Gluten Free Banana Bread

Daylight savings has come to an end. The dwindling away of my dinnertime source of natural light has begun. With the colder days and darker nights upon us, to me, it signifies the coming of winter. A time I sadly dread. For I wish I could say I love all the seasons, the changing of mother nature around me. But I feel the cold, oh so much, and it pains me. Waking in the dark, arriving home from work in the dark, the constant layering of clothes to protect against the Melbourne chill, and the food photographer struggle of fading daylight of an evening. 

But I’d be lying if I said I disliked all that winter brings. There are a few special wintery moments I cherish. Sitting in the front lounge of my parent’s house with the open fireplace ablaze, blankets draping upon us. A cup of tea in one hand, a square of dark chocolate in the other. Sundays with little to do but spend the day cuddled inside, heater on, the slow cooker bubbling away, and the anticipation of a heart-warming dinner and a warm rhubarb crumble.

Winter almost sounds bearable when put like that. For now, I’m just glad the warmer days are not yet behind us.

I baked this banana bread on April 1st, the last day of daylight savings. It was mid-afternoon and the sun was sneaking in and out of the passing clouds. This banana bread recipe is perfect for those with sensitivities, as it’s gluten free, low FODMAP, lactose free and dairy free. There’s also no added sugar, so it’s also a great healthy alternative. Enjoy and stay warm my friends!

Gluten Free Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk of choice
2 large or 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a loaf tin. Place all ingredients, except 1/4 cup of walnuts and the shredded coconut, in a large bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into the tin, sprinkle walnuts and coconut over the top, and place in oven for 45 minutes.


A Friendly, Low FODMAP Easter Menu

Each year as Easter rolls around, there’s one thing that excites me most. More than chocolate and a four-day weekend, the best thing about Easter is the food.

I get excited about the planning, the preparing, and of course, the sharing of food with my loved ones. Whether it’s a large feast, or a few simple dishes, there’s always something special about sitting around the table, enjoying a thoughtfully prepared meal with great company. At Easter, it's all about creating scrumptious and comforting dishes that perfectly match the shorter, cooler Autumn days.

This year I’ll be heading to the coast with my family, and no doubt, the focus will be on food, food, food (and maybe a chilly stroll or two along the beach - after all it is my favourite place).

But it can’t be all beach strolls and eating dish after dish of delicious food. Creating a special meal for special people in your lives requires a bit of hard work. And let’s not forget that a festive season like Easter can bring added stresses, but also added expenses. Throw a few food intolerances into the mix, and hosting can become plain overwhelming.

Luckily for me, my family is now well acquainted with my low FODMAP diet, but as it wasn’t always that way, I wanted to share with you my Easter plan of attack!

With the help of Australian grocer, Aussie Farmer’s Direct and their Easter Grocery Shopping promo, I’ve put together my low FODMAP and gluten free Easter menu to help you have a stress-less holiday. I've also included a few classic FLK recipes below, especially for the occasion.

If you head over to Aussie Farmer's Direct, you'll not only get your Easter shopping done quick and easy, but you'll be supporting Aussie farmers and home-grown produce. Double win!

Have a happy Easter break everyone, and don’t forget to share your Easter creations with the hashtag #friendlylittlekitchen!

Low FODMAP & Gluten Free Easter Menu

Cheese Board Starter
  • Rocket & Goats Cheese Dip (recipe below)
  • Homemade Chunky Salsa
  • Original Corn Chips
  • Double Brie, Vintage Cheddar &/or Blue Cheese (all naturally low in lactose)
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Carrot Sticks

  • Paella (recipe below)
  • Green Salad with Olive Oil & Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Panforte Brownies (recipe below)
  • Fresh Fruit – Strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit
  • And, maybe a cheeky Hot Cross Bun for your guests! Not gluten free, but if you can tolerate spelt flour, you could even bake a batch of my Spelt Hot Cross Buns!


Rocket & Goats Cheese Dip
2 large handfuls rocket
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
Half lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp yoghurt of choice
50g Yarra Valley Goat’s Cheese
Salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blitz until you have an almost smooth consistency.

