Plant-based foods like oat flour and banana flour come with a slew of potential health benefits, making them popular alternatives to more refined grains like all-purpose flour. Whether you’re new to using these alternative flours or already have experience with non-wheat flours, it can be helpful to compare some of your options head-to-head!
In this article, we’ll compare oat flour vs. banana flour and cover:
- How oat flour and banana flour are made
- Their similarities and differences, including nutrition information and their compatibility with popular diets
- Some of the best uses for both flours
- A few frequently-asked questions about oat flour and banana flour
Making oat flour vs banana flour
The process of making oat flour is pretty straightforward, and you can easily do it at home with a tabletop appliance like a blender or food processor.
Oat flour is made by finely grinding whole oats – that’s it! If you’re making oat flour at home, you might need to work in small batches to ensure the oats get ground finely enough.
Making banana flour at home isn’t as easy as making oat flour, so you’ll likely want to buy pre-made banana flour for convenience. Banana flour is made from unripe green bananas which are high in starch and low in sugar.
The unripe bananas are peeled, chopped up, dried (either by the sun, an oven, or a food dehydrator), and then ground into fine flour with either a mortar and pestle or a mechanical grinder.
Benefits & uses for oat flour vs banana flour
- Oat flour is a more nutritious flour to use instead of all-purpose flour to make things like pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, bars, and fruit-based desserts like fruit crisps.
- Oat flour is considered a whole-grain flour so it’s higher in fiber than all-purpose flour and has a pleasant nutty flavor. Oat flour is also higher in nutrients like B vitamins and iron compared to all-purpose flour.
- When substituting oat flour for regular flour, use 1 ⅓ cups of oat flour for every cup of all-purpose flour the recipe calls for.
- Another healthy alternative to all-purpose flour (it’s higher in nutrients like potassium and is high in resistant starch, a type of fiber that is beneficial for your digestive tract), you can use banana flour in recipes for baked goods, thickeners for soups, or add it to smoothies.
- Because it has a high liquid absorbency, you’ll need to use less banana flour than all-purpose flour in a recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of all-purpose flour, use 75% of that amount of banana flour (¾ cup).
Similarities and differences between oat flour vs banana flour
- Both oat flour and banana flour are naturally gluten-free. Some oat flour might not be certified gluten-free if it’s made on equipment that also processes gluten-containing ingredients, so it’s important to check the label for gluten-free certification.
- Neither oat flour nor banana flour contains any sugar. This might be surprising to you since bananas are a type of fruit, but green, unripe bananas are primarily starch, which makes them a good source from which to make flour.
- Both oat flour and banana flour are considered low-glycemic index foods (based on the GI of unripe bananas; there isn’t a known value for banana flour). Even if banana flour has a higher GI than unripe bananas (it can happen when things are more finely ground and thus absorbed more quickly), it isn’t likely to be high like all-purpose flour which has a glycemic index of 85.
- Neither flour is keto-friendly due to its carbohydrate content.
- Oat flour is much lower in total carbs and higher in fiber compared to banana flour.
- Banana flour is lower in protein than oat flour.
- Banana flour is suitable for paleo dieters, whereas oat flour isn’t.
Nutritional comparison of oat flour vs banana flour
Serving size = 1/4 cup
|Oat flour||120||22 g||3 g||0 g||2 g||4 g||44|
|Banana flour||160||40 g||<1 g||0 g||0 g||1 g||Unripe bananas = 42|
Yes, oat flour is just ground-up oats! Oats (the kind that you cook in water to make oatmeal) are finely ground to make oat flour, so the only difference lies in how ground (or not) the oats are.
Banana flour is gluten-free because it’s made from bananas, a naturally gluten-free food. It’s also paleo-friendly but isn’t a keto-friendly flour because it’s high in carbohydrates from starch.
Made from unripe bananas, banana flour is high in resistant starch (a type of fiber that is good for your digestive system), a source of potassium, and provides around 8% of the daily value for iron per ¼ cup serving.