These tender inside and crispy outside baked plantains are an outstanding snack or appetizer you will love. You only need two ingredients and optional extra seasonings to prepare this amazing dish.
These days, baked plantain are the talk of the health community and, trust me, they have many reasons to discuss this amazing cooking banana. I have prepared the best and easiest way to enjoy ripe plantains!
With plantains growing in popularity, this ingredient is now found in many countries worldwide. So, I thought it was a perfect beginner recipe you can try if you want to experiment with it. It is easier to prepare, but this process needs less effort and is less messy than the traditional frying.
What is the difference between plantains and bananas?
When you look at plantains and bananas side by side, you can see they look similar in many ways, though plantains are bigger.
The real difference is when it comes to uses, taste, and texture. Plantains are mostly eaten cooked, whereas you can eat bananas as it is. Plantains usually have a larger and tougher texture than bananas. The skin is much thicker and can be found in green, yellow, or very dark brown.
Plantains are starchier and not quite sweet when they are green. When ripe, they turn sweeter and become sweeter still when cooked. You can easily boil, bake and fry plantains and turn them into any dish. Here are some points to understand what plantains are:
- Plantains are not bananas, but they are related to bananas.
- Plantains are larger, starchier, and are typically eaten cooked, fried, boiled, or baked.
- Bananas are sweeter and typically eaten raw.
- Plantains are popular in the Caribbean and West Africa. Fried plantains are a popular part of Jamaican cuisine.
- Plantains are sold in most supermarkets in the International section here in the USA.
Plantain Health Benefits
Plantains are very low on sugar and starch, similar to bananas. You should always cook plantains to eat them, as they taste very bad raw. They are not similar to dessert bananas which are sweeter and can be eaten raw. Plantains are green, but they will turn yellow and dark if they ripen.
Prepared plantains have similar nutrients as potatoes, such as vitamins, minerals, and calories. Vitamins A, C, B-6, fiber, and the minerals potassium and magnesium are all abundant in them.
This underappreciated item is worth a trip to the supermarket! Here are some of the plantain’s health benefits you should know:
Improves Digestive Health
Plantains are beneficial for our digestive health for 2 main reasons. To begin with, the resistant starch from plantains functions as a prebiotic, encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon.
On the other hand, plantains are high in fiber, which helps to enhance digestive function.
Helps to Control Diabetes
For persons who have Type 2 diabetes, maintaining glycemic control is a critical aim for them. This ensures that blood sugar levels do not decrease too low or rise too high. Plantains do not boost blood sugar because they do not break down in the small intestine.
Low glycemic or GI index foods takes a long time to digest. GI of less than 55 is regarded as low, and plantains have a GI in the 40, making them a healthy meal option for people with diabetes.
Boosts Our Immune System
In terms of health, small changes can have a tremendous effect. For example, only tiny amounts of certain vitamins and minerals are required to maintain a healthy immune system. Plantains are full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and magnesium, all of which are vital nutrients.
Helps to Manage Weight
The fiber and starch from plantains are also referred to as complex carbohydrates. These take time to be processed and digested so that they will stay in our stomachs for a while.
In the meantime, they will keep us full, which will decrease any urge to eat more even after having a meal, resulting in a well manageable weight.
Good for Our Heart
Potassium present in plantains is very necessary for maintaining cells and body fluids that control our heart rate and blood pressure. Fiber from plantains also decreases our bad cholesterol and keeps our heart functioning perfectly.
According to a study, eating plantains may help youngsters avoid asthma wheezing. The high antioxidant and potassium levels of plantains could be one cause for this. Check out more on the Health Benefits Of Plantain.
All you need for this recipe for baked plantains is plantains and cooking spray!
FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS, SCROLL TO SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END.
How to Bake Plantains
- To make baked plantains, make sure your plantains are very ripe, yellow with black spots as shown in the photo above, and not green. They should give slightly when pressed and not be firm.
- Peel plantains by cutting the ends off the plantain, cutting through the peel vertically, and removing the peel. See How To Peel Plantain
- Make diagonal slices about 1/2 inch thick.
- Place slices on a sprayed baking sheet.
- Spray cooking oil on top of the plantain slices.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F, until golden brown for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
Want to prepare your baked plantain with some flavoring options? Why not try adding some of these?
- Cayenne Pepper
You can show off your creativity with your family with the touch of additional flavorings.
- Make sure to use parchment paper while baking to prevent plantain from sticking.
- You can use whatever oil you prefer to prepare the plantains with a high smoke point.
- I suggest you choose yellow plantains that are not too soft and hard. You will get a slightly sweeter plantain, but it will still hold the shape in the oven, and you will get a nice crispy texture.
- If you buy an overripe plantain, try adding some cinnamon and sugar to make it a sweet treat.
- The thinner or thicker plantain cut will depend on its crisp and tender level. It will also affect the baking time, so make sure you evenly cut the plantains.
- Allowing plantains to cool off in the oven with the door slightly open will allow them to become crispy while cooling.
- If you want to enjoy crispy plantain chips, then use green ones that are on the way to turning yellow. Slice them in ⅛ inch thin layers if possible.
I love to enjoy this recipe for baked plantains immediately. However, if you have leftovers, allow them to cool and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To keep it in the freezer, add the slices on a tray with parchment paper and keep them in the freezer for some hours. After that, put the pieces in the Ziplock or freezer-friendly bag.
To reheat the frozen plantains, put them in the oven until warmed thoroughly. In that way, you will get similar crispy plantains again.
Freezing Whole Plantains
If you want to freeze whole plantains for later recipes, you can freeze them for up to 6 months. You can peel and slice them into individual pieces or cut them half; it’s up to you.
Add the plantains to the freezer-safe bag and seal them. Then, write today’s date and put them in the freezer. Remember to use by date so that you don’t waste any food.
Ripe plantains have yellow skin with some black spots, similar to ripe bananas. The flesh should be soft to the touch but not overly mushy. Green plantains are firmer and have a green skin with no yellow or black coloring. For this recipe for baked plantains you’ll need yellow plantains.
Plantains are botanically classified as fruits since they develop from the flowering part of the plant. However, they are typically treated as a vegetable in culinary uses due to their starchy and savory nature.
Plantains are grown in many tropical and subtropical regions around the world, with major producers including countries in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
While ripe, yellow plantains can be eaten raw and are sweet like bananas, green plantains are not typically consumed raw. Green plantains are very starchy and have a tough texture when raw, so they are usually cooked by frying, boiling, or baking before eating.
Plantains are a good source of essential nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamins (particularly vitamin C and vitamin A), and minerals (such as potassium). However, because they can be prepared in various ways, the healthiness of plantain-based dishes can vary. Frying them can increase their calorie content, while baking or boiling is a healthier cooking option.
Other Plantain Recipes
- How To Boil Plantains
- Plantain Porridge
- Plantain Fritters
- Vegan Plantain Bread
- Fritos Maduros Fried Ripe Plantains
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- Energy: 109 kcal / 456 kJ
- Protein: 1 g
- Carbs: 28 g
- Preparation: 5 min
- Cooking: 20 min
- Ready in: 25 min
- For: 4 Servings
- Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Lightly spray parchment lined cookie sheet and set aside.
- Using a knife remove the peel of the plantain by cutting off the ends then cut through the skin lengthwise. Remove the skin and slice diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
- Place slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet, spray the top of plantains with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway or until plantains are golden brown.