Plantains are green bananas or cooking bananas that belong to the Musa genus and can be eaten ripe or unripe. They are harvested unripe when nearing maturity. They are very low in sugar and are usually fried or baked. Here is a plantain vs. banana comparison based on few points.
- Plantains resemble green bananas, but when they ripen, they turn black and are used as a vegetable, and not fruit.
- Bananas have a thinner skin, and when ripe, they turn yellow.
- Plantains have a thicker skin, natural brown spots, and rough areas.
- Fresh plantains have more vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium than bananas.
- Plantains are rather starchy while bananas taste sweet.
- The size of a plantain and banana also differ, as plantains are usually a little longer than bananas.
Native to India and the Caribbean, plantains serve an important role in many traditional diets. When used in cooking they are treated more like vegetables than fruit. You’re most likely to encounter them at your favorite Latin, African, or Carribean restaurant baked, roasted or fried up in the form of a delicious side.
Basic Nutrition Information
Bananas and plantains both provide solid amounts of energy. A cup of sliced bananas contains 134 calories, while an equivalent serving of plantains provides 181 calories. Both foods get the majority of their calories from carbohydrates, and 1-cup servings of bananas and plantains boost your carb intake by 34 grams and 47 grams, respectively. This includes a small amount of beneficial dietary fiber - 3.9 grams per serving of bananas and 3.4 grams for plantains. Both are low in fat and protein, at approximately 0.5 gram of fat and a little less than 2 grams of protein per serving.
Potassium and Magnesium
Bananas and plantains also offer nutritional value because they provide some essential minerals. Sliced bananas provide 537 milligrams of potassium per cup, or 11 percent of an adult's daily requirements, while plantains offer 739 milligrams, or 16 percent of an adult's daily requirements. Plantains also contain 55 milligrams of magnesium per serving - 17 percent of the daily magnesium requirements for women and 13 percent for men - whereas bananas offer 41 milligrams per serving.
Preparing and Serving Plantain
Always look for plantains that are heavy and firm, mature, deep green, and well-formed. They can be stored at room temperature for four to five days. Avoid buying overripe or damaged plantains. Raw plantains must be eaten only after cooking as they contain starch. In order to prepare plantain, wash it in cold water and pat dry. Trim both ends and cut the fruit into short lengths. Peel the skin gently away from the flesh. You may have to do this with a peeler, unlike that of a banana.
A plantain can be used as a replacement for potatoes and can be grilled, mashed, baked, or fried. In Southern India, plantain and banana chips seasoned with salt and pepper are a great snack. Plantains are also used to make vegetable preparations. They are used to make tostones, which are similar to plantain chips and eaten as a snack in the Caribbean islands and Latin Americas.
They can also be dried and ground into flour and used with milk as an infant food. In Peru, for example, boiled plantains are mixed with water and spices to make a drink called “chapo.” Plantains are also used to make a Caribbean soup called “sopa.” In the Dominican Republic, mashed plantains are served with beans, rice, eggs, poultry, or fish. The national breakfast of the Dominican Republic is mashed plantains served with fried onions.
You probably have made up your mind about bananas. Plantains, on the other hand, could be pretty new to you, and you should really try them out. Why not pick up a bag of interesting and unusual plantains? You might be pleasantly surprised!