Monday, November 16, 2015

Mix and Bake Gluten Free Banana Muffins

I'm back!!! Back from a good rest and now back to blogging...

For these coming weeks, I will be giving away many interesting kitchen gadgets and so stay tune!!!

To start, I'm trying out this Norwegian product called Hackit to bake these easy gluten free banana muffins and we are giving five Hackits to five lucky winners!!!

I like to I have to say... being on a gluten free diet is not easy!

What is gluten?
According to Wikipedia and, gluten is the strong, sticky, stretchy protein that is found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. It provides structure to many carbohydrate enriched food and makes pasta al dente, waffles and cakes fluffy and spongy, pastry and cookies short, flaky or crispy and artisan bread chewy. In other word, gluten gives food desirable textures and the textures make the food tastes really good.

Why some people have to eat gluten free diet?
According to Coeliac Australia, the immune system of the people who are suffering from coeliac disease reacts abnormally to gluten and will eventually cause small bowel damage and also inflammation in other parts of the body.

According to Better Health Victoria, eating or drinking anything containing gluten can also cause an unpleasant reaction in some people even they are not suffering from coeliac diseases and this symptom is known as gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance and following a gluten-free diet will help.

And so please be aware that gluten free is NOT a healthy diet! It is a diet for people who has coeliac diseases or gluten intolerance. Having said that, I'm sure that many people like me with no coeliac diseases or gluten intolerance didn't mind eating gluten free food too as some of the gluten free or flourless cakes that I have baked and tested at here, here, here, here, here and here are yummy! Why??? Simply because over-mixing or too much gluten can make cake tough and heavy too! 
Assuming that there won't be gluten to make mix-and-bake batter too heavy, I asked my friend with coeliac disease a curious question "Have you tried using gluten free flour to mix-and-bake gluten-free muffins?" and she said "No!" Hmmm... Can't deny that gluten is still an essential component of some good food.

Hmmm... To answer my question, I'm testing a recipe here that uses gluten free flour mixture to bake these mix-and-bake banana gluten free banana muffins.

gluten free banana muffins
Gluten free banana muffins
This is the gluten free flour mixture that I used.
You can make your own gluten free flour mixture if you wish.
Depending on the grade and quality of the gluten free flour ingredients that I used, I somehow think that my self-assembled mixture is not as fine-textured as the ready mixed ones and so I chose to use this instead.

When I searched Google with the words, "gluten free banana muffins recipe", I found many... Most of them has quite typical composite and eventually chose this recipe from Cooking Classy because it contains xanthan gum as I know that xanthan gum helps to gel up food and give it a rather structured texture.

This is the xanthan gum that I used.
Plus, I'm adding these to make the muffins spongy and fluffy.
Testing testing...
Instead of using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon to mix, I'm trying out this interesting product today!
Hackit is an innovative mixing kitchen tool that is made in Norway and is available now in Australia.
Hackit is primarily used to cook and mash mince without damaging the surfaces of all frying pan.
It can be used to stir and mash food that doesn't want to be in fine purée.
It can be also used with its up-down actions to mash fruits and biscuits for dessert.
Now, I like to know if Hackit is a good mixing tool to mix easy batter for baking.
To use Hackit effectively, the mixing bowl that I used can't be entirely rounded at its bottom and must has a flat bottom in a reasonably size.
The use of Hackit at the initial of mixing butter and sugars requires a spoon to scrap the sticky mixture.
After the addition of eggs, Hackit can work perfectly on its own.
Instead of mashing the banana separately, I can add the large pieces of banana into the batter and use Hackit to mash them all together. Easy!
Just keep "hacking" and the batter will be ready!
gluten free banana muffins
Muffins with no gluten??? I have to have a closer look of these muffins!
gluten free banana muffins
Yum! It is moist, spongy and delicious with no waxy-floury aftertaste.

... but these muffins are in their best only when they are freshly baked as they will become dense when they are cooled to room temperature. Please don't get wrong... They are still good and edible but if you are fussy with food like me, you would prefer these muffins to be warm with less compact texture.

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from Cooking Classy for those who like to explore more in gluten free baking.

Make 12 standard 1/3 cup-size muffins
260g (2 cup) gluten-free flour or see note if you want to make your gluten-free flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, very softened at room temperature or microwave slightly to soften
100g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (from about 3 large bananas)

Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C. Combine gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place butter and both sugars in another mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon or Hackit or an electric mixer with paddle attachment to mix until creamy and combined. While mixing, add eggs one at a time and continue to mix until combined after each addition.

Mix in the mashed banana. Sift in the flour mixture and mix with low speed or gradually until all are well incorporated into the batter. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into center of the muffin comes out clean. It is important to bake the muffin thoroughly as insufficient baking time will cause the muffins to be gummy and yucky. If the top of the muffins are browning too quickly, cover the muffins with a foil loosely and continue to bake until the inside of the muffins are completely cooked.

