Plantains: Cheap. Sweet. Healthy? Nutrition Facts.

Who doesn't love plantains? Not only are they yummy, sweet and cravable, but they are super cheap! I can get 4/$1 at my local NYC produce market. I always wonder why more "fast food" Mexican restaurants don't include plantains on their menus. Are you listening Chipotle?

But the big question: Are plantains healthy? They are usually fried and soaked in grease when ordered as a side dish at a fancy restaurant, and most likely come served with a dollop of sour cream or crumbly white cheese. And suddenly the simple starchy plantain turns into a big greasy mess! Well guess what, with a simple do-it-yourself olive oil saute, plantains can be quite healthy. They are high in fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C. Click ahead to find out more plantain nutrition highlights and serving ideas....

Plantains for All. I often order a side of plantains whenever I see them on a menu. It's hard to get them wrong. However, the amount of oil used for 'fried' plantains in restaurants really doesn't make me happy or healthy. My answer: I make them at home! Plantains are super simple to make. Simply lightly grease a pan and saute them in a bit of olive oil. Add some lime juice, agave syrup and salt for flavor accents. I like them sliced in long angled strips. You can also slice them into simple coin shapes. You can even mash plantains as you would a sweet potato. The more oil you use in the cooking process, the more you pack on the calories. So try to keep it light. Plantains are delicious as a Mexican inspired side dish, packed into a burrito or as an ingredient option for fajita night. The natural sweetness of plantains meshes perfectly with a spicy red salsa, the heartiness of whole black beans and alongside some cool creamy guacamole. Add plantains to your next Mexican feast!

Plantain Nutrition Facts
1 cup slices, 154 g
*from nutritiondata.com

Calories: 179
fat: 0 g
protein: 1 g
carbs: 48 g
fiber: 4 g
potassium: 20% RDA
vitamin C: 28% RDA
vitamin A: 28% RDA
vitamin B6: 18% RDA
Magnesium: 12% RDA
Folate: 12% RDA

Plantains are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and A. They are also high in vitamin B6, magnesium and folate. One cup of plantains contains more potassium that one cup of banana slices. 20% RDA in plantains compared to 15% RDA in bananas.


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