The Riper the Better

Plantains are available all year. The texture and taste of this versatile fruit depend entirely on its ripeness.

Plantains provide a quick and tasty supply of starch in the diet. Although a fruit by nature, the plantain is either fried or baked before eating.

When completely black and with a slightly wilted skin, the plantain has reached the ultimate point of maturity.

Store plantains at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:

One half of a large plantain is low in sodium, high in potassium and vitamin A, and a good source of fiber.


  • Plantains make a great addition to soups and stews.
  • Green plantains are best used like potatoes -- baked or boiled then mashed.
  • Also bake ripe plantains to serve with roasted meats.
  • Add ripe black plantains in baked desserts like bread.
  • Grill yellow plantains! Peel them first and then place on the grill, basting with your favorite marinade.

How about a quick, 100-calorie snack that is very healthy? Try 1/2 cup sliced, cooked plantains!

Baked plantains

Recipe: Ripe Plantains in Syrup

1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon butter
1-1/4 cup water, (per plantain)
4 Plantains

Peel the ripe plantains and cut into 4 sections. Place in a skillet with butter and brown lightly. Place in a saucepan, add water and cinnamon. Boil at moderate heat until the liquid is thick and syrupy. Serve immediately as a side dish or a healthy dessert.

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