Plantains are versatile. They can be a part of a delightful dessert or an ingredient in a savory dish. Moreover, there are a bunch of ways to prepare them. You can have them fried, boiled, sweetened, turned into chips, and the list goes on!
This begs the question: can you make banana bread with plantains?
By all means, yes! You can make plantains the star of this baked loaf if you don’t have regular bananas or you just want to be innovative with your cooking—and this article will show you how to do just that.
Plantain is a tropical fruit that belongs to the family Musaceae (genus Musa)—simply known as the banana family so yes, it’s a type of banana. It’s said to have originated from Southeast Asia and is produced in over 50 countries.
These Plantains resemble the bananas you usually buy from markets. However, at a closer inspection, they’re generally larger and have thicker, tougher peels and firmer fleshes compared to the latter.
Customarily, plantains are cooked first before they can be eaten, unlike most bananas. Eating them raw leaves an unpleasant taste and texture on the mouth, that’s why most people opt to cook them first. Furthermore, cooking plantains makes for a sweeter taste and softer texture.
Truthfully, plantains aren’t the best choice for banana bread. Plantains are less sweet compared to regular bananas. Plus, they don’t have that distinct banana essence.
Still, you can use plantains instead of bananas, but you shouldn’t expect that the finished product will have a banana flavor. Even though plantains are a type of banana, they don’t taste like Cavendish or those bananas you typically use in making banana bread.
We all have a soft spot for banana bread, but plantain bread deserves the same amount of love and attention!
Plantain can give a different twist to your usual banana bread recipe, and different doesn’t mean it’s bad or less delicious. This mouth-watering plantain bread recipe attests that plantain bread tastes and smells delish so is definitely worth the try.
Aside from that, plantains are also very healthy. They’re a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins that are good for the heart, digestion, immune system, and blood pressure regulation.
Although, you should take note that you need to add yogurt or sour cream in making plantain bread. This is to add moisture since plantain bread tends to harden up faster, unlike banana bread.
Similar to its banana-based counterpart, plantain bread is best made with overripe plantains. This is because an overripe plantain is at the stage where its flesh is already much softer and sweeter.
Unripe plantains are green and are more savory than sweet so they won’t be a great addition to your plantain bread. Ripe plantains are moderately sweet but you’d want to go for the sweetest variety. Therefore, overripe plantains are the best choice.
If you think the plantains aren’t ripe enough but you’re dying to try some of that plantain bread, there are certain ways you can ripen those green plantains quicker.
Letting green plantains ripen on their own may take about two weeks and will take longer than that to get to the desired overripe state.
If this period is too long for you, you can try these methods. Fun fact: you can also apply the following to ripening bananas:
For regular bananas, this method only takes around two to three days to work. Since plantains have thicker skins and firmer flesh though, it may take longer.
To see results faster, place an apple inside the bag along with the plantains. The apple will increase the presence of ethylene gases and help ripen the plantains quicker.
You can check if the plantains are ripe after five to seven days. Let them sit inside the bag for a few more days until they’re overripe.
First, make tiny holes on the peel of the plantains so excess heat can escape. Afterward, you can place them in the microwave.
Usually, with regular bananas, you have to check after 30 seconds to see if they’re ripe enough; we advise you to do the same with plantains.
Check them every 30 seconds and put them back in until their peels are mostly covered with black spots.
The same conditions used for regular bananas should apply to plantains. Heat them at 300° F inside the oven for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to pierce tiny holes in their peels!
Needless to say, you’re free to replace bananas with plantains in your banana bread recipe.
Baking yourself some plantain bread is just another way to enjoy this versatile and lesser-known type of banana.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.