Plantains? What are they?
Plantains look like large bananas. Plantains are members of the banana family, but they are starchier and lower in sugar. They are technically fruits, but much like the tomato and unlike the banana, they are eaten and cooked as if they were a vegetable. Unlike bananas that can be eaten raw, plantains cannot be eaten raw, they must be cooked because of the high starch content. They are harder to peel (especially when green). Plantains are very versatile and typically inexpensive
Steps before cooking Plantains
Plantains are always ready for cooking no matter what stage of ripeness—green, yellow, or black. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Plantains need to be peeled prior to cooking. They may be a little difficult to peel when they are green. In order to peel green plantains, rub some oil on your hands, slice off both ends of the plantain and then cut a slit in the peel from tip to tip. Remove the peel and then peel sideways in one piece. Once peel is removed, place the peeled fruit in salted water to keep it from discoloring before cooking. The ripened plantains are peeled as indicated above however they do to stick on your hands therefore there would be no need to oil your hands.
As mentioned above, plantains must be cooked before they are eaten. Plantains can be eaten and taste different at each stage of development. Regardless of the stage where they are, the interior color of the fruit will remain creamy, yellowish or lightly pink.
When the peel is green to yellow, the flavor of the flesh is bland and has a starchy texture. This is the best stage to make savoury foods like curries, fried plantains or even mashed plantains.
As the peel changes to full bight yellowish brown or black, it has a sweeter flavor and more of a banana aroma but keeps a firm shape when cooked. At this stage they are best used for desserts.
Plantains can be boiled, sauteed, fried, baked and roasted. Boiling, roasting and baking can be done with the skin on.
Storage of Plantains
Plantains can be stored fresh, frozen, or dried. Green plantains can be ripened by storing them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Turn them daily, it could take upto If plantains are at peak ripeness but days for green plantains to ripen fully. Once they ripen if you are not ready to use them yet, place in the refrigerator for a few extra days. You can also peel and freeze them for up to three months.
To freeze plantains, remove the peel and store in an airtight container in the freezer. Dehydrated plantains should be stored at room temperature in low humidity. Use plantain flour or snack foods by their listed expiration dates.
2 large plantains
1 tablespoon red pepper and garlic flakes
1 tablespoons vegan margarine
- Peel the plantains
- Cut each plantain into two halves lengthwise.
- Cut again into half length width wise.
- Mix the vegan margarine, with the roasted red pepper flakes
- Apply the rub on the plantain and place on a lined baking sheet
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes
3 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories190
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 0.9g 5%
- Sodium 50mg 3%
- Potassium 648mg 19%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.