Plantains!

If you’ve ever had Cuban or Caribbean food, then you have probably had plantains. They look and feel like bananas, but have a different, less sweet flavor. Plantains are very versatile. Today we’ll take a look at some of their health benefits and some of their delicious recipes! Plantains are starchy and should be eaten occasionally. They are however not toxic if raw and therefore I (as well as other paleobloggers) consider them to be paleo. Please post any thoughts, comments, recipes you’d like to share!

Three tasty ways to eat ripe plantains

Grilled plantains and rice

Black plantains are very ripe, yellow ones are in the middle and green ones are not ripe. Use the green and yellow for the savory dishes, and save the black and yellow/black ones for desserty items:

Plantains are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and A. They are also high in vitamin B6, magnesium and folate. One cup of plantains contains more potassium that one cup of banana slices. 20% RDA in plantains compared to 15% RDA in bananas.

Calories: 179
fat: 0 g
protein: 1 g
carbs: 48 g
fiber: 4 g
potassium: 20% RDA
vitamin C: 28% RDA
vitamin A: 28% RDA
vitamin B6: 18% RDA
Magnesium: 12% RDA
Folate: 12% RDA

Fried Plantains
Ingredients:
3 or 4 green plantains, peeled and cut at a slant
seasoning to taste (garlic salt, ground pepper, ground oregano)
Coconut oil

Directions:
Fry in a deep pan over medium to medium-high heat until the pieces begin to turn crisp. It’s best to fry a few pieces at a time.

Remove the pieces. Set over a firm surface and press down on each piece with a hard instrument such as a roller until it becomes flattened thin and elongated.

Return to the frying pan and continue to fry until they look quite crisp. Remove excess frying oil by setting over paper towels. Can salt once removed if desired.

Use as a side dish to substitute for French fries. Warning: your diners may not want to go back to French fries in the future! Enjoy!

You can freeze the plantain pieces before the second frying. They will last for months in the freezer! Careful, though: “for months” doesn’t mean “forever”.


Grilled Plantains
Ingredients:
3 yellow ripe plantains, peeled
1 lime 

Directions:
1. Slice each plantain diagonally into 4 pieces. Skewer plantains and sprinkle with lime juice. Place plantains on grill and cook slowly until the sugar in them caramelizes, about 10 minutes. Turn plantains frequently during cooking and baste with additional lime juice.

Sweet Baked Plantains
Ingredients:
4 black (very ripe) plantains
Oil


Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put parchment paper on top of a metal cookie sheet. Cut the ends off of the plantains and peel. Cut each plantain on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange in single layer and drizzle oil over the tops. Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until the plantains are golden brown and very tender.

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