Cooked Ripe Plantain is our most comforting breakfast. That is my son’s favorite too. Plantains are one of the abundant fruits in our native. Almost all the houses will have one or two plantain trees in their backyard. This is the only fruit I craved most during my pregnancy. And my amma (mother) always made sure there is enough plantains on the breakfast table, lucky me and the baby 😉
We use the green unripe plantains as a vegetable. They can be used as a side dish or in soups or gravy recipes. The yellow cooked ripe plantains are served as breakfast, snacks or paired with Upma and Steamed rice cake (Puttu). Plantains belong to the fruit family and resembles the banana. But the plantain skin will be thicker than banana skin. They are also longer than bananas. Even when ripe, the plantain fruit will have a firm texture. Plantains are found in the fresh produce section of the supermarkets. Plantains grow in tropical climates and are available year-round in all season.
The tropical fruit has many of the qualities of banana. Nutritional value of plantain changes slightly when cooked, but for good. Plantains are a great source of potassium. They help regulate the digestive system because of its high fiber content. This tropical fruit is rich in vitamin B6 which benefits a healthy brain function. So yes, Plantains are a highly beneficial brain boosting food you can include in your diet without much mess. They are also a great source of magnesium which benefits many of the biochemical reactions in human body.
Do you know how to cook the ripe yellow plantains ? You could find a number of ways on the web about cooking a ripe plantain. Today, we are showing you two healthy ways to cook and enjoy a ripe plantain. Yes, there is no extra or much effort to enjoy a healthy cooked ripe plantains. So these are the two methods to a nice and healthy cooked ripe plantain.
1. Microwaved Ripe Plantain
Microwaving is the easiest method to cook a ripe plantain. Just take care of some important things while microwaving. You should cut both ends of the plantain or cut them in halves before microwaving. Otherwise there is a chance for the plantains to burst and splash inside the microwave making it a big mess. Also cover the bowl with a lid, but loosely. Sometimes the plantains may pour out of the peel, if you over-cook, but that is expected. This will never change the taste of a cooked ripe plantain. They may feel mushy immediately after cooking if over-ripe or over-cooked, but will become ok when it cools.
2. Steam cooked Ripe Plantain
Steam cooking makes a perfectly cooked ripe plantain without the pouring of the pulp on both ends. You don’t have to cut both ends or make them into halves before cooking. The steam from the boiling water slowly cooks the yellow plantains. Water left after steam cooking the plantain will have a grey to greenish color which is expected. Anyway you are going to throw it away.
The ripe plantains are sweet as you all know. But do you know the sweetness of the perfectly ripe plantain intensifies when cooked ? The science behind this increased sweetness is like this as far as I know. Fruits like plantains usually store sugar in the form of complex starch during its initial growing stages. During the ripening stage, a host of enzymes breakdown this complex starch molecules into simple sugar molecules. A single trigger can activate these enzymes into action and heat is one such trigger. Heating speeds up the enzymes to breakdown any remaining starch molecules into sugar molecules which makes the cooked plantain taste sweeter. So if you have never tried a cooked ripe plantain, then you are definitely in for a great treat, trust me on this.
The cooked ripe plantains are very soft, delicious and easily digestible compared to the uncooked one. They are one of the main solid foods given to 8-9 month old babies in my native (but always with a doctor’s advice). The cooked ripe plantains are easily digestible for them. We will remove the black seed like thread in the middle of the plantains after being cooked. Some babies cannot digest this part until their intestine and gut is fully functioning. We usually wait until they are 1 year or older to give the black threads.
Now let’s see the video of two healthy ways of cooking a yellow ripe plantain and recipe follows.
2 Healthy Methods to Cooked Ripe Plantain
Cooked Ripe Plantain
- One Yellow Plantain Perfectly ripe
- Water for steaming
- For Microwave method
- Microwave safe bowl with a lid or plate
- For Steam Cooking
- Steamer with lid
We can cook the ripe plantains by two methods.
Wash the plantain in cold water.
Cut both ends of the plantain.
Place it in a microwave safe bowl. You can cut the plantains into half to fit in the bowl.
Cover loosely with the lid or a plate.
Cook for 5 minutes on high power.
Check whether soft and can be mashed like cooked potatoes.
You can flip the plantain and cook for another 1-2 minutes, if not cooked properly.
Let it sit covered for 1 minute for the heat to dissipate.
Transfer to a plate. Remove the peel.
Cut them into small discs and enjoy.
Wash the plantain in cold water.
Add water to steamer and bring to a boil.
Place the washed plantain inside the steamer. Cover with the lid.
Let it cook for 10-15 minutes or until soft.
Transfer the cooked plantain to a plate.
Peel-off the skin and enjoy.
The exact cooking time depends on the power of your microwave and how ripe the plantains are. If the plantains are over-ripe, you will need less time to cook.
The cooked ripe plantains are very low in saturated fat and sodium. They have zero cholesterol and is high in potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin A and Vitamin C. Plantains are a good source of carbohydrates. You can eat the yellow plantains raw if you wish like how you eat a fruit. The cooked ones will be more like a dessert without any added sugar. Once the plantain ripens, it will decay quickly. So buy a less mature one and let it ripen on the counter top. If you keep it refrigerated, the skin will become black like the over-ripe plantains, but they are good to eat. So next time when you see those big banana-like fruit-the plantains- take them home. You will enjoy a delicious sweet breakfast or dessert.
Want more plantain recipes ? Here are some:
- Green Plantain Stir-fry
- Caramelized Plantain Bites
- Gluten-free Plantain Pie
- Fried Plantain Chips
- Jaggery Coated Plantain Chips