Featured Ingredient: Buckwheat
Not at all related to wheat and in-turn blissfully gluten-free, buckwheat is a seed of a plant related to rhubarb native to northern Europe and Asia. Whole-grain buckwheat is a rare food source of the phytochemical rutin. Rutin may have a number of beneficial properties including halting the expansion of body fat cells and keeping cholesterol levels in check. A Canadian study found that buckwheat extract was effective at lowering blood glucose in diabetic animals.
I have been receiving an increasing number of requests to post gluten-free baking recipes, so I thought this was a good opportunity to shine the spotlight on this whole-grain nutrition powerhouse flour. I have to admit that my gluten-free baking expertise is a little unrefined and perhaps why these muffins are ok but not that great. Buckwheat flour has an earthy flavor and grainy texture which is very evident in these.
So I have this query: Does any one have suggestions to make these taste better? I’m thinking that replacing half the buckwheat flour with a different gluten-free option such as coconut flour would really help. They could also use a tad more sweetness, but I hesitate to add in more sugar.
For those who are gluten-free baking newbie’s, guar gum or xanthum gum are used to replace some of the functions gluten provides such as binding ingredients together.
Buckwheat Chocolate Banana Muffins
2 cups buckwheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp guar gum or xanthum gum
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice (optional)
¼ tsp salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup palm sugar or sugar of choice
½ cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
1/3 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine buckwheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, gum, cinnamon, allspice and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and mix with banana, sugar and oil. Stir dry ingredients into wet and then fold in walnuts. Divide mixture among 12 muffin cups and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out mostly clean.