FoodPlantains: The nutritious and versatile 'vegetable banana' for grilling

Plantains: The nutritious and versatile 'vegetable banana' for grilling

Plantain - almost like a banana, but even healthier
Plantain - almost like a banana, but even healthier
Images source: © Canva | princessdlaf

9 July 2024 16:39

Seeing this product in the store, you might consciously pass it by, thinking it's nothing more than an unripe banana. However, plantains, which we’ll discuss today, are much more. Find out why they’re worth eating and where the idea of grilling them comes from!

Bananas and their nutritional properties need no introduction. Britons consume many of them, sometimes placing too much trust in their universal appeal as “good food.” Today, we set these popular fruits aside to introduce you to their lesser-known cousin. What is plantain, where does it come from, and why is it worth eating? These questions are all answered below.

Plantain — an unknown product from distant lands

There are nine species of planes worldwide. These giant trees have decorative, spreading leaves. These trees produce plantains, which are botanically fruits but are considered vegetables for culinary use. "Vegetable bananas" are mainly harvested in North America and Asia, particularly in Laos and Vietnam.

Unlike bananas, plantains have distinctly green skin (mature ones turn more yellow or even red!) and are somewhat larger. They contain significant amounts of starch, leading many to compare them—in terms of nutritional properties and taste—to potatoes. It is worth noting that plantains are often considered even healthier than bananas. They are a rich source of complex carbohydrates, fibre, potassium, and vitamins C, A, and B. This, in turn, makes consuming plantains beneficial for:

  • Lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels,
  • regulating metabolism,
  • increasing feelings of fullness,
  • strengthening bones,
  • positively affecting the intestinal mucosa,
  • supporting skin conditions, including combating acne.

Plantain — a grill idea

We mentioned that plantains are considered vegetables in culinary terms. This is true, and these delicacies from North America often become an indispensable element of... grilling. Although they can certainly be eaten raw (like bananas), they are especially valued as an addition to hearty, grilled meats. The preparation method is straightforward: peel them, cut them into smaller pieces, and sprinkle them with your favourite spices. Then, keep plantains on the grill for about 15 minutes, and they’re ready!

Plantain, or "vegetable" banana
Plantain, or "vegetable" banana© Canva | zarinmedia
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