Plantain flour: all about this new baking trend
Baking with plantain flour is a new trend that is quickly catching on.
This type of flour has been used in the Caribbean and South America for centuries but is only now becoming popular in the United States and other Western countries.
Plantains are very popular in warmer climates, and hence they can be used to make flour.
This type of flour is made from green plantains that have been dried and ground into a powder. It has a slightly sweet taste and is perfect for baked goods.
This post explains what plantain flour is, its history, how it’s made, and what it’s used for.
Plantain flour is a type of flour made from ground-up green, unripened plantains. It is a gluten-free flour that is popular in Caribbean and South American cooking. Plantain flour can be used to make all types of baked goods. It has a slightly sweet taste and a starchy texture but is NOT banana flavored.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 What is plantain flour?
- 2 What does plantain flour taste like?
- 3 How is plantain flour made?
- 4 What is plantain flour used for?
- 5 Plaintain flour and nutrition
- 6 What’s the difference between plantain and banana flour?
- 7 Is plantain flour the same as green banana flour?
- 8 Where to find plantain flour
- 9 How long does plantain flour last?
- 10 Takeaway
What is plantain flour?
Green plantain flour is made from green, unripe plantains. Plantains are a type of banana that is longer and less sweet than the traditional yellow banana.
The plantains are picked unripe and green, then dried and ground into a powder to make the flour.
Plantain flour is gluten-free and perfect for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. The flour is also high in fiber and nutrients like potassium.
Like plantain chips, the flour is made from plantains and not bananas. There’s a major difference between bananas and plantains, although they’re from the same family.
Bananas are picked when they’re ripe and yellow, while plantains are picked unripe and green.
Compared to bananas, which are typically tiny in size, green plantains are larger, savory, bright green with a thick skin, richer in starch, and less sweet.
When the fruit is overripe, the color changes from green to yellow as it ripens.
Similar to how potatoes are prized in the west, green plantains are a staple food throughout the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America.
But plantains are actually native to Southeast Asia. The flour is not as commonly used in Asia though.
Green plantains are often prepared, such as boiled, roasted, baked, fried, or mashed to form mangu rather than eaten raw.
What does plantain flour taste like?
The flavor of plantain flour is slightly sweet with a starchy taste. It’s not banana-flavored like you might expect.
It also has a slightly bitter taste, but it’s noticeable in a recipe when eating it.
How is plantain flour made?
To make plantain flour, green plantains are dried and then ground into a powder. The drying process can be done in a dehydrator or in the oven.
Only green, unripened plantains are used to make this flour. If you use ripe plantains, the flour will have a sweeter taste and a darker color.
Plantain flour processing
The plantains are first cleaned, peeled, and then sliced.
Next, the plantain slices are dried until they’re brittle. This can be done in a dehydrator or in the oven. Factories use large dehydrator trays that can hold many pounds of plantain slices.
Once dried, the plantains are ground into a fine powder using a food processor or blender.
The plantain flour is then sifted to remove any large pieces.
The final step is to store the plantain flour in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
What is plantain flour used for?
Plantain flour can be used to make all types of baked goods, such as bread, tortillas, pancakes, cookies, cakes, and muffins.
It is also used to make plantain bread, pie crusts, and all kinds of sweet or savory treats and baked goods and foods.
There are even plantain flour pasta varieties out there.
Many popular recipes that call for other types of flour can also be made using plantain flour.
Plantain flour is most commonly used in gluten-free cooking and baking or vegan recipes as a substitute for conventional flour.
How to use plantain flour
The substitution ratio for plantain flour is 1:1 for wheat flour. This means that if a recipe calls for 1 cup of wheat flour, you can use 1 cup of plantain flour instead.
The same ratio goes for semolina or roux.
However, when baking bread, plantain flour only substitutes 30% of regular wheat flour.
The rest should be a combination of other gluten-free flour such as almond flour, tapioca flour, or buckwheat flour.