Serves 4-6

Olive oil
1 chorizo sausage
4 chicken thighs, chopped
1 large red capsicum, chopped
Parsley stalks, finely chopped
Sea salt & ground pepper
400g paella rice (or Arborio)
2 tsp sweet paprika
10 strings of saffron, ground with salt in mortar and pestle until fine powder
200g tinned tomatoes
1L chicken stock (no onion or garlic)
~8 large whole prawns
150g calamari rings
120g peas
Fresh parsley leaves

First and foremost, prepare all your ingredients so they are ready to go. Cover base of 36cm paella pan (or casserole dish) with oil and heat over medium heat. Add chopped chorizo, chicken and capsicum, fry for 5 minutes, until coloured and fragrant. Add parsley stalks, salt and pepper, and continue to fry gently for 2 minutes. Add rice, paprika and ground saffron powder, stirring until the rice is coated. Add the tomato, stock and more salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stir for the last time, then turn down to a medium-low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until rice starts to look cooked. This can be a bit of a guessing game so use your instinct. Then press the prawns on top of the paella. As the prawns begin turning pink, turn the prawns over and sprinkle the peas and calamari on top. Cook for another 5 minutes or until everything is perfectly cooked.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley and squeeze half a lemon over the top. Plonk the paella pan in the middle of your table and dish up with a lemon wedge on the side.

Panforte Brownies
Makes 12 squares

1 1/2 mixed nuts (roast almonds, walnuts & hazelnuts)
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Sea salt
1/4 cup orange peel, diced
1 cup dried fruit (use a mixture of lower FODMAP dried fruit - blueberries, cranberries, currants & raisins)
70g 70% dark chocolate
1/4 cup rice malt syrup

Preheat oven to 170°C. Place any of the raw nuts on a tray in the oven to roast for approximately 10 minutes. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, along with chopped dried fruit, orange peel and roasted nuts. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Add the rice malt syrup, continually stirring until smooth. Add a drizzle of hot water if the chocolate begins to harden. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients, stir until it all comes together. I like to use my hands. Press the mixture into a lined cake tin, making sure it’s even and firm. Press baking paper over the top and bake for approximately 12 minutes. Once cooled, slice into squares and sprinkle with raw cacao (or some sneaky icing sugar).


Raspberry Bundt Cake with Coconut Yoghurt

When I started Friendly Little Kitchen, photography really wasn’t a priority. With limited time, I focused more of my attention on my passion for recipe development, and naturally everything else including photos took a backseat. I started with a phone, and a point and shoot camera, using whichever was handy. I over edited the end results or applied too much filtering. You can see here for yourself, my skill on the subject was fairly non-existent. However I soon realised if I wanted a serious (ie. beautiful, inspiring, dance-around-and-eat-cake) kind of blog, which I did (and still do), I needed serious photographs. And this was something that would take time. 

So I finally invested in my first DSLR (read here), and made an effort to bring photography forward on my priority list. Slowly slowly, with the help of my Plate to Pixel book and some food photography blogs, I taught myself the basics. Soon enough, it wasn’t just the need that was driving me to learn, it was a new passion boiling up inside me. I am now loving the food photography and styling side of blogging, I have so much more to learn and I want to learn it all!!

Gluten free raspberry cake
Cake with coconut yoghurt

I thought I'd share with you two of my most recent photography wins, I'm pretty chuffed about…

1) I’m now shooting in manual - say what!? Yes, well this is a no brainer to getting better photos, but it’s a toughy. There are so many elements to juggle, and I think it’s just one of those things that takes practice and you never stop learning new things about.

2) I’ve finally started shooting in raw image format (as opposed to the usual jpeg), literally just this post. It's apparently another no brainer. I had read I should shoot in raw long ago, but I didn’t. Given I was the slow self-taught type, I thought really there's no rush to add another element into the mix. But I can't believe I didn't do it sooner! The photos not only look a thousand times better, the post-processing was a hell of a lot easier.

