Plantains are the banana’s tough, motorcycle-riding, leather coat-wearing cousin. They’re bigger, tougher and the scars and bruises make them look like they’ve been in a street fight. Too green and you can barely get their peel off. Even just right, you need a knife to peel them effectively. Then they get softer in their yellow, old age – definitely looking like they’ve had a rough life.
As you may know, I’ve been playing around with using plantains to replace almond flour.
I’ve learned a few things.
1) A single green plantain run through a food processor can replace one cup of almond flour in a wet batter provided the recipe has a lot of flavor. But if the recipe is mild (say vanilla cupcakes), the flavor of the plantain will overwhelm the other flavors. This result is not to our taste.
2) Yellow plantain will also work. Kinda. It’s softer and your resulting product will be softer. It also has a stronger, sweeter flavor. But if you use it to make banana bread or banana muffins or a cookie that works with banana (chocolate chunk cookies, for example), it can still work.
3) You can peel and quarter your plantains while they are still green and freeze them. Then, when you’re ready to bake, you can pull them out of the freezer. You’ll need about 1/2 hour at least to let the plantain thaw before running it through the food processor (trust me on this, I made a mess trying to run it sooner). I now have several baggies of plantains in the freezer ready for baking projects.
4) You can slice and dehydrate plantains, then run them through the food processor to make your own plantain flour.
Peel your plantains and slice them into (approximately) 1/4 inch slices. Spread them over your food dehydrator as seen below. Set the food dehydrator for about 145F and run for 8-10 hours. Store your dry plantain pieces in an airtight container until you’re ready to turn them into flour.
Collect up all your plantains and run them through the food processor in batches. What you see in this bag here is about 14 dried green plantains. I placed a quarter on the bag for reference. I can get plantains for $0.40 each, so this bag full of flour cost me $5.60. Plus time and effort, of course.
I’m in the process of playing with plantain flour. I’ve a new marbled brownie recipe in development…. Soon I’ll share.