Some will say plantains, bananas …what’s the difference? Well, both of them belong to the Banana family however there are some differences. Plantains are starchier, contain less sugar than bananas and are much more versatile as a cooking ingredient – you can make both savory and sweet dishes with them. Both Green plantains as well as ripe yellow plantains are used widely in south indian and south american cuisines . Unlike bananas, plantains are typically cooked before consumption.
In terms of nutritional value, both bananas and plantains are equally good with some differences. Both are high in potassium, magnesium and iron. Bananas however have higher antioxidants as compared to plantains. But plantains have less sugar and low on the glycemic index scale and hence good for diabetic patients. For some folks though, plantains can cause flatulence or gas.
Since starting my Paleo diet 3 months ago, I have been having mostly smoothies for breakfast. But once in a while if I am really hungry and if I was lucky to have found a ripe plantain at the grocers, then I make ‘fried plantains’. Plantains are allowed on the Paleo diet because of the benefits mentioned above.
Plantains, both green and the ripe yellow ones are very common in Kerala cuisine. Come to think of it, Kerala might be the only state in India where plantains are grown abundantly. Plantain chips , which are nothing but green plantains peeled and thinly sliced and deep fried in coconut oil, are one of the specialty food items of Kerala. Plantain fritters are also a very common keralan food! And steamed ripe plantains are always an accompaniment to breakfast in the Malayalee household.
I have posted recipe for Kerala plantain fritters before. Today I just wanted to post this simple dish of fried plantains made by cooking them and pan frying them. I first had these in a resort when we were vacationing in Cancun. So this is really the Mexican way of making ripe plantains I think (not sure). Only variation I have done here is that I have used coconut oil to fry them and added maple syrup instead of refined sugar. This dish is so easy to make but is so tasty and makes a delicious and nutritious paleo breakfast!
- 1 Ripe plantain ( should be really yellow or black)
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil for frying
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Place a cooking pot half filed with water and heat till the water begins to boil. Cut the plantain into two halves and place in the boiling water. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the plantains are fully cooked and soft to touch.
- Alternatively, you can steam the plantains in a steamer until soft.
- Once cooked, peel the plantains and slice them into ½ inch thick rounds.
- Heat a non stick cooking pan adding the coconut oil. When hot, add the plantain pieces (you may need to do so in batches) and lightly fry them flipping them once until they turn crispy on both sides (About 1 minute on each side)
- Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle maple syrup on top!