The incorporation new grain-free starches into my diet has been a recent interest of mine. I can personally tolerate grains just fine, but some of my clients cannot and I think having an arsenal of grain-free alternatives is key to keeping a nutrient dense and interesting diet.
The other day, while I was perusing through the grocery store, I came across this gem… Plantains! They are not always available, so when I saw them I immediately snatched up a couple with excitement because I had been wanting to try out a new recipe. Plantains are a good source of fiber, vitamin A and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals. They are indigenous to tropical Southeast Asia and Oceania and Northern Australia. Africa also uses different varieties of plantains as a staple of their diets, as do parts of Central America, the Caribbean Islands and northern parts of South America.
Plantains are awesome because they look like a banana but cook more like a potato, and when they are still green or only slightly yellow, they offer a very savory alternative to potatoes or yams. Unlike bananas, they maintain a very stable shape when frying and do not get mushy or soft on the inside when they are cooked. Instead, they taste more like a french fry and can be used as a healthier replacement when prepared with high quality oils and fats.
There are many ways to prepare plantains, including steaming, boiling, grilling, baking or frying which are very similar to the way potatoes might be prepared. I decided to fry mine as it seemed like a quick and efficient way to prepare this new food.
After removing the peel of the fruit with a knife, I chopped it into 1/4 inch slices. Check out the recipe below to see how I used these little medallions to make a hearty and filling breakfast for two.
Fried Plantains and Yogurt Dip
- 2 green, or slightly yellow plantains, skins removed and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 pieces nitrate-free bacon
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil (I like Tropical Traditions)
- sea salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried (or fresh) dill
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Heat non-stick pan or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add bacon and fry until crispy.
- Remove bacon and set aside on a paper towel. Add 3-4 Tbsp of coconut oil to same pan along with bacon fat that is remaining.
- Once oil is hot, add sliced plantains, doing your best to evenly spread them out across the pan. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until a light golden brown in color.
- Toward end of frying, season liberally with salt, pepper, cayenne (optional) and garlic powder. Toss well to coat.
- Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl (yogurt, oregano, salt, pepper, dill and garlic and onion powder).
- Serve plantains immediately with yogurt dip on the side.
**I served my plantains with organic turkey sausage and one slice of nitrate-free bacon for a yummy alternative to hash browns and conventional sausage links (see picture above).
Do you have another healthy recipe for plantains that you would like to share? Please leave it in the comments section below!
In Health and Vitality,