Boil them, mash them, make crispy chips or enjoy them as a delicious dessert, plantains are amazing fruits. The best thing about plantains is their versatility.
They can be used in all the forms, raw, ripe and overripe. These amazing fruits work as delicious vegetables as well, they are used in many traditional cuisines.
Although they look very similar to bananas, people often doubt if they can be frozen or not. In this guide, we’ll not only tell you the answer to this question, but will also cover other useful information on plantains.
By the end of this article, you will become quite familiar with plantains and the ways to use them.
Can you freeze plantains ?
Yes! You can freeze the green as well as yellow plantains in the same way you freeze bananas. We’ll talk about this aspect in detail later in this guide. But first, let’s know a little bit more about this delicious fruit.
Are plantains and bananas same?
Due to their similar resemblance, a majority of people confuse plantains with bananas. In fact, they think plantain is another name for our favorite fruit banana.
However, this is not true. Plantains surely belong to the banana family, but they’re very different from bananas in terms of taste, flavor and texture.
While bananas are more sweet and creamy, plantains are less sweet and more starchy. Moreover, more than a fruit, they are used as a vegetable in their raw form.
Read Also:Why Do Plantains Turn Red Inside ?
How to freeze plantains
If you’re planning to preserve plantains, you can freeze them and use them within 12 months. To freeze them, peel them using a sharp knife and cut the ends. Next, slice them and keep them in airtight plastic bags so that they remain nice and flavorful.
You can also freeze mashed plantains. For this, mash them in a bowl and add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per fruit. Mix this mixture nicely and store it into an air-tight container.
Keep in mind that plantains may bruise a little when they thaw, just like bananas. Still, they’re good to use up to 12 months after freezing. Do your best and use the plantains in the first 3 months though, otherwise freezer burn may set in.
What does frozen plantain taste like ?
Frozen plantains can only be eaten once they’re cooked. Once they’re boiled, grilled or fried, they taste very close to sweet potatoes or potatoes. They are equally starchy and less sweet.
However, if you’ve frozen perfectly ripe plantains, they will taste creamy and sweet. You can add them to your smoothies, ice-creams and other desserts.
How to store plantains
You can store plantains in a similar way you do bananas. If you brought plenty of slightly firm plantains and want them to ripen, leave them at room temperature or even in some sunlight. They will become soft and ripen much faster in the presence of light.
You can also speed up the ripening process by keeping them in a brown paper bag at room temperature.
However, if you have green plantains and you don’t want them too ripe, keep them in your refrigerator. They will stay hard and fresh for good 3-4 weeks and won’t ripen, at the same time.
How to pick the best plantains
It doesn’t matter if you’re buying green or completely ripe yellow plantains, pick the ones that are nicely packed inside their peels. There should be no cut, bruises on the peels and there should be very little blemishes. Also, avoid buying the plantains with cracks and molds.
Other than that picking out plantains is just like picking out bananas.
Can I eat raw plantains ?
No, you can’t eat raw plantains. Unlike bananas, plantains need to be cooked before being eaten. You can eat them only once they’re fully ripe.
Usually, they become sweet and ready to eat when their skin turns black.
How to prep plantains for cooking
Prep your fresh plantains by first washing and peeling them. Use a sharp knife to discard their hard skin and chop both the ends. Slice them lengthwise to remove the peel. Once all the peel is removed from the flesh, cut them into desired shape.
Plantains don’t cook very quickly, they’re about as fast as regular potatoes.
Read Also:Matoke Vs Plantains
How to use frozen plantains
There are uncountable ways to use the frozen plantains. You can boil, mash, fry, grill and even roast them. They can be added directly to the soups, stir-fries and stews.
Further, steamed and mashed plantains are excellent for the elderly and infants. You can make flavorful chips and gluten-free flour out of them.
Below are some of the best uses of frozen plantains.
You need to slightly cook the frozen plantains before adding them to your dishes. For this, take them out of the freezer and boil in salted water for about 20 to 25 minutes until they become tender.
Remove from the stove and add them to your curries directly. You can also prepare a lovely salad by seasoning them with some salt, pepper, butter and cilantro.
Serve this tasty snack with any dip of your choice such as mayonnaise, cheese sauce, guacamole etc. Boiled plantains make excellent breakfast alongside eggs.
2. Fry Them
This is perhaps the most delicious way to use frozen plantains. You can fry them just like potato wedges and fries. Just take them out of your freezer and slightly blanch them.
Now, dry them using paper towels and dust with some cornflour. Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry them over medium to high heat till they become golden brown.
Take them out and add seasonings of your choice. Some great seasoning ideas are peri-peri, mixed Italian herbs, salt+cinnamon+pepper, mint powder etc.
3. Bake Them
If you don’t prefer fried plantains, you can also bake them. After blanching them, spread over your baking dish and drizzle with some olive oil or butter, salt, pepper, cinnamon and throw them an oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until they become crispy from outside and soft from inside.
Apart from these ways, plantains are also dried and ground into a fine powder which is popularly known as banana powder or banana flour. This powder is generally given to the infants by mixing it with some milk.
Plantains can be frozen and work better than bananas because you always need to cook plantains while bananas can be eaten raw. Make sure you follow the steps above in order to properly freeze plantains and you should be good.
That’s everything about the lovely plantains. We hope it helps.