Our ingredient of the week:
plantains, not bananas. There’s a difference.
Bananas are more popular in the United States, yet, plantains are eaten globally (especially in Central and South America, the Caribbean, parts of Asia and Africa). Plantains, unlike dessert-like bananas, are usually eaten cooked. They are in season all year round, hence, available all year. Okay, so are bananas.
The culinary star of “los platanos” is rising here in the US, as more and more chefs incorporate plantains into their recipes. Watch them become become part of the global cuisine.
Cooked or Raw
For cooking, this fruit is treated more as a vegetable, since it holds less sugar and tastes less sweet than bananas. They are a versatile ingredient which can be mashed, baked, fried, grilled, chopped, curried and more. They work well with many spices.
Nutritionally, plantains (cooked) are similar to bananas, as they are high in fiber, magnesium, and vitamin B6. PLUS they:
- Contain more vitamin A than bananas
- Have greater amounts of vitamin C than bananas
- Provide more potassium than bananas
Don’t get me wrong: nutrition-wise, bananas are a very good fruit and convenient to eat on the go. But for a delicious and nutritious gourmet meal, plantains offer the opportunity to expand your taste and boost your health.
Please note: some people may have food allergies to this ingredient.