Saturday, January 2, 2016

Plantain Nutrition and Questions about Plantains versus Bananas #GardenCuizine

Plantain Nutrition
Good Source dietary Fiber

Today, Harry and I had some food photography fun shooting some fresh fruit on the table. In the arrangement we included plantains. Plantains (Maduros) are enjoyed in Latin America and many parts of the world; including the USA, Africa and throughout the Caribbean. Our family never really bought them before. Questions that we had were:

1) Do plantains taste like a banana?
2) Can you eat plantains raw?

3) Do you eat plantains green?

Plantains have thicker skins and are larger than bananas. Like bananas, plantains are a carbohydrate food, but unlike bananas, they are not as sweet so plantains are usually served as a starch rather than a fruit and are cooked before being eaten. Most people do not eat plantains raw. 

As you can see in the photo, plantains can be pretty green compared to the bright yellow lemons. Go ahead and cook them when green, but they taste better if allowed to ripen. At any stage of ripeness, plantains can be boiled, fried or grilled*. To peel plantains, cut off each end then score the thick skin lengthwise with your knife. The skin can then be easily peeled off.

Since we are still celebrating the New Year, we plan to fry our plantains and serve them with black-eyed peas for good luck!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

*update: 1/4/15- last night we made Nigerian Ewa Dodo with fried plantains. In just one day after I took the above photo, the green plantains turned yellow. We should have let them ripen a few days longer. After cooking the yellow plantains, we thought they tasted too starchy and dry. We learned that for best flavor, allow plantains to ripen to the point of showing black spots before peeling and cooking. 

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Plantains
Good Source: dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium

1/2 cup cooked mashed Plantain 100g = 116 Calories; total Carbohydrate 31g; dietary Fiber 2.5g (9% DV); Protein 1g; Vitamin A: 909 IU (18% DV); Vitamin C: 11mg (18% DV); Vitamin B6: 0.2mg (12% DV); Folate: 26 mcg (6% DV); Potassium 465mg (13% DV) 

For Comparison 1 small Banana raw = 101g; 90 Calories; total Carbohydrate 21g; dietary Fiber 3g (11% DV); Protein 1g; Vitamin A: 65 IU (1% DV); Vitamin C: 9mg (15% DV); Vitamin B6 0.4mg (19% DV); Folate 20mcg (5% DV); Potassium: 362mg (10% DV)
Photo and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

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