Perfect Plantain Flour Pancakes (Paleo, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
While researching resistant starch for a Paleo Magazine piece (see "Resistant Starch: The Good, The Bad, and The Bacteria") I began to consider ways I could incorporate more resistant starch (RS) in my own diet.
(If you're scratching your head and wondering, "What the heck is resistant starch?", RS is simply a form of starch that, thanks to it's particular molecular structure, can pass through your stomach and small intestine undigested. When resistant starch (RS) hits your colon, it represents a nutritional bonanza to bacteria that call the lower digestive tract home. These bacteria break down RS and the result of this breakdown is generally positive for our gut and overall health.)
I found that rich sources of RS include cooked then cooled potatoes, legumes like chick peas and green bananas, even raw unmodified potato starch. Now I'm not adverse to eating potatoes once in a while, but I generally avoid eating nightshades every day. I'm also not about to start pounding hummus in order to get my daily dose of RS. Green bananas seemed appealing, but after a few attempts at working them into my routine, I found that their astringent flavor wasn't my bag.
Enter green banana (aka plantain) flour
I searched Amazon.com and quickly found several options including WEDO all natural gluten free banana flour. I mixed it into smoothies and it went down pretty smooth (pardon the pun) but I can only stomach smoothies for so long before I get bored. Thinking about alternative uses for green banana flour I came upon the idea of pancakes.
Another quick online search yielded a recipe from BarryFarms (which also sells plantain flour). Their recipe was pretty close to Paleo as it was, but several components required tweaking. Eventually, I modified the recipe to my liking and, when that batter hit the griddle, I knew I had a winner.
Perfect Plantain Flour Pancakes
2 cups plantain flour
3 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons coconut or maple sugar
2 pastured eggs
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (plus a little more for greasing the pan)
2 cups almond milk
Ripe plantains (cut into slices)
You Fresh Naturals Maple Vanilla nut butter (or whatever nut butter you have on hand)
Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon) in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, and almond milk) and sugar.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet while mixing until everything is thoroughly combined. The batter should be thick, but pourable. If your batter is too thick, simply add small amounts of almond milk until the right consistency is reached.
Grease a skillet with coconut oil and heat it to medium-high heat. Add about 1/2 cup of batter to the pan at a time, flipping the pancakes when bubbles begin to form. I recommend a ceramic pan since they are amazingly non-stick while being toxin-free.
When the pancakes are done, cover them to keep warm and quickly pan fry the ripe plantain slices in coconut oil.
Stack the pancakes high and top with fried plantains and plenty of nut butter.
For more information about resistant starch, check out my Paleo Magazine Radio interviews with Richard Nikoley and Dr. Norm Robillard on the subject
PMR Episode 37: Resistant Starch part 1 with Richard Nikoley and Tim "Tater tot" Steele
PMR Episode 38: Resistant Starch part 2 with Dr. Norm Robillard