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    Green Banana Flour Could Be the Key to a Healthier Gluten-Free Future


    Jefferson Adams
    • Flour made from green bananas improves colon health, increases satiety levels, and lowers blood sugar. It might be the gluten-free baking alternative you didn’t know you needed.

    Green Banana Flour Could Be the Key to a Healthier Gluten-Free Future
    Image Caption: Image: CC--Mauren Veras

    Celiac.com 08/23/2018 - With the market for gluten-free goods and ingredients going like gang-busters, the proliferation of new flours made from previously unavailable ingredients is helping to change the product manufacturing landscape and to open up whole new avenues of nutrition, health benefits and flavor for people with celiac disease.

    One of the latest gluten-free flours to hit the market  is banana flour, an alternative to wheat flour that has gained popularity for its light, fluffy baking results. Made of 100% dried, ground green bananas, banana flour is not only gluten-free but also paleo, Whole30-approved, and vegan. Highly nutritious banana flour also touts numerous health benefits.

    In addition to being naturally gluten-free, banana flour is similar in calories to regular white flour, but is made from a completely different type of carbohydrate. While white flour is made from simple starches that are quickly absorbed and turned into energy, banana flour contains high levels of what is called “resistant starch.” Resistant starches are so-called, because they work a bit like soluble fiber, slowing the digestion of carbohydrates, and resisting absorption by the gut. Resistant starches are also found in foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes.

    “Resistant starch has been found to be beneficial for colon health, increasing satiety levels, and lowering blood sugar,” said registered dietitian Amy Margulies.  “Banana flour also contains high levels of phenolic acid, a type of phytochemical found in many plant foods, which works like an antioxidant and supplies both potassium and vitamin B6.”

    Banana flour not only produces light, fluffy baked goods with a good nutrition profile, it is also easy to use. When substituting banana flour for wheat flour in a recipe, simply use about 30% less banana flour.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, and science. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com.

    Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book Dangerous Grains by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA.

  • Related Articles

    Silka Burgoyne
    Preparation time: 15 minutes.
    Bake time for muffins: 20 - 24 minutes
    Bake time for bread: 1 hr - 1 hr 10 minutes
    Makes 2 dozen muffins or 1 loaf of banana bread
    Note: When using the same batter for banana bread, the top does get bread brown quite easily; however, it is extremely moist inside.
    Ingredients:
    ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature or 1/2 cup of oil 2/3 cup of granulated sugar 2 large eggs* 1 ½ cup of Silkie flour mix (1/3 cup each of brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour, ¼ cup each of  corn starch, 1/8 cup each of sorghum flour and potato starch) 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder ½ teaspoon of kosher salt ½ cup of sour cream 1 teaspoon of gluten-free vanilla extract 1 cup of mashed rip bananas (3 medium size) ½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts Cinnamon sugar (optional) Directions:
    Preheat oven to 375, for muffins, apply paper liner or spray oil to the muffins tin; for bread, use butter or oil spray to gease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer, cream butter or oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together silkie flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until the ingredients combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts. For Muffin, fill each muffins tin abut 2/3 full and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top of the batter. Bake the muffin until golden brown on top. It should take about 20 - 24 minutes depending on the oven. For bread, pour the batter and fill the prepared loaf pan. Bake the bread for 1 hrs to 1 hr 10 mins until the bread is cooked. Note: the bread does get brown easily, so cover the top with foil after 20 mins of baking. Let the muffins and bread rest for 10 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/24/2012 - Tired of the standard choices for gluten-free pasta? If researchers at the University of Brazil have their way, you may soon be enlivening your current gluten-free choices with pasta made from the flour of green bananas.
    The researchers included Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD, Raquel Braz Assunção Botelho, PhD, Lenora Gandolfi, PhD, Janini Selva Ginani, MSc, Flávio Martins Montenegro, MSc, and Riccardo Pratesi, PhD.
    According to an article in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the team found a way to make pasta out of green banana flour. The flour is completely gluten-free, and the pasta compares favorably with pasta made from whole wheat, according to taste test results.
    Currently, green bananas are regarded an undesirable product, with low commercial value, and limited industrial use. In an effort to change that reality, the researchers set out to develop and analyze a gluten-free pasta made with green banana flour.
    When they tested their finished product, they found "no significant difference between the modified pasta and standard samples in terms of appearance, aroma, flavor, and overall quality," study researcher Renata Puppin Zandonadi, PhD, of the University of Brazil, said in a statement.
    For the study, researchers had 50 people without celiac disease, and 25 with celiac disease, taste whole wheat pasta made with eggs, and compare it with pasta made from green banana flour, egg whites, gums and water.
    Both the test group with celiac disease and the group without celiac disease reported that the banana flour pasta tasted better overall than the whole wheat pasta.
    If the project pans out, it could be a win-win-win, offering banana growers and pasta product makers a way to expand their markets, and offering consumers of gluten-free pasta a new and delicious alternative.
    What do you think about the idea of gluten-free pasta made from green bananas? Share your comments below.

