Announcements

Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
Fill out my online form.

Where in the World is Carol?

Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and www.CarolFenster.com

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

Banana Flour, Anyone? It’s Gluten-Free!

In my summer quest to experiment with new flours, I recently stumbled across banana flour. It seems that anything can be made into flour, and that includes bananas. Except that these aren’t your ordinary ripe yellow bananas from the grocery store. No, they’re unripe green bananas and they’re peeled, sliced, and dehydrated before being milled into flour.

Banana Bread made with Banana Flour

Banana Bread made with Banana Flour

 

WON’T MY BAKED GOODS TASTE LIKE BANANA FLOUR?

My first thought was: “Won’t my baked goods taste like bananas if I use banana flour?” Oddly enough, though you may detect a slight banana taste in the raw flour and perhaps a corresponding banana aroma, that all dissipates during the baking process. The most surprising thing to me, however, was the color. I expected an off-white color (like the banana flesh itself) but the flour is actually tan, not white.

WHERE TO BUY BANANA FLOUR

The main company is Zuvii Banana Flour, formerly known as WEDO Banana Flour. The website is www.BananaFlour.com. Another excellent source is Let’s Do Organics by Edward & Sons, a company I have known for a long time. I have not found banana flour in my local natural food stores, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find it in yours. It is easily ordered from Amazon or the Zuvii website.

WHY USE BANANA FLOUR?

You may ask:  “Why should I use banana flour?”  Here are a few reasons to consider:

Gluten-Free

It is gluten-free and can be used in many types of baking, including cakes, cookies, bars, pancakes, waffles, and bread. However, its tan color will slightly darken any baked item. So, I would not use it in a white or yellow cake or in sugar cookies, unless you don’t mind the darker hue.

I used it in my own recipe for Banana Bread (see below) and was pleased with the outcome (see photo). In this small recipe, I simply replaced two tablespoons of my flour blend with two tablespoons of banana flour, and the recipe did not require any other adjustments. However, experts warn that banana flour (like coconut flour) soaks up a lot of liquid, so if you are making a large recipe you may need lots more liquid.

I also used it in a Pancake recipe from the Zuvii website and noticed that the flour lumped up, so using a blender (as the recipe suggests) is a good idea. The pancakes had a sweet, wholesome taste with no hint of banana flavor. The pancakes were darker in color, which was to be expected.

 If you aren’t using a recipe that you’re familiar with, then I suggest that you use one from the www.BananaFlour.com or www.EdwardandSonsrecipe.org  websites rather than trying to design your own recipe. The manufacturers suggest that you can use less banana flour, perhaps 2/3 cup for every cup of flour blend called for in your own recipe— but that’s hard to translate without some experimentation. So again, use a recipe that’s designed for banana flour for best results.

Health Benefits

Healthwise, banana flour contains potassium, just like ripe bananas. But more important is its resistant starch, which is not digested in the small intestine. According to the Zuveii Banana Flour website, resistant starch in banana flour:

* “resists” breaking down into sugars, resulting in lower blood sugar levels

* helps you stay full and burn more fat

* lowers pH levels in your colon, guarding against DNA and cell damage

* is a prebiotic which promotes the growth of good bacteria and feeds our cells

However, the Zuveii website cautions that the benefits of resistant starch are only available under 140 degrees, so if you’re baking with it (such as the Banana Bread below) you may not reap all of its benefits. Instead, they suggest stirring some into your morning smoothies or use it in no-bake cookies or bars.

Paleo-Friendly and Allergen-Friendly

The groups most likely to find value in banana flour are Paleo diet followers and bakers who seek an alternative starch to replace potato starch or cornstarch. Increasingly, I find people who don’t tolerate starches, so banana flour (which is grain-free and not related to potato) may be a substitute—but again, it requires lots of experimentation to successfully replace potato starch or cornstarch in baking.  The function of these starches is to lighten the baked item, and banana flour may not offer this feature in your baking.

 BANANA BREAD FOR TWO (made with banana flour)

Adapted with permission from Gluten-Free Cooking for Two by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)

For efficient measuring, I place the banana flour in a ½-cup measuring cup and then add the Gluten-Free Flour Blend to reach ½ cup. Level off the mound of flour with a knife.

1              large egg, at room temperature

1/3         cup mashed overripe banana (about 1 small)

2              tablespoons canola oil

2              tablespoons banana flour

6              tablespoons Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below, or use your own Paleo-friendly blend) )

1/3         cup sugar (or preferred sweetener)

1/2         teaspoon cinnamon

1/2         teaspoon baking powder

1/2         teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4         teaspoon salt

1/16       teaspoon (pinch) baking soda

2              tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans

[1] Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Generously grease a 3¼ x5¾-inch nonstick (gray, not black) loaf pan.

[2] In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg, banana, and oil until smooth.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and baking soda until well blended. With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour mixture into the egg mixture just until blended. Stir the walnuts into the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

[3] Bake until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread and cool on the wire rack for another 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife or an electric knife to cut into 4 slices and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Makes a 3¼ x 5¾ -inch loaf: 4 slices

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups brown rice flour (or sorghum flour)

1 ½ cups potato starch

1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together thoroughly and store, tightly closed, in a dark, dry place.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>