KOSHER RECIPES FOR GLUTEN-FREE LIVING



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Low-Fat Sugar-Free Sesame Banana Muffins / Sesame Banana Bread


gluten-free sesame banana loaf
I baked up an adapted version of the Sesame Banana Mini-Muffins my parents ate while staying at Poetry Ridge Bed and Breakfast in Greenfield, MA. They came back from their stay with the recipe, written in pencil on an index card. The muffins had apparently been made by the proprietors for another guest, who had multiple food allergies. They both raved about them, so I told them I'd give the recipe a shot despite my skepticism.

The original recipe called for Splenda. Those of you who've been reading this blog for a while know that I don't usually go for artificial sweeteners. Don't kid yourself into thinking that Splenda is any more natural than any other artificial sweetener - It's not. But since I wanted to duplicate the recipe my parents had eaten as closely as possible, I decided to give Splenda a shot. The verdict? The muffins were good, and the loaf was even better, but I won't be baking with Splenda again. Unlike some people, I can detect quite an unpleasant aftertaste. I'll stick to agave nectar and its ilk - Natural sweeteners that are not sugar-free but are lower-glycemic than cane sugar and not over-processed. However, no one else who ate them complained about the Splenda taste so I think I must just have freakish taste buds.

The sesame seeds in this recipe give a delightfully unusual texture to what would otherwise be banana bread (or banana muffins). I used untoasted sesame seeds - But I have called for toasted sesame seeds in the recipe since I believe that lightly toasted sesame seeds would improve the flavor and texture. For the gluten-free flour the recipe calls for, any mix that contains xanthan or guar gum will work, such as Pamela's Ultimate Pancake & Baking Mix or Bob's Red Mill Wheat Free Biscuit & Baking Mix or my cake flour mix recipe.

These muffins have a wonderfully moist texture - Yet they are also low-fat in addition to being sugar-free, which make them a good option for people who are on restricted diets. The quinoa flakes also increase the protein content quite a bit. You can easily replace the sour cream with Tofutti soy sour cream and the milk with soy or rice milk if you'd like to make these muffins dairy-free / pareve. They taste great at room temperature for several days, too. I poured the batter in both a silicone mini-muffin pan and a standard-sized tin bread pan. I enjoyed the cuteness and convenience factor of the mini-muffins, but the loaf took a slight lead when it came to taste and texture. This recipe makes enough batter to fill one mini-muffin pan and one bread pan, so you don't have to choose between the two!

LOW-FAT SUGAR-FREE SESAME BANANA MUFFINS / SESAME BANANA BREAD

[ Gluten-Free / Nut-Free / Soy-Free or Dairy-Free / Milchig or Pareve]

3/4 cups low-fat sour cream or Tofutti soy sour cream
1/2 cup Splenda
2 egg whites
2 bananas, thoroughly mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes Hot Cereal
1 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg)
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup low-fat milk or soy / rice milk

Cream Splenda and sour cream with electric hand-mixer. Mix in egg whites, bananas, vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together flour, quinoa flakes, sesame seeds, baking soda and salt. Add to batter and mix well. Pour into greased mini-muffin tins, filling each cup to the top, and/or pour into well-greased bread pan, filling to 1 inch below top. Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes and bake loaf for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

23 comments:

Ainsley said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I too notice a difference in taste if I use splenda, but since my hubby is diabetic I keep it around. Recently I bought a bottle of agave nectar, having heard of its similar low glycemic-impact effects, but I am very unsure how much to use when substituting for sugar and the like. Any tips? I tried it in hot tea (for example) and it was nothing like honey - even though it looks the same in texture and consistency.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Interesting recipe..I can see why you wanted to try it, I never would have guessed sesame seeds in banana bread!

Allergic Girl said...

i dont think you have freakish taste buds ;-) splenda is fake and once you stop using manufactured sweetners anyone would be able to tell the difference...

Stephanie said...

I can always taste Splenda and other artificial sweeteners. People think I'm a freak for it, or it's just my imagination. I don't see what's so freakish about wanting to eat natural, unprocessed foods. :)

Shannon said...

Hmmm...bananas and sesame. Very interesting. I have wanted to try baking with quinoa flakes, so I may have to give this one a try.

Sea said...

I've tried artificial sweeteners and can't stand them. They leave a horrible taste in my mouth. :( I tried one of the sugar sub. drinks at Starbucks and couldn't even drink it because I thought it was so disgusting. So you are definitely not alone! I may try this recipe with sugar at some point though because I like the sesame banana idea.

