Gone Bananas, er, Plantains

October 19, 2011


Something was off in my brain today. Blame the rain or the hormones – it’s usually one or the other! I was in a funk where I couldn’t focus and snacked all afternoon.

First on this incredible bowl of pumpkin mixed with plain yogurt and topped with Peanut Butter Hungry bar – then on some bread and a few pieces of chocolate!


It almost spoiled my dinner, but when I started cooking my appetite returned!


I made Coconut Millet with Caribbean Black Beans and Cinnamon-Spiced Plantains!


I found these plantains on sale for $.54! Not sure who was more excited about this: me or the fruit flies that won’t leave my kitchen!!!


I’m sure some people would have thought they were rotten but I know that black = sugary sweet banananess!


I got some millet cooking in 1 cup water and 1 cup coconut milk, plus salt and simmered for about 40 minutes


And in pot #2 I put a lightly drained can of black beans along with green peppers and celery plus a dumping each of chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika. Simmered for 20 minutes or so.


And then Matt came home and we tackled the plantains. He wanted to do a traditional brown-n-mash style.

We put them in the pan with a bunch of olive oil plus a sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar…medium high heat


Flippage when they started to brown on the bottom


When they had softened and browned, we moved them to a plate


And smashed with a wooden spoon


Back in the pan they went for a shorter round 2!


Served atop the millet and beans, with a side of arugula, YUM! Might as well have been dessert!


More please!


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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lynn @ the actor's diet October 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

LOVE PLANTAINS!!! i used to eat them like mad when i lived in NYC up in washington heights!


2 Abel James October 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

Those plantains look amazing! Nice catch on getting them for .54 c – they were the perfect ripeness for cooking up.


3 Lori Lynn October 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Wow. I’ve never heard of them. I think that I’ve seen them in the store. You make them look really good!


4 Janelle October 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm

We all have those days ! I LOVE PLANTAINS!


5 Health Bee October 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Wow, the plantain looks delicious!


6 Dani Delicatessen October 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

This looks amazing! I’ve wanted to get plantains for so long now but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them- i will definitely be tackling this next week : )


7 [email protected] October 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm

What a great find! This dinner is so creative! I love the combo of sweet and savory. I felt scattered all afternoon too – I’m definitely blaming it on the rain. :)


8 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table October 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Great dish! I always pause for a moment at the plantains and move one. Next time I’m picking up a couple and trying this out – I love caramelized bananas and add cinnamon and spice to nearly everything – perfect dish for me. :)


9 Christie October 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Yum! I’ve never tried plantains before, but they look seriously delish!! Mmm love cooking grains in coconut milk too, makes for a super creamy flavour!


10 Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious October 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Seems like a island kind of meal with the coconut milk and plantains! Sounds delish! I only ever put coconut milk in my rice and oats, I will definitely try it in millet next time.

My opinion is hormones, they always get me snacking even though I am not much of a snacker normally.


11 Caitlyn October 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I think we all have days were we get the nibbles. I know that if I worked at a Great Harvest I would be fighting the urge to nibble all day long :-)

I haven’t had fried plantains in such a long time! The next time I pick some up I plan on cooking them “smashed” style.


12 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I love sweet caramelized plantains like that. There are pretty much dessert, so good :)


13 Estela @ Weekly Bite October 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm

What a creative dinner! I love plantains :)


14 Krystina (Organically Me) October 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm

LOVE plantains!


15 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Coconut Millet with Caribbean Black Beans and Cinnamon-Spiced Plantains = omg wow!

I love plaintains. I have never sliced them that way, only the ‘long’ way, i.e. banana split style. The long surface area makes for even more carmelization. And yes, between their own sugar, the brown sugar/cinnamon i love to add (and coconut oil)..they are the best kept secret out there.

I would have been excited over the .54 cent find, big time!


16 Chloe (In Fine Feather) October 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Your “off” day sounds like my normal day – I’m such a snacker! Also, I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually had plantains before. I’ll have to try them next time I see them on a menu!


