If you're following a gluten-free diet, then sometimes flour alternatives can become boring and routine. So why not try another one? Banana flour can have a great flavor if you know how to cook with it.
Maybe when you're reading this you're having the same reaction as I am: how can you make flour from bananas? Well, this powder is made by drying green bananas. They are peeled, chopped, dried, and then ground into the powder.
Its flavor is pretty mild and the texture is reminiscent of lighter wheat flours and requires about 25% less volume in cooking. Banana flour has been used in Africa and Jamaica as a cheaper alternative to wheat flour. But recently, it's gained a new popular use: as a replacement for wheat flour in gluten-free dishes.
Why use banana flour though, when there are plenty of alternatives out there? It depends. Almond flour isn't really a sustainable option, because of how many resources almonds take up. And other flours might interact in a negative way with your gut bacteria.
The benefits of banana flour
You can use it to make pretty much anything, like quick breads, dumplings, roux, and so much more. When you choose it as an ingredient in dishes, you should use about 25% less than the wheat flour recipe calls for.
There are plenty of other reasons to cook with banana flour, too. One of them is the presence of resistant starch in it. This means that the starch isn't fully broken down by enzymes in your small intestines. Instead, it gets fermented in the large intestine and produces SCFA, short-chain fatty acids. These are actually pretty good for you since they promote colon health and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Beyond that, banana flour is thought to promote heart health, is a rich source of potassium, it's diabetic friendly, helpful if you need to lose weight, and it also increases the absorption of minerals. It's also high in minerals and vitamins including zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese.
If you're bananas about bananas, then read this to decide what to make from overripe bananas.