Plantains Nutrition facts and Health benefits

Selection and storage

Plantains Nutrition facts and Health benefits
Plantain (left) and banana. Photo courtesy: satanoid.

Plantains of all varieties can be readily available in the USA supermarkets all around the year. At maturity, they generally harvested unripely and right away carried to the market for sale.

Look for firm, mature, deep green, well-formed plantains that feel heavy in hand. Do not buy overripe, damaged, split fruits, as they stay poor. Once at home, store them open at room temperature for up to 4-5 days.

Once ripe, plantains too, like bananas, are very fragile and show signs of decay in a short time span.

Preparation and Serving methods

fried plantains
Fried plantains.
Photo courtesy: Purdman1.
plantain chips
Plantain chips (vaazhakka upperi)-India

Plantains are inedible raw and should be eaten only after cooking.

To prepare, just wash the raw fruit in cold water and mop dry using a paper cloth. Using a paring knife, trim either end. Then, cut the fruit into short lengths, split the skin superficially along the ridge and peel the skin gently away from the flesh to get firm flesh inside. Oftentimes, the whole fruit may be barbecued with its skin. Otherwise, its peeled flesh may be cut into thin slices, and chunks treated much like potatoes in many traditional African and West-Indian cuisine.

Plátano can be delicious once cooked and usually served in main dishes as the chief carbohydrate source in many parts of the tropical regions.

Here are some serving tips:

Tostones are other Caribbean specials.
Photo courtesy: John Stephen.
  • Plantains make delicious savory recipes, used in place of potatoes in grills, mashed, bake, or fries.

  • In South-Indian Kerala state, plantain chips (vaazhakka upperi) seasoned with salt and pepper, is a popular snack. Tostones (twice-fried plátano), prepared in a similar way, are again enjoyed as snacks in the Caribbean and Latin Americas.

  • Its flower head (inflorescence) and interior icicle-white, tender stem (vazhai thandu in Malayalam) too are eaten in various kinds
    of recipes in South-Asian regions.

  • Sopa de plátano is a popular Caribbean soup preparation that used green plátanos, garlic, cilantro, and cheese.

  • Mashed plantain served with fried onions is a national breakfast dish of Dominican Republic. Mashed plátanos are served with rice, eggs, beans, poultry, fish, etc., in these regions.

Safety profile

Being a close member of bananas, plantains also often can be a cause for local and systemic allergic reactions in some sensitive individuals. The fruit may elicit urticaria and may cause potentially severe gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“Oral allergy syndrome” is a condition in which eating banana family foods may cause swelling and itching of the mouth or throat within hours.

Another kind of allergic reaction may be related to plant latex. (Medical disclaimer).

You may also like to read ≻≻-

≺≺ Banana fruit nutrition facts and health benefits.

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Further referances:

  1. Musa species-Banana and plantains.

  2. USDA – Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.