Banana-Coconut Bread (GF)

Eat Well

The landscape and weather here transforms overnight. Beige and dry for months, cool, even cold, days keep knee-high boots, sweaters and scarves on heavy rotation. Then one morning you wake to view an entirely fresh canvas awash with color, summer-like temperatures and routine rain or thunderstorms. There’s no in-between time.

That’s just springtime in the south.

As an antidote to much warmer days and so much grey sogginess, I’ve been looking to brighter flavors and lighter ingredients. With the recent holiday and memories of family fresh in my mind, something comforting and home-y seemed appropriate. And so, a new recipe for banana bread flowed forth.

My affection for banana bread began early, enjoying thick slices of intensely moist and rich banana bread, still hot from the oven because we couldn’t wait to let it cool. Every family has their own recipe it seems, passed through the generations, and my mom’s is certainly up there with the best. It is created with love, and, as most are, lots of butter and lots of sugar.

I’ve made hers many times and, more recently, created this healthier, lighter and still very delicious version of my own.

Banana Coconut Bread_pan

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Rustic (Gluten-Free) Bread Baked in a Dutch Oven

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

The rhythm and method of baking bread from scratch is hands down my favorite kitchen ritual. From start to finish it bathes me in warmth and comforting aromas. It epitomizes what the words “home” and “hospitality” mean to me, and the breaking of a fresh loaf with others is a true act of love.

Over the years a handful of family members and friends began minimizing or eliminating wheat products and/or gluten-containing foods from their diets. Some due to a diagnosis of celiac disease, or of non-celiac gluten sensitivity*. Some due to carbohydrate restrictions for regulation of blood sugar levels. Others because adhering to such a way of eating made them look and feel better. (*Read about the difference here.)

Regardless of what prompted the transitions, parting ways with fresh, bakery-quality bread is commonly an upsetting struggle. As someone who absolutely loves to share my kitchen and its creations with those I care for, these dietary changes presented a challenge for me as well. They also presented inspiration for experimentation and learning about the gluten-free (GF) bread-baking quirks and new, interesting pantry ingredients.

My attempts thus far have yielded successes and, as is the nature of trial and error, some duds. One bread closely resembled a leaden doorstop; one was a sticky, underdone mess; and then there was the loaf that seemed promising but crumbled at the mere sight of my bread knife. It’s frustrating, but I laugh, learn from my mistakes, and try, try again! (Mishaps are re-purposed one way or another into breadcrumbs, croutons… bird food.)

Curiosity and persistence are in no short supply, and today I’m sharing a winner.

GF Crusty Bread-2014

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