I know I just posted a plantain recipe a few weeks ago, but I used the unripe green kind for that recipe. Today, my recipe is all about cooking the very ripe black plantains. Even though in both recipes I basically just add oil and bake them, they taste very different. This is because during the ripening process, starch is converted to sugar, so the riper they become, the more sweet they will taste. When they are green, they are more like a potato, and when they are mostly black they taste more like a banana. If you want to know how I like to cook the green plantains click here, otherwise keep reading if you want to make sweet ones.
Plantains are full of potassium, vitamins a and c, magnesium and fiber. The United States Department of Agriculture does consider plantains to be a “starchy vegetable” and recommends approximately 2 1/2 – 3 Cups of vegetables a day for most adults, so adding a side of plantains does contribute to meeting your vegetable intake for the day. However, plantains are traditionally fried, so if you order them at a restaurant, they may not be the healthiest choice. I like to coat them with a small amount of oil and bake them (very simple) and serve them as a side or you could even add a little cinnamon and frozen yogurt to make a satisfying dessert.
Baked Sweet Plantains
1 Very Ripe Plantain (black or mostly black)
1 tsp Canola Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove peel from plantain and cut into 1/2 inch slices at an angle to make oblong slices. Put slices into a small bowl and add oil. Toss to coat. Lay slices out on a baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops of the plantains start to brown/caramelize. Remove from oven, flip slices over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and enjoy. Serves 2.