Plantains

plantainsgreen

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.

How?

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.

 

38 Comments  to  Plantains

  1. Rachel says:

    This is very exciting, honestly. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Joy says:

    Very helpful!! I can get plantains for $0.15 a piece, so I love that I can utilize them in so many different ways. I don’t have a dehydrator, unfortunately.bdo you think I could dehydrate them in the oven at low heat?

  3. admin says:

    I do know you can use the oven thought I’ve only used it for meringue this way. I can get my oven to run as low as 175F. Of course, now you’re paying the electric bill. But at fifteen cents each, it’s likely worth it!

  4. Melissa says:

    Now you’ve got me thinking about Passover recipes and the possibility of replacing potato starch with plantains.

    • admin says:

      I’m just beginning with the plantain flour. So far, the dry powder seems to act a bit like coconut flour. I’ve never actually used potato starch, so I’m not certain about replacing that.

  5. [...] flour and was starting to play around with it? Here’s my first recipe. Dried plantain flour (the flour I mentioned in this post) absorbs some of the moisture in this recipe to help it hold together better. I tried to use a [...]

  6. Jose says:

    Good idea, I’m going to try it. In mi local supermarket I can get 10 plantains for $1 (with a $ 25 purchase).

  7. PaulaB says:

    I’d love to know how to substitute plantain flour for green plantain puree in recipes. I’ve seen several recipes using green plantains…can’t always find plantains in the store but the flour is easy to keep on hand. Surely there must be a way to add liquid (water? coconut milk?) to reconstitute.

  8. Jenny says:

    Got the plantains in the dehydrator right now. Can’t wait to try out some recipes with the flour. Wow…I wish I could get plantains that cheap. I think the ones I bought today were about 60 cents a piece. But then I live in a semi rural area and am probably lucky that I can even get plantains.

  9. Haley says:

    This might be over ambitious – but if I were wanting to create paleo “boxed recipes” to store in my pantry…. (boxed cake, cupcakes, cookies to save time when I actually wanted to make the treats) do you think it would be possible to use plaintain powder as a replacement for a banana? Some of the paleo recipes I use call for 1-2 bananas. I go ahead and add plantain powder to the dry mix to store and save – would it bake the same way after adding the remaining wet ingredients? (coconut oil, eggs) I would assume it would need a filler like coconut milk…but do you think it might work? It would be nice to be able to make recipes without always having to worry about having bananas on hand. I know it wouldn’t taste the exact same as bananas – but would it bake the same? Sorry if this doesn’t make sense – I am trying to explain my questions but I feel like I am not doing a very good job

    • admin says:

      You could certainly try this. Perhaps even a banana flour? They sell banana chips. If you bought paleo-acceptable ones and ground them down. I think you’d have a good bit of experimentation on your hands, but if it worked…

  10. Natasha says:

    Thank you for posting this VERY helpful info. Allergic to coconut this opens up a very big avenue for baking again!

  11. JenniferR says:

    Do you know how much you paid per pound for the plantains and the final weight after processing? I’m trying to figure out if it is more cost-effective to make my own at $1 lb or just buy it from Berry Farms.

  12. Jen says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I’ve been trying to find a substitute for all these recipes that call for almond flour because I’m allergic to almonds. I was starting to think that I’d never be able to bake again :(

  13. Heide says:

    Thank you. Greatly helpful.

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