A plantain is a fruit similar to the banana, but it is traditionally consumed cooked, rather than raw. Plantains are grown in tropical regions and come in a variety of colors, including green, yellow and black. Plantains can be prepared for any course of meal and can be boiled, fried or baked, among other cooking methods. Plantains can also be ground into flour for baking. Check product labels when available, as nutritional values might vary by brand.
Plantain flour is calorie-dense, with a 150 g, or 1 1/5 cup, serving of the flour providing 437 calories. This amount of calories makes up nearly 22 percent of the daily suggested intake of 2,000 calories. However, plantain flour is lower in calories than all-purpose flour, which provides 488 calories in a 150 g serving.
Plantain flour is low in fat, with just 0.3 g of fat in a 150 g serving, which is lower than the fat content in all-purpose flour, which contains 2.6 g of fat in the same-size serving. While fat is rich in calories, you do need fat to survive; dietary fat provides feelings of satiety and helps your body absorb nutrients.
Plantains and other fruits are rich in carbohydrates, so plantain flour is high in carbs as well. Each 150 g serving of this flour contains 105 g of carbs, with 4 g of fiber and 8 g of sugar. Dietary fiber helps you feel full and promotes healthy digestion, so it’s vital to consume adequate levels each day; MayoClinic.com suggests that men eat 38 g of fiber daily, and that women eat 25 g of fiber each day.
Plantain flour is low in protein. Each 150 g serving contains just 5 g of this essential nutrient, much lower than all-purpose flour, which contains about 20 g in a 150 g serving. Protein is present in all of your body’s cells and is used to make and repair tissues, including muscle and skin.
If you have celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, you are unable to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat. Because plantain flour is made of plantains rather than wheat products, it is gluten-free, though lower in protein.