again use 1/2 C. millet flour in place of the original quinoa flour.  I wanted to take a picture, but, alas, my camera's batteries have died yet again.  Who votes that I get a new camera with all the foodie bells and whistles?  What  point-and-shoot digital camera would you recommend?

Psyllium husk is a great binder.  And a source of healing for the gut, a good starting ingredient for people with gluten intolerance.  It can help reduce the symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea.  But when you are taking in psyllium, it is important to also take in sufficient fluids: milled psyllium husk has the potential to attract around 10X its weight in water and expands in a like proportion... as with any dietary fibre, be sure to drink lots of water during the day (although not necessarily at the time you are eating).  Psyllium also does not have any pronounced flavour, which is a real bonus I think.  One simple gluten-free recipe that I have come across that uses psyllium is this recipe for flatbread based on nostalgia for the bread the recipe's creator ate as a child in Lapland.

Please read (or at least scan) through the recipe first.  Check to see what supplies you need and be prepared to do some grinding with a coffee grinder (if you don't have one, it is a handy-dandy kitchen tool).  If you don't have a food processor, poor you (I'm kidding... although I recommend a good one like the Cuisinart-- I got mine for $50 from Craigslist and I'm very happy with it)-- this loaf can be made the traditional way by grouping and hand-processing all the dry items and adding them to the hand-processed wet items... just so much quicker and smoother with a food processor is all.

Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees for glass pan)
  • Put either a silicon liner into your 8" x 4" loaf pan, or cut parchment paper to fit (no greasing needed in either of these cases-- otherwise, with just a regular loaf pan you may want to grease it up).  I cover the bottom of the pan (on top of the parchment) with 1/4 - 1/2 C. chopped walnuts. 
Put the following into the bowl of your food processor and process until eggs are "beaten" (everything is either a curdly looking mass, or homogeneously smooth):
  • 1/4 C. organic cane sugar (original recipe calls for agave syrup)
  • 1/4 C. liquid extra virgin coconut oil (liquify in advance in bowl over bowl of hot water)
  • 1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce (I ran 2 small organic apples up in my blender in advance)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. organic, alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 2 T. water
  • 1 1/3 C. mashed ripe bananas
Next I sift together the following and add in to the processor:
  • 1 1/2 C. brown rice flour
  • 1/2 C. organic millet flour (I grind organic millet in my Vitamix)
  • 1/4 C. arrowroot starch
  • 1 T. baking powder
The last ingredients I add to the processor bowl are:
  • 1/4 C. psyllium 
  • 1/2 tsp. celtic sea salt (this is the salt with the 80+ minerals in it)
Process just until smooth.  Remove the lid and spoon into the loaf pan (parchment paper should cover all sides of pan since this recipe does rise beautifully).  As I layer on the batter  I tuck in about 1/2 C. Flame raisins on different layers and put a final layer of batter over top.  Bake for about 1 hour-- test at 50 minutes (with toothpicks) since some ovens "bake faster" than others.  Cool on a wire rack.
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  Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.
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