When you look at a plantain, one of the first things you will notice is how much they resemble a banana. So, that must mean that they taste like one, right? Well, while the two do have a very similar appearance, there are clear differences so if you’ve never tried one, try to remove the idea of bananas far from your mind. So let’s find out what does plantain taste like?
Is Plantain A Fruit Or A Vegetable?
The plantain is technically a fruit although it is often treated in the same way as a vegetable in that it is usually eaten cooked, whereas typically, fruits would be eaten raw.
The plantain is highly prized in Caribbean cooking as well as in African dishes and those from the southern parts of Asia. The fruit originally hailed from this part of the world but is now grown on an international scale including parts of northern Africa, like Egypt and in India.
One of the reasons that this is such a popular fruit is that it is so versatile. Not to mention that the plantain is typically much larger than its banana cousins and so the fruit tends to go much further.
What Does Plantain taste Like?
The flavor of plantains is difficult to describe. Some say it tastes like a cross between a banana and a potato, while others claim it has a more unique flavor that cannot be compared to any other fruit. Generally, plantains are starchy and not as sweet as bananas. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often used in savory dishes.
Do Bananas And Plantains Taste The Same?
Bananas and plantains are incredibly similar to look at and do come from the same family. However, there are many key differences that set them apart from one another. For starters, the skin of the plantain is much thicker and its taste is far less sweet than that of a banana. This is why the fruits are cooked before eating as this drastically improves the flavor.
Before the plantain ripens, it has a greenish color that is similar to that of the unripe banana. At this point, the fruit doesn’t have much of a taste and would probably be considered to be as bland as a potato. However, once it begins to ripen and that rich yellow hue develops, the plantain takes on an entirely new flavor profile.
Unlike bananas which are very sweet, the plantain is incredibly bitter when it is eaten raw. Once you cook it, the sweetness is released. That said, eating a raw plantain won’t do you any harm but frying them is considered to be the best way to serve them.
Once they are fried, the edges of the fruit take on a crispy texture that is caramelized and very delicious. Many have compared them to eating pancakes with butter so if this is something you like then you will likely have a love affair with plantain.
Are Plantains Healthier Than Bananas?
Plantains and bananas both have a great variety of health benefits. But there is one key difference; plantains contain much less sugar than bananas so if you are trying to cut down on this, then switching to cooked plantains will still give you a sweet treat, without the sugar boost.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Unripe Plantain?
There has been a lot of research into the health benefits of plantain and one thing that has been reported time and time again is that eating unripe plantain may give your body a boost of antioxidants. In short, this gives your body a significant vitamin boost as well as helping it to fight disease. If you are looking for a food that will benefit your overall health then this could be a viable idea.
But whether you eat plantain unripe or not, including it in your diet does have a lot of advantages. We have already discussed the fact that this fruit has a lower sugar content than banana but let’s take a look at what else you can expect from it.
- Plantains contain high levels of fiber which is known to improve your digestive health. The fiber within the plantain will soften stools, making going to the bathroom easier and more comfortable as well as giving your body much better regularity. As a result of this improved digestive health, you may also notice that side effects such as hemorrhoids and diverticular disease are greatly lessened.
- The fiber that we find in plantains is also excellent for your heart health and may help to lower cholesterol which in turn could help to prevent things like cardiovascular disease. Moreover, these fruits are full of potassium which is also known to benefit the health of the circulatory system.
Is Plantain Good For Weight Loss?
If you stuff yourself with plantains day and night this isn’t going to help you lose weight. However, having plantains at the right time of day could contribute to weight loss as part of an overall healthy diet.
You see, plantains contain what are known as complex carbs. When you hear about carbs and you are trying to lose weight, you’ll initially think to run in the opposite direction. But carbs aren’t all bad. Complex carbs break down much more slowly in the gut and this means that, when you eat them, you will feel fuller for longer. If you’re trying to lose weight, this effect may mean that you are less tempted to snack between meals.
Are Plantains Poisonous?
While people around the world enjoy plantains on a regular basis, there are some who believe that these are toxic fruits. Fortunately, this is an incorrect assumption and there is nothing in a plantain that would cause you any harm.
This rumour likely comes from the fact that the plantain is not very palatable when eaten raw.
The plantain may look very similar to a banana, heck, it’s even related to one, but it couldn’t be any more different. These large yellow fruits have a very bitter, and often unpleasant taste before they are cooked and as such, are usually fried before eating. However, once cooked, their flavor changes completely resulting in a sweet taste that is ideal as a snack to keep you feeling fuller for longer.