I'll admit it. Before this month, I'd never eaten a plantain. Oh, I'd heard of them. I'd seen them occasionally in the grocery store, but who needs a "less sweet banana", right? I preferred my soft, sweet, familiar yellow bananas. But on the Autoimmune Protocol, plantains are a food that many people use in recipes. While bananas are usually eaten raw as a fruit, plantains are starchy and eaten cooked as a vegetable. One half cup of cooked plantain contains only about 90 calories. They are much less sweet than bananas, are a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and fiber, and contain less sugar and also have more vitamins A and C. So I decided to give them a try.
When you buy plantains, they will probably be green. You can cook and eat them like that, but you can't eat them raw. Most of the advice I found online said to let them ripen on the counter until they are yellow with plenty of black. They look like overripe bananas.
At this point, they are ready to use in recipes. But you don't peel them like a traditional banana; their peels are thicker so it is easier to slice off both ends and cut a line down the length of the peel, like this:
I only use half a plantain at a time. They really filling! Slice it up in thick pieces...
Heat some oil over medium heat in a skillet. I used coconut oil, but avocado oil works nicely too. I've seen some suggestions to use bacon fat, which actually sounds pretty yummy. Put your slices into the hot oil and let them brown. It only takes a few minutes, and the more ripe your plantain is, the quicker they can burn. Flip them over and brown the other side.
When both sides are done. remove them to paper towels to drain and cool slightly.
I like to sprinkle them with a little salt and eat them warm! They make a nice side dish for tri-tip steak:
I actually prefer plantains when they are slightly green and less yellow/black. They have a more meaty texture and starchy feel in the mouth, whereas the more ripened plantains are quite sweet and softer in texture. You can try both and see which suits you.
Try something new today! And I hope you enjoy your plantains!
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