Cake on the table
Cake on the table

So in the interest of continuing to learn and improve my photography, next on my list is to attend some classes and workshops (recommendations welcome) and start using Lightroom for editing. I’ve been using Photoshop since I was 12 so it's probably time to make the switch!

Please leave me a comment with any recommendations or tips!

And lastly, enjoy this cake, it's low FODMAP, gluten free, lactose free and it's a real treat!!

Slice of raspberry cake

Raspberry Bundt Cake with Coconut Yoghurt
Makes 1 cake, serves 8-10

1 cup gluten free flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used lactose free cows milk)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (not defrosted)

To serve
1/4 cup coconut yoghurt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
Shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 180C and grease your bundt tin really well. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth, add one egg at a time followed by the milk, whisking after each addition. Slowly add the dry mixture and whisk slowly until just combined. Add the berries and gently incorporate them with a spatula. Pour into tin and bake for 45 minutes.

Once the cake is ready and cooled, stir the coconut yoghurt, maple syrup and water together, drizzle over the top and sprinkle with shredded coconut and raspberries.


Low FODMAP | gluten free | lactose free | nut free

Gluten Free Savoury Waffles with Bacon and Eggs

I have never been a big fan of one-purpose kitchen contraptions and gadgets that take up cupboard space. It’s probably the cause of Mum trying to keep the kitchen manageable when we were growing up, which she has always done so well. We didn't have a dishwasher for many years, no mix master, just hand held beaters, it was simple. This mantra has now been (semi) enforced in my own kitchen, and threads it’s way throughout my life. I try to keep things simple, buy less, use less. I’m not very good at it, but I try. Because on the flip side I have trouble letting go. Letting go of things I haven’t used for years, taking up valuable space. So I now err on the side of not acquiring stuff in the first place - to save me from my hoarding self!

There was however, one kitchen contraption that slipped through the cracks of Mum's kitchen. One shiny toy I hold dear. The waffle maker! Though only pulled out on occasional lazy Sunday mornings, I developed a love for waffles and the infinite possibilities. Sweet, savoury, soft or crispy. Sky's the limit with this bad boy. When I moved out of home, over a year ago now (wow how time flies), Mum gifted this on to me. What a gift!

Speaking of gifts, that plate you see in the photo is a Bridget Bodenham piece I was given for my birthday from my family. It's seriously amazing, I even ate my waffles off it post-photo shoot because it felt too pretty not to.

Anyway, back to the serious stuff. These savoury waffles make the perfect breakfast, lunch or dinner accompaniment, whilst being healthy and full of protein. Tigernut flour (not in fact a nut) is a great addition to the mixture for a boost of fibre and prebiotics. I got mine from Terra Firma Foods, but if you can't get a hold of tigernut flour, simply replace the amount with a nut meal or oat flour. I also eat these savoury waffles with sweet toppings (see below the recipe) - I did say sky's the limit! But you can also make these gluten free waffles for a sweeter experience.

Gluten Free Savoury Waffles with Bacon and Eggs
Makes 4-6 waffles

1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tigernut flour (or oat flour or a nut meal of choice)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk of choice
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Savoury toppings

Heat your waffle maker. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl, add milk and parsley, and mix together with the dry ingredients. Add coconut oil and mix well until all combined. Once the waffle maker has heated, pour about half a cup of mixture to make each waffle.

Top and enjoy!

I hear you wondering "can I also eat these as sweet waffles?" Why yes, of course!! My favourite thing about these waffles is having a savoury breakfast waffle first, swiftly followed by a sweet dessert waffle. Heavenly.

Simply top with your favourite sweet toppings, like frozen banana, maple syrup and yoghurt (those are mine), and if you wish you can leave the parsley out of the mixture (but it is delicious regardless).

Low FODMAP | gluten free | fructose friendly | lactose free | sugar free | nut free
All content, design & photos are by Stephanie Papillo, unless otherwise indicated. © 2015. Powered by Blogger.
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