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Gluten intolerants are going to love this flour!

What’s on my plate?
Banana flour. This is a grain-free and gluten-free flour made by drying unripe green bananas and grinding them into a fine powder. It has a mild nutty taste and can be used as an alternative to wheat flour in everyday recipes since both have a similar texture. “In fact, it calls for approx. 30% less product than wheat flour, which reduces the calorie count of the dish by approx. 25%,” says Bangalore-based nutritionist and food coach Anupama Menon. Although it has, only recently, come into the spotlight due to the popularity of the gluten-free movement worldwide, banana flour has existed in south India for centuries under the name nendram podi.

Also read: Why Kerala loves its nendrapazham

Superpowers
“What makes the green banana flour a clear winner is its high starch and fibre content,” according to Menon. It contains resistant starch, which is a good source of prebiotics. For the uninitiated, prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that are known to boost overall digestive health. Basically, they pass through your stomach and small intestine undigested, reach the colon, and feed friendly gut bacteria. Apart from this flour, these kinds of prebiotics are also found in raw potatoes. 

Menon adds, “Apart from this, banana flour is a mineral-rich superfood. It is loaded with essential minerals such as potassium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and manganese.” Zinc is key to a healthy immune system, smooth brain function, and skin health, especially for children’s development. Reports suggest that porridge made with green banana flour is excellent for babies above six months. Meanwhile, magnesium helps regulate muscle activity, potassium helps in supporting nerve and muscle health, and manganese influences our body’s metabolism and increases the absorption of calcium.

Also read: Health benefits of eating green fruits and vegetables 

Banana flour is a great ingredient for people on paleo or gluten-free diet. “It is a great alternative to use in rotis, cakes, and types of bread for those intolerant to gluten,” suggests the expert.

A good news for weight watchers, banana flour not just helps you with nutritional benefits, but also slows down your digestion. Because of which, your blood sugar is stable and you feel full for longer. 

Where to buy?
Banana flour can be purchased from grocery stores that sell organic products or from online stores. A kilogram of the flour can cost you anywhere between Rs 300 to 500. And, just in case you aren’t a fan of store-bought products, you can even make your own banana flour. All you will need are some dozens of green bananas, good direct sunlight, and a home grain mill! 

Also read: Berries, beetroot, and more foods to boost your mood

Eat this
You can use banana flour in recipes that include wheat flour such as rotis and types of bread. It can also be used as the hero ingredient in gluten-free brownies, cakes, and cookies. “You can even use it to make porridge for babies. Just take some banana flour, jaggery, milk, ghee, and saffron. Cook them together and serve warm,” shares Menon. 

Also read: Banana recipes from coastal India to try at home

Discover More Superfoods
Rich in nutritional value, superfoods are the easiest way to boost the health quotient of your daily meals. To discover more superfood ingredients, check out the rest of our superfood series:
Ashwagandha: Can’t get sleep? Check out the sleep-inducing and other health-promoting properties of the Ayurveda-approved Ashwagandha.

Basil or Tulsi: Apart from simply adding flavor to meals, basil brings with it several medicinal properties. Check out the number of health conditions for which basil can come to your rescue.

Black Carrots: You’ve seen the red ones and you’ve seen the orange ones, but ever witnessed black carrots? Check out how they look and their many health benefits.

Brahmi: Are you afraid of the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease? Include this superfood in your diet to boost your brain health. Read about the other health benefits of Brahmi.

Camu Camu: One of the richest sources of Vitamin C, this superfood comes all the way from the Amazon rainforest! Read about its health benefits.

Chia Seeds: This Mexican native is now being used in many Indian kitchens. Check out the various health benefits of chia seeds.

Chilli: Do you love to eat spicy food? Well, good news! Check out how those spicy chilies boost your health.

Dandelion: Not only do they brighten up your garden, but dandelions also boost your health. Confused about how you can include this flower in your diet? We have answers for you right here.

Hog Plum: Looking for a remedy to cure ulcers? Tired of getting diarrhea every time you eat out? Hog plum can come to your rescue! Check out the amazing health benefits of this not so popular superfood.

Jamun: Apart from tinting your tongue purple, jamun has several medicinal properties. Here’s why you must include jamun in your diet.

Kale: Coming across a lot of kale in salads, pizza toppings, and even chips? Check out why kale has suddenly topped the charts for being a healthy option.

Kokum:
 Along with being a refreshing summer drink, kokum also helps you shed extra kilos. Find out more about the sour and fruity kokum.

Makhana or Lotus Seeds: It is rapidly becoming the choice of snack for weight watchers. Check out the nutrient profile of this incredible superfood.

Moringa or Drumstick: Looking to boost your iron and calcium levels? Don’t restrict yourself to just meat and milk. Know more about moringa and how this superfood can be made a part of your diet.

Mushrooms: These fungi are loaded with nutrients. Click here to know why you should be consuming them more often.

Muskmelon: The juicy and aromatic muskmelon has several health-boosting properties. Find out more about this nutritious fruit.

Ragi: This grain has made its way into the plates of many. From ragi dosa and idli to ragi porridge, it is being promoted in the diets of old and young. Find out why health experts are recommending this superfood.

Sabja: Slurped a tall glass of falooda? If it had sabja seeds, you have no reason to feel guilty. Click here to know why!

Sacha Inchi: These nut-like seeds are rich in omega-3. Check out the other health benefits they have in store for you!

Sweet Potato: A rich source of Vitamin A and fiber, sweet potato is a great alternative to the white potato. Take a look at all the reasons why you need to include it in your diet.

Tofu: Often known as the vegan cousin of paneer, tofu is derived from soybean and comes loaded with protein and minerals. Read more about the health benefits of tofu.

Turmeric: Think twice before you say no to “haldi wala doodh”. Find out why your grandma trusts turmeric for every infection.

Zucchini: Did you know that you can use your favorite zucchini not only in pasta and pizza but also in a cake? Wondering how it’s possible? Click here to know more.

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