Fill ‘er up oatmeal smoothie

I’m always in a specific predicament — figuring out what to do with bananas that are about to go bad. My kids never eat them fast enough, and before you know it, the bananas are more brown than yellow. So I’m always game to finding new ways to use them before I lose them.

Oatmeal SmoothieOne way I use them is in smoothies.  Lately I’ve been reading about oatmeal smoothies, and thought I’d try one out, thinking it would be a nice balanced breakfast alternative. With protein, fruit, calcium, and carbs, this is a pretty well-rounded smoothie, if I do say so myself.

It’s not super-sweet, but then again, it shouldn’t be. And it does have a texture to it. I have a Ninja blender and mine came out pretty smooth, but it does still definitely have some “meat” to it with drinkable small pieces of oats and almonds.

Nora wasn’t a huge fan, but didn’t really give it a fair chance, with her sip the size of a pea. Sophia drank a whole glass, and actually said, “It tastes like breakfast!”

A 12-oz serving is a perfect breakfast or snack, and a healthy alternative to all that processed gluten-free cereal. And this one is sure to help stave off the cravings!

Fill ‘er up oatmeal smoothie
Makes about 2 12-oz servings

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop gluten-free protein powder
14 dry roasted low-sodium almonds
1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
Dash of cinnamon

Directions:
This one is pretty easy. Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth!

Nutrition: According to the recipe calculator I used on myfitnesspal.com, one serving equals: Calories: 238; Carbs: 35g; Fat: 7g; Protein: 13g; Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 15g

Try different combinations to find an oatmeal smoothie that will fill you up!

P.S. Peel and freeze your “almost bad” bananas for future smoothies!

Erbert & Gerbert go gluten-free

Never heard of the sandwich chain Erbert & Gerbert? Me neither, until this morning. Sitting in traffic, on my way to the airport this morning, I relaxed in the back seat and read USA Today. I’m not really a newspaper reader, but traffic was bad and the driver was silent so I gave it a shot.

Much to my delight, I found a small article on page 5B of the Money section that states this awesomely named sandwich chain is now offering 3 GF soups and Udi’s GF bread to prepare their sandwiches with. They also have dedicated GF equipment to help avoid cross contamination. Although if Erbert & Gerbert is anything like Panera, I might be reluctant to eat there with all the other gluten flying around. Regardless, its great to see another restaurant chain catering to the GF market in their offerings.

Do you have an Erbert & Gerbert near by? Will you try their new GF foods? Let us know how they are!

Gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin bread and cream cheese frosting

Adapted from Laurie Bennett’s Down East Maine Pumpkin Bread

Original recipe says it makes 3 loaves. My recipe makes about 18 muffins and 1 loaf of bread.

Pumpkin bread isn’t just for Thanksgiving! Sure, it’s a great on a cold, blustery day, but I’d prefer to enjoy it all year long. And we do, since my family requests it on a regular basis. Lucky for me, it’s SO easy to make gluten-free.

Our favorite pre-celiac recipe for pumpkin bread was the Down East Maine Pumpkin bread posted on www.allrecipes.com. It’s full of sugar and spice and everything nice. Although I love the full-fat, full-calorie version, I knew that if we were going to eat it this often, I’d have to lighten it up a bit. So, the recipe below has several alterations: fewer eggs, less sugar and oil, and the addition of ground flax meal to boost the nutritional value, if even only slightly. For the full-blown version, click the link above and substitute GF flour mix for the all-purpose flour.

I always prefer to make muffins AND bread with the same recipe. Muffins are great because they are portable snacks for school or when you’re out and about and not sure about your GF options.

For muffins, try topping them with my dairy-free cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

Delicious gluten-free pumpkin bread/muffin recipe
This recipe is also naturally dairy-free!

Ingredients:
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
¼ cup ground flax meal
2 eggs + 2 egg whites
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose GF flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray muffin tins and bread pans with GF non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, sugars, and flax meal until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.
  • Pour into the muffin and bread pans.
  • Bake muffins for about 30 minutes; bread loaves for about 50 minutes. Insert a toothpick or knife to check that it comes out clean.

Let muffins and bread rest. Although it’s hard to resist eating one right away, and quite frankly, my family never succeeds in holding off, you’ll find that pumpkin bread always tastes better the next day. The flavors intensify after the bread has had a chance to rest.

They’ll never know it’s dairy-free, gluten-free cream cheese frosting

Since this is a muffin, and not a cupcake by my standards, I like the frosting to lean more toward the cream cheese taste. If you like yours sweeter, try making the frosting with equal parts cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar or upping the vanilla a bit.

Also, to stay on the healthier side, I only put a very small dollop on the top of each muffin, but you can adjust this recipe to your liking, or midnight craving.

Note: You may want to double the recipe below if you like a lot of frosting.

Ingredients:
½ tub of Tofutti® cream cheese
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

Directions:

  • Combine ingredients in bowl or mixer. Beat until smooth and well-blended.

Try adding in other flavors such as cinnamon, lemon juice, orange juice, or apple cider for variations on the standard cream cheese recipe.

Share the love: What’s your favorite bread recipe? We love all kinds: pumpkin, banana, zucchini, cheese. Send your favorite recipe to growingupgf@gmail.com, and if it gets a thumbs up from our family, I’ll post it on my blog!

And don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Follow!