Meet Our Sponsors: WEDO banana flour

banana flour I

Banana flour.

Who knew? Banana flour. I never imagined this unusual flour would be one of my favorite for baking. Why?

Banana flour is kind of magic. I’m not kidding. It’s pretty much magic.

Banana flour was brought to the United States for the first time last year by a company called WEDO Banana Flour. Like us, they did a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring the flour to market. Originally produced in Kenya, this flour made of dehydrated green bananas is now produced in South America and brought to the United States. Why would anyone do this?

It turns out that green bananas, because they are not sweet at all, are high in starches. (And that includes resistant starch, a category of foods we’re just starting to understand are good for the gut.) Banana flour doesn’t really taste like bananas. There’s maybe a tiny hint of them. Instead, the flour has a slight earthiness to it, like wheat bran. And it actually acts like wheat in some cases.

I’m seeing some remarkable baked goods come out of our oven when we add a small percentage of banana flour to our All-Purpose Flour or our Grain-Free Flour Blend. Sometimes, we use more. Last week, we made the buckwheat pancakes recipe from Joy of Cooking, using raw buckwheat flour instead of the toasted stuff that is the norm. And we used 1/2 cup of the banana flour instead of the 1 cup of wheat AP flour in the recipe. A little coconut sugar, some buttermilk, and some butter we browned. There’s a warm, nutty taste to buckwheat, brown butter, and banana flour we thought might play well together.

We love these pancakes. We’ve made them three more times since. These pancakes are Desmond’s favorite food. (See recipe below.)

So we’re happy to announce that WEDO Banana Flour is the latest sponsor of this site. We’re truly excited about introducing this food to you.

We’ll let David Wintzer, one of the co-founders of WEDO Banana Flour, tell you more.


What compelled you to import banana flour to the US?
Co-creator David Wintzer was working with a group of Kenyan women distributing micro-loans through a non-profit. One of the women David was working with had a small factory that made banana flour, flour made from unripe green bananas. It was green bananas peeled, sliced, dehydrated and milled into flour. In an effort to help these women David came home and approached high school friend Todd Francis with the idea, after having the product tested and knowing it was gluten-free, the idea was born to bring banana flour back to the US and create a viable business, WEDO banana flour.

Why is it important to you that it’s gluten-free?
Not knowing much about gluten when the idea of this business was sparked reading about the effects David told his mother whom had suffered from chronic head aches for 20+ years. Once telling his mom about migraines being a side effect of gluten intolerance David’s mom went GF. Five years later, she’s migraine free. As things developed, David discovered his step-daughter had a family history of gluten intolerance and sure enough, gluten was affecting her well being. David, Todd and their families have fully adopted a gluten free lifestyle.

What are the most interesting qualities of the banana flour?

1. Since we use unripe green bananas the sugar content hasn’t fully developed so the product doesn’t taste like bananas. It has an earthy, wholewheat like flavor. It mimics “gluten-like” products remarkably well in taste and texture which allows for it to be a versatile product. Because of the high starch content you can do almost anything with this flour, you can batter, thicken soups and gravies, boost morning smoothie and bake almost anything, all of this without altering the flavor of your creations.

2. Banana flour has a property in it called resistant starch (RS2) which is a pre-biotic which aids digestion by passing the small intestine and going straight to the large intestine. It “resist” digestion and feeds the good bacteria in the gut. However, RS has to be eaten in it’s raw form, once you cook RS above 140 degrees F. you lose the majority or the RS.

Can you tell us a story of a customer who has loved the flour?

I have pasted a (long) testimonial from one of our customers. Some of our best success stories come from those who are diabetic, have digestion problems and can’t process grains. The problem/solution goes beyond gluten, it’s rooted to ulcers, diabetes, autism and much much more.

“We have two kids who have autoimmune problems galore, and it has stressed my health on top of my own medical problems. We have been off GMOs, pharma, and anything else possibly damaging, and our entire family (5 kids, myself and hubby) for about 5 years now, and we have ALL benefitted. This product of yours is HIGHLY influencing our health. I am so sick and due to being severely sick, I also am highly sensitive which is not a bad thing – I can tell what bothers me almost immediately. And, I can also tell what makes me feel better. When I take your product, my body . . . . just feels good. One of my sons says he feels the same way with your product and he loves the green banana flour, as he is in college and can blend it as a smoothie and take every day or so. It is key for feeding our good gut bacteria and defending our bodies.

