What's Baking: Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins


I had some extra almond flour left over from my last foray into gluten-free baking, so this week I gave another gluten-free muffin recipe a whirl. I am a diehard banana bread fan (with nuts, without nuts, I like them equally), so I chose a banana nut muffin recipe to work from. Along with banana goodness (hooray for half-price uber-ripe bananas at the store!), these muffins are chockfull of nutty flavor, given that chopped walnuts are both stirred into the batter and used to garnish the tops of the muffins as well.

So far I have been quite impressed with the gluten-free recipes I've adapted up to now; I've heard horror stories of gluten-free baked goods being either super-dense, flat, or completely devoid of flavor. There are now commercially-available gluten-free flours that are made especially for baking, but the ones I've seen around town (or that can be purchased from Williams-Sonoma) are quite expensive. (Not that almond flour is particularly wallet-friendly.) I'd next like to give coconut flour a try, though I hear it's a little trickier to use since it tends to soak up liquid.

Have you baked with alternative (i.e., non-wheat) flours? What are your favorite non-wheat flours that you like to use when making gluten-free baked goods? 

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, olive oil, and vanilla until well-combined.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Add the walnuts, then stir until just combined.
5. Use a small scoop to fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Top each muffin cup with the remaining chopped walnuts.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Carefully remove the muffins from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.
8. Store any leftover muffins in an airtight container.

(adapted from this recipe)

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