Irresistible Green Plantain Pancakes Recipe
Plantains belong to the banana family but are less sweet (especially the green ones) and contain less starch. Green plantains are quite popular in South American and African cuisines. However, you can find them in most health food grocery stores across the United States (like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Safeway).
You can use plantains in a variety of recipes due to their incredible versatility as an ingredient. They can be used as a fruit or a vegetable, depending on how ripe they are. Plantains ripen much slower than bananas due to the amount of moisture present. When fruit contains more moisture, the starch is broken down into sugar (in a process called hydrolysis) at a higher rate. Since plantains contain more starch and less moisture than bananas, hydrolysis occurs at a much slower rate. Because of their longer ripening process, plantains can be used at different stages for different recipes.
Different stages of plantain ripening:
Stage 1: Green, or Platano Verde
- Can be used for pancakes, bread, chips, crackers, and soups.
Stage 2: Semi-Ripe, or Platano Pinton
- Can be used for tortillas, waffles, or mashed plantains.
Stage 3: Ripe, or Platano Maduro
- Can be used for apple fritters or pizza crust.
Stage 4: Very Ripe, or Platano Negra
- Can be used for cakes, baked sweet plantains, brownies, or caramelized plantains.
I mostly use plantains while they are in the first stage (green) because they act as resistant starch. Plantains gained popularity in the Western world because resistant starch keeps you feeling full for longer. Low-carb diets tempt people to cut out starchy foods. However, healthy, high-starch foods can help boost energy, cut cravings, and lose weight.
Another health benefit of plantains is that they are one of the most potassium-rich foods on the planet! Potassium is essential for maintaining electrolyte balance, and it helps to regulate blood pressure by combatting the effects of sodium. Eating plantains is a great way to help you consume enough potassium and keep your blood pressure low.
Plantains are low in sugar, so eating them won’t elevate your blood sugar levels. One of the three foundations of hormonal balance is keeping blood sugar levels stable, so plantains are also great for hormonal balance.
Plantains are also full of fiber, which can help you to be more regular. Fiber removes metabolized hormones from your body, detoxifies, and makes you feel full (which can help with weight control). It is essential to get at least 30 grams of fiber per day.
I love cooking with plantains! I used them in my baked goods as a substitute for grains, other starches, and eggs. I have become very fond of them, and they are a staple food in my household.
How to serve
- Classic Drizzle:
- Keep it simple with a classic drizzle of pure maple syrup. The sweetness of the syrup enhances the natural flavors of the green plantains without overpowering them.
- Tropical Twist:
- Embrace the tropical essence of green plantains by topping your pancakes with fresh slices of banana, pineapple, or mango. A sprinkle of coconut flakes adds an extra layer of exotic flavor.
- Nutty Crunch:
- Elevate the texture by adding a generous handful of chopped nuts such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds. Their crunchiness pairs well with the softness of the pancakes.
- Yogurt Parfait:
- Create a mini parfait by layering the pancakes with Greek yogurt and a selection of your favorite berries. This not only adds a burst of color but also introduces a delightful creaminess.
- Citrus Zest:
- Grate some citrus zest, such as orange or lemon, over the pancakes for a zesty kick. The citrusy aroma will provide a refreshing contrast to the earthy flavors of the plantains.
- Dusting of Cinnamon:
- A light dusting of ground cinnamon adds warmth and depth to the pancakes. This simple touch enhances the overall aroma and complements the natural sweetness of the green plantains.
- Whipped Cream Delight:
- Top the pancakes with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. This indulgent addition creates a luscious and satisfying experience.
- Savory Twist:
- Honey and Nuts:
- Combine the sweetness of honey with the crunch of chopped nuts for a delightful combination. This option adds a natural and wholesome touch to your green plantain pancakes.
- Fresh Herbs & Butter:
- Experiment with savory herbs like fresh mint or basil for a unique flavor profile. These herbs can add a surprising and aromatic twist to the traditional sweetness.
Enjoy, and let me know how you liked it!
Green Plantain Pancakes
- 4 medium-sized green or yellow plantains
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee (melted)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp ghee or avocado oil
Filling – savory option (for 4)
- 2 portobello mushrooms, diced
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- You can also add avocado or turkey bacon
Filling – sweet option (for 4)
- 2 green apples
- 2 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of sea salt
- Stevia to taste
- You can also add any fruits you want
- Peel and slice the plantain.
- Blend the plantains, coconut milk, lime juice, oil, and salt in a blender until smooth. Add water if you need more liquid to blend.
- Melt 1 tsp of the avocado oil or ghee in the skillet.
- Pour ¼ cup of the batter into the hot skillet.
- Cover with a lid (with a hole in it for the water to evaporate).
- Cook on medium heat until the top of the pancake is dry, then flip it.
- Cook for another 3 minutes or until browned.
For the Savory filling
- Brown the onion and garlic in a hot skillet with the oil.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until soft.
- Add dill, salt, and pepper at the end.
For the Sweet filling
- Slice the apples and add them with the coconut butter to the skillet.
- Add a little bit of water and the spices.
- Cook until the apples are soft.