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Last Updated on April 4, 2023
I tasted my first plantain about 15 years ago with my best friend at a Latin Restaurant. I did not like it one bit and never ate plantains again. That is, until I started the Autoimmune Protocol. It is funny how willing you are to try something “new” when your food options become so limited. I am a convert now – a true plantain lover and I am hoping I can make you one too!
Plantains are considered a resistant starch, which is important for feeding the good bacteria in your gut, maintaining stable insulin levels, and even promoting weight loss (see articles below). However, in order for the starch to stay “resistant”, it cannot be heated over 130F.
The recipes shared today would cause the resistant starches in the plantains to be converted into digestible starch. But don’t lose heart! Plantain flour or green banana flour can easily be added to smoothies, coconut yogurt, or coconut milk to receive the benefits of resistant starch.
- 7 Reasons to Add Plantains to Your Diet (Dr. Axe)
- How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner (Chris Kresser)
- Resistant Starch: Gut Superfood (Wellness Mama)
- Paleo Foods: Plantains (Paleo Leap)
Plantains on AIP
I eat plantains a lot. They are so affordable at the grocery store, which is not something you can say about a lot of the AIP foods that we eat. When I compare plantain chips vs potato chips, I definitly prefer plantain chips.
I like them as Plantain Chips and my favorite brand is Artisan Tropic (they have Cassava Strips that taste like potato chips too!) The Inka Crops Roasted Plantain Chips are pretty good as well and I can find them at my local health food store or Amazon.
Purchasing & Storage
Thankfully you can purchase plaintains all year round! When you buy them green, but want them to ripen, leave them on your counter. Be sure to leave them out of direct sunlight. Make sure you are paying attention in the produce section so you don’t accidentally purchase green bananas.
If you want them to stay green for as long as possible, put them in the crisper section of the fridge. This will halt the ripening process.
Sometimes if plantains are in your refrigerator too long they will start to look black. This doesn’t mean they have ripened, but you might want to check the insides before making your favorite plantain recipe.
Green Plantains Vs Yellow Plantains
Green plantains are not sweet like yellow plantains. So if you are making a recipe that calls for sweet plantains, you want them to be yellow with some small black spots. Riper plantains will have more black spots.
If you have plantains that you want to store for use later, you can peel them and freeze them.
Equipment & Instructions
Plantains can be tricky to peel. I normally cut my plaintains in half and then slice through the skin lengthwise and peel it with my fingers. Sometimes the plantain skins are stubborn and I use a knife though.
When I make tostones, I like to use my tortilla press and parchment paper to flatten then up really nicely. Simply slice into 1/2 inch discs, lightly brown on both sides and then press it with my tortilla press. Parchment paper helps to keep it from sticking. I use this tortilla press to make “flour” tortillas too – using Ottos Cassava Flour and following the recipe on the bag. They are SO good!!
Plantains in a Food Processor
When you are blending plantains using a food processor for something like plantain tortillas, you will want to be sure to clean your food processor right away. In my experience, plantains become like sticky glue once ground and it makes for not-fun dishes!
Cooking with Plantains
I have learned how to cook with plantains and am blown away by how many ways you can use them. One of my favorite snacks is tostones! I also make waffles and plantain wraps (think a vehicle for a “sandwich!”)
One of my favorite recipes uses ripe plantains cut into disks and fried on low heat until golden. My husband tops these little discs with seared scallops, fried shallots, shredded carrots, and tops them with green onion. So good!
Below are some recipes that will get you all excited. Did you know you can make baked goods with plantains?
AIP Plantain Recipes
I love these plaintain recipes for waffles and tortillas, but hands-down the mofongo is an absolute favorite.
Traditionally, tostones are made with green plantains, so when I use slightly ripened ones they are not *technically* tostones, but whatever! Tostones are also known as patacones and are made with unripe green plantains twice-fried.
Maduros are fried ripe yellow plantains, like the ones in the picture below.
AIP Tostones Recipe
Tostones (A Clean Plate) – I like to wait until my plantains are ripened a little and then the sea salt mixes with the light sweetness and crisp crunch to make the best snack ever! I fry them in coconut oil or avocado oil using a large skillet.
Plantain Waffles (Don’t Eat the Spatula) – I love these waffles! They are crisp on the outside and just really delicious. I do not add the maple syrup in my batter though, and since cinnamon will cause Psoriasis to flare up, I omit that too. They are easy to make with minimal ingredients. I like to top them with a blueberry compote that I sweeten with dates. You could make these with “fried” chicken too and eat chicken and waffles! Whatever you do, do NOT use ripe plantains. I tried that once…not a good ending.
Puerto Rican Mofongo Relleno (The Curious Coconut) – Have you ever had Mofongo? I make mofongo in place of stuffing for holidays. It’s delicious when you make a well with it and stuff it with shredded meat too.
AIP Plantain Brownies
Carob Brownie Bites (Eat Beautiful) – Remember when I said you can make baked goods using plantains? I bet you were not thinking BROWNIES, right? This recipe does not have a lot of ingredients either (I love that!)
Chicken Taquitos (Predominantly Paleo) – Combine plantains with yuca and you can really make this a possibility! The taquito shell can be a vehicle for more than taquitos though. My Filipino mother in law makes Lumpia and I bet I could make it happen with this shell recipe. Just look at that crunchy deliciousness!
Homemade AIP Plantain Chips
Baked Turmeric Plantain Chips (The Open Cookbook) – These plantain chips are super easy to make and taste great.
Plantain Recipes for AIP
Are you looking for ways to make bread-like dishes? Check out this AIP plaintain recipes for breads and muffins.
AIP Plantain Crusty Loaf
AIP Bread (Crusty Loaf) (Cook it Up Paleo) – BREAD!?! Yes, Bread! I made this once and it really was crusty. I was not happy with the cassava flour I used at the time though, so I need to try it with Ottos! There are not may ingredients and it is quick to make.
2-Ingredient Plantain Muffins (The Sweet Plantain) – If you can tolerate eggs (I have successfully re-intro’d pastured, soy-free eggs) then you may want to try this recipe.
Crazy Easy Pan-Fried Plantain Patties (Do You Even Paleo) – This is similar to tostones, but more like a little “cake.”
Plantain Naan Bread AIP
AIP Garlic and Coriander (Cilantro) Naan Breads (Comfort Bites Blog) – I haven’t tried these yet, but I will be doing so soon! Anything that has “bread” in the name is attractive to me!
Easy AIP Plantain Recipes
Paleo AIP Cauliflower Risotto with Plantains (It’s All About AIP) – Do you miss risotto? Using cauliflower and green plaintains, this risotto is hot and creamy and is sure to hit the spot.
Green Plantain Fritters (Cook 2 Nourish) – These yummy plantain fritters are paleo, AIP, and vegan. Seasoned with cilantro, ginger, and other seasonings and fried til crispy, these fritters make a great AIP snack!
Cooking with plantains on the autoimmune protocol is a great way to experience a new starch. I hope this inspires you to start experimenting with plantains in your kitchen. When you are on an AIP journey to heal your autoimmune conditions, it’s so nice to find recipes that taste good and are easy to make.