I have always enjoyed eating crackers, but never made them myself before starting the autoimmune paleo diet. I could always find paleo-friendly crackers at the store, but none of the brands I was used to eating were AIP-compliant. I didn't think I would miss eating crackers all that much, but I realized that many of the crunchy salty foods I was used to snacking on were also excluded, like nuts and seeds. I also needed something to dip into pâté, too, since I couldn't use bell peppers for that anymore.
One of my blogging friends, Candace, at Candida Free Candee, told me about a cracker recipe from The Paleo Mom using pureed plantains. As a huge fan of plantains and other tropical starches, I was interested to try them ASAP. They were good, but something about the texture wasn't right to me. Of course, my first thought for how to improve the recipe was to use plantain flour instead of pureed plantains. I expected the result to be a smoother, crisper, more cracker-like cracker. And I was right!
The original recipe gets mostly rave reviews. However, one of the main complaints you'll see quite a few times in the comments is that the crackers are way too oily. I found that to be true, too, when I followed her recipe as written. I tried a second batch with a lot less oil, and that was an improvement, but it didn't change the texture. When creating this variation using plantain flour, I made sure to take it easy with the oil and I think I've come up with the perfect AIP cracker! They are light, satisfyingly crisp and crunchy throughout, with just the right amount of fat.
I also saw that Mickey Trescott of Autoimmmune Paleo had a variation of The Paleo Mom's recipe that was seasoned with rosemary and garlic, which inspired me to season my plantain flour crackers in a similar way. You can season yours with your favorite herbs and spices if you like, or have them plain with salt only -- that's delicious, too!
I can buy plantain flour at any number of local small and large grocery stores here in Miami Beach, FL. I realize that this is not the case for most of the U.S., though. There are some sources online, but I have never tried any of them personally. Barry Farm sells one on Amazon that is reasonable (buy it here). A warning -- DO NOT buy "fufu" flour unless it states that it is 100% green plantains. Otherwise, it will have other starches and sometimes icky preservatives, additives, even food coloring. Some of the products labeled as "plantain fufu flour" on Amazon don't disclose all the ingredients, so beware.
However, there is a new listing for plantain fufu flour that IS 100% green plantains. You can find it here.
Also, the good news is that you can make plantain flour easily at home. Here are two tutorials:
If you can find plantains where you live, you can start cooking with plantain flour without a whole lot of fuss in the kitchen, no dehydrator required!
I think that plantain flour should become a staple in your paleo, gluten-free/paleo kitchen the way it has in mine! It is SO tasty and way easier to work with than pureed plantains. I don't know about you, but I hate washing dishes, so I do what I can to avoid pulling out the blender ;-) This is only my second published recipe using plantain flour, but it is very versatile in both savory and sweet recipes (I have quite a few additional to share in the coming weeks!)
Don't get me wrong -- the original recipe using pureed plantains is a GREAT idea and a good recipe. Kudos to Sarah for creating it. I may never have come up with this recipe using plantain flour if I hadn't first seen The Paleo Mom's recipe. But, if you want a thinner, crisper, crunchier cracker that tastes the way you remember crackers tasting before you changed your diet, make them using plantain flour instead of pureed plantains.
These crackers do take quite a while to cook, so take note of that! They are SO worth the wait -- I promise :-)
Perfect Paleo Plantain Flour Crackers
Grain-free, nut-free garlic rosemary plantain flour crackers. Perfect for the autoimmune paleo diet!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 60-90 minutes
Total time: 65-95 minutes
- 1 cup plantain flour
- 1 cup filtered water
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil coconut oil (olive oil is my favorite, flavor-wise)
- 1 - 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp unrefined salt
- a sprinkling of ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Measure plantain flour into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add water, oil, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt and mix well with a spoon until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Carefully spread batter in a thin, even layer across parchment paper. I found it helpful to plop down a spoonful in several places and then spread them together with the back of the spoon. I use a 20"x13" cookie sheet (the large version of this one) and this batter fills it up completely. You will be spreading the batter thinner than you think you should; you want to almost be able to see the parchment paper through the batter. This ensures that they cook up nice and crisp and don't have a chewy center.
- Once batter is evenly spread, sprinkle a few pinches of salt and rosemary on top of the crackers, plus a few grinds of fresh black pepper if you like.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove from oven and use a pizza cutter or pasty wheel to score them into the desired size. I make mine about 1.5" wide so that they work well to dip into pate.
- Return to oven and bake an additional 45-75 minutes, or until crackers are firm to the touch. They aren't ready yet if they spring back after pressing on them in the center. Also, when they are done you will see some oil has started to cook out of the cracker and is sizzling on the surface.
- After about 50-60 minutes total cooking time, the crackers on the outside edges may be done while the inner crackers are not. I remove these and return the rest to the oven and check on them about every 10-15 minutes after that, working from the outside in to remove the crispy ones as they finish cooking. If you did a good job at spreading the batter very evenly, this may not happen to you and they may all finish at about the same time.
- Place cooked crackers on a wire cooling rack or in a single layer on plates to cool. Once, cooled (only takes a few minutes), immediately place in an air-tight container for storage. This is important so that they retain their crispiness. If they last this long in your house, they will stay crispy for several days, I've seen up to 4 in my house.
- Enjoy alone or as a vehicle for your favorite dip. They go perfectly with pate, and I will be sharing my recipe for herbed beef liver pate with bacon and blueberry jelly soon :-)
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Real Salt is my FAVORITE all-purpose salt in the kitchen. It's great for cooking and holds its own as a finishing salt, too.
Paesano unfiltered olive oil has become my absolute favorite. It has a rich, herbaceous, spicy flavor and is a rich green color. I love it!