You could be forgiven for mistaking a plantain for a banana if you passed it in a market – but what really is the difference between the two? Plantains are a member of the banana family, however, there are several differences.
For one, plantains are only edible when cooked – usually fried or baked. They have a higher starch content and are lower in sugar than bananas. Plantains are native to tropical climates and are often used as a potato equivalent in the Caribbean and Western Africa. We might not be familiar with them here in the UK, but they are the 10th most important staple food feeding the world today.
So why should we be eating plantains?
Plantains help regulate your digestion, boost your immune system and are high in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure – so there are lots of reasons why they should be in our diet.
(Image sourced here: https://draxe.com/plantains/)
We stock plantains here at Freshfields Market, so next time you’re here we recommend you pick a few up and try cooking with them – you won’t be disappointed!
Preparing your plantain
- Wash the plantain.
- Cut off the stem and the tip.
- Peel the skin of the plantain like you would a carrot.
- Then your plantain is ready to be sliced or cooked whole!
How to cook them
One of the easiest ways to enjoy plantain is to fry slices and enjoy them as chips. Begin by heating a small amount of vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot carefully place your slices of plantain in the frying pan and fry for one and a half minutes on each side until golden. We recommend sprinkling the slices with sea salt for a sweet and salty taste.
Alternatively, plantain is delicious in curries and stews. Why don’t you experiment with plantain and pick some up next time you do your weekly shop with us?