Banana flour is rapidly becoming a popular alternative to traditional all-purpose flour for baking, due to its unique flavor and health benefits. It’s gluten-free, low-sugar, high in nutrients such as potassium and iron, and has a lower glycemic index than regular wheat flours.
With so many advantages over regular wheat flours, let’s take a closer look at the differences between banana flour and all-purpose flour.
Comparing banana flour vs all-purpose flour
|Banana flour||All-purpose flour|
|Substitution ratio (vs all-purpose flour)||3:4||N/A|
|Common Allergens||None||Wheat, gluten|
|Pantry shelf life||6-12 months||6-8 months|
|Best for||Pancakes, muffins, banana bread.||Most baked goods, pastries, and desserts.|
Banana flour and all-purpose flour may seem like completely different types of flour, but they do share some similarities. Firstly, both are great for baking cakes, bread, cookies, or as a thickening agent for your sauces! Both flours also have a long shelf life and can be stored for an extended period without going bad.
Differences between banana flour and all-purpose flour
The biggest difference between banana flour and all-purpose flour is the ingredient they are made from. All-purpose flour is made from wheat, whereas banana flour is made from green bananas, which contain a higher proportion of starch than other types of bananas. Starch is a complex carbohydrate found in many plants, meaning banana flour is quite a bit higher in carbs, so it’s not suitable for a keto diet. But compared to regular all-purpose flour, banana flour is naturally gluten-free and can be a great ingredient for those following a paleo diet.
Due to its high starch content, banana flour is much more absorbent than all-purpose flour. You can see this in the liquid absorbency and substitution ratio above. If you want to substitute banana flour for all-purpose flour, you’ll want to use a smaller amount of banana flour. As a general guideline, use 3/4 cup of banana flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Baking with banana flour vs all-purpose flour
While banana flour can be used in baking, it doesn’t bake quite like all-purpose flour.
Banana flour is a gluten-free flour made from green bananas, which means it doesn’t contain the same proteins that wheat-based all-purpose flour does. This lack of gluten makes baked goods made with banana flour denser and less elastic than those made with all-purpose flour.
When using banana flour in baking recipes, it’s essential to adjust the recipe to compensate for the differences in texture and structure. You may need to add extra leavening agents or eggs to help the dough or batter rise properly. In addition, banana flour requires more liquid in recipes because it absorbs moisture quickly. So if you’re using banana flour to bake cakes or muffins, make sure to increase the amount of liquid or add less flour.
Banana flour does not taste like ripe bananas, but it has a very mild banana flavor when raw, which is ideal for no-bake recipes like this banana-coconut raw vegan ice cream, or recipes that call for the subtle taste of banana, such as pancakes or muffins. It’s also the perfect flour for gluten-free banana bread! When baked, banana flour has a more neutral flavor – similar to all-purpose flour.
Ingredients in banana flour vs all-purpose flour
Banana flour should have just one ingredient: green bananas. When shopping, check the nutritional label to ensure you are buying PURE banana flour.
Some brands of unbleached all-purpose flour are free of additives, but for the most part, all-purpose flour often contains bleaching agents, preservatives, as well as vitamins.
Banana flour and all-purpose flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Banana flour||All-purpose flour|
|Glycemic index score||Unripe bananas = 42||85|
Banana flour is more calorically dense than all-purpose flour. It’s also higher in carbohydrates, but the type of carbohydrates differs between these flours. Banana flour contains more resistant starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested in the small intestine and may have some health benefits. All-purpose flour contains more simple carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar spikes.
So if you’re looking to maintain blood sugar spikes, banana sugar is the way to go! The glycemic index of banana flour will depend on the ripeness of the bananas used, but it has a much lower glycemic index compared to all-purpose flour (around half!).
All-purpose flour has more protein, but not as many vitamins or minerals as banana flour, which is a good source of potassium and vitamin C.
Banana flour vs all-purpose flour storage
Banana flour and all-purpose flour have long shelf lives if kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Banana flour will last for around 6 months and all-purpose flour will last for 6-8 months at room temperature, or both will keep fresh for about 1 year in the refrigerator.
Banana flour vs all-purpose flour: The final verdict
Banana flour and all-purpose flour are both great ingredients to have in your pantry.
Traditionalists love all-purpose flour for its neutral flavor and versatility in baking.
Personally, I prefer banana flour over all-purpose flour because it’s gluten-free, nutrient-rich and has a lower glycemic index.
Ultimately, banana flour can be a great alternative to all-purpose flour for certain recipes, but it may not be the best choice for every baking project. It adds a unique taste and dense texture to baked goods, and requires a few adjustments when replacing all-purpose flour.
For more alternative options to all-purpose flour, check out our full list of flours!
Banana flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in some baking recipes using a 3:4 ratio. However, it is more dense than all-purpose flour and requires extra leavening agents or eggs to help the dough or batter rise properly.
Banana flour is a gluten-free flour that is high in fiber and resistant starch, making it a good choice for people with gluten intolerance or digestive issues. It can be used in baking, cooking, and as a thickener in recipes.
Banana flour is good for baking most baked goods. It has a mild banana flavor that works well for cakes, cookies, and muffins.