The next time you pass by the plantains in the grocery store, you should pick up a couple (maybe one green and one on the yellow side because they differ greatly in taste and texture). These starchy fruits aren’t all that nutritious, but they’re an interesting food to add to your repertoire if you’ve gone Paleo and aren’t eating potatoes, rice, or pasta anymore.
You might describe a plantain as being a potato in a banana peel.
Though plantains and bananas are related, they have a few key differences. Plantains are used for savory purposes and not so much for sweet (until they are over ripe). Quite bland in taste, plantains are often cooked with other items to give them some oomph. And they are also quite difficult to peel when they aren’t quite ripe. Plantains are also more firm than their sweet banana cousins.
There is some potassium, Vitamin A, B6 and C in plantains, and of course they contain fiber. But because of their tremendous starch content, go easy on the plantains.
Now for your Trick:
To peel a green plantain, cut the ends off of it and slice the fruit into sections. Make vertical slices in the peels of those chunks and then peel from there.
Plantains get sweeter as they ripen. If you’re looking to make delicious fried plantain chips, go for the greener plantains with a hint of yellow. The almost black plantains will not do so well for this application!
And your Recipe:
Grilled Jamaican Beef Kabobs
- 6 12-inch skewers metal or bamboo
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 habanero or serrano peppers seeded
- 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin trimmed and cut into 30 cubes
- 1 red bell pepper cut into 18 pieces
- 2 black-ripe plantains peeled, and each cut into 9 pieces
- Non-aerosol cooking spray
- Diagonally-cut green onions optional
- Lime wedges optional
- Preheat outdoor or indoor grill. In a food processor or blender container, combine first 9 ingredients (green onions through peppers); process until smooth. Place green onion mixture, beef and bell pepper pieces in a large zipper-topped plastic bag; seal and turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Transfer beef and bell pepper pieces from plastic bag (discarding marinade) to a large bowl. Add plantain pieces and toss well to coat. Onto each skewer, alternately thread 5 beef cubes, 3 red pepper pieces and 3 plantain pieces. Lightly coat kebabs with cooking spray and place them on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook for 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until they reach desired level of doneness. Garnish with green onion pieces and serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Foods like plantains are a good source of fiber. If you’re looking for a less starchy type of fiber, you must check out our FiberMender. It’s 100% Paleo compliant and one serving contains 10 grams of fiber, probiotics and glucomannan for suppressing the appetite. Great for weight management!