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Blueberry Banana Bread - including a gluten-free option

written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.

From foodnetwork.com

Here's one more recipe that we found in an attempt to use our freshly picked blueberries.  It came out so moist, mostly thanks to our plump berries and ripe bananas.  We took this as an opportunity to experiment with gluten-free baking.  

Many people are choosing to be gluten-free - some because they truly have celiac disease, a genetic disease in which antibodies are made against gluten, and then attack the lining of the bowel - and many for other reasons.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley; a gluten-free diet usually includes more rice, quinoa and other grains.  Those who have celiac need to be sure that their grains have not been 'contaminated' by even small amounts of gluten.  

Aside from the small percentage of the population who do have celiac (about 4-5 % of those with irritable bowel syndrome and less in the general population), many people now try a gluten-free diet to see if it will relieve joint pain, psoriasis, fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, and other generalized symptoms.  There is no specific health benefit to being gluten-free, but certainly if someone feels better remaining off gluten, they should try to avoid it. 

(from another website, To prepare gluten-free, mix up flour:

1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour or cornstarch

Use 1.5 cups of this mixture to substitute for the wheat flour in the recipe below.  The taste is excellent; texture is slightly grainy but still very moist.

Ingredients:
Butter, for greasing the loaf pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the loaf pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed to yield about 3/4 cup of mashed banana
1 cup (about 4 ounces) fresh blueberries

Directions:

1) Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

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

3) In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until blended. Stir in the bananas and blueberries. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

4) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 45 - 60 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours.

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