Gluten Free Rolled Oat & Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

So last night I was feeling a bit crazy and decided to completely scrap the banana bread recipe I had been previously been using and try something new. I don’t know why I like oats so much, but lately I’ve been adding it to all of my baking. It’s a great source of protein, dietary fibre, and iron which is really helpful as I am limited in how often I eat meat. Oats are also gluten free with some minor exceptions. Here is the exact breakdown of the Rolled Oats I use from the Bulk Barn website:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100 g
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 380
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans fat 0g
Total Fat Percentage 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fibre 10g 40%
Sugars 1g
Proteins 13g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 6%
Iron 45%
Sugar Alcohol 0%

The other substitution I made was adding Buckwheat Flour which I use in some other recipes as well. The batch I made turned out really well however I’ve yet to figure out how cafe’s and grandparents get that great moist non-crumbly bread, but when I do I’ll be sure to write about it. UPDATE: So it turns out that by placing a casserole dish of hot water on the rack below the bread pan in the oven largely solves this problem!

One word of warning, combining the Oats and Buckwheat flour is potentially disastrous if you plan on consuming large portions of a loaf at one time. Both ingredients contain huge amounts of fibre and have the potential to make you quite regular if consumed in large quantities.

Recipe
Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the following dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup Rolled Oats

1.5 cups of Dark Buckwheat Flour

1 tsp of Baking Soda

1/4 tsp of Salt

1/2 cup (at least!) of chocolate chips

In another bowl:

Mix 1/2 cup of melted butter with 3/4 cup of brown sugar

Then mix in 3 beaten eggs, and 3 mushed bananas

Pour wet ingredients into large mixing bowl containing dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Finally

Grease your bread pan, pour in the mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes. As well, place a casserole dish full of hot water on the rack below the bread pan for more moist banana bread.

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Buckwheat Pancakes

To my great surprise and enjoyment last night, my professor cancel my 9:30am lecture. After a glorious sleep, craving pancakes I set out to make my favourite recipe. If you haven’t heard of the The Joy of Cooking, it is one monster of a cookbook(1200 pages) that has recipes and techniques for almost anything under the sun including skinning a rabbit and then making a tasty stew out of the little critter.  The only downside of this cookbook is that the recipes often call for multiple pounds of meat, cheeses, and other non-practical and expensive ingredients which is true of most non-vegetarian recipe books.

Sundays during the university school year are great. Being a huge Dallas Cowboys and NFL fan in general, there is nothing better than waking up bright and early, making a big breakfast, drinking coffee and watching my favourite team play. Naturally when I flipped to the pancake section in the Joy of Cooking I was pleased to find 10 different pancake recipes alone. The one I seemed to have settled on however is the Buckwheat pancake recipe.

Side note: I just realized on the Bulk Barn website you can look up nutritional value for all of their products!

Despite it’s misleading name and much to my surprise, Buckwheat is a relative to Rhubarb and is not actually in the grain family. This is great news as it is a great substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Even more good news, Buckwheat contains all 8 essential amino acids making it a “high quality” protein and is also high in dietary fibre as well.

Quick Overview of Amino Acids and Complete Proteins

I do not claim to be an expert in food science or even in Biochemistry, but here are the basics about Amino Acids from what I’ve researched. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein which are used in various biological processes in the body. Although there are 22 in total, there are 8 which are considered “essential”. An essential amino acid is one that cannot be synthesised from other available resources, and therefore must be supplied as part of the diet. The other 14 can therefore be created from these 8.

The next term that is important to understand are foods that are considered “complete proteins”. As you may have guessed these foods are considered to have the eight essential amino acids necessary to the body.  Foods such as cheese, Quinoa, eggs, fish, lean meat, and milk are all examples of these. Finally we have foods such as Buckwheat which have all 8 amino acids but are considered “high-quality” proteins. Naturally I was confused how something could contain the essential amino acids and not be considered a complete source of protein. It turns out that in order to qualify as complete, a source of food also needs to have what is considered an adequate proportion of each amino acids for supporting biological functions in the body which makes sense.

