It would be nice to extol the virtues of the wonderfully warm Spring weather, the birds, the flowers. . . except for one, tiny, troublesome thing. THE WIND. Spring in New Mexico is like nowhere else, as anyone who lives here will tell you, bringing winds that can literally knock you off your feet, and make any small unsuspecting Spring flower think twice about poking its head out of the ground.The investment in a fancy food dehydrator is completely superfluous, since most fruits will dry out in a matter of hours. However, investing in gallons of moisturizer is life essential! ;-) In the span of one month, it is literally possible to go from a foot of snow, to 85°F heat, with possibly a week, or two, in between, hinting at Spring bulbs and green leaves. Wacky weather does not even begin to explain it (this said as a decidedly prickly looking tumble weed sails past the window).
Maybe it’s the elevation (nearly 7,000 ft.)??? For those of you lucky enough to have never enjoyed the pleasure of the Spring winds in New Mexico, envision a scene from one of the old western movies, where the two gunslingers square off, and invariably, a tumble weed goes sailing down the road, and you just about have it; but worse! Get the picture??
On a day like this, when the wind whines past the window, and sand blasts everything in sight, making everyone dream of somewhere green and quiet, what is the best thing to do??? Stay inside, shut the windows, and make banana bread.
We discovered a great recipe for banana bread in a book titled “Baking” by Martha Day, and were inspired to invent our own gluten free version. This delicious dessert has a light, moist texture, a slightly spicy, sweet flavor, and is the perfect thing to serve with afternoon tea or coffee.
Banana bread is one of those recipes that is definitely a product of the 20th Century, becoming popular when baking soda and baking powder were first widely used in the 1920′s and 1930′s. Many traditional versions of this recipe call for chopped nuts, while some use more exotic ingredients such as shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Our version calls for none of the above, instead calling for the addition of nutmeg and allspice, bringing out a delightful flavor, truly something unique.
Banana Spice Bread
1 large ripe banana
1 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup sucanat
1 cup gluten free flour blend, consisting of:
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 cup organic yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
With a fork, mash the banana until soft and creamy, and set aside. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sucanat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and blend until completely incorporated.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients, adding them slowly to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture until fully combined. Add the yogurt, mashed banana and vanilla, and stir again until all the ingredients are completely mixed in, and the batter is light and fluffy.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased bread loaf pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top springs back slightly when pressed. Remove it from the oven, allow to cool, and let your kitchen and home fill with the wonderful aroma of freshly baked banana bread.