One of the biggest challenges for me, starting off this Low-FODMAP Lifestyle (especially since we started just after Thanksgiving so I was facing Christmas without cookies, etc.), was finding high-quality, good-tasting bread products that didn’t include wheat, barley, rye, or any of other high-FODMAP ingredients.
Thankfully (though I consider it a bit of a double-edged sword–but that’s a topic for another time), gluten-free foods and products are a lot easier to find these days, and those products are an excellent place to start when you’re going low-FODMAP, but gluten-free doesn’t automatically mean FODMAP-free (or, rather, low-FODMAP–FODMAP-free would be really tough). Many times a gluten-free cookie or break will include high-FODMAP fruit-derived sweeteners like apple and pear juice concentrates, fructooligosaccharides (aka FOS), high-FODMAP fiber additions like inulin, or even simple ingredients like honey or agave nectar that are no-nos for those of us on this diet.
Consequently, I found myself getting better results baking from scratch than using mixes–even pre-made gluten-free flour blends–but sometimes you really do want that convenience factor. So I keep trying whatever I can find.
One product I’ve been fairly happy with the is Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix.
I bought it on a lark one shopping trip and then heard from a Facebook friend that it makes a fabulous banana bread, so had to give it a try.
Fun Fact: February 23rd was National Banana Bread Day
The same friend mentioned upping the bananas a bit more than the recipe on BettyCrocker.com called for, so I added a third banana to the mix just to see what happened. I also kept in the vanilla from the box instructions, even though the recipe didn’t call for it, and left out the nuts but added some chocolate chips. Upon hindsight I also used the amount of butter the box called for (2 sticks or 1 cup) instead of only half of it–oops! It sure did turn out to be a moist quick bread, though!
Low-FODMAP Banana Bread
adapted from BettyCrocker.com
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe Bananas (3 medium)
1 cup Butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Combine cake mix, bananas, butter, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low 30 seconds, and then medium to high for up to 2 minutes–you’re usual cake-mix method. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Butter only the bottom of a loaf pan (or a set of mini-loaf tins–I managed to make 8 small loaves with one mix) and pour in the batter, smoothing the top as best you can. For a single loaf pan bake for 1 hour, for mini-loaves start checking on them after 30 minutes. Once a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean it’s done.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan(s), then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Wrapped in plastic this banana bread will last at least 4 days on the counter–that’s as long as ours lasted, but seems about right. Gluten-free foods do sometimes tend to dry out more quickly than those containing wheat, so storing it in the fridge would be a good idea for longer storage.
Since the Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix uses a combination of rice flour and potato starch to replace the wheat flour and sticks to plain sugar instead of substituted and other additives it qualifies as Low-FODMAP. Bananas are one of those tricky ingredients–some IBS sufferers can tolerate the 1/2 banana that’s cleared by the FODMAP gurus, others find even that much too much. Ripeness is a factor, too–too ripe and the sugar balance gets thrown off. To work around that, freeze some bananas when they just have the tiniest specks of brown on their peel (perfect ripeness) and then defrost to use in recipes. This also has the benefit of making the banana easier to mix in to the batter, since the freezing process does the heavy lifting of tearing through those cell walls for you!
As to the chocolate chips, make sure you read the label and select a brand that does not include milk or lactose as an ingredient to keep this banana bread low-FODMAP overall. So far I’ve found the Nestlé Tollhouse and Enjoy Life brands are good for this.
A common malady of GF mixes is a gritty texture to the finished product. This is generally because of the type of flours being substituted and a hard thing to work around when mass-producing this sort of product and needing to give it a decent shelf-life. All of my GF flours suggest keeping them refrigerated after opening, though the only thing I really do that with is the xanthum gum since it’s so blasted expensive! Whether because of the superiority of the mix itself of the addition of several “softening” ingredients (butter, eggs, and bananas) is hard to say, but we didn’t have that problem with this particular recipe.
We enjoyed our banana bread warm from the oven (quality control, you know), at room temperature the next morning for breakfast, I sliced up a few loaves to serve to guests one evening and then we split the last loaf between us and topped it with some ice cream (Bryer’s Lactose Free Vanilla) for a Friday-night dessert.
Even though it wasn’t quite as quick as mixes can be (the only time savings was the measuring of the flour, sugar, and leavening, really) it was nice to find a mix that yielded a nice end product that even folks not on restricted diets enjoyed. It’s something I wouldn’t hesitate to keep on hand for those quick-fix moments when I want something sweet without too much fuss.
This is not a solicited review of any kind. I purchased the items referred to above and received no compensation from the brands or manufacturers. Opinions of the brands listed above are based on personal experience and indicate no relationship with the brands other than any other consumer would enjoy.