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Plantain Flour: The Next Big Trend in Grain-Free Baking

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In the not-so-distant past, we lived in a time when finding gluten-free food was a major feat — and gluten-free vegan baking was nearly impossible. Even today, when you whip up a batch of gluten-free vegan cookies for your friends, family, or co-workers, you’ll notice them side-eying the cookies suspiciously — as if there isn’t any way that gluten-free food could possibly taste good! We here at One Green Planet are here to tell you what you might already know: gluten-free cooking can be amazing!

There are countless options for gluten-free flours you could use to fit your every need. One “flour”, in particular, that’s on the rise in popularity isn’t actually a flour at all: it’s plantain flour! If you’ve never heard of it, plantain flour, also known as banana flour, is made from green plantains that have been dehydrated and then ground into a flour. Pretty nifty, right? Plantain flour has been a staple of Caribbean/West Indian cooking for some time. You can find plantain flour in West Indian groceries or you can buy it online. It can also be used on its own, meaning you can use it in grain-free baking as well as gluten-free baking!

So, how does it taste? When it’s used on its own, plantain flour yields baked goods and pancakes that have a denser texture than what you might be used to. We searched the Food Monster App to find these easy recipes (plus one that’s a little more advanced!) for you to try out plantain flour on your own:

1. Flourless Banana Bread

This Flourless Banana Bread by Sara Grandominico is so soft and sweet, while the frosting is creamy with just the right amount of tang. The ingredients for the banana bread are super simple and sweetened naturally, with fruit. It’s made from plantain flour, which gives it a dense, gooey texture. A warm slice of this banana bread with a generous amount of cashew cream cheese frosting for breakfast is near perfection.>

2. 4-Ingredient Flourless Pumpkin Plantain Pancakes 

Thick, soft, and fluffy Flourless Pumpkin Plantain Pancakes! What more could you want? Made with just four ingredients, these healthy pancakes by Sara Grandominico are gluten-free and sweetened naturally by stevia. The pumpkin purée mixed into the plantain flour, also known as banana flour, gives these vegan pancakes their awesome soft, fluffy texture.

3. Chickpea Chocolate Chip Brownies 

These rich, fudgy Chickpea Chocolate Chip Brownies by Sara Grandominico are going to impress anyone after the very first bite. These are slightly firm and a teeny bit crisp on the tops and edges, but gooey and fudgy in the center. The chocolate chips have melted slightly but give just the slightest crunch and the creamy perfume of bananas permeates the whole thing – it is seriously the best classic brownie we’ve seen in a long time.

4. Tropical Banana Maca Coconut Bars

If you’re experienced with gluten-free baking, these bars are for you! Perfect for channeling those warm weather vibes, these Tropical Banana Maca Coconut Bars are healthy, gluten-free, and loaded with tropical flavors from bananas, coconut, and oranges. Blogger Laura Peill uses a mix of gluten-free flours, including banana flour, to make these treats. Besides good-for-you fruits, they also have the added health benefits of maca. Snack on one of these bars with a glass of iced passion tea for a truly tropical experience.

For more gluten-free baking tips, read How to Ensure Your Gluten-Free Baked Goods are Moist and check out 15 Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Dairy-Free Desserts.

If you’re looking for more delicious and seasonal plant-based recipes, then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source:  Luis Echeverri Urrea/Shutterstock

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