It seemed like a great question to answer here in the Phytonutrient Friday post. So let's see,plantains, well, plantains may look like ‘big ole bananas’ but they may best be described as green counterparts of rich, ripe yellow bananas and are actually a natural super food that many people are unaware of! Although they look similar to bananas, they are actually quite different. In many tropical regions, they are considered a staple and a reliable source of starch in many households. Plantains also provide a wide variety of health and nutritional benefits which make them a true super food of the week!
Plantains are great sources of a variety of vitamins and minerals including:
- Fiber: Helps to keep bowel movements regular and reduce constipation
- Vitamin C: This antioxidant helps build up your immune system and scavenge free radicals
- Vitamin A: Plays a role in vision and enhancing skin complexion
- B6 (Pyridoxine): Beneficial in treating neuritis, anemia, and decreasing homocystein levels which are often associated with coronary artery disease and stroke episodes.
- Potassium: Important components of cell and body fluids that help control heart rate and blood pressure.
Plantains are inedible raw, really do not even be tempted, they should be eaten only after cooked. The easiest way to prepare them is as follows:
- Wash your raw plantain and then using a paring knife, trim both ends.
- Next, cut the fruit into short lengths. Slit the skin superficially along the ridge and then peel the skin gently away from the flesh to extract the pulp.
- Then you decide how you want to prepare it. You can either cook it whole as part of a roast, you can cut it into thin slices and bake as you would French fries, or you can mash them into a mashed potato texture.
Other ways to eat plantains? Although the above mentioned are traditional ways plantains are prepared, there is another way you can get plantains without having to prepare them yourself. If you are searching for a snack with a little more kick than your average chip or pretzel, check out Turbana Plantain Chips. These crunchy plantain chips are natural with no cholesterol and no trans-fat, plus they come in 6 different flavors! They are “Simply Plantanicious!”