Plantains were food that I ate on a fairly consistent basis as a kid. Living in a Puerto Rican household and having a mother who learned to cook from her mother meant that plantains were always a part of our meals. I was never a fan of platanos and preferred tostones. What is the difference? Platanos are made from ripened green plantains and are sweeter and for me mushy. Their texture just didn’t exist when I compared it to tostones. Tostones are crispy and are typically deep fried and then served with mojo. In our house my father would put a bit of butter and salt on them and eat them that way and so that is how I ate them as well.
Today I have found myself making tostones more and more except without the frying part. I peel the plantains, which is usually the hardest part because the peel is tough and require patience to peel. Once peeled I cut them into 1″ slices and then drop them into salted boiling water until they float. At that point I remove them from the water and pat them dry. I melt coconut oil on a high setting and after flattening each piece place it into the pan and saute them until they are crispy on both sides. From there the possibilities are endless. You can make a vegan mofongo with just garlic, salt and olive oil. You can eat them from a plate like a chip or use them as a replacement for tortilla chips. Essentially the only limiter is your imagination.
But are plantains something that I should be eating more and more of, like when I was a kid. A quick bit of research indicates that yes plantains can be a very integral part of my healthy eating lifestyle.
Health Benefits Of Plantains:
- Fiber: A 1 cup serving of fiber contains 3-5g of fiber. Fiber is water-soluble and contains no calories but will make you feel fuller longer which can aid in weight loss. Fiber also helps with constipation while also helping to lower your cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Potassium: This would make sense since a plantain is often confused with bananas. Potassium, as you know, is an important electrolyte to endurance athletes. For those that are not endurance athletes that doesn’t mean you should ignore potassium as it helps regulate heart beat and enables your muscles to function properly.
- Vitamin A: 1 cup of plantains has almost double (for men) and nearly 60% (for women) of the daily requirements of this vitamin which helps with reproduction, immunity and communication between your bodies cells.
These are just a few of the health benefits of plantains but beyond that they are delicious. If you have ever tried mofongo then you will know what I am talking about. If you have never had mofongo then I suggest you go and find your nearest Puerto Rican and either bribe or beg them to make it for you. Your life will be changed and this dish will become something that you will want on a regular basis.
Photos Of Dishes Using Plantains:
What Childhood Food Has Resurfaces Into Your Health Lifestyle?