Back To Buckwheat

Any ways, I buy most of my bulk items at Bulk Barn. There I found both light and dark buckwheat flour, although no distinction was made for which one to use in my pancake recipe. I decided to go with the Dark Buckwheat flour as it was much higher in fibre than it’g light counter part. Here are the nutritional values of the Dark Buckwheat flour as found on the containers at Bulk Barn:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100 g
Amount % Daily Value
Calories 340
Total Fat 3.5g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans fat 0g
Total Fat Percentage 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Carbohydrates 72g 24%
Dietary Fibre 10g 40%
Sugars 0g
Proteins 13g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2%
Iron 22%
Sugar Alcohol 0%

Buckwheat Pancake Recipe

Ingredients:

(Dry)

1 cup Buckwheat Flour

1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour(you could probably just do 2 cups of Buckwheat for gluten free(I need to read up on that though!))

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

(Wet)

2 cups of buttermilk

1/4 cup melted butter(I use margarine, cheaper)

2 eggs

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, mix wet in another, combine and stir well.

Tip: I always used to mess up the first batch of pancakes I put in the pan. The secret I have found is to first, buy a good frying pan. Next you want to preheat the frying pan with about 1.5 Tbsp of Canola Oil in it to about 6 out of 10 using your burner’s knob setting. Once your frying pan is nice and consistently hot, use the tip of a piece of paper towel to spread the Canola oil evenly over the frying pan similar to greasing a muffin pan or banana bread pan. I like to do this after the pan is hot so you don’t have excess Canola Oil in the pan. Once you have done this then add your pancakes.

How To Make Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a type of milk that is thick and acidic. This acidic property, when mixed with flour causes a reaction(that I don’t have the knowledge to explain) which basically enhances the texture of your baking. The good news is you can make buttermilk at home using lemon juice and milk from the fridge. Normally I use a measuring cup capable of holding at least 500ml of liquid to accomplish this. To make buttermilk, simply pour 1 Tbsp of lemon juice into the liquid measurer for every cup of buttermilk you need to make. Next fill to whatever cup line you need with milk. Do this before you start mixing any other ingredients as the acidic lemon juice takes time to curdle the milk and give it that thick consistency.

Other Ideas

Some other things I like to do to make my pancakes to make them more interesting is to either add chopped banana and/or melted peanut butter.

Hopefully yours turn out something like this!

Also, I hope to find a usb to micro cord for my camera so I can actually take pictures of what mine turn out looking like.

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11

http://www.bulkbarn.ca/en-ca/products.html?product=532&search=buckwheat

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=81

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_amino_acid

http://www.glisonline.com/essential-amino-acids.html

Mmm Quinoa!

If you haven’t heard of Quinoa before, you need to check it out. This grain is commonly found in the bulk or health food section of your local supermarket. Additionally, you can find Quinoa at a better price in stores such as Bulk Barn or at Costco.

Originally native to South America, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. This is not surprising as it is considered a complete source of protein as it contains all eight of the essential amino acids we need for tissue development. Having as much as 22g of protein/cup makes this grain a great option for those in need of alternative sources of protein other than meat.

Quinoa is also quite simple to cook. You follow the same steps as rice, adding 1 cup of grain/2 cups of water. A good rice cooker can be used to cook the grain, however I find the best way to do it is to bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a setting of 1 or 2 out of 10 on your burner with a slight crack between the lid and pot allowing some moisture to be released. Generally this will take about 25-30 min however your quinoa will be extremely fluffy and will reach full volume.

If you are really interested in alternative ways to use quinoa besides salads, Quinoa 365 is a great cookbook for incorporating this super-food into baking soups, salads and practically anything else you can imagine. I highly recommend this book.

I am a huge fan of modified Greek salads. I make the recipe below weekly. It can probably feed 3-4 people as a side course, but I generally eat the whole thing by myself after a big workout. Here it is:

Ingredients

2 cups water

1 cup Quinoa

1/2 Cucumber

1 Green Pepper

2 Tomatoes

3 cups of spinach

1/4 red onion

1/2 head of broccoli

1/4 cup Feta Cheese

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation

1. In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat adding Quinoa bringing the water back to a low simmer. Simmer for 20-30mins or until the Quinoa is fluffy and no water is visible at the bottom of the pot. Take off burner, fluff with fork and allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, chop all ingredients with method of choosing and place in a large salad bowl, crumbling feta over top with hands. (Note: Mix feta into salad, before adding Quinoa if still warm or hot. Otherwise the feta will melt and loose its crunchy texture.

3. In a sealable container, mix olive oil and balsamic Vinegar, seal and shake. Pour mixture over salad. Mix dressing in and serve.

Hope you found this useful!

References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice#nutritionalprofile