When I told my mum that I had developed a new addiction whilst travelling around South America, she prepared herself for the worst. PLANTAINS MUM! I cannot get enough of my yellow friends. Plantain crisps, fried plantain halves (for breakfast, lunch & dinner), plantain flour pancakes.. they´re everywhere! I am certainly not complaining.
Despite their association with the Caribbean and Latin America, plantains originated in Asia. They became popular in Latin America centuries ago when they were harvested and consumed by slaves. Nowadays plantains feature in almost every plato principal on the menu del día in Colombia and are often served for breakfast with rice and eggs across Latin America.
Delicious and nutritious, plantains are a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, iron and have more vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium than their closely related friends, bananas. Plantains are a fibrous alternative to other carbohydrates such as potato or white rice.
So I went on a mission to make myself some delicious plantain containing food for breakfast lunch and dinner. When I whipped this plantain lasagne out of the oven in the hostel, there were a lot of envious hungry travellers!
R E C I P E S
Here are three recipes for..
1. Gluten Free Plantain Pancakes
2. Plantain Coconut Rice
3. The Famous Plantain Lasagne
GLUTEN FREE PLANTAIN PANCAKES
Ingredients (one person)
1 big yellow plantain
1 cup maize flower
Coconut oil / olive oil
Vanilla essence (optional)
Honey to put on top! (optional)
1. Cut the ends off the plantain (but keep skin on) and boil in plenty of water for 20 minutes. Leave to cool until you are able to peel the skin off.
2. Mash the plantain and add a beaten egg to the mixture. Mix them until you have a liquid consistency batter.
3. Pour in the flour and mix thoroughly.
4. Heat up the oil and pour in enough mixture to make a fist sized pancake.
5. Flip and huzzah
PLANTAIN COCONUT RICE
A filling delicious lunch or dinner.
Ingredients (one person)
1 cup of rice
1 bell pepper
1 handful of green beans
Aji / spicy pepper
Coconut oil/ olive oil
1. Cut the ends off the plantain (but keep skin on) and boil in plenty of water for 20 minutes. At the Leave to cool until you are able to peel the skin off.
2. Boil more water for the rice and simmer for 20 minutes
3. Chop the onion finely, cut up the pepper and green beans.
4. Fry the onion for 2-3 minutes in the oil then add the pepper and green beans. Keep stirring the vegetables until cooked between 10-15 minutes later
5. Meanwhile they’re cooking, cut half of the plantain up into bite size pieces and the other half slice laterally.
6. Add the bite size pieces to the pan and the other larger circles brown off separately.
7. Strain the rice, put it back into the pan, mix in the coconut milk and cook gently for two minutes on a low heat.
8. Add the vegetables to the rice pan and add paprika and aji.
9. Serve the rice with the larger pieces of plantain on top. Ta- dah.
Ingredients (3 people)
4 yellow plantains
500g minced meat
1 tbs tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees
2. Cut the ends off the plantain (but keep skin on) and boil in plenty of water for 20 minutes. At the Leave to cool until you are able to peel the skin off.
3. Chop the onions, tomato, carrots
4. First fry the onions for 2 minutes in oil, then add the chopped carrot and tomatoes. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile slice the plantains into roughly 5mm strips. Cover the bottom of a 20 inch baking tray with the slices, making sure to leave enough plantain for 2 more layers.
6. Stir the vegetable mixture and in a separate pan cook the meat for 5 minutes
7. Pour the beef into the tomato mix and add the paste , aji and seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes.
8. Pour half of the mixture on top of the plantain layered baking tray, top with another layer of plantains, add the remaining mixture then finish with a final layer of plantains. For a final touch whisk an egg and pour over the top covering all of the plantain.
9. Bake for 45 minutes.
Enjoy the plaintain madness!!!!