Green plantains are staple in South American and African cuisines, but as globalization happens for better or worse, they are pretty easily available in most stores around the United States. Whole Foods carries them and so does Walmart. I’ve also seen many local latino grocers carrying them.
Plantains are a part of the banana family but they are starchier and contain less sugar than their banana cousin. Most cuisines use them in the green form when they are still full of starch and not sugar. The yellow form is neither here nor there and is traditionally not used in cooking (although this recipe does). A truly ripened plantain turns black which we tend to interpret as a goner (a banana would be) but it’s actually pretty divine. I personally feel like it has a far more superior taste to a banana – offering a mixture of banana and mango in one fruit.
Green plantains have gained popularity in the Western world for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are high in resistant starch (RS) which I blogged about here (what it is and how to use it). Unfortunately, the RS in green plantains gets destroyed above 130F (54C), therefore, if you want to benefit from them, you would need to either use green plantain flour in your smoothies or make green plantain chips in the dehydrator (recipe coming soon).
The second benefit is that they make wonderful baked goods and can serve as an excellent substitute for recipes that would typically be made of grains and eggs. I will have more green plantain recipes coming up in the cookbook I’m currently writing (as of July 2015).
The third benefit of green plantains is that they are low in sugar which means that a pancake like this one here, unlike grain-based pancakes (even gluten-free), will not elevate your sugar levels. As you know, keeping our sugar levels stable, especially in the morning and night, is one of the three foundations of enjoying a good hormonal balance. To understand more on that, get my Hormone Balance Starter Kit where I explain in detail the role of the digestion, liver and sugar levels in hormonal balance.
I’ve found that you can use yellow plantains in this recipe as well as long as they feel firm when pressed. When they get soft they will contain much more sugar which means your sugar levels will go up (we want to avoid that) and the caramelized sugar will make the pancake stick to the pan.
From a medicinal perspective, using green plantains will be your best bet.
I’ve found this pancake to be a real delight. It’s fluffy and soft even when cooled. It does have a pleasant flavor to it (more so when you use the yellow plantain) and it does not give me a sugar high. It has become a Sunday special in our home and I hope you will love it too.
I created two topping ideas – one sweet and one savory for you to choose from. If you are dealing with candida, the savory option is highly recommended.
Let me know in the comments below how you liked it.
- 2 medium size green or yellow plantains (if using yellow, be sure they are still firm), or 1.5lb
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ cup of coconut oil, ghee or lard, melted
- generous pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ghee or coconut oil, divided
Filling - sweet option (for 2)
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- pinch of sea salt
Filling - savory option (for 2)
- 1 avocado
- 2 strips of bacon, cooked
handfulof arugula leaves handfulof sprouts
Whipped Coconut Cream (optional)
- Coconut milk can, 13.66 oz (safe brands: Thai Kitchen or Native Forest)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 drops of liquid stevia
- Peel and slice up the plantain.
- Combine the plantain, lime juice, coconut oil and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ⅛ of water if you need to help the blender blades work the batter.
- Melt 1 teaspoon of ghee in a ceramic non-stick skillet. If you use a cast iron skillet, the pancake might stick.
- Spread half the mixture in the skillet. I use hands to so that. Make the second pancake in the second skillet or after this one is done.
- Cover and leave an opening for the water to evaporate.
- Cook on low medium heat for 10 minutes or until the top is dry, then flip it.
- Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until browned.
- Serve with either sweet or savory filling.
1. Pulse all the ingredients in a blender.
2. Serve on top of the pancake.
To make Coconut Whipped Cream
1. Strain the liquid out of the can and transfer the coconut fat to a bowl. Add the vanilla essence and stevia.
2. Place the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes. The coconut fat needs to be cold to turn into a whipped cream.
3. Take out of the freezer and whip it with a hand whisk until it gets light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Use a hand mixer, if you have one. Blenders and immersion blenders won't work.