I just want you to know how important your product is – I’m sure you know but truly, there are so many of us parents with kids having autoimmune and all kinds of disorders and you cannot imagine the suffering we go through with our kids. Nonetheless, we are a strong network and every so often we find a product that is key. I believe your product is very fitting for many of us and I guess I am writing this to show you that you are doing a really good thing for so many. THANK YOU!!!”

Thank you, David and Todd, for bringing banana flour to the United States.

And to our kitchen.


The folks at WEDO Banana Flour would like to offer a package of banana flour to three of our readers. Leave a comment here about why you might be interested in this to be eligible for the giveaway. Winners will be chosen at random on Friday, February 27th, then notified by email. 


Buckwheat-banana-brown butter pancakes

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 cup light buckwheat flour
1/2 cup WEDO banana flour
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk

Brown the butter. Set a small pot over low heat. Add the butter. Let the butter melt, then come to a simmer. Keep an eye on the butter as you keep heating it, letting the edges come to a boil. There might be some spattering as the water in the butter starts to evaporate. Raise the heat to medium and give the pot a swirl to prevent any places from burning. After about 5 minutes, the butter will start foaming on the top and release a nutty smell. You’ll see parts of the butter at the bottom of the pan start to brown. Watch the pot carefully, swirling it sometimes. Watch the butterfat solids on the bottom of the pot and let them get as brown as you wish. Be careful — it’s so easy to burn butter. Take the pot off the heat immediately and set it aside in a cooler place. When the butter has cooled, pour it into a small bowl.

Beat the egg whites. Crack the eggs. Separate the yolks and the whites. Set aside the yolks in a small bowl. With a whisk, or better yet in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs to stiff peaks, which takes about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let the egg whites sit for a moment.

Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the buckwheat flour, banana flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Make the batter. Whisk together the buttermilk, egg yolks, and cooled brown butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir them together gently until there are no more dry patches of flour visible. Fold in the egg whites, gently.

Let the batter sit. For best results, let the batter sit for 30 minutes before making the pancakes. This allows all the ingredients to hydrate and come together. (Letting the batter sit overnight in the refrigerator makes even better pancakes.)

The batter will be a little thicker than traditional pancake batter. If you put a spoon into the batter, then lift it high in the air, you’ll watch the batter trail downward from the spoon slowly. This will make a good pancake. However, if you like thinner pancakes, add more buttermilk.

Cook the pancakes. You know how to make pancakes, right? Low heat. 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Nonstick griddle or a little butter or coconut oil in a skillet on the stove. The first batch is always a little wonky. Keep adjusting the heat as the griddle or skillet grow hotter. This should make you quite a few batches of great pancakes.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen pancakes.

breathing while eating

fried oatmeal I

I read a piece the other day that keeps clicking at the inside of my brain. It’s an honest piece from a mother who believes in family dinner but doesn’t share it with her family very often. Why? Well, she writes that her two kids both play club sports and her son is in choir as well. “Some seasons, one or the other of them will have a weekday or two off, but I never do. The schedule is intense, relentless and year-round. I can’t say, ‘This will be over in three months,’ because it’s never over. Once a week, from now until forever, my son has 20 minutes to eat his dinner in the car between activities. We’ve had maybe two weeknight family dinners in the past two years.”

Now, I taught high school for years, and I was always concerned with how over-busy my students were, how soccer practices and debate tournaments and musical theatre and volunteering at the local hospital to acquire enough hours for their resumes for college kept them exhausted before they even sat down to read the two chapters of The Great Gatsby I had assigned them to read for the next day. I’ve thought often about how little I want my daughter to be over-scheduled and stressed out before she even hits 18. This piece, The Busy Trap, encapsulates how I feel about this quite well. “They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.”

So I read the family dinner piece and thought about what it might like to have a teenager or two in the house, and how Danny and I want to encourage Lucy and whatever kid comes after to slow down and put some space in their days. And then I read the family dinner piece again. Her kids are both in elementary school. From the wording, it sounds like they are in the 2nd and 5th grade.

They haven’t eaten dinner together more than twice in two years.

I thought and thought about writing this piece. I hesitated because I don’t want it to sound as though I’m judging that mom. There’s enough judgment of moms in this culture, and particularly on the internet. It’s clear that she is doing what she can to keep her family happy and moving.

