Looking like bananas, this food, when ripe, has a dark brown outer skin, a black one when overripe, and a green one when unripe. Unripe plantain is worth discussing. Are you ready? At each developmental stage of ripeness, plantain has a distinctly different taste. When green or yellow, it tastes like a species of potato, and like bananas when brown or black. In this article, our focus is on unripe plantain. There are various ways of relishing this nutritious food. It can be eaten fried, baked, grilled, or cooked. Studies claim that plantains originated in India, and they`re today, harvested in tropical areas around the world. It is harvested year-round, and if well maintained, the plant can produce fruit for about fifty years. It is said that back in the 15th century, Portuguese sailors introduced plantain to the west, and in the 1560s, it was introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers. What a gift it is to us!
What about it, Really?
So things have got to change now. For all those times you saw unripe plantain at the market and ignored it, you might just need to have a rethink: because really, you have been missing out a whole lot. That unripe plantain you always wait for to ripen before eating is loaded with essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs. Talk about dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Why would anyone ignore all these in their kitchen or the market? Let’s talk about the super benefits of unripe plantain.
What’s Unripe Plantain Got to Offer?
Unripe Plantain is low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Eating it with vegetable soup gives you a delightful taste and makes a perfect weight loss meal.
Your Heart Needs it
Ever heard of serotonin? It is a compound which dilates the arteries, improves blood flow, and reduces homocysteine (a condition that causes a stroke). Unripe plantain contains serotonin. What else? It’s rich in potassium, and of course, potassium is your heart’s friend because it prevents heart attack and hypertension. This is because potassium controls the heart rate and blood pressure In your body and cell. That’s not all, its fiber content is great enough to reduce cholesterol, reducing the risk of developing any heart disease. What else does your heart need? Unripe plantain is just perfect for it. It’d be heartless of you to deny your heart this wonder called unripe plantain.
It Treats Anemia and Neuritis
Anemia is a state of low red blood cells, while neuritis is inflammation of the nerve. Unripe plantain has been proven to be effective in treating both conditions. It also prevents them.
It`s Excellent for Bowel Movement
Its richness in fiber assures you that constipation is history, and bowel movement gets easier.
Stronger Bones, Absolutely!
Unripe Plantain is rich in calcium, and calcium is an essential mineral needed for stronger bones, muscles, teeth, and nails. Unripe plantain will also help you prevent osteoporosis.
It’s a Fantastic Meal for Diabetics
Compared to ripe plantain, unripe plantain is low in sugar. This makes it a right choice for diabetics and people who want to reduce their sugar intake. What’s more? Unripe Plantain is more beneficial to diabetics when it’s eaten with other fiber and protein-rich foods such as green vegetables. So we know the open secret — plantain lovers who need to reduce their sugar intake should eat their plantain unripe.
It Boosts Sexual Performance
For increased libido, thicker sperm, higher sperm volume, improved male fertility, unripe plantain is what you need. For even much better performance, roasted or parboiled unripe plantain eaten with ginger and garlic would be a great meal. Immune system vision and complexion.
It Prevents Ulcers
Unripe Plantain contains phytochemicals, making it suitable for ulcer prevention.
Unripe Plantain ensures proper circulation of blood. It also increases blood flow in the body.
The vitamins A, B6 and C in unripe plantain are essential for a better vision, improved skin complexion, and a more fortified immune system.
What Snack is Unripe Plantain Useful for?
What are the Ingredients Needed?
Good question! A lot of ingredients goes into achieving our delicious homemade chifles. I’ll tell you all of them.
First, we need our unripe plantains. This is pretty obvious. However, you could make use of green bananas if you can’t lay hands on green plantains. Next, you get your oil for frying. It is advisable to make use of a type of oil that can handle high temperatures such as peanut oil. The next thing you should get is your salt. Then, if you are a spice lover like me, get some hot pepper or garlic cloves for additional flavor variations. There! Your homemade chifles is about to be prepared! Away to enjoy your chifles is to eat them with tomato and onions.
How to Make Chifles
You already know everything you need for this great meal. Now, let’s discuss how to put all of them together, step by step. Here we go.
First, peel the green bananas or green plantains. Remember to be careful as both tend to stain clothes and cutting boards. The plantains will be easier to peel but this is not the case with the green bananas as the flesh of the green banana is more likely to stick to its skin. Next thing to do is to slice the bananas or plantains. You may slice them lengthwise, that is, full length or half length. You could also choose to slice them as thin rounds or thin diagonal ovals. Whatever shape you choose to have them in, be sure to use a mandolin to get that perfect thinness. The next thing is to heat the oil, either in a deep sauté pan or fryer. The ideal temperature for frying these is between 375 F-400 F. Remember to put in enough oil to fully cover the bananas or plantains. Now, add the bananas or plantains to the hot oil. Take care not to overcrowd the pan to keep your plantains or bananas from sticking together. Fry until the chips get a golden color, then remove the chips from the oil and drain on paper towels. Finally, sprinkle with salt. There! Your hot homemade chifles are ready. Serve either warm or cold.
Any other Thing to do with Unripe Plantain?
Yes, cayeye. Cayeye, also called Mote de Guineo, is a traditional Colombian dish from the Caribbean Coast of the country. Cayeye is made by cooking small green bananas in water, then mashing and mixing them with refrito, made with onions, garlic, red bell pepper, tomato and achiote
Cabeza de Gato is the same dish as Cayeye, but instead of using small green bananas (guineos), regular green plantains are used instead. In case you were wondering, Cabeza de Gato literally translates as “Cat’s Head”, but don’t worry, there’s no cat in the dish and I have no idea why the dish has such a name!
Cayeye and Cabeza de Gato are usually served for breakfast with fresh grated Colombian cheese (QuesoCosteño) and fried fish, shrimp, crab, or beef. I personally like to serve my Cayeyewith fresh cheese, avocado and fried egg on top.
There are different variations of this dish in Latin America.
What is Needed for Cayeye?
Cayeye is made from simple, everyday ingredients. Here they are:
- 4 unripe plantain, peeled and cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground achiote
- Salt and pepper for my spice loving folks
- Avocado, to serve
- Grated cheese, to serve
- Fried or scrambled eggs, to serve
How to Go about it
First, cook the green bananas or green plantains until tender. Then, strain and mash. Next, get a medium skillet. Place it over medium heat then add the butter, onion, tomatoes, red bell pepper, garlic and achiote. Cook the mixture for about 7 minutes, add it to the mashed plantains and set aside. There! Your homemade cayeye is ready. To serve, place some cayeye on a plate and top with fried egg, shredded cheese and diced avocado.
What are you waiting for? Begin to explore with unripe plantain for a healthier you.