17 Mara @ What's for Dinner? October 19, 2011 at 8:19 pm

If you ever want to get a bit more adventurous, try a savory plantain dish called “tostones”. Use green plantains and do the same thing you guys did tonight with the ripe ones: fry once, smash, fry again, sprinkle with salt and eat. You’d love them!!


18 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

I’ve had those in restaurants – delish!


19 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I’ve never tried plantains before – apparently I need to change that! It seems like you could go either sweet or savory with them. I always love when a food has that versatility. Looks like a delicious dinner!!


20 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I never think to buy plantains. I think my boys would really like them. This has convinced me to get them next time I’m at the store! Looks delicious!


21 kaila@ healthy helper blog! October 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I have NEVER had a plaintain!!! But I reeeeeally want to try one! Everyone raves about them!


22 Kim @ Spoonful of Sass October 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Your creative shopping and dinners never cease to amaze me!


23 Jennifer October 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I’m not a black banana fan but plantains do need to be black. :) I love them. You can also make them more savory with a garlic sauce to dip them in (Tostones) but those are made with green plantains. Either way they are yum!!!


24 Kat October 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm

This looks incredible. I’m also so glad I’m not the only snacker today – had an apple, a corncake, two pickles…seconds before dinner. Weird.


25 Emily October 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Are the fruit flies bothering you? I have the best fruit fly eliminator!!! A small juice glass of apple cider vinegar with a squirt of dish soap! They get so excited about the vinegar, that they try a taste and the dish soap eliminates your problem!

Try it!


26 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

THANK YOU for this suggestion! There are already 3 in the bowl (sadness, but they are driving me nuts)


27 ling October 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

we put syran wrap over the bowl of juice and poke holes in it with a toothpick/fork tine…the other way is to rinse your fruits in vinegar water. I think we eat lots of fruitfly eggs…protein? he he.


28 Emily October 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

Yeah, I get really sad too, but they are so pesky. I can deal with one or two, but sometimes they get out of control!!!


29 Amanda October 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I LOVE plantains! I’ve only attempted to cook them once, but unfortunately they were a total fail. I think maybe they weren’t ripe and I didn’t cook them in enough oil or for long enough. I’ll have to try smashing them and cooking them a 2nd time. Thanks for the tutorial!


30 Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife October 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Plantains are my favorite food in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. They are natural perfection. I would have picked those up in a second if I saw them in my store–the blacker the better! 😀 My favorite way to have them is sliced thin and fried in a little coconut oil…MMMM. But pretty much they’re awesome any way.


31 Hope October 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I’ve never had plantains before. Do they taste like a regular banana? Either way, your dinner sure does look yummy :)


32 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:20 am

The black ones do – but a bit starchier


33 Liz October 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Glad to see you having a latin dish :) Greetings from Colombia


34 Justeen @ Blissful Baking October 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Ohh what a fabulous dinner! The plantains look especially delicious!


35 Tricia October 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I LOVE green plantains! You cut them the same way and fry on both sides then take them out and mash them flat. I use the end of a glass but my friend has a special plantain smasher. Then you re-fry them until the are brown and crispy. Place on paper towell and sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy them dipped in ketchup. YUMMY!


36 lindzjane115 October 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I’ve never made millet–can you tell me more about it in terms of taste, texture, and cooking instructions? I just made quinoa and saw the complaints about what a mess it makes, and I definitely agree! I’d love to explore another grain…


37 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

It’s kind of like grits and is sticky and a bit cornmealy. Cook 1 part grain to 2 parts liquid. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cook for 25-40 minutes, depending on the texture you want and when they are soft, they’re ready. You can cook it more like pasta with more water and have them be more separated or with less liquid (more like risotto – adding more if you need it) to make it more creamy.


38 Mai October 19, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Awesome looking dinner.
Plaintain chips are the best!


39 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes October 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Amazing dinner! I have been dying to try plaintains :)


40 emily October 19, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Oh yum, plantains are the best! The bar I worked at back home during college served them as a side with everything and I was in heaven every shift meal.


