Can You Eat Plantains Raw?

by Charlie

Plantain is a term loosely applied to any banana cultivar. When you see a bunch of it, it looks like bananas, but bigger, bright green, and thick-skinned in the market or grocery. 

Can you eat plantains raw? Yes, you can eat plantain raw. You don’t always have to cook them because plantains’, when ripe, starches are converted to sugars. You can eat plantains from when they are just a fruit up to yellow and black. However, they are not usually eaten raw because they are not enjoyable and have such a high starch content.

How Do You Eat Raw Plantains?

You can prepare and eat raw plantains in different ways. The simplest and convenient way of preparing them is frying. You can eat fried plantains plain, in a stew, or as a side dish when eating rice and beans.

Fried raw plantains are crunchy, whereas ripe fried plantains are sweet and soft. When they are ripe, the starches change to sugars, making a sweet crispy taste when fried. But when green, they are rich in starch, and it is best to serve them as tostones, twice-fried plantains. However, plantains can also be grilled, mashed, or baked.

To prepare plantains, you will need green plantains, vegetable oil for frying, salt, and granulated garlic to taste.

Start by cutting them into chips like slices, then soak in a bowl of salted cold water for about 25 to 30 minutes. Then heat the oil over moderate heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375°F. Drain plantains and pat dry. Fry the chips in batches, agitating them with a fork, so they don’t stick together. Fry until they turn golden.

After that, transfer to a plate or hot pot lined with paper towels, sprinkle some granulated garlic salt as preferred. You can then let it cool and serve. 

What are the Side Effects of Eating Raw Plantains?

Plantain does not have side effects when eaten. However, some people report experiencing diarrhea and low blood pressure when consuming plantain.

It’s suggested that people taking the blood thinner Coumadin/Warfarin avoid plantain because it contains vitamin K. When you’re on warfarin or another blood thinner, you need consistent amounts of vitamin K, or you risk making your medication less effective. 

Plantains are rich in carbohydrates and glycemic that can raise blood sugar. Those who have diabetes should eat plantains along with other foods that can boost blood sugar levels.

To some people, plantain can cause an allergic reaction. The allergy starts immediately or up to an hour after eating them. It portrays the same symptoms as other food allergies, such as itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat; and breathing difficulties.

Are Plantains Good For Weight Loss?

Plantains are rich in fiber and starch. These are complex carbohydrates that are good for your weight loss management.

Yes, plantains are good for weight loss management. They are rich in complex carbohydrates that are not processed; thus, they are digested slowly compared to carbohydrates found in processed foods. 

The complex carbohydrates make you feel full for a longer period, so you will not eat unhealthy snacks in between. Half a plantains cup carries around 3 grams of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that burns fat and increases metabolism.

What are the Health Benefits of Plantains?

Plantains are a good source of fiber. These are important in regulating bowel movements. They are rich in antioxidants. Plantains naturally have beneficial plant compounds such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which act as antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage in the body. 

Plantains support the immune system. They are a source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system. They also contain vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory that regulates the functions of the immune system. 

Plantains are rich in potassium, which might lower blood pressure. This is important for the normal functioning of the heart, nerves, and muscles. This mineral metabolizes carbohydrates and synthesizes protein, making plantains essential for lowering stroke risk and controlling blood pressure. 

Plantains contain vitamin B6, which is essential for a healthy heart and mind. This vitamin is important for the metabolism of macronutrients, healthy red blood cells, and neurotransmitters. 

Plantains contain vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant that may help boost your immune system. As an antioxidant, it protects your body against free radical damage associated with aging, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

What is the Difference Between a Raw Plantain and a Raw Banana?

Plantain is a type of banana with a different flavor profile and culinary. Plantains are large and tougher, and much thicker in the skin. Plantains are green, yellow, or very dark brown. They have more starch and less sugar and are used as a vegetable in many savory recipes. Raw plantains have more vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. Most people prefer to cook plantains because they aren’t enjoyable when eaten raw.

Bananas are edible fruits produced by various large, herbaceous plants in the genus Musa. Their skin is thin and changes yellow when ripe. They are long Bananas typically have long, slender, have thick skin. Its outer skin is tough, green in color, and is hard to peel when raw. As it ripens, the skin color turns to bright yellow and then to followed by a dark brown when ripe.

Final Thoughts

  • Plantains are members of the banana family and you can eat them raw. When ripe, their starches are converted to sugars. 
  • Plantains naturally have beneficial plant compounds such as polyphenols and flavonoids. These elements which act as antioxidants that fight free radicals likely to cause oxidative stress and damage in the body.
  • Plantains also have potassium, a mineral required for the heart, nerves, and muscle’s normal functioning.
  • Some people experience diarrhea and low blood pressure when consuming raw plantain. It’s suggested that people taking the blood thinner Coumadin avoid plantain because it contains vitamin K. Plantain causes an allergic reaction to other people such as itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, and breathing difficulties.

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