PLANTAINS FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR BOWELS AND INTESTINAL TRACT
As for plantain, if you are prone to ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome, forget Tagamet and bunch yo on plantain – the economy sized “cooking banana” second cousin of our everyday “dessert” or “fruit” banana.
Plantain is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana. Plantains belong to the family group of bananas, which are starchy, longer in size with thick skin. Plantains are used similar to that of vegetables, but it could not be used in raw form, it could be used in food items in the diet either in fried or cooked form. Plantains are otherwise called as green counterparts of yellow bananas, which is supposed to be originated from Europe and Asia, and now it is being grown, cultivated commercially all over the world, and found in all the regions of world.
Plantain, which are larger than bananas and don’t grow in bunches, are never eaten raw but are cooked when green, greenish yellow, yellow or even black. Like bananas, plantains begin life as high-starch fruits and sweeten during the ripening process but unlike bananas, they retain their firm texture. Mild-flavoured when green and sweet when yellow, plantains are similar to potatoes and cooked in much the same way (a popular Dominican breakfast is mashed boiled green plantains with sautéed onions).
Plantains are valuable for their antiseptic and diodenal ulcer properties as well as their gastritis/latulece – and dyspepsia-fighting ability. (A plantain flour gruel mixed with milk and plantain flour chapattis is East Indian’s Rx for digestive upset.) The healing substance in plantains is an ulcergenic enzyme that mimics the action of the protective substance that prevents hydrochloric acid damage to the stomach. Like bananas, plantains feed the natural acidophilus bacteria of the bowel.
Two Plantain Fibers – for Inner and Outer Health
This hemicellulose and high pectin fiber content of green, unripe plantains (and, to a lesser extent, bananas) help lower the bad LDL and elevate the good HDL, cholesterol levels. Plantains also supply calcium iron and vitamin A (the yellowier the fruit, the higher the content). Another bonus for acne and cellulite relief: Plantains are classified as “depuratines,” herbs that provide a system-purifying acid for clarifying the complexion.
TIP: What is your plantain pleasure? To find out, buy several green plantains, cook half when green, and cook the remainder when riper. If the taste of green plantains appeals, refrigerate and use within 10 days. Ripening can be slowed with no loss of quality.
Plantain Soup Recipe and cooking method:
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 5 cups broth, homemade or low sodium canned
- 2 green plantains, peeled and diced
- 1 bay leaf •
- teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until soft (about three to four minute)
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Add plantains, bay leaf, cumin and pepper.
- Return the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until tender (about 40 minutes).
- Remove and discard bay leaf.
- Place half of the soup in a blender or food processor and puree into the remaining soup.
- Before serving, reheat and correct seasoning.
- Makes four serving.
- Leftovers may be frozen.
- Substitute canola or safflower oil.
- Use parsnips in place of carrots.
- Use celery root in place of stalk celery.