Sweet Plantains… Pure Tropical Deliciousness
Plantains are a tropical staple in many Latin American countries. Plantains are also present in some other international cuisines including African and Southeast Asian. These starchy vegetables very similar in texture to potatoes, are so versatile that you can enjoy them green or ripe giving you a variety of options from savory appetizers to decadent sweet desserts.
Plantains can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet given that one medium size plantain contribute to about 200 kcal with no fat, is a good source of potassium, vitamin A, B6, C and fiber.
Plantains can be eaten fried, boiled, grilled or even oven baked. Green plantains are very much eaten fried as tostones, which are twice-fried for an irresistible crispy appetizer or side dish. Mangú is a popular dish in the Dominican Republic where green plantains are boiled and mashed for a puree-like consistency. This is almost always eaten as breakfast with fried eggs and salami. Cazuela de pescado is a delicious Ecuadorian dish that uses green plantains and fresh fish topped with a red onion relish.
As for ripe plantains (also known as Maduros), take advantage of the sweetness and versatility they offer. Ripe or sweet plantains are an excellent choice for succulent desserts. If you love banana foster dessert, you’ll love sweet plantains in place of bananas.
OVEN BAKED SWEET PLANTAINS DESSERT
Ingredients & Method (Serves 4)
- 4 very ripe plantains (skin should look almost black)
- 1 ½ tablespoon of unsalted butter (or vegan spread)
- ¼ cup of 1% milk (use vanilla flavored rice, soy or almond milk for vegan version)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pre-heat oven to 375F. Peel the plantains and cut them lengthwise. Place plantains cut side up on a lightly greased baking dish. Warm the milk with the butter until butter has melted. Add milk mixture to plantains. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice over the plantains and bake covered for 25 minutes. Uncover and put under broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a ¼ cup of low fat frozen vanilla yogurt.