Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Plantains...A Sweet Fix

By Lisa VanWilliams

Craving something sweet? Try a plantain and you'll feel like you should be sitting on the beach under your straw cabana enjoying this tropical treat...it always reminds me of the Caribbean Islands where it is commonly served as a side dish.

It is a staple food for many countries and it can be used as a starch or a fruit depending on the ripeness. When it's very green it's more comparable to a starchy potato, as it ripens and turns from yellow to blackish the pulp gets sweeter than a banana. You can fry them, boil them, bake them, grill them, mash them, and you can eat them raw when they are really ripe. 

Why are they good for you?

  • high in fiber & potassium
  • vitamin A & C
  • a healthy carb
  • boosts metabolism & burns fat
  • natural sugar that is easier for body to digest
  • low in sodium
  • good source of starch and energy

Plantains are an inexpensive option and they offer some great health benefits. Plantain lasagna, ripe plantain boats filled with minced meat and cheese, serve them with eggs at breakfast time, or make some plantain foster for dessert. Search for a recipe and experiment!

I am going to try to bake some plantain chips up shortly, and I will let you know how they come out.

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