Remove from the oven and then from muffin pan. These muffins are the best to consume when they are slightly warm as cooling these gluten free muffins to room temperature will cause them to be slightly denser.

You can make your own gluten-free flour by combining 1 1/2 cups white rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 3/4 tsp xanthan gum.

Happy Baking
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More about Hackit?

Made with food-approved Polyamide, Hackit is a mixing and cooking tool that can break up food without scratching the surface of non-stick pans, and this means that the tool will not melt and is also dishwasher safe.

It is available in 4 cool colours (black, blue, lime and violet colours) and the RRP of each is AUD$19.95.

You can see more Hackit in actions in cooking and making desserts at this and this official Hackit YouTube video.

I like to thank Hackit (Australia) for providing two Hackit to try and also five to giveaway to five lucky winners! This giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Submission ends on 30 Nov 2015. To win, please enter your details:

Hackit - A Kitchen Mixing Mincing Tool Giveaway
Hope that you can win of this soon!
Before going, I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid by Hackit and like to share my most honest opinions about this product and hope that you will win one and like it too. As mentioned at here, please be assure that this giveaway submission program do not share your details with others. So no worries at all if this is your concern!


  1. What an amazing kitchen tool, one that wouldn't be shoved in the back corner of the draw like so many others

  2. What a great kitchen tool, This is the one item that would always be used.What a great idea

  3. Having had an aunt who was a coeliac I have a small idea how difficult seriously gluten free eating and living can be. The fact that some corn flour can contain gluten & often baking powder does too are two things I never knew! Rice flour was often my friend!

  4. This would come in handy. I would use it almost every day!

  5. I always see this word - gluten free from mummy forum in FB.. They are very particular on this when they serve food for kids.. Maybe they are allergic to it, I don't know.. But I'm not particular with it, and I cook whatever I can find in the house, plus it must be cheap.. I just use normal flour in my bakes.. And normal white rice.. Some mummies I know, they use 5-grains, 10-grains, millet, quinoa, red rice, this rice, that rice.. *sweat* Yummzzz, as usual, your banana muffins look so so soft and good.. Nothing can go wrong with banana (and chocolate chip) muffins, give me anytime, I can wallop 10 pieces!

  6. Yum - that muffins look fab! I heard about the hackit, and it would be awesome when I cook spag! ;)

  7. I love new kitchen gadgets. The more colourful the better!

  8. What a great idea and it stands up as well - I really would like to have one of these!

  9. Zoe, I love all the dessert with banana...your muffins looks delicious!
    Have a nice Monday

  10. I love this, great kitchen gadget

  11. Oooh this is a new gadget that I feel like having! Too bad I don't live in Australia. Yes gluten-free baking and cooking is definitely not easy and I'm so amazed by those who can do it! Your muffins look simple and delicious!

  12. Great kitchen time saving Hack is Hackit!

  13. this would make baking so much easier

  14. Nice to have you back! And with banana muffins..Yummy!

  15. Interesting kitchen gadgets. Your muffins looks good!

  16. Such a brilliant invention! It would replace so many utensils, what a miracle this is! I love the name too :D

  17. This a must have item! My husband uses a metal spatula to chop up mince meat which drives me crazy as it's loud! We've looked everywhere for a better alternative but no luck until now! This would be soo much quieter than the metal spatula that's for sure

  18. gadget! Does that make us a 'kitchen geek'? LOL!

  19. I love the way that toy of yours looks like! So cute and lovely colors too... :) These muffins seem my type, though I would just substitute with my normal flours and go ahead... :)

  20. misleading info from the manufacturer to increase sales on their products. Some of my friend even believe gluten free diet can lose fat.... Haiz~

  21. My master kitchen chef kids will love this!

  22. this will be great for my grandkiddies to use as they like to cook when they here with nanna :)

  23. Them muffins look amazing I'm so going to make them I love gluten free cakes :) they are so tasty .The hacket looks fantastic what a handy tool to have for every day use would come in handy

  24. I would love to win this, I would use daily especially when my grandchildren are over and think of your awesome company.

  25. Yes! Thank you for being informed and honest! I can't stand it when people immediately think that a gluten free, fat free or completely sugar free diet is just natural or better for the human body! I'm totally cool with trying gluten and grain free products but I've never needed to cook to cater to anyone who avoids gluten :p


  27. I spent two weeks on a road trip with a friend who was gluten and lactose intolerant. I so felt her pain when we were trying to order food in a restaurant. Love that this recipe is both gluten and lactose free! And my goodness, how cute is that Hacker! So pretty! And so much handier than dragging out the mixer.

  28. This looks very interesting and I would love to try it.

  29. Hi Zoe,
    What if I'm unable to find "xanthan gum" in Singapore. Can I omit this ingredients or is there other substitution.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Carol, Some gluten free all purpose flour will contain xanthan gum. Please check the label. I'm sorry that there is no substitution for this ingredient and you can'y omit this if you want your gf muffins to have a nice bouncy taste.