I have discovered banana flour recently. Not that it is new of course. In parts of Africa and on Jamaica they used banana flour as a cheaper alternative to wheat flour and in Central-America it was sold as early as 1900 under the name “Musarina” . It was known to be beneficiary for those suffering of stomach pains.
I had noticed the package with banana flour in my local organic store, but since I do not bake pancakes I never bothered to buy it. Now you might be surprised that despite having four kids I hardly ever bake pancakes….well that is because they don’t really like pancakes. My boys feel that pancakes are rather heavy on the stomach.
I have a feeling that is about to change! Because two weeks ago I stumbled upon a brownie recipe and it needed banana flour. So I decided to give it a go and did some research along the way. I found out some interesting facts about banana flour and why it is such a great alternative to wheat flours:
1. It is Glutenfree
Banana flour is made of unripe, green bananas. They are peeled, chopped, dried and then grounded. So no wheat involved, banana flour is made from banana’s and banana’s only meaning: glutenfree!
2. High content of RS2
RS2 means Resistant Starch, also known as good Carbohydrates. RS2 may reduce risk of obesity, diabetes, and colon cancer. Which is good news of course. Resistant starch refers to a type of starch that the human stomach cannot easily digest which means, to put it bluntly that it is easier to go to the toilet!
3. You need less of it, so it’s good value
Because of the high starch content in banana flour, you can use less flour than normallly required in your recipes. You can use 30% to 40% less banana flour than whatever amount of flour is suggested in a recipe.
4. Environmental friendly because it saves waste and spilling of food.
Banana flour is made of green bananas which are blemished or not “good looking” enough for commercial purposes. So instead of throwing good food away, it is used for flour and thus nothing goes to waste.
5. It’s texture is fluffy and light
Initially I thought that banana flour would have the taste of bananas, which is not necessarily something you would want in your recipe. But in fact it tastes nothing like bananas, while the finished product looks just like it was made from a regular flour, like whole wheat. (The exception to that rule however are pancakes, the batter colors a bit more brown than batter of made with wheat flour. Just like a banana turns brown after you peel it and leave it for a while).
The result is much less dense than products made with other flours like coconut or almond flour, the texture is lighter and fluffier.
So 5 good reasons to go and try this beautiful product, but what to you prepare with it? Well anything you would prepare with any other flour. For instances, cakes, cookies, pancakes, bread, pizza etc.
Since I bought the flour two weeks ago I have been preparing this brownie, which was sheer heaven!
This wonderful coconut-lime cake. With the combination of two of my absolute favorite flavors this cake is my number one cake at the moment. It is so light that I use it for breakfast to start my day in a tropical fashion.
And blueberry pancakes.
At first I thought that they I had failed to get them right, they looked so dark. (When you search the internet almost all pancakes look perfect and golden brown, also the ones made with banana flour). So I made new batter and retried, but they turned very dark again, which seems logical because the batter itself is already quite dark. I decided to serve them anyway and they tasted absolutely delicious.
Not only the boys liked them, my husband (who never has been a pancake fan) made enthusiastic sounds while devouring them.
One more thing I thought worth mentioning: when you open the package, the flour actually looks sort of chunky.
That is easily solved by stiriing the flour through a sieve with a spatula, leaving you with a fine flour.