Gluten Free Banana Muffins

DSC02308I was recently paging through Giada De Laurentiis’ latest cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Foodwhen I found a recipe for banana blueberry muffins. I had an aha moment when I realized I had two overripe bananas that were looking for a purpose. The recipe is both gluten and dairy free. I left out the blueberries so the banana flavor could really stand out. The muffins are delicious, and just like banana bread, they keep improving each day.

Giada’s Feel Good Food is a “personal look into how she keeps her body and mind in a happy and healthy balance.” Instead of the hearty Italian and pasta meals Giada is most well known for, the book includes recipes that “make your body run best,” many of which are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and/or vegan.

Giada also includes lifestyle tips like the details on her beauty and exercise routine, as well as a list of items she keeps in her purse. And of course, it wouldn’t be a cookbook from Giada without countless pictures of herself and her cleavage. All of this I could do without. But I will say I like the variety of recipes she includes and their practicality for everyday life. It’s the kind of food that makes you feel good about what you’re putting in your body. I also appreciate Giada’s approach to food—she obviously loves food, is quick to point out she doesn’t advocate diets, and instead, tries to focus on eating foods that increase her energy levels and overall health. But she doesn’t seem to deprive herself of anything. That’s a philosophy I can get behind.

Gluten Free Banana Muffins (slightly adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food; makes 12 muffins)

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup safflower or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana (about 3 small bananas)
1 cup fresh blueberries (optional, I left these out)

Position oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla until blended. Stir in the bananas and blueberries. Add the flour mixture and stir until just blended.

Spoon 1/3 cup of the batter into each muffin liner. Bake until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into the center of the muffins comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

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