Gluten, Dairy, Egg-Free Banana Muffins

[infobox subtitle="A New Kind of Cooking Show" bg="purple" color="white" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]The Alternative[/infobox] Welcome to my new digital cooking series The Alternative!  I've been wanting to mix it up on my YouTube lately and bring you more of my crazy passion for cooking.  I recently went 90% dairy-free, eat quite a bit of gluten-free food and in general am experimenting with the direct correlation between food and health.

Eating this way isn't always easy, especially as a trained chef who loves yogurt, a delicious croissant, and cheese pizza (my #1 favorite food of all time).  It was time for me to head to the drawing board and think creatively about how to make my new meals fulfilling on a taste and nutritional level in addition to being down-right satisfying. Thus, The Alternative was born - a look inside my experiments as a professional chef learning to cook in an entirely new way.

Also up for discussion in my new series: the healthiest oils to use, dairy alternatives, gluten alternative, and all the other healthy tips I'm picking up along the way. So, if you're dairy-free, gluten-free, or just love to eat healthy The Alternative is for you. If this way of eating isn't exactly your thing, watch the videos anyway - tons of great cooking tips for everyone are included.

In today's first episode I'm showing you how to make gluten, dairy, and egg-free banana muffins. Baking with alternatives can be very tricky, especially when replacing all three of those core ingredients with subs. Lets chat gluten first: instead of white flour I'm using a gluten-free combo of almond, tapioca, and coconut flour in a 3:2:1 ratio. Cooking with different flours is a challenge, but this ratio holds up well and gives baked goods nice texture. Also thrown in here is Xanthan Gum, a product that mimics gluten, providing texture and body to the muffins.

bananamuffins

Going dairy-free is not particularly tricky here. Use a nut milk, like almond milk, or coconut milk to replace traditional milk. This isn't a savory muffin so no cheee = no problem. Replacing the egg is also easy here: I love using fresh pumpkin as an egg alternative. 1/4 cup of pumpkin = 1 egg.

Here is the recipe for your Alternative enjoyment. Please leave any recipe requests in the comments below!

Gluten, Dairy, Egg-Free Banana Muffins

[tabgroup layout="horizontal"] [tab title="Ingredients"]

½ Cup Evaporated Coconut Sugar

½ Cup Earth Balance (BUTTER/DAIRY SUBSTITUTE)

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

¼ cup pumpkin (EGG SUBSTITUTE)

3 pureed bananas

3/4 cup almond milk

1 ¼ cup gluten-free flour mix (3:2:1 almond, tapioca, coconut)

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

½ teaspoon xantham gum

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 Tablespoons Flax Seeds

[/tab]

[tab title="Procedure"]1. Cream together Evaporated Coconut Sugar and Earth Balance.

2.  Add hazelnut extract, puree bananas, and pumpkin to the wet mix, incorporating well on high with a mixer.

3.  Add almond milk and incorporate well.

4. Combine baking powder, xantham gum, cinnamon, and salt and add to gluten-free flour mix.

5.  Going 1/3 cup at a time, slowly incorporate dry mix above into wet mix, stirring on a medium-low setting on your mixer.

6.  Stir until a thin but not runny consistency is achieved.  The result should be a bit sticky.

7.  Fill a muffin tin sprayed with a non-stick cooking oil with the mix, using a small measuring cup to allow you to get the mixture neatly into each hole.

8.  Cook between 325-350 (everyone's oven is a bit different) for about 45 minutes or until a fork comes out clear.  If they start to get a bit dark but aren't finished, keep your oven at 325 until they finish baking.

9.  Allow to cook and finish setting up before serving.[/tab] [tab title="Notes"]Difficulty Level: Medium

Serving Size: About 12 muffins[/tab] [/tabgroup]