Disclaimer: This story starts off being about banana bread, not blueberry muffins.
Skip right to Ben’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Bread Recipe –> Click HERE
I’ve had this lovely recipe from Martha Stewart for banana bread since I’ve been married, but the amount of butter and sugar in the loaf was making either the serving size unreasonably small for a person with no self control around baked goods, like myself, or was making one (reasonable) slice of banana bread a heavier hit to my caloric budget than most of my meals. Considering I regularly had mushy bananas that needed be turned into something edible, and my propensity for eating sweets for breakfast, I needed to find a lower caloric vehicle for my bananas.
For Martha Stewart’s “The Best Banana Bread Recipe” Click HERE.
My first attempt at making Martha Stewart’s banana bread recipe less of a caloric hit was to substitute non-fat plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, and while that maybe took a few points off, it wasn’t close to being enough. One stick of butter for one loaf of bread seemed like way too much, so I halved it. I also halved the sugar and added probably more bananas than I should have (I clearly need to reevaluate how many raw bananas I actually eat before they go bad).
My loaf was tasty, but it was way too dense, and because it was too dense, it wasn’t that much of a reduction in calories. But I still wanted my quick bread to have as many vegetables and fruits as possible, so it got me thinking… what if I paired the mushy bananas with another fruit? Say blueberries?
I’d have to add cinnamon, because blueberries and cinnamon are divine, and if I was making it for an occasion (besides me stuffing my face alone at home) I could add a crumble on top, which seemed too tantalizing to not try right away.
I made these two loaves vegan, for a writer’s retreat. While I’ve used Earth Balance buttery sticks for years, and used it in these loaves, it can give baked goods an earthy soy or olive oil taste.
I recently discovered a fairly new product, Melt Butter Sticks, and I’m probably going to stick with this brand from now on because it’s sooooo good. I literally licked the butter off the knife.
Besides the slightly earthy taste of the blueberry loaves, which I solved by switching the butter, I still wasn’t pleased with how dense the loaves were. Yes, I was making them vegan, which meant no eggs and less lift, but there still should have been more air in the batter. I solved this problem with something you probably shouldn’t do with gluten-full quick bread batters.
I whipped the batter.
Normally, when you whip a gluten-full batter, the gluten protein gets rubbery as it’s developed. But… in a gluten free loaf there isn’t any gluten, so there isn’t that problem.
You don’t have to whip the batter long, but a couple minutes on medium will do. And–viola!–a light blueberry muffin bread was born, no crumble this time. And yes, I totally ate it for breakfast.
Ben’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Bread
Serves 10 (each loaf)
Time: 15 min prep, 1 hour baking, & 1 hour cooling
For the Loaf
1/2 stick butter, or vegan buttery stick
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs, or egg replacer equivalent
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamom
1 1/2 C gluten free flour (you may have to add more depending on the brand)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 C blueberries
For the Crumble (optional)
2 T butter
3 T sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 C GF flour
pinch of salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3″).
For the Loaf
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer (you can do this by hand if you need to). Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Stir in the soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Add flour.
Whip for two minutes until it’s fluffy like cake batter.
Fold in the bananas until they are well mixed and then the blueberries, just until incorporated. Scrape into the pan.
Optional Crumble: In another small bowl, mix the ingredients of the crumble together until it forms a lose crumb. Sprinkle on top of loaf.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a chopstick comes out clean. (Timing will depend on the oven.)
Let cool for an hour or until you can’t stand it anymore. Serve and enjoy! Each slice has less than 170 calories, without the crumble.
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To Boldly Bake,