41 Cait's Plate October 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I want to know more about this Peanut Butter Hungry bar…sounds like my kinda thing!


42 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hungry bars!! http://www.bluebirdbakes.com/index.html

They are so good. (Coming to OpenSky!)


43 Cait's Plate October 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

YAY!!! Can’t wait! Thank you :)


44 J3nn(Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) October 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

That sounds so exotic yet easy to make. I want to try fried plantains, I have never had them and they look sweet and wonderful!


45 Angel7 October 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Great deal on the plantains! I have never gotten bananas for that cheap.

Great idea for the plantains! I would totally like them atop a salad!



46 Namaste Gurl October 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Super wonderful meal idea– looks fantastic! :) Hehe, sometimes I can’t help but call my meals dessert even though their really good for me :)


47 katie @KatieDid October 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Im so curious about plantains… much different than bananas? I was quite snacky today as well and ruined my appetite… but dinner was still delicious nonetheless.


48 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

When green they’re more like a potato, when black, more like a banana.


49 Susan (Oliepants) October 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I’m a huge fan of plantains – perfect when cooked and then smashed and then cooked. It sounds especially fantastic with coconut millet.


50 hEmily @ The Divine Carrot October 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I absolutely adore plantains! I’ve never seen them for sale here in Germany, though… bummer. Your recipe looks delicious! Very creative! :)


51 Emmy (WIne and Butter) October 19, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Ha ha – the last time I tried to have plantains was in 5th grade when my BFF and I were meant to cook a puerto rican and subbed bananas for plantains… omg it was prob the most disgusting thing of ALL time and I’ve been totally scarred on the subject ever since! Myabe I need to give them a try again! ALSO I have millet and Ive been wondering how to use it so will defo try the coconut thing. Coconut milk is kind of like feta right – makes everything taste good! AND I recently did a post and investigation into chocolate for anyone else who has been hitting the chocolate mid afternoon – as far as I can tell nothing wrong with including the dark stuff on a regular basis (provided you arent totally overcalorising yourself of course!) :)


52 Tiffany @ texan on the run October 20, 2011 at 12:10 am

Ohmylord that looks SO GOOD!! Def trying this next week once I get new groceries 😀


53 Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance October 20, 2011 at 12:31 am

Ooh, I love plantains. I think “best when black” too!


54 Khushboo October 20, 2011 at 12:56 am

Those look SO amazing! When I was living in NIgeria, I used to eat SO much plantain chips. They’re pretty caloric/unhealthy but taste oh so amazing. Plantains were one of their staple foods!


55 Libby D. October 20, 2011 at 12:59 am

Kath! You are a girl after my own heart! :) My husband is Carribean, and we Loooooeeerrrrve plantains! Love them. His best friend is from Panama, and just fyi :) Cause I love trivial info… Theway that you made the plantains makes them ‘tostones’ (said with a Spanish accent, if you can pull one off, which apparently I can’t :) We serve them up with a garlic-cilantro pesto that is yum-yum-yum :)

You are really inspiring! :)


56 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:22 am
57 kathleen @ the daily crumb October 20, 2011 at 2:11 am

no such thing as an overripe banana…. er, plantain! looks delicious, kath. i remember we fried plantains in my high school spanish class one year (don’t ask me why), but they tasted great!!


58 jo @ including cake October 20, 2011 at 4:49 am

Mmmm, plantain- my favourite way is simply bbq’d on skewers!! I also made a delish plantain banana cake featured on my new blog a couple of months back, it was so good!


59 Lindsay October 20, 2011 at 5:05 am

Yum! Up by the San Jose airport there is a tiny hole-in the wall (aren’t those always the best??) that served amazing jerk chicken and plaintains!! I miss it! We would volunteer to pick up people from the airport just to stop there!! Well, here, : http://rlcraboda.blogspot.com/2011/05/caribbean-sweden-italy.html
If you are ever near San Jose airport or heading down from San Fran, make a detour!!


60 Jun October 20, 2011 at 6:07 am

I think your capture amazing pictures, and you’re such an inspiration.


