Anything but plain - introducing plantains. Plantains are one of the most versatile fruits in the world - perfect for soups, snacks, and even sweet desserts. These savoury and sweet cousins of bananas are a rich source of fibre, and are filled with vitamins, minerals, potassium, and magnesium. Although technically a fruit, they are used more like a vegetable, and cannot be eaten raw. Plantains can be enjoyed in three different stages of ripeness. Depending on their ripeness they may taste best when boiled, baked, roasted, deep-fried, or served as a dessert.
Grown across the globe and a staple food in tropical countries, plantains are now here in New Zealand. They’re perfect for gluten-free or paleo-friendly recipes, and a great substitute for potatoes. They stay delicious at any stage, which means you can leave them in the fruit bowl for weeks and still find a yummy use for them. We have created some delicious recipes that show just how versatile this savoury and sweet fruit really is.
Plantains are an excellent source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Vitamin A. They are also a good source of fibre, Magnesium, and Folate.
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Green plantains are firm and can be used as a potato substitute, perfect for boiling or mashing. Yellow plantains are usually baked or fried, and black plantains are used for delicious desserts.
Plantains come in three stages of ripeness. They start off green before turning yellow, and then finally black. As they ripen, they become softer and sweeter. They can be purchased at any colour stage: green, yellow, or black. When green (after about two weeks): deep-fry or mash. When yellow (after about three weeks): roast, bake, boil, deep-fry or mash. When black (after about four weeks): use in sweet desserts. Green, yellow or black - always delicious!
Green plantains are firm and starchy and can be used as a potato substitute, usually boiled and mashed. Yellow plantains are sweet in flavour and are usually baked, fried, or mashed. Black plantains are sweet with soft texture and are mainly used as a fried dessert. HOW TO PEEL: Plantains have a firmer skin than bananas. When green, it is best to peel them with a knife. Score the skin lengthways at several points and firmly pull it off, or use a vegetable peeler. Once a plantain turns yellow, the skin should be scored crosswise with the knife before peeling. Once they turn black, they are easy to peel.
Store plantains at room temperature to promote ideal ripening. Higher storage temperature will speed the ripening process. Never store under 7 degrees as chill can occur - only fully ripe plantains with a black skin can be kept in the fridge. Ripe plantains freeze very well. To freeze, peel and store in individual freezer bags.