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People are increasingly turning to plantain flour as a gluten-free alternative to all-purpose, says Daniella Hunter, founder of The Real Coconut restaurant at the Sanará Tulum resort in Mexico.
Plantain flour has 20 fewer calories, two grams more fiber, and three grams less protein per 1/4 cup serving than your typical all-purpose type. Still, it’s high in resistant starch, which doesn’t completely break down in the body. That means it’s easier to digest and keeps you full longer, says Autumn Bates, a certified clinical nutritionist in Manhattan Beach, California.
Since the flour is made from dehydrated, ground plantains, baked goods will retain some of that flavor. It’s also more dense than all-purpose flour and doesn’t rise since it’s gluten-free, Hunter says.
Buy plantain flour at your local health foods store or online, or make your own by dehydrating slices of the fruit, then blending them into a fine powder. Use it in everything from tortillas to protein bars.
It’ll take some trial and error to figure out how much plantain flour to swap in for the regular kind, Hunter says, but you’ll definitely need to add more of the binding agent (like eggs, chia seeds, or flax seeds) to avoid a crumbly final product.
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