This Paleo Plantain Bread recipe is light, fluffy and great as a snack or part of a meal.
And it needs only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of hands-on prep!
Plus it’s gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free.
This was originally posted on Jan. 19, 2019. It was republished with new photos and extra information on Feb. 3, 2023, and changed to “Paleo Plantain Bread” on February 20, 2023.
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Paleo Plantain Bread
Plantains are a fruit related to the banana, but they are starchier and less sweet than typical bananas. However, as they ripen (going from green to yellow to black), they get sweeter.
They’re used across Asia, African and Central and South America in both sweet and savory recipes.
Using them to make a bread similar to banana bread is common, and because I love plantains, I had to try it!
However, for a Paleo/gluten-free diet, I knew I couldn’t use the typical ingredients like flour, butter and sugar.
So instead I use coconut flour, which delivers a light, bread-like texture with minimal coconut flavor. And it’s gluten/grain-free!
I found I didn’t need to use any substitute for butter as this bread is perfectly moist without it.
And if you use ripe plantains (yellow with black spots), they have enough natural sweetness without having to add any sugar.
With wholesome carbs, fats and fiber, this Paleo plantain bread both tastes good and will make you feel good.
The first time I made it, it came out light, fluffy, slightly sweet and with a yellow color, so it hit me: it’s kind of like cornbread!
Which is why I’m baking this bread in a cake plan so I can then cut it into square slices.
Spread on some ghee or grass-fed butter and honey and you’re all set.
What you need for Paleo Plantain Bread
- Plantains – They need to be fairly ripe, so look for the ones that are yellow with lots of black spots. Green plantains will be too hard and won’t blend well.
- Eggs – I have not tried using egg substitutes so I can’t say if they work.
- Coconut flour – This gives the bread a light, bread-like texture with minimal coconut flavor. But I also include instructions if you want to use almond flour or cassava flour, but I find the coconut flour provides the best texture without it tasting coconutty. I like Bob’s Red Mill and Viva.
- Baking soda and apple cider vinegar – These will work together (the baking soda reacts to the acid of the vinegar) to provide the lift this bread needs to be light and fluffy.
- Fine sea salt – Because almost every recipe needs salt. I like Redmond Sea Salt.
- Cooking spray – I like using avocado oil spray.
- A large (11-14 cup) food processor
- A cutting board
- A paring knife
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- An 8×8″/ 2-quart baking dish
How to make Paleo Plantain Bread (with step-by-step photos)
Heat the oven to 350°.
Grease the baking dish with avocado oil spray.
Trim the ends off the plantains. Using a paring knife, slice lengthwise down each plantain to cut through the peel (and only the peel, don’t cut too deeply). Remove from the peels and slice in half lengthwise.
Slice in half lengthwise again into 4 long pieces, and slice them crosswise into small pieces.
Add the plantain pieces, coconut flour, eggs, salt, baking soda and vinegar to a food processor. Blend until smooth (when you think it’s smooth, give it an extra 30 seconds just to make sure.)
Pour into the greased dish and smooth to an even layer.
Bake for about 35 minutes.
The top should look dry and an even shade of yellow. If it looks moist or darker in the middle, it’s not ready yet.
Don’t bother testing with a toothpick because every time I’ve made this it’s been totally useless at predicting when the bread is done.
No food processor? You can add all the ingredients to a bowl (sifting the coconut flour) and use a stick blender if you have it.
Or mash the plantains with a potato masher and then stir in the rest of the ingredients, sifting the coconut flour.
You can use your spatula to mash the plantains against the side of the bowl to make the batter even smoother.
Can I double the recipe?
You can easily double the recipe. Just double all the ingredients and bake in a 9×13″ pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Can I make substitutions?
- You can try this as muffins – scoop about 1/4 cup batter into muffin liners in a muffin and bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes, until the tops look set, dry and an even pale yellow.
- Add chopped (and seeded, if you like less heat) jalapenos.
- Add cooked, chopped bacon, sliced scallions or diced red pepper for savory options.
- Try adding 1 tablespoon cinnamon to go a little sweeter.
- Add 1/2 cup blueberries (with or without the cinnamon) for a delicious Paleo plantain recipe that’s as good for breakfast as it would be topped with spicy pulled pork.
- Want make almond flour plantain bread? Replace the coconut flour with 1.5 cups superfine blanched almond flour (not almond meal), sifted into the bowl. Proceed with the recipe as is. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Want to make cassava flour plantain bread? Replace the coconut flour with 3/4 cup of cassava flour, sifted into the bowl. Proceed with the recipe as is but check the bread after it’s had 25 minutes total in the oven as it might be ready. If not, give it another 5-10 minutes and check again. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yep, you can store this gluten-free Paleo plantain bread in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze it?
Yep, you can freeze it, tightly wrapped in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Are plantains paleo?
Yep! Plantains are a fruit related to the banana. And since the Paleo diet is all about eating whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, plantains are a welcome part of the diet.
Are plantains gluten-free?
Yep. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains like wheat, barley and rye. Because plantains are a fruit, they don’t contain any of those grains and are therefore gluten-free (and grain-free).
Are plantains healthy?
Plantains contain resistance starch, which helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. And their fiber content helps keep you regular. They also have a low glycemic index and are a good source of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Read more about their nutrition here.
Other recipes you might like:
Paleo Plantain Bread (gluten-free)
- Heat the oven to 350°. Generously grease an 8x8" glass baking dish.
- Trim the ends off the plantains. Using a paring knife, slice lengthwise down each plantain to cut through the peel (and only the peel, don't cut too deeply). Remove from the peels, slice in half lengthwise, slice in half lengthwise again into 4 long pieces, and slice them crosswise into small pieces.
- Toss the plantains into the bowl of a food processor. Crack in the eggs. Add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Blitz until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. The batter should be like thick pancake batter. It may have tiny black specks from the plantains.
- Scrape the batter into the greased baking dish and slide into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The edges will be brown and the top should look dry and an even shade of pale yellow. If it looks moist or darker in the middle, it's not ready yet.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting.