Friday, August 31, 2012

In Season: Homemade Salsa

Tomatoes are ripe and delicious right now, and so are many kinds of hot peppers. That makes it the perfect time to make fresh salsa.

Just take the four main components of salsa: tomatoes, onion, chile peppers, and garlic. Then create your own basic or designer salsa using: hot peppers or mild ones, lots of onion or just a little; add optional ingredients like cilantro, lime juice, mango, cucumber....  A little salt is always a good idea too.

This salsa is made with a variety of heirloom tomatoes, shallots, habaƱero, cilantro, lime juice, and kosher salt. I used shallots, which have a mild onion and garlic flavor, because that's all I happened to have on hand. Lucky me it turned out great!

By the way, avocados are also in season now, so make some guacamole too, and enjoy the best of the season!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Banana Bread (Gluten-Free!)

I got this recipe off a bag of Namaste Foods gluten-free Perfect Flour Blend. They call it "Best Banana Bread" and it really is the best! No one would even guess it's gluten-free.

I recommend Namaste Foods flour blend as well as the recipe, but in the interest of saving space in my pantry and not having a bunch of different flours and mixes in there, I adapted the recipe ever so slightly to use a homemade brown rice flour blend that I like to keep on hand.

If you like, you can add half a cup or so of chopped nuts or seeds to the batter.

Banana Bread (Gluten-Free)  PRINTABLE RECIPE

2 cups brown rice flour blend  PRINTABLE RECIPE
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas - mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325° and lightly spray 9" x 5" loaf pan with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour blend, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together sugars and oil. Add eggs, bananas, and vanilla, and stir until well blended. Fold in dry ingredients.

4. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove bread from pan and cool on wire rack.