If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you saw my trek across town last week searching for Plantains. I was craving them like a crazy person! Jeff and I went to Costa Rica last August on vacation and I’m pretty sure we ate Plantains for just about every meal; roasted, smothered in gravy, or pan fried and crispy. I actually had never tasted a Plantain before, and honestly I didn’t have any desire to before our trip. I’m not a fan of cooked fruit and I was under the impression that Plantains were just a fancy name for a Banana. Now to my knowledge, they aren’t at all! I don’t think they taste like bananas at all… they’re way better!
Okay, so here are some plantains on the left and bananas on the right. See the difference? Plantains are bigger, the skin is thicker, they are eaten as a vegetable, and the nutritional content is quite contrasting.
Plantains are a member of the banana family but they are starchier, have less sugar, and look a bit different when ripe. Bananas are a great go-to snack to be eaten raw, but plantains usually aren’t eaten raw because of the high starch content.
Fresh plantains have more Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Potassium than a Banana. Bananas have less calories, carbohydrates, and sugars than plantains., but not by far. Both are high in powerful antioxidants which can fight certain types of cancer, potassium which boosts brain power and regulates blood pressure, and fiber which can aid with digestive issues and bloating.
When it comes to selecting your plantain, there are two different kinds (that I know of). The more savory type of Plantain will be green in color; similar to an unripe banana. The sweeter type of Plantain will be darker, like the ones shown above. The darker the skin, the more ripe the plantain is. Don’t let the dark skin color confuse you… At first I thought this would mean the plantain was rotten, like a banana would be if the skin were super dark. Not for plantains! Again, the darker the skin, the more ripe. I chose to work with the sweeter plantain, because it was the only one my market had 😉
When peeling your plantain, know that it does not peel like a banana; the skin is much thicker. First, cut the ends off. Next, make a cut down the center of the skin and peel it away from the flesh.
Once you’ve peeled your plantain, cut it in about 1/2 inch pieces.
PSA: This is how I chose to make mine. I didn’t research any recipes because I wanted to just play with it myself and see how it came out. This was actually my first time cooking plantains and they actually came out pretty good. There definitely are better ways to cook plantains, but this is my personal experience with them that I’m sharing with you.
Now its time to get cooking! On medium/low heat, add 1 tbsp Organic Coconut Oil to a nonstick pan (I used a cast iron skillet). Once the pan is hot hot hot and the oil is melted, add your plantain pieces!
I cooked mine about 3-4 minutes per side because I like a little crisp on the outside and mush on the inside (as shown above). Once they’re done cooking, transfer to a plate, top with sea salt, and eat!
I ate mine right off the plate and they were super good. A friend recommended smashing them with the bottom of a cup, which I’m definitely going to try next time!
I’d love to know how you cook your plantains! Post a picture on Instagram or FaceBook and tag @PumpAndCrunch.
Yours In Health,