    Source:
     Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Chris Bekermeier
    Celiac.com 10/18/2013 - Buckwheat, sometimes referred to as kasha, is often billed as a “tasty alternative to wheat.” That’s all well and good, but is it really gluten-free, and generally considered safe to eat for those who suffer from celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity?  
    Whether or not buckwheat is tasty is a matter of opinion. However, with so much conflicting information available today, it can be hard to tell what’s gluten-free and what isn’t. Here’s the skinny on buckwheat.
    The Facts
    Good news! With its non-wheat status, buckwheat is safely gluten-free. Buckwheat and wheat are, come to find out, actually from completely different botanical families. Derived from the seeds of a flowering plant, buckwheat is not considered a grain or a cereal (though it may be called a pseudo-cereal—don’t let that scare you).
    Buckwheat, in all of its gluten-free glory, is actually closely related to rhubarb. In addition, it is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. In particular, buckwheat groats (the small, triangular seeds), when cooked, offer 17 grams of dietary fiber or 68% of the daily requirement for a 2,000 calorie per day diet, as well as 22 grams of protein.
    Nutritionally beneficial and sometimes used in treating symptoms of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, buckwheat contains rutin. Rutin, a glycoside, has been known to strengthen capillary walls and improve circulation.
    Like many grains, buckwheat can sometimes be cross-contaminated with wheat during processing, transportation or if it is used as a rotational crop with wheat, so it is important to find non-cross contaminated source of buckwheat—make sure the one you use is certified gluten-free.
    Culinary Uses
    Buckwheat groats make a healthy side dish. Also, if you grind the small seeds of the buckwheat plant, you can make buckwheat flour for use in noodles, crepes, and many other gluten-free products. Using buckwheat flour in your cooking will give a strong nut taste to your dishes. You can also contribute raw buckwheat groats to recipes for cookies, cakes, granola, crackers, or any other gluten-free, bread-like item.
    If you’re feeling more creative, buckwheat makes a good binding agent, and becomes very gelatinous when soaked. If you soak, rinse, and then re-dry the groats you can produce a sort of buckwheat chip that is crunchy and can act as a nice side dish.
    When toasted, buckwheat becomes kasha. You can pick out kasha—vs. raw buckwheat—by the color; it’s a darker reddish-brown. In addition, kasha has a strong toasted-nut scent. Conversely, raw buckwheat groats are typically light brown or green and have no aroma.
    Buckwheat
    So, there you have it. You can use buckwheat and kasha safely as a nutritional, gluten-free alternative to wheat, or to create fun and tasty side dishes with buckwheat groats.
    If you’re looking to stock your pantry with all kinds of gluten-free wheat alternatives for your side dishes or even your main dishes, you can safely go for buckwheat in addition to cornmeal, millet, amaranth, cornstarch, garbanzo beans, arrowroot, quinoa or brown rice. Eating a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you have to rely on the same old wheat alternative for every dish!

    Jennifer Nyce
    The Amazing Power of Coconut Flour!
    Celiac.com 03/17/2017 - Want a super healthy gluten-free alternative to grain flour that is packed with natural fiber and protein, and tastes great? There is power in coconut flour! The amazing benefits of coconut products are astonishing and coconut flour is so versatile. It can be used to cook or bake or even to thicken sauces and gravies!
    Coconut flour is naturally gluten-free and considered hypoallergenic. It contains the highest amount of dietary fiber found in any flour! According to the Livestrong article by Jane Jester Hebert, one quarter cup of coconut flour is equal to about 14g of fiber! An adequate amount of fiber is essential in a healthy diet to promote a healthy digestive tract. It also lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and helps you to maintain a healthy weight. Coconut flour is rich in lauric acid which promotes good skin health and manganese which is an essential trace mineral used in the body for energy production. It is also low in carbohydrates and low on the glycemic index making it a great choice for diabetics and people wanting to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Coconut flour is a good source of coconut oil which also has amazing benefits such as being antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiparasitic.
    Coconut products are so healing that according to a Natural News article by Megan Rostollan, the Pacific Islanders are calling coconut the "Tree of Life" and believe it can heal almost any illness. She goes on to say that, "In many traditional cultures around the world the coconut has been used to heal: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds." (1)
    What is coconut flour, you may be wondering? Coconut flour is the natural byproduct in coconut milk production. The coconut meat left over is dried at a low temperature and then ground up to make soft powdery flour, similar to wheat flour in texture; however, it does require special techniques in order to yield success. For example, you cannot substitute the same amount of coconut flour for wheat flour. Coconut flour is super absorbent and can produce a very dry end result when not properly paired with the right amount of liquid or binder such as eggs. When starting out with coconut flour it is best to strictly follow a tried and true recipe to yield good results. Above is a favorite shared by Megan Rostollan!
    As you can see, with the vast and amazing benefits of coconut flour and coconut products, and being naturally gluten-free, you can definitely indulge and, "have your cake and eat it too!"
    Lemon-Coconut Pound Cake by Megan Rostollan
    Ingredients:
    3/4 c. organic coconut flour 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder 3 tbsp xylitol, divided 1/2 tsp sea salt 6 pastured eggs 8-10 tbsp organic butter, softened 3 droppers full of liquid stevia 2 organic lemons (juice and zest) Directions:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Grease an 8X4 loaf pan and set aside.
    Sift together dry ingredients (2 tbsp xylitol). Zest and juice lemons. Whisk together eggs, butter, lemon juice, stevia, and zest. Combine wet and dry ingredients, whisking until smooth (batter will become quite thick - if too thick to combine well, add a little water). Spread in pre-prepared pan with hands or spoon as needed, sprinkle with remaining xylitol and bake for 40 minutes.
    References:
    naturalnews.com livestrong.com

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