-Sea

Mariateresa said...

I think the taste of Splenda is disgusting. Would this recipe still work if I left out the Splenda? (The Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes Hot Cereal is my favorite!) I love your blog!

Catherine said...

The other tricky thing is that artificial sweetners CAN affect your blood sugars. As a type 1 diabetic I see exactly how everything I eat affects me. Artificial sweetners are bulked up with maltodextrin - so even if they are lower than regular sugar they still have an impact. I usually bake with sugar and use stevia as a sweetener in plain yogurt, tea etc. I've tried to cut out all aspartame and splenda.

Mariateresa said...

I also love that this recipe doesn't require baking powder which I am unable to tolerate!

Alisa said...

Definitely not just you. That stuff has a total chemically taste, I don't see how anyone can miss it! I still haven't tried agave, but am eager to try it, thanks for the reminder.

Natalie said...

The recipe sounds so interesting. I would love to try it!

Karina Allrich said...

I like the idea of bananas and sesame. Interesting.

I've been baking with a combo of agave and vegan unrefined brown sugar - and it's delicious. I'd like to try an egg-free banana muffin/cupcake. Thanks for the inspiration!

xoxo

Karina

~M said...

Have you tried making these normal-sized muffins? How many normal-sized muffins would these make and how long would you bake these for? Also, have you tried making this recipe with agave or honey instead of Splenda? I cannot have Splenda. Thanks!

ByTheBay said...

M: Nope, and nope. To use a liquid sweetener, cut down on the amount of liquid you use. As for quantity - Why don't you try it and see? You could definitely fill up one large-size muffin pan, if not more. Just bake them until a knife inserted comes out relatively clean and the tops are golden-brown - Somewhere between the time for baking mini-muffins and the time for baking a loaf. Let me know how it turns out. I've had good luck with making this type of conversion.

Anonymous said...

Hi, the recipe sounds very interesting but I am allergic to dairy and soy. Any suggestion for replacing the sour cream? Thanks.

ByTheBay said...

Anonymous: Tofutti sour cream would work fine.

ByTheBay said...

Oops, sorry, I didn't notice the soy allergy. Try replacing the sour cream with my soy-free vegan sour cream recipe:

Cashew Sour Cream

I haven't tried baking with it, but it's pretty darn tasty and it should work fine.

Anonymous said...

With this many sesame seeds and tofu sour cream or cashew sour cream, how on earth is this supposed to be low fat?? just wondering.

ByTheBay said...

Anonymous: The recipe calls for soy or low-fat dairy sour cream - Cashew sour cream is a substitution only for those who are both dairy and soy allergic. With low-fat sour cream, this recipe is actually reasonable or even low-fat compared to most muffins. Have you taken a look at the nutritional profile for your average muffin? Not so impressive. 1 cup of sesame seeds divided by the dozens of muffins this recipe makes (this is a HUGE recipe) is really not that bad, especially considering the excessive oil and butter and whole fat milk (and sometimes whole fat sour cream or cream cheese) usually used in muffin recipes. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to call this recipe "reduced fat" since that is more like what it is. It is "reduced" fat due to the use of low fat dairy products and the elimination of all added oil. Apologies for the poor choice of words.

Manda said...

This muffins are super yum! I only made a few substitutions since I didn't have alllll the ingredients but I, astonishingly, had most of them.

I may have over cooked them a tiny bit since I keep forgetting that rice flour browns very slightly..shame on me but I'm still a novice at GF baking! All in all wonderful recipe that I think I'll keep making time and time again.

Good thing they're low in fat..hehe.

The Natural Domestic Engineer said...

mmm looks good to me :) However I will use Wisdom Natural SweetLeaf Stevia Clear Liquid instead of splenda. No matter how much stevia you use it will not affect your blood sugar levels. This brand does not have maltodextrin in it. This is a good article to read on the dangers of splenda and sucralose by Dr. Joseph Mercola. http://www.drmercola.net/2009/04/dangers-of-splenda-and-sucralose_17.html

Vegan Minx said...

Have you tried the recipe with applesauce in lieu of the eggs to make it vegan??

ByTheBay said...

Vegan Minx: Nope, I've had no reason to. However, if you're going to substitute, with GF recipes it's best to go with egg-replacer rather than applesauce or your result ends up really crumbly. Flax or chia seed gel works, or Ener-G Egg Replacer (that's my preference, personally)