Sweet Plantains

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Are you looking for a new side dish recipe or something sweet to add to your next meal? If you’re craving a sweet treat that is healthy and delicious, this sweet plantain recipe is for you! 

Sweet plantains are a perfect complement to the savory spices in the dish. And plantains are easy to prepare and taste great! 

But, before diving deep into the delicious world of fruit, let’s talk specifically about plantains first. 

 

Sweet Plantains

 

What are Plantains?

Plantains are fruits that come from the Musa genus. They are a favorite food of many people in the Caribbean and Latin America. 

Plantains are versatile, healthy, and delicious! An edible fruit that can be eaten at any stage of ripeness and can be used to prepare both sweet and savory dishes.

When ripe, a plantain will have brown/black skin with black seeds inside. Plantains can be baked, boiled, mashed, or air-fried and used in many different recipes to create the perfect side dishes and desserts! 

You can prepare them in various ways, including boiling them like potatoes or frying them to make chips! 

Plantains are dense and starchy like potatoes but look like bananas.

 

Ripe Plantain

 

Is plantain a fruit or vegetable?

You can find the answer in the botanical definition of “fruit.” 

According to botanists, a fruit is any part of an angiosperm (a flowering plant) that contains seeds and develops from the ovary after fertilization. Therefore, plantains are classified as fruits because they have seeds and develop from the ovary after fertilization.

Plantain, also known as “the poor man’s banana,” is a fruit that has many health benefits. 

Plantains contain potassium and vitamin C, which help regulate heart rate and keep blood pressure at an appropriate level. 

The most common plantain use is frying them up and dipping them in honey or using them as chips! 

However, this fruit is also known for its diuretic properties. Plantains help make your kidneys more efficient at getting rid of wastes like salt and other minerals from the body.

 

Plantain and banana – is there any difference?

The yellow-skinned fruit known as the plantain is not a banana at all!

Bananas and plantains can both be eaten raw or cooked and have a sweet taste (plantains are sweet when ripe). But what’s the difference between them? 

 

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Are plantains healthier than bananas?

Plantains produce less sugar than bananas when ripening on the tree, which means they often taste better when cooked before consumption. 

Because they have less sugar content, plantains just might be the better, healthier choice!

Plantains and bananas also differ in shape. While bananas curve upward when ripe and ready for picking, plantains do not change their shape after harvesting.

 

Do plantains taste like bananas?

Although bananas and plantains both sweeten as they ripen, their taste is not similar at all!

Fully ripened bananas have a bite with notes reminiscent of vanilla, honey and rum. Plantains sweeten as they mature but need to be fried or sautéed with spices like cinnamon or brown sugar to caramelize and enhance their sweet taste.

 

Fried Sweet Plantain

 

What do sweet fried plantains taste like?

Plantains are a delicious yet often overlooked fruit. Of course, you can eat them raw, but it’s a much better taste to cook them for delicious desserts and savory dishes. 

Plantains have a taste that is sweet and nutty at the same time. The taste of sweet fried plantains is a mix of savory and sweet, with the sweetness coming from the brown sugar they’re often fried in. 

It’s hard to describe this unique flavor that you can only get by tasting it for yourself!

 

Does a green banana turn into plantain?

No, but green plantains ripen to yellow and then black and turn into sweet plantains! 

Bananas, on the other hand, are much shorter, thinner, and softer than plantains. Plantains take much longer (weeks) to turn black than bananas.

 

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How do you buy sweet plantains?

When you buy plantains, it is essential to know how to pick the right ones.

If you’re preparing sweet plantains, look for dark brown skin and a firm body. 

 

What type of plantains are best for frying?

The best stage for preparing sweet fried plantains (also known as platanos maduros) is when they are yellow and have lots of black blemishes on all sides. Or are simply black all over.

 

How do you make sweet plantains in an Instant Pot?
How to make sweet plantains in an Instant Pot

 

Should you soak plantains before frying them? 

Plantains are just like potatoes in that they contain starches.

You should soak them – unless you’re using an Instant Pot for cooking your plantains, like in this recipe. 

Soaking plantains before cooking helps break down the starches, making the plantain less dense when fried or sauteed. Not something you need to worry about when using an Instant Pot to sauté your plantains because Instant Pot, by design, is a quicker cooking method.

 

How do you make sweet plantains?

Here’s my recipe for the quickest way to fry sweet plantains. 

I use the Instant Pot and replace traditional stovetop frying with the Instant Pot sauté method – reducing your cooking time from 20 minutes to less than 10 minutes! 

And you won’t need any oils for frying – not even avocado oil, coconut oil or, olive oil!

 

Sweet Plantain Recipes

How do you make sweet plantains in an Instant Pot?