Plaintain flour and nutrition
Let’s see how plantain flour compares to other flours and how it might fit into your diet.
Is plantain flour healthy?
Plantain flour is a good source of dietary fiber and nutrients like potassium. It’s also gluten-free, making it a healthy option for those who have a gluten intolerance.
Compared to regular flour, plantain flour is lower in carbohydrates and has fewer calories. It’s also a good source of resistant starch, which is a type of healthy dietary fiber.
Therefore, plantain flour is beneficial for the digestive system.
Plantain flour is also a good alternative for those who are on a low-carb diet.
In general, plantain flour is a healthy alternative to regular flour.
Is plantain flour gluten-free?
Plantain flour is gluten-free and safe for those who have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
It can be used to bake and cook all types of gluten-free recipes.
Can diabetics eat plantain flour?
Plantain flour is a good choice for diabetics because it has a lower glycemic index than regular flour. This means that it won’t cause blood sugar levels to spike as quickly.
Plantain flour is also a good source of dietary fiber, even when cooked.
Is plantain flour paleo-friendly?
Yes, plantain flour is paleo-friendly.
Paleo dieters can use plantain flour as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.
This flour is also grain-free and does not contain any dairy, making it a good option for those on a paleo diet.
Is plantain flour good for weight loss?
Plantain flour is a healthy alternative to regular flour and can be used to make weight-loss recipes.
The simplest piece of weight loss advice is to consume more fiber simply. The same amount of weight can be lost by eating more fiber as by sticking to a low-fat diet.
Unripe or green plantains are a great addition to weight loss and dietary fortification since they are a natural supply of resistant starch, which helps to lower blood glucose levels.
What’s the difference between plantain and banana flour?
Banana flour is made from ripe bananas that have been dried and ground into a powder. The taste of banana flour is very similar to that of traditional wheat flour.
Plantain flour is made from unripe, green plantains. The taste of plantain flour is slightly sweet and not as strong as banana flour.
The texture of plantain flour is also different from that of wheat flour – it is heavier and denser.
Is plantain flour the same as green banana flour?
Green banana flour is made from unripe, green bananas that have been dried and ground into a powder.
The taste of green banana flour is slightly sweet and very similar to that of plantain flour.
However, even though these flours are from the banana family, they are not quite the same.
Green banana flour is made from bananas, while plantain flour is made from plantains.
The taste and texture of these flours are similar, and they have similar properties.
Where to find plantain flour
It’s possible to purchase plantain flour in stores or online through Amazon.
Most South American grocery stores are likely to have plantain flour in stock.
If you’re having trouble finding it, you can also make your own plantain flour at home.
Best plantain flour brands
There are some excellent green plantain flour brands worth checking out.
Iya Foods Premium Plantain Flour
This brand is:
Although it’s slightly pricier than some brands, Iya Foods’ plantain flour is of excellent quality.
The company only uses unripe, green plantains that have been carefully selected and peeled by hand.
Real Guyana All Purpose Green Plantain flour
This is the kind of budget brand you can find at grocery shops. The plantains used to make this flour are grown in the tropical rainforests of Guyana.
Plantain Fufu Flour
This is a good quality plantain flour that’s GMO-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
How long does plantain flour last?
Properly stored, plantain flour can last for up to 12 months.
To extend the shelf life of plantain flour, store it in a cool, dry place. You can also keep it in the fridge or freezer for longer storage.
But it should last a minimum of 6 months.
Plantain flour is not one of the most popular gluten-free flours yet, but it is slowly gaining popularity.
Plantain flour is made from unripe, green plantains that have been dried and ground into a fine textured powder.
This flour type has quite a delicious taste when used for foods like muffins, bread, and pancakes.
The good news is that plantain flour is also a healthy alternative to regular wheat flour. It is lower in carbohydrates and calories and is also a good source of dietary fiber.
So if you’re looking for a healthier flour alternative, plantain flour is a good choice.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.