Gluten-free flours do exist. There are flours from corn, from rice. There is teff flour, coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, almond flour, tapioca flour. There is flour from cherry peas, from amaranth, from buckwheat … and of course from crickets (yes, the sweet insects).
One gluten-free flour that is missing from the above list is plantain flour.
Plantain flour is made from unripe plantains – and is therefore not flour (i.e., made from cereal grains) in the conventional sense.
Plantains are not to be confused with the normal banana! Plantains are more like potatoes in their use – and that is how they are traditionally used in Africa and South America).
The green plantains are dried and ground. No further processing is required.
Why flour from plantains?
The flour is naturally gluten-free. But it’s also nutrient-rich. Dr. Axe in the U.S. gives seven reasons why plantains should find a place in the kitchen. The following values are according to the US reference values and apply to fresh plantains.
- Plantains are rich in potassium. 120g provides about 20% of the recommended intake.
- The fiber is beneficial for the intestines and digestion. 120g provides about 20% of the recommended intake.
- Plantains contain a lot of vitamin C. 120g provides about 35% of the recommended intake.
- Plantains are rich in vitamin A. 120g provide about 36% of the recommended intake.
- Plantains provide a lot of vitamin B6. 120g provide about 24% of the recommended intake.
- Plantains are a good source of magnesium. 120g provide about 16% of the recommended intake.
- Plantains could protect against aspirin-induced stomach ulcers.
What does plantain flour taste like?
Plantain flour does not taste like bananas. It is a very neutral flour with no real flavor of its own.
Plantain flour in use
Plantain flour can be used 1:1 as a substitute for regular flour, at least in all dishes that do not live on gluten. Gluten comes from Latin and means glue. It works as a kind of paste. Water is absorbed and so we get the well-known toughness in bread dough. Baker’s Latin explains the whole thing quite nicely.
However, plantain flour is also popularly added to shakes and smoothies as a kind of supplement. The resistant starch in the flour promotes healthy intestinal flora.
So what dishes are suitable for plantain flour?
Buy plantain flour
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Do you have any questions or comments about the flour? Then leave a comment!