Our kid loves to move. She never stops moving. She dances and spins and leaps and shimmies. Last night, she said to me, “Mama, I’ll wait for you. I’ll sit down and I’ll dance as I sit.” Damned if she didn’t plop herself down on the bathroom floor, twist her shoulders around to some internal rhythm and pout her lips in time to the beat she heard in her head. She loves to dive under water, sleek as a seal, kicking her feet to swim to the other side of the pool. She taught herself to swim when she was under 2 by requesting to see videos of “kids splashing” on YouTube. Every once in awhile, we’d let her look at our phone and then we’d watch her study and study those backyard pool videos. The first time we took her to a pool, we put water wings on her arms and then we watched her dive in. The swim coaches sometimes watch her as they yell out instructions to the kids on the swim team, churning up white water behind their feet. Several times they have said to us, quietly, “Please say you’re going to keep bringing her.” So we do. We three swim nearly every afternoon together at the athletic club pool. We have a lot of dance practices and swim team meets ahead of us.

So I don’t want to judge. And I’m not judging. I don’t know what it’s like to have a 5th grader whose internal rhythm insists that she swim and dance and play soccer and sing her heart out at choir practices. I want to give Lucy the world.

But I also want to give her dinner with us. I want to give her some space at the table that isn’t about moving and competing and doing better. I want to sit with her, laughing, saying why we are grateful that day, in that moment.

Look, family dinner isn’t always lovely and peaceful. Sometimes we light candles and Lucy tells us the stories of her day, making us laugh. Sometimes she eats three bites of food reluctantly then stands up to start spinning, opens the door to the porch, and begins dancing out her story on the deck. We have to gently remind her to come back to the table. I ask her, “What is your body telling you? Close your eyes. Are you really full?” About half the time, she’ll admit she’s still hungry and sit down. The other times, she says, “Nope! I’m full!” We ask her to take her plate to the kitchen and we sit talking with each other as we finish our dinners and watch her dance in the gloaming light outside.

But whether the time at the table is good or bad, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just like sitting meditation for me. There is no good sit or bad sit. My butt is on the cushion and I’m doing it. I want to be here. And for us, being here means sharing some time at the table together.

It could be that in 4 or 5 years, someone will remind me about this post and I’ll wince. Maybe we’ll be running for the ferry for the next swim meet when I’ll see a reference to this in an email on my phone. Maybe I’ll be home writing while Danny takes her to the swim meet and I’ll eat some food at the computer as I try to finish a deadline. Man, I hope not.

I want to be here. It doesn’t have to be dinner. Lu’s an early riser. Breakfast together is just as good as dinner, even if it’s at 6:30 in the morning. I want to choose our lives so that we’re walking more than running, telling our stories instead of talking about the next thing we have to do,  and laughing instead of trying to work out how to make it all happen.

We can’t have it all, people. It’s just not possible.

Virginia Woolf, one of my writing heroes, wrote that writing a novel requires a lot of sitting and staring out the window time. She also wrote this: ““One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Dining well doesn’t have to mean lavish meals at five-star restaurants. I think it means breathing while eating.

Danny and I are both going to make sure that Lu has the chance to follow her passions. We also want to make sure that she’ll be sitting at the table with us as often as we can make it happen.

fried oatmeal II

oatmeal french toast

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

We ate oatmeal with cherry-ginger syrup Sunday morning, and then we had a lot of leftover oatmeal. Danny threw some dried cherries and coconut into the pot, and then patted it into a hot-dog pan we have. The next morning, we had long rolls of chilled oatmeal. He and Lucy surprised me with a little oatmeal french toast for breakfast.

Now, because the oatmeal was in big rolls, he fried them in an inch of hot oil, which made a crisp crust. Goodness! However, if you pat your leftover oatmeal into a square pan, and had inch-thick squares, you wouldn't need that much oil. Just make oatmeal french toast.


  • 3 cups cooked oatmeal, chilled in 8x8 pan overnight
  • 2 to 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (you can use your favorite non-dairy milk here)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 140 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour (you might need more, so leave it out on the counter)
  • 1/4 cup oil (sunflower, canola, or coconut oil are good)


Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats to make this dish, if you are making it for someone who needs to be gluten-free.

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