An easy low-fat method of making sweet plantains that comes out tender and sweet without the use of lots of oil or a frying pan. The plantains caramelize in the oven with just the right amount of crunch around the edges and tenderness in the middle … you won’t even know they are baked!
PICK YOUR PLANTAINS: Plantains are bananas’ cousin, though they never become as sugary or sweet as bananas. They do continue to ripen once picked and like bananas, the riper they get—the moister, tenderer, and sweeter they are. The green plantains are good for chips, tostones, mashed dumplings (mofongo) or soups – we will leave those recipes for another day.
First, we need to pick the the right plantains. You will find plantains in in your supermarket by the tropical or ethnic produce section. They are sold usually green or yellow. Since plantains are rarely sold fully brown or black, you will need to buy yellow plantains and leave them in a paper bag or on the countertop for a few days until the skin turns black, like in the picture above. Your plantains are ready when the skin is black and the fruit is soft but not too mushy.
PREP: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking spray.
CUT AND PEEL: Plantains have a tougher skin than bananas, so you will have to cut off the ends and make a lengthwise slit through the peel with a knife before you strip off the peel with your hands and slice the meat. I find using a pairing knife to make the slits works best.
SLICE IT: I like slicing long strips, it’s a personal preference. It reminds me of eating these as a little kid when my great grandmother would make them in her caste iron skillet. You can also slice them on the bias into shorter diagonal strips. First, I cut the plantain in half horizontally. Then, carefully cut each half into 3 or 4 length-wise strips.
INTO THE OVEN: Arrange on prepared baking sheet leaving a little space between each slice.
Brush with olive oil, flip them over and brush again with remaining oil. Bake in the pre-heated
450 degree oven for 7-10 minutes; when the edges start to brown, flip them over. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, until plantains are golden brown and very tender. I bake these for a total of 15 minutes, but each oven is slightly different. Keep an eye on these guys, because of their high sugar content, they can burn very quickly. Once they’re out of the oven, season with salt and enjoy!
Your plantains are ready when the skin is black and the fruit is soft but not too mushy. Since plantains are rarely sold fully brown or black, you will need to buy green or yellow plantains and leave them in a paper bag or on the countertop for a few days until the skin turns black, like in the picture.
Note: These baked sweet plantains are best enjoyed warm right out of the oven.
- 3 ripe plantains (yellow skin with black spots, see pic)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray to insure easy removal.
- Cut the ends off of the plantains and peel. Cut each plantain in half. Cut each half into 3-4 slices length-wise.
- Arrange in a single layer on the cookie sheet and brush the tops with olive oil. Bake for 7-10 minutes, when edges start to brown, flip them over and coat the other side of plantains with remainder of olive oil. Bake until plantains are golden brown and very tender. I bake these for a total of 15 minutes.
- Season with salt to taste.
Best enjoyed immediately after coming out of the oven.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 129 G
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 7gCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 2g