 

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Sweet plantains recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water 
  • 4 large ripe plantains (plantains are black in color when ripe)
  • ½ a cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks)
  • ½ a tablespoon of butter

 

Instructions: Instant Pot sweet plantains

  1. How do you peel plantains? Cut the ends off each plantain, then score them lengthwise across each plantain to remove the thick outer peel. (Be careful not to slice beyond the peel and into the plantain.)
  2. After removing the peel, cut each plantain into 4 quarters.
  3. Remove the Instant Pot lid and turn on the sauté setting for 20 minutes. (Although you will not use all of this time. I like to have the extra minutes for the time it takes for the sauté to become active.)
  4. Add the water to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  5. Then add the plantain slices, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (or cinnamon sticks).
  6. Sauté (with the instant Pot lid off) for about 5-8 minutes until the plantains are softened and golden in color.
  7. Flipping each plantain quarter over once during the sautéing is optional. Both sides typically cook evenly since they’re almost submerged in the bubbling hot water.
  8. Turn off the Instant Pot and transfer the cooked plantains to a serving dish.
  9. Optionally, top sweet plantains with your favorite white cheese.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

How To Make Sweet Plantains?

 

Instructions: stovetop fried sweet plantains 

  1. How do you peel plantains? Cut the ends off each plantain, then score them lengthwise across each plantain to remove the thick outer peel. (Be careful not to slice beyond the peel and into the plantain.)
  2. After removing the peel, cut each plantain into 4 quarters.
  3. Place all the ingredients (water, plantain slices, brown sugar, and butter) in a medium-sized saucepan, frying pan or skillet.
  4. Cover the pan and cook the plantains over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Flipping each plantain quarter over once during the sautéing is optional. Both sides typically cook evenly since they’re almost submerged in the bubbling hot water.
  6. Turn off the stovetop and transfer the cooked plantains to a serving dish.
  7. Optionally, top sweet plantains with your favorite white cheese.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

What’s the difference between fried sweet plantains and tostones?

Tostones are usually made with green un-ripened plantains, have a light crispy texture on the outside, and are soft on the inside. 

When it comes to sweet plantains, they’re just more ripe than their unripe counterparts and offer a sweeter flavor profile. 

Tostones are fried twice and then smashed into a patty. 

At the same time, sweet plantains are usually cut into halves or quarters and cooked by frying, steaming, boiling or sautéing.

 

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What do you eat with fried sweet plantains?

Plantains are often used as an ingredient in dishes like pastélon, mofongo, and tostones. 

Some of the most popular plantain accompaniments are rice, beans, meat (chicken or beef), or fish dishes like tuna steak or red snapper.

Cheese is also a great option to top off this delicious treat.

 

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Platanos Maduros

 

What to serve with sweet plantains?

Sweet plantains are usually served with different sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise, garlic, curry, and soy sauce. The possibilities for what you serve with sweet plantains are endless, including:

 

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What are the benefits of plantains?

Plantain is a weed that grows in many places, and it has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. As a result, it’s often referred to as “nature’s band-aid.” 

Plantains help reduce inflammation and infection and aid in skin cell regeneration and rapid healing. 

Plantain is so good for the skin that not only is this fruit eaten, but it’s also used as a topical wash and applied directly to the skin!

 

Can you eat raw plantain?

Many people think that plantains can’t be eaten raw, but in reality, they can! 

Plantains are usually green when unripe and turn yellow when ready for consumption. 

Plantains have the same nutritional value as bananas, except potassium, which is higher in bananas than plantains. 

 

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Can you eat plantain skin?

The answer is surprising – yes, you can eat plantain skin! 

Plantain peels are edible, but they should not be eaten raw. 

You can fry or boil them for a tasty treat that’s loaded with potassium and fiber. You can also blend the peel into smoothies to easily consume all the loaded benefits!

 

What is the benefit of plantain water?

Have you ever heard of plantain water?

Plantain water is a natural drink made from plantain leaves. It can be enjoyed as tea, or you can use it in cooking. 

 

Do green plantains turn yellow?

Image from The Pioneer Woman

 

When are plantains ripe enough to fry?

Plantains that are too ripe will be mushy and won’t fry well. 

On the other hand, if they’re not mature enough, they’ll be hard and inedible. They become ideal for frying when the color turns primarily black with just a hint of yellow. 

It’s crucial to find the perfect point where the skin is just beginning to turn black but still has an edible texture for sauteing or frying.

Using blackened plantains will produce the sweetest maduros because they’ll have the highest amount of sugar and become more caramelized as they’re cooked. 

You can buy yellow plantains from the store and keep them for about 2 weeks until they blacken.

 

Do green plantains turn yellow?

The answer is yes! Plantains are large fruit that grows in hot climates, and they will eventually mature and ripen. 

