Why You Need Plantains: Part Two
Day 15!!! Yes, I'm halfway through the Whole30 and debating if I will continue to and past my birthday which is less than a week away. I had thought about making this a Whole21 and ending the day before my birthday so I can eat what I want and I may still, but eating this way is soooo not a big deal that I feel like I COULD carry on. But please don't hold me to that! You can, however, hold me to telling you why you need plantains, especially these Cinnamon Plantains! Last week's post focused on the green plantains and the many micronutrients they contain. This week we will look at the many benefits beyond the alphabet of vitamins and minerals they provide and then, I have a recipe for what we call our Whole30 coffee treat on the weekends using yellow plantains. Next week we will look at other benefits and a recipe for using black plantains.
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According to a great article on plantains by Dr. Josh Axe, plantains offer a ton of other benefits besides the micronutrients we discussed last week.
- FREE RADICAL DEFENSE Free radical damage is what causes inflammation. We talked about the high Vitamin C levels of plantains last week, and in fact, plantains have 35% of the vitamin C which, besides make them key to fighting off free radical cells, also means they help repair tissues all over your body.
- SYSTEM BOOSTER Plantains boost several systems. Plantains, with 36% of your RDA for Vitamin A, ratchet up your immune system, cell growth, wound healing skin properties, and vision health, not to mention that Vitamin A, like C fights off free radical damage.
- SANITY SAVIOR Ok, they are not really, but the high level of Vitamin B6 that plantains contain is responsible for keeping important hormones level including the happy hormone, seratonin and the sleep hormone, melatonin, both which can make you feel insane if you have low levels of either.
- HEART HELPER Besides helping your hormones, Vitamin B6 also keeps homocysteine low to promote healthy heart and cardiovascular functionality, making plantains good for both heart and soul! :)
Now to the fun part...the making of these delicious sweet treats.
Step-by-step for Cinnamon Plantains:
Peel the plantain by cutting off the ends and then making a shallow slit in the skin to help remove it. (Photo is still the green plantains.) If it is hard to remove still, cut a few more slits around plantain and remove one section at a time. Mine were fairly easy to remove.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add a ton of coconut oil. (For those who need recipes, I estimate I used probably 1/4 cup).) If it is below 70 degrees, your coconut oil is probably hardened. If so scoop it onto the parchment and place it in the oven to melt while oven is coming up to temp.
Slice plantains thicklly (about 1" chunks) and toss with the melted coconut oil then place in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Place in oven and set timer for 15 minutes.
When time goes off, check plantains and if they are brown on the bottom, remove them from the oven and flip over. Using a small glass, press them down to make rough-edged disks. Don't they look like sunflowers?? Swish the sunflower-looking plantain disks in the remaining coconut oil and place them evenly across the baking sheet so they have plenty of room to release steam and firm up.
When they have firmed up, turned dark golden brown and absorbed most, if not all, the coconut oil, remove them to a plate. Serve warm.
- 1-2 Yellow Plantains
- 1/4 cup cocont oil (or more as needed)
- sea salt
- Peel the plantains.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment and heat oven to 375 degrees.
- If coconut oil is solid, melt it on the baking sheet in the oven while it warms.
- Thickly slice the plantains and toss with melted coconut oil on baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until brown on the bottom. Flip each one and press with a small glass. Swish around in the remaining coconut oil and arrange on baking sheet so there is plenty of room between each plantain so that moisture will evaporate.
- Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until all coconut oil is absorbed and the plantains have firmed up and turned a deep golden brown.
- Serve warm.