Friday, May 18, 2012

You say Banana, I say Plantain

Have you tried plantains?
If not, you're missing out! They are delicious. Basically, a plantain is a green banana. It is lower in sugar than your typical yellow, sweet banana, and is more firm. Like the yellow banana, the plantain is a good source of potassium, as well as fiber.
Unlike the yellow sweet banana, which is eaten raw, plantains need to be cooked prior to eating. They can be used green, or allowed to ripen up more, turning a yellowish-black color. Either way, the plantain is delicious, and makes a great accompaniment to a main meat dish, especially pork :)
Here are some yellowish-black, more ripe plantains: they will be sweeter than the green plantain, as their starches have had time to convert to sugars, but still can not be consumed raw:
The skin is tough, and needs to be cut to open up. Here I've made a cut down the center, and then was able to peel off the skin. Sometimes though, the skin needs to be cut off since it is thick and can adhere tightly to the fruit.
After getting the skin off, I chopped the plantains into 1/2 inch thick slices. I melted some coconut oil over medium heat, and added the plantains in to the hot oil. After a couple minutes the plantains become caramelized and brown and can be flipped to cook the other side.
After the plantains have browned and softened up on the second side, remove from the pan. It's best to add a touch of salt to them right as they are taken off the heat.
That's it - very easy.

I also like to bake over ripe plantains, whole, in their skin - to do that, simply make a cut down the middle as above, place on a baking sheet and bake until the fruit is soft and brown, at 375 degrees. It should take somewhere in the range of 20-30 minutes to bake.
So next time you're at the market, grab some plantains and try them out :)

1 comment:

jimi said...

Hey great stuff nice info your passing on.cake recipes