So when you buy them at the grocery store, they might not have any black spots because they are immature. But if you wait, they will start turning yellow and develop black spots on their skin.

 

How long does it take for green plantains to ripen?

It may take up to two weeks to ripen green plantains, depending on the temperature and humidity of your environment. 

During this process, you may notice that the skin darkens in color. Also, the flavor becomes sweeter, and some starch is converted into sugar.

If you’re one of those people who only eat bananas when they’re ripe, then you should give sweet plantains a try- it could be the new go-to fruit for you! 

 

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Are plantains healthier than rice?

Although the numbers look similar on charts, plantains are still a healthy alternative to rice

Rice contains high amounts of carbohydrates. At the same time, plantains have more fiber and potassium, which keeps you full longer. 

 

Recipes With Ripe Plantains

 

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The Pioneer Woman Instant Pot  |  MacKenzie-Child similar fluted dinner plates  | Amazon similar woven placemats  |  Target gold woven placemats  |  MacKenzie-Childs black Flower Market placemats  |  MacKenzie-Childs similar serving bowl  |  Amazon stainless steel saucepan  |  Amazon similar ruffle placemats  |

 

Where do plantains originally come from?

The plantain, scientifically known as “Musa Acuminata,” is a banana that originated in Africa and Asia. 

 

Love this sticky sweet plantains recipe? 

Leave your answer in a comment below!

 

This recipe appeared first on ShaundaNecole.com on April 5, 2019.

 

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Sweet Plantains

 

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Sweet Plantain Recipes

Sweet Plantains

Here’s my recipe for the quickest way to fry sweet plantains. 
I use the Instant Pot and replace traditional stovetop frying with the Instant Pot sauté method – reducing your cooking time from 20 minutes to less than 10 minutes! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: fried plantains, Instant Pot, Instant Pot Duo, Instant Pot recipe, plantains, platanos maduros, recipes with ripe plantains, sweet plantain recipes, sweet plantains, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 334kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 plantains large, ripe & black in color
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tablespoon butter

Instructions

Instructions: Instant Pot sweet plantains

  • How do you peel plantains? Cut the ends off each plantain, then score them lengthwise across each plantain to remove the thick outer peel. (Be careful not to slice beyond the peel and into the plantain.)
  • After removing the peel, cut each plantain into 4 quarters.
  • Remove the Instant Pot lid and turn on the sauté setting for 20 minutes. (Although you will not use all of this time. I like to have the extra minutes for the time it takes for the sauté to become active.)
  • Add the water to the stainless-steel inner pot.
  • Then add the plantain slices, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (or cinnamon sticks).
  • Sauté (with the instant Pot lid off) for about 5-8 minutes until the plantains are softened and golden in color.
  • Flipping each plantain quarter over once during the sautéing is optional. Both sides typically cook evenly since they’re almost submerged in the bubbling hot water.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and transfer the cooked plantains to a serving dish.
  • Optionally, top sweet plantains with your favorite white cheese.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

Use the recipe below for preparing stovetop fried sweet plantains.

    Notes

    Fried Plantains

    Instructions: stovetop fried sweet plantains 

    1. How do you peel plantains? Cut the ends off each plantain, then score them lengthwise across each plantain to remove the thick outer peel. (Be careful not to slice beyond the peel and into the plantain.)
    2. After removing the peel, cut each plantain into 4 quarters.
    3. Place all the ingredients (water, plantain slices, brown sugar, and butter) in a medium-sized saucepan, frying pan or skillet.
    4. Cover the pan and cook the plantains over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
    5. Flipping each plantain quarter over once during the sautéing is optional. Both sides typically cook evenly since they’re almost submerged in the bubbling hot water.
    6. Turn off the stovetop and transfer the cooked plantains to a serving dish.
    7. Optionally, top sweet plantains with your favorite white cheese.
    8. Serve warm and enjoy!
    Sweet Plantains Recipe

    Nutrition

    Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 950mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 2032IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Sweet Plantains
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    334
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    1
    g
    2
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    6
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    1
    mg
    0
    %
    Sodium
     
    20
    mg
    1
    %
    Potassium
     
    950
    mg
    27
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    87
    g
    29
    %
    Fiber
     
    6
    g
    25
    %
    Sugar
     
    54
    g
    60
    %
    Protein
     
    3
    g
    6
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    2032
    IU
    41
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    33
    mg
    40
    %
    Calcium
     
    72
    mg
    7
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

     

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    2 Comments

    1. Cyrene
      August 30, 2021 / 9:36 am

      5 stars
      We have our own version of this here in the Philippines. We used Saba Banana, then simmer it in water and add brown sugar after almost of the water evaporates. We pair it with a cup of coffee or great for dessert!

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