Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baked Sweet Plantains

Baked Sweet Plantains

Here’s what's special about these plantains. You can enjoy them at home instead of waiting until the nexttime you visit a Cuban restaurant. Another reminder to try foods easily overlooked. I walk by plantains all the time especially in the specialty market. The plantains are flying off the shelves or out of the boxes and are usually a great bargain 7 of them for $2 dollars. Side by side are green and yellow plantains one sweeter than the other. I spoke to a woman about the green plantains she was picking, which are less sweet, and she likes to boil them and then mash em up while the yellow ones are best when the skins turn black and then they are deep - fried.  I’m not into cooking much fried foods as I try to use healthier alternative approaches. So I decided to purchase both the green and yellow plantains. I spent the good part of my day Saturday experimenting. The green ones are tougher and when baked for 30 minutes found them to be chewy so next I boiled them with the skin on, and then baked them. It helped a bit but found they still needed 20 minutes in the oven and were still not very soft.  I guess these would be best boiled and mashed as the woman mentioned in the market. The yellow sweeter ones were spot on! After about a week on my counter the skins were black, I carefully peeled the skin off which isn’t as easy as a banana because the skin sticks the plantain. It’s important to score the skin and then peel.
These plantains turned out perfect, they are similar to Maduros, a popular dish I’ve had in Cuban restaurants also made with brown-skinned plantains. They were soft and sweet with crispy edges, but these were baked, not fried and not greasy!!!!  This is a fun, easy, delightful side that might surprise your friends at a dinner party. Would make a great little appetizer and the cilantro lime sauce is a yummy dipper or eaten on their own.

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees rack in middle – bake at 15 minutes

Sweet plantains the skins black
Coconut oil or olive oil
Maple syrup
Sea salt
Sprinkle cayenne optional


1. Cut each side of the plantain and score the skin from one end to the other with a sharp knife and peel carefully - cut them in half and then cut again lengthwise.
2. Add about a teaspoon of oil to your hands and rub together, now coat each slice of plantain in the palm of your hands with the oil. Placing each slice on parchment lined cookie sheet. Add the maple syrup using a pastry brush and coat each slice both sides. 
3. Sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes uncovered

Ready when plantains are browned with crispy edges.

Creamy lime and cilantro dipping sauce
½ cup cashew
½ cup water
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp noma shoyu or salt to taste
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1/8 tsp cayenne or ¼ piece of chipotle pepper in adobe sauce
½ garlic clove minced or more if you like
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
bunch of cilantro stems removed

add all ingredients to blender and mix until creamy

Here’s what special about the se plantains. You can enjoy them at home instead of waitng until the nect time you visit a Cuban restaura. These seet plaintains are baked not fried sweet with a linttle ctunch on the edges but still so soft


  1. Very tasty! I made the plantains and cilantro sauce to go with our brunch this morning. The sauce was delightful. Thank you Diana!

    1. Hey Katie!!!
      so exciting. I'm so glad this worked out for you.


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