Welcome to my blog, through which I hope to be able to share my experiences of gluten free cooking, baking, experimenting and eating.
When my daughter was diagnosed (age 6) with Coeliac Disease, our world of eating changed overnight. From breads, pastry and pasta to cakes, biscuits and puddings.......... suddenly most of what we knew was 'off the menu'. I think I must have tested every available gluten free product on the market, seeking out replacements to try and keep things as normal as possible. I was disappointed to find that what was available was often dry, crumbly and flavourless.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to turn my kitchen into a laboratory, turn all I knew about cooking on its head and start creating!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Coco-Banana Freeze Bites - gluten free


For those of you who read my recent banana-coconut brownie post, you will know that I have been neglecting my bananas and ended up with an over-ripe bunch that needed using. Two went on the brownies, but I still had a couple left. Determined not to let them go to waste I have been having a bit of an 'over-ripe banana fest' in the kitchen and experimenting with more unusual ways to eat them before they hit the bin.

I had heard that you can freeze over-ripe bananas and save them to use another time. I have never done this and did consider giving it a go. But I was worried about the motto 'out of sight, out of mind' and I know myself too well to realise that once they were hidden behind that freezer door, they would be long forgotten, only to be found in a few months, with exactly the same dilemma as now.


But then I got to thinking of banana as a frozen food. What if I could combine it with a load of other good stuff and turn it into a frozen, healthy snack? It would then be stored in the freezer ready to eat without any further preparation. Yes!

And so, Coco-Banana Freeze Bites were born. I am sure it has already been done somewhere else by someone much cleverer than me, but I didn't bother checking. Somehow this would take away from my moment of glory (in my head anyway!).


These little balls of sweet, fruity frozen deliciousness are really healthy (especially if you use carob instead of chocolate chips, which I admit I didn't........) and completely raw. No cooking involved whatsoever! You just mash up the bananas, throw the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and stir it all together. If there are any ingredients you don't fancy or don't have, just substitute with something you do. Roll the dough into balls......... stick them in the freezer......... done!

So what do they taste like? Sort of soft, cold, naturally sweetened breakfast bars........ good coconut flavour and texture, mingling with soft banana, shot through with creamy oatiness, interspersed with crunchy chocolaty bitey bits set against a nutty background with a hint of cinnamon. As the warmth of your mouth envelopes each bite, it experiences cold anticipation of what is to come. As it hits the ingredients, the balls quickly soften and melt into the array of flavours contained within. Unexpected and very very tasty.


My daughter and I have been eating them for breakfast, not only because they are delicious and full of good energy-giving ingredients to get the day off to a fantastic start, but they are incredibly quick if you need to grab and run (which in our house is pretty much every morning).


I am entering them into two challenges this month. The first - Family Foodies being hosted by Vanesther at Bangers & Mash and co-hosted by Lou at Eat Your Veg. The theme chosen for this month is Fab Fast Food and must be made in under 30 minutes. Not only are these quick to make but they will last for ages in the freezer ready to provide instant breakfast or snacks whenever you need them. Even on those days when we just haven't got time, I can reassure myself that I am sending my daughter off to school with something nutritious and satisfying in her tum.  And after school? Forget sweets.............. tempt your little ones with these! They are perfect for growing children, easily adaptable to your own larder contents and the novelty value ('frozen breakfast mummy?') is way too good to miss........


I am also putting them forward them for my second 'No Waste Food' entry, as another fab way to get rid of those 'going off' bananas. Always a good thing to have a few ideas up your sleeve, as they are an over-regular occurrence in most homes.  Apparently (according to a government report quoted in the Independent in 2008) Britons throw away 1.6 million bananas every day. That is astounding and frankly outrageous. We can definitely do better than that! This month, the No Waste Food Challenge which rightly supports the Love Food Hate Waste campaign is hosted by Chris who blogs over at Cooking Around The World on behalf of Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. What a great challenge!


So here they are :

Coco-Banana Freeze Bites

Ingredients         

2 ripe bananas
30g gluten free oat flour (easy to make yourself as in this post)
60g gluten free oats
30g ground almonds
25g ground hazelnuts
50g coconut flour
35g shredded coconut
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
100g chocolate chips/chunks (mixed) or carob chips if you are feeling really healthy!
25g crushed macademia nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20g coconut palm sugar (or substitute with soft light brown sugar)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mash the bananas.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly with a wooden/silicone spoon until the mixture has a 'wet' appearance.
  3. Take spoonfuls of the dough and roll into balls using your hands.
  4. Place on a baking tray and cover with cling film and freeze. 
  5. Once frozen, store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-14 unless otherwise indicated

8 comments:

  1. Wow, they are really full of good things, well done. I wish there would be some of them in my freezer right now, but there is no banana anywhere nearby at the moment.

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    1. Thanks Chris. I might even have to encourage the bananas to over-ripen for this one!!! They are so easy to munch (every time we pass the freezer.......)

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  2. These sound just my kind fo thing. Lots of textures and flavours and healthy too. Must give these a go. An original idea to you, is still an original idea. I've got some bananas stashed in the freezer, so must give these a go

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    1. Thanks Katie........ you're right. I had the idea and that's good! And given that the idea ended up with these is not so bad........ (except that I can't stop eating them!)

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  3. Wonderful recipe idea! I always freeze over-ripe bananas and I actually have some stuffed in the freezer right now - so I could totally make these :D (although I would have to cook the banana first as, for some reason, raw bananas give me stomach cramps) I love the ingredients you've used!

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    1. Definitely try them Aimee. Could bake the bananas first I reckon in their skins, before mushing them into the rest of the ingredients? If you do try, let me know how you get on. The flavours, textures and convenience of such a healthy snack (which doesn't have a 'sell-by') is absolutely worth it!

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  4. Love the look of these. We always end up with a good few over-ripe bananas and my daughters are crazy about any treats of the frozen variety so I think these would go down a storm in our house. A lovely entry for this month's Family Foodies #FabFastFood challenge. Thanks for taking part!

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    1. Thanks Vanesther. I thoroughly recommend them. We are definitely hooked and happy that they are so much healthier than the sugar-filled stuff usually craved! Always a fun challenge.... Thanks for hosting!

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