Here's a nice little collection of plantain recipes that would be common to both African and Haitian diets. Plantain bananas should be cooked before being eaten, and can be boiled, steamed, baked, or fried.
While The Julia Project Foundation team was in Vignier, Haiti, we were well looked after at the work site each day.
Our Haitian hostess served us delicious lunches with the help of family members and some young girls in the community.
I took the opportunity to video them in the kitchen one morning, while they were busy preparing the meal for that day. I wanted to thank them and learn their cooking secrets.
Have a look as she describes step-by-step how to prepare this authentic fried plantain dish.
This Haitian fried plantain was prepared slightly different from the African version of fried plantain that's commonly eaten in Kenya.
Peeled plantain, about one per person
Cut the plantain into slices
Fry in hot oil until somewhat soft
Remove from hot oil and flatten when cool
Dip them in salted water
Return to the hot oil and fry them again, until golden brown
Eat as a side dish with meals or as a snack.
This is a "Western" version of plantain, without the extra calories from the more traditional recipe fried in oil.
Plantain, peeled and ends cut off
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Coat nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray
Cut each plantain diagonally into 1/2" slices
Arrange in single layer and spray lightly with cooking oil spray
Bake for 15 minutes — or less — turning occasionally, until tender and golden brown.
There are many medicinal uses for plantain, and we've included some herbal plantain recipes for you as well. These are suggestions for your enjoyment only. We are not making any medical claims by sharing them with you; so, use them at your own risk.
This medicinal herb tea would be used for colds and flu.
1 tablespoon dry or fresh whole plantain (root, leaves, and seed)
1 cup boiling water
Put plantain in the boiling water
Steep about 10 minutes
Strain and sweeten to taste
Drink throughout the day to soothe cold symptoms as needed.
1 lb chopped plantain plant — use entire plant
1 cup lard
Cook the plantain and lard down, until mushy and green
Strain while still hot, then let it cool
Use homemade plantain salve on burns, insect bites, sores and rashes. Also can be used as a facial night-cream for wrinkles.
Haitian Plantain Bananas
As you can see, plantain has numerous uses in both the kitchen and for herbal remedies.
The fruit itself is low in fat, and high in starch and dietary fiber. It's also low in cholesterol and salt, and is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C. The plantain leaves, when cooked properly, are known to be good for treating diabetes.