Looking for a paleo pancake recipe that can hold up against fluffy, carb-y staple that you remember so fondly? Look no further. These light and fluffy banana flour pancakes are everything that is right in this world. They are gluten-free, grain-free and 100% paleo-friendly.
What is banana flour?
I was wandering through Home Goods the other day trying to find something that I didn't actually need. Story of my life. That's when I stumbled upon a bag of banana flour in the gourmet foods section.
Until then I had never heard of banana flour, but I am all for trying weird and unfamiliar foods. Especially when they are paleo-friendly. This banana flour was $4 dollars for 16 ounces, so obviously I purchased it and could not wait to bring it home to try out!
When I first read "banana flour" I was, of course, expecting it to have a banana-like flavor. I am the ultimate banana fan and the idea of making banana pancakes with banana flour did cross my mind.
As it turns out, this flour actually has a very neutral flavor. While banana flour banana pancakes does sound delicious, this makes it more versatile and suitable for many purposes.
Why Choose Banana Flour?
Banana flour is made from green, imperfect bananas that do not meet standards for commercial sale. By using these bananas in alternative foods, we are reducing waste.
Here in the US (and most other countries), food waste is a huge issue. Anything we can do to use imperfect produce is productive and worth considering taking part in.
Banana flour is an incredible source of resistant starch.
Resistant starch is a type of prebiotic fiber. It is considered resistant because it moves through the digestive tract without getting broken down. Because it makes it to the colon without being digested, this type of fiber can act as a substrate (read: food) for our good gut bacteria.
By giving your gut flora adequate substrate we are doing two things. First, we are allowing the friendly bacteria to proliferate. Secondly, these good bacteria use the prebiotics to create short chain fatty acids (SCFA's) which act as fuel for our enterocytes (just a fancy word for intestinal cell). These cells play an important role in our ability to absorb nutrients. When given proper fuel (SCFA's) these cells can regenerate more effectively, and do their job more efficiently.
In contrast, grains and grain flours can damage these cells. More specifically the lectins in these foods. Lectins have been know to cause inflammation of the gut lining. In some individuals, this increase in inflammation and assault to the gut lining can cause the tight junctions between out intestinal cells to weaken. This is called intestinal permeability or commonly known as leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut is thought to be at the root of many autoimmune diseases.
Our health is very much so rooted in out gut, so it is essential to actively care for it.
Banana flour is actually one of the few flours considered Autoimmune Paleo compliant (AIP). Making it a life saver for those following a strict autiommune protocol.
I will note, that although this flour is AIP friendly this recipe is not because it contains eggs. But! I actually forgot the eggs one time when making these pancakes and they still turned out delicious, just a little less dense and flatter.
Unlike most grain-free flour alternatives, banana flour is comparable in taste and texture to wheat flour. I didn't believe this when I read it online, but when I was developing this pancake recipe I became convinced that banana flour is something special. I think it was put on this world to make people like me happy.
It is incredibly cost effective. You need less banana flour than traditional flour because it is exceptionally water absorbent. The only issue is that it is not carried in all grocery stores. Luckily, we live in the time of Amazon.
The flour I used in this recipe when I was first developing it is from the brand Pereg Banana Flour. I have also used Let's Do Organic Green Banana Flour because it is currently the cheapest available on Amazon. I have recently tried Just About Foods Banana Flour and this brand was probably my favorite.
Calories are not king in my book. This is at the end of the list for a reason, but it is something most people will consider while trying to eat healthier. And, eating less calorie dense and more nutrient dense foods is generally beneficial for most health goals.
While banana flour is technically higher in calories than wheat flour, it is much more water absorbent meaning you need to use less in recipes. This means you can enjoy your banana flour pancakes regularly and liberally.
Tips for Using Green Banana Flour
- Banana flour is very dry. This means it absorbs more water than wheat flour so you have to compensate by adding more liquid to prevent recipes from getting too dense. It can also be quite messy if you're not careful. It is very powdery and easily blown around.
- ¾ cup of banana flour can be used in place of 1 cup of wheat flour in most recipes keep all other ingredients (especially the wet ingredients the same).
- The starch in the flour browns easier. It begins as a brown/grey-ish color instead of a bleached white. This is important to keep in mind when aesthetics is important in your recipe.
- Maple syrup can be substituted for any type of sweetener. To keep it paleo opt for honey or coconut sugar.
- Almond milk can be substituted for water or coconut milk (the kind in the carton, not the can).
- I haven't tried flax eggs or gelatin "eggs" in this recipe, but I did forget the eggs once and the pancakes were still quite tasty just a bit lighter and flatter.
- Avocado oil can be replaced with any neutral flavor cooking oil, like melted refined coconut oil.
These pancakes are fairly thin when the batter spreads out. If you want thicker pancakes you can use a rimmed pancake pan or a silicone pancake mold. If you're like me and could not care less than just use a normal pan.
They taste great either way. Trust me, many pancakes were eating in the making of this recipe.
Feel free to leave a comment and a rating below. Feedback is always
Banana Flour Pancakes
- Frying pan
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until everything is well combined.
- Heat a small amount of oil in frying pan on low/medium heat.
- Scoop out about ¼ cup of batter and pour into pan.
- Allow pancake to cook until bubbles start to form and pop, then flip and allow other side to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Continue this process for the remainder of the batter,
- Top with maple syrup, coconut cream, honey or fresh fruit.