I don’t know about you, but discovering new healthy foods just gets me a bit excited. A wee while back, a visit to one of my favourite shops (a bulk food store that sells lots of yummy, healthy stuff) provided me with the discovery of another food that I’d never seen before – Banana Flour!
Well, I examined the package and it sounded interesting. It wasn’t something I’d heard of and so as all good foodies would do, I planted this new discovery safely in my memory bank and as as soon as I was home I Googled it! 😉
What I discovered was that this particular Banana flour that I’d found was made in far North Queensland in Australia. The Atherton tablelands to be precise. I also discovered that there are many other brands of banana flour available in other countries and I’m guessing that as with most of these ‘new’ foods, it’s something that’s been used in other parts of the world forever but has just found its way to my part of the world.
Uses for Banana flour
So what can you use banana flour for? Well from what I’ve read, it seem like you can use banana flour pretty much anywhere that you’d normally use other flours but (like coconut flour) you just use less of it. Twenty five percent less according to cooking tips on the Mt Uncle Banana flour website.
So, after a little research I went back a few days later and bought some banana flour and decided to experiment with it. What to make????
Now there’s a test I thought… Something simple and something that I will admit to missing on my somewhat restricted, gluten free diet.
This is a test that will show me how adaptable this flour really is!
So my first experiment with Banana flour was scones. I used 100% banana flour and much to my surprise they worked! It’s difficult to find anything apart from grain flours that will make something that comes close to resembling a real scone (although I have used chickpea flour in the past).
Using green banana flour
When I opened my bag of banana flour the smell was definitely banana-ish. Not a ripe banana smell, but the smell that unripe green bananas have which makes sense because that’s what this flour is made from. Green bananas!
Now my scones didn’t rise anywhere near as high as my wheat based scones used to, but that might just be a case of tweaking the recipe (I just used the exact recipe that I always used for traditional scones but replaced the wheat flour with banana flour. Perhaps some guar gum might help?)
Anyway, I have to say that the finished product tasted somewhat different from traditional scones (as you would expect), but we both enjoyed them (hubby and I) and there was no hint of that astringency you get from unripe bananas where it makes your teeth all furry and sucks the moisture right out of your mouth! (I kind of found myself expecting that because of the smell of the flour…)
The texture was a little different from traditional scones, but still quite light. They were quite dry and cracked looking on the outside however, but that was only aesthetic because they really weren’t dry at all when eating them. I’m thinking that maybe a brush over with something wet before baking might help to improve their look.
The colour inside was quite a dark brown so they looked different, but all in all the scones were pretty good!
They must have been because we demolished them…
Benefits of using green banana flour
Green banana flour is a 100% natural product and a great source of vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin E
Fand it is apparently the highest source of resistant starch (RS2) which in studies has been shown to have great benefits to our overall health. You can read more about those here.
Green banana flour is also gluten free and Paleo friendly and it’s suitable for all types of baking and cooking (use 25% less flour than normal flours).
Banana flour is another ‘real food’ that will no doubt become more popular and more available in a market where consumers are crying out for gluten free, healthy and traditional foods.
And for those of us who are on Paleo type diets, grain free diets or just avoiding gluten I reckon green banana flour is an exciting addition to our pantries!
P.S. This flour would probably be perfect in my gluten free crumble recipe… Must try that one!