Plantains

jenjadJuly 23, 2014

Does anyone grow plantains? Can they grow well in central Florida? I haven't seen any mention of them here.

I bought some to eat recently and found I like them better than bananas, plus they have lots of resistant starch which has many health benefits.

Jenny

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subtropix

Don't know about Central Fl., but I grow one in NJ. It's the sequoia of plantains...a 'Saba' from the Philippines, and it's a robust, fast grower. Supposed to have good cold hardiness btw.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:29PM
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jenjad

Thanks! I've been trying to find info on varieties and growing but kept getting sites for bananas. Huh, I want info on plantains, not bananas.

I finally found a link that explained plantains are often called 'cooking bananas': www.going-bananas.com/bananaplantdescriptions.htm

Oh, duh.... lol

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:33PM
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tropicbreezent

That's all I've ever known plantains to be, bananas that are cultivated for cooking.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 8:27PM
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subtropix

Plantains are 'bananas', and when really ripe (and soft and sweet, you really do not have to cook'em either), they make terrific smoothies. (You wanna buy the really dark ones for the sweetest fruit.) If you buy the yellow ones, yes, need cooking (try making plantain chips from those). Funny, I just finished my barbecue when I saw this posting. On the menu, besides the chicken, very ripe plantains (skin intact). They are done when the plantain splits open. Delicious and easy!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:50PM
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jenjad

Thanks, nj! Guess I was thinking of plantains as more primitive and separate from bananas, the way pomelos are from grapefruit, but it seems a better analogy is navel oranges to juice oranges.

Plantain chips sound interesting. I'll try making some since for resistant starch purposes, plantains should be consumed in the yellow stage than black.

Did you grilled your very ripe plantains? Sounds delicious!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:17AM
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subtropix

Jenjad, first things first...food! Yes, if you want a starch dish, you need the yellow colored plantains with little to no black streaks in'em. So can put them into stews that require a longer looking time or for crock pot cooking, so they'll cook like potatoes. Or, you can make chips, sliced thinly then deep fried. A typical Caribbean preparation is known as 'tostones' (these are double fried). If you want something more a sweet or a fruit, get the ones with at least some black in them. I like to either microwave on high for two minutes a side (in the skin). Or, put them on the grill with whatever. They are done when the skins start to split. As long as you don't select the really, really ripe/black plantains, they will be sweet, but not so sweet I can't enjoy it as a side dish with meat. Getting back to the botany of it both 'bananas' and 'plantains' are in the same genus, 'Musa' but different species. As far as the Citrus you mentioned, as I believe, Grapefruit developed (possibly in Jamaica) as naturally occurring Pomelo x sweet orange hybrid. Happy eat in'!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:16AM
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bananafan

Jenjad,

I have a Super plantain. It grows really tall. It has been planted at least 4-5 years in the ground now. So far, it has only fruited a couple of times. I don't know why they don't fruit for me as readily as my other bananas. Since they are tall, they sometimes will collapse while still carrying their fruit. Once, one bended half way over and I had to cut off the semi mature fruit. Obviously, the taste wasn't as good as when they fruit get mature. In the end, I just fed some to my bunny (only a little because rabbits can't eat carb too much).

I hope yours will be able to bear some fruit for you soon and you can try all the recipes suggested here. I never know of all these creative ways to cook them. Maybe I should try get some and try cooking them with these recipes.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:32PM
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