Love bananas but are yearning for a more exotic experience? Then it is time for you to experience the ultimate banana,Plantains. They are the larger green like looking bananas that you’ve probably seen at the food store plenty of times but never have given much thought to try them out. Guess what? They are even HEALTHIER than your average nanner. ¡Que rico!
Just to name a few health benefits:
· Reliable sources of starch and energy.
· Contains 2.3 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams
· Fresh plantains have more vitamin C than bananas which help
fight the body of infections
· Rich source of B-complex vitamins and minerals such as iron
magnesium and phosphorous (all good things for the bones and heart).
· Fresh plantains have more potassium than your typical banana
( helping to regulate heart rate/blood pressure).
Plantains are most commonly served as a side dish to South American
foods. Not to be mistaken with your normal banana, for the best taste plantains should be cooked before consuming. There are many great delicious ways to do so! Here’s a few ways us Colombians like to get down with them:
These plantains comes out more crispy than the previous ones. Think of
them as an upgrade to your chips n’ salsa!
Instructions: In skillet, heat oil (peanut or vegetable) to 350 degrees F. Cut the plantains into diagonal ½” circles. Fry plantains, turning until all sides are lightly golden. Remove from skillet and place between 2 pieces of paper towel and press down using a glass bowl or cup to flatten. Return them back to the skillet and fry them until crisp. Remove and salt lightly (I like to squeeze a little lime juice on top).
Visual on how the slices should appear:
These plantains are closer tasting to your typical banana but of course better. Serve these as an additional side to you arroz y frijoles!
Instructions: For these plantains you want to wait till they are very ripe, the more yellow/black the peel is the sweeter the plantains will be. In skillet, heat oil (peanut or vegetable) to 350 degrees F. Cut the plantains into half slices or diagonal. You can try tosses them in brown sugar before placing them in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown.
Tip: I like to add a little vanilla extract to the oil as well some cinnamon if I’m using brown sugar.
The Finished Product:
Guava, Mozzarella Cheese Sweet Plantains:
These plantains are specific to Colombia, and make a delicious side dish.
Ingredients (serving size 4):
· 4 very ripe plantains
· 1 tablespoon melted butter
· 4 slices of guava paste ½ inch thick
· 4 slices of mozzarella cheese ½ inch thick
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, cut the ends of plantains and peel Place onto a baking dish brushed with butter and bake for 30-40 mins. Slice in half lengthwise but do not go all the way through. Fill the center with guava paste and mozzarella slices. Return to oven and back for 10 more mins until the cheese and melted.
Tip: Where to find guava paste? In your local Latin food store or in the Latin foods section of your supermarket look out for Goya Guava Paste
I will continue to experiment with different recipes and let you all know my findings. In the mean time I hope you try one of these out! ¡Chao!