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.
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 instantly 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. But, it turns out this flour has a very neutral flavor. This makes it more versatile and suitable for many purposed.
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 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,
Unlike most grain free flour alternatives, banana flour is actually 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 most 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.
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.
Banana flour is lower calorie than wheat flour. The brand that I purchased is just 25 calories per 1/4 cup (Pereg Banana Flour). The lower calorie content makes these banana flour pancakes something you can enjoy 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.
- 3/4 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.
These pancakes are fairly thin when the batter spreads out. The Pereg brand tends to be a little thicker where as the Let's Do Organic comes out a little thinner when I make these.
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. The taste great either way.
Trust me, many pancakes were eating in the making of this recipe.
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Banana Flour Pancakes
- 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 1/4 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.