61 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:23 am



62 Hillary October 20, 2011 at 6:10 am

A friend of mine turned me on to plantains this summer—she had me over for dinner and made homemade plantain chips. So simple, and so so GOOD.


63 Stephanie @cookinfanatic October 20, 2011 at 6:50 am

I adore plaintains!! I like to saute them in coconut oil with a sprinkling of cumin/chili powder, gives them some extra yummy flavor! I really like this meal idea with the coconut millet – millet is my new favorite bulk bin item for sure :)


64 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 20, 2011 at 6:52 am

I’ve actually never had plantains before but they look so good fried like that!

I love coconut millet though – I think it’s my favourite grain to cook in coconut milk.


65 Lisa October 20, 2011 at 7:03 am

Mmm, looks delicious! I’ve heard setting a small bowl of cider vinegar will get rid of fruit flies. I think it attracts them and they will drown themselves in the vinegar :/


66 [email protected] Flying ONION October 20, 2011 at 7:20 am

Something is in the air, because I was snacking and nibbling my afternoon away the other day too! Gladly, I’m feeling back to normal today. 😉

I’ve had plantains once and loved them! Not sure why I don’t eat them more often. I love your cooking technique. 😀


67 Win October 20, 2011 at 7:54 am

Nice Highland glass! #ncbeer


68 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

!! Pisgah is my fav NC brewery


69 Kelly October 20, 2011 at 8:00 am

I got so sick once after eating plantains that it took me YEARS to even be able to look at bananas…plantains and I haven’t made up yet.


70 Fran October 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

A friend of mine used to cook platains many years ago. I really liked them. I never think of making them myself, though. This looks pretty easy, think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the idea!


71 Michaela October 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

what a great way to cook them!! never heard of that method before. way better than frying in lots and lots and lots of oil…


72 Betty October 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

I’m guessing your ‘off day’ might be anxiousness for your buddy to have that baby yesterday, or today…
and the plantains look great – almost makes me want to try them that way.

I hope it is a sunny day for you


73 Logan October 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

You said “lightly drained” in reference to the black beans. Were they canned? I can’t stand that thick looking liquid and always rinse mine thoroughly before heating. Is that overkill?


74 KathEats October 20, 2011 at 10:47 am

I usually drain that all off too, but leaving some in made them so creamy!


75 Brittany @ Pretty Fit, Pretty Healthy, Pretty Happy October 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I was so excited when I saw the title of your post on my Google Reader! My dad was born in Cuba, so I’ve practically been raised on every variation of plantain. It’s kind of funny going through the checkout aisle at the grocery store with something that looks like a withering giant banana and the cashier wrinkles their nose and says “did you mean to buy a bad one?”
I feel like telling them “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU’RE MISSING!”
If you’re ever in need of a quick way to cook plantains, they taste delicious just sliced and baked.


76 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings October 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Looks so fantastic! The kind of stuff you throw together…YUM! Try apple cider vinegar in a cup covered with plastic wrap with little holes in it to get rid of the fruit flies…they get in but they can’t get out…works like a charm!


77 Becca October 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I always bake my plantains (when sliced thinly they make plantain CHIPS), but I’m am bookmarking this post to try out this “smoosh”-style!


78 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl October 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Plantains are SO yummy! I get them at a little Thai place I frequent for lunch. Never made them myself though…don’t often see plantains in our grocers.

And black beans… my fave is Cuban style. How I miss the dear person that used to make them for me. Along side garlic-lemon yucca root. Mmmm…

Never had millet. Still need to try that one. Bet its as yummy as quinoa.


79 Heidi - apples under my bed October 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

wow, that dish looks superb! mmmmm amazing. Thanks for the meal inspiration!
Heidi xo


80 Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

You know what’s funny? I always think of plantains as being one of those foreign foods that you just get at a Spanish restaurant…somehow it never occurred to me how easy they would be to make at home! That mashing technique looks kind of fun, too!


81 Shaun @ snackasaurusrex.com October 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Great idea for the plantains!!


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