Caramelized Plantains For Dessert

Happy Saturday. We are having a unseasonably cool day here and it is prefect in my opinion. I actually got cold on my morning walk! Katy is mostly packed and she did decided on paying extra and taking two suitcases. It is hard to pack for 10 months in just one suitcase! We take her to San Francisco tomorrow afternoon. Sigh. After talking about her going to Spain for the past year the time has finally arrived. I am so excited for her and can’t wait to hear about the adventure as it plays out for her. I will be fixing a big dinner for her tonight filled with many of her favorite foods. She has already said she is going to miss my cooking but she is going to enjoy trying all the new foods that Spain has to offer.

If you have followed my blog you might remember how much I loved the plantains I ordered when we went out for my birthday dinner. They came with black beans and sour cream and I was instantly in love with a new food! I thought they tasted sweet and more like dessert than a savory dish. I was in Whole Foods and spotted the plantains so I bought two.

Plantains look a lot like a banana but tend to be firmer and lower in sugar content than bananas. Bananas are most often eaten raw, while plantains usually require cooking. Plantains are used either when green or under-ripe when they are more starchy and less sweet or overripe at the peak of sweetness. Plantains are a regular food item in the tropical ares of the world. They are treated much like we treat potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling, baking or frying. They are rich in vitamin A and C.

Nutritional Information for 1 medium plantain; 220 calories, 4g fiber, 10g sugar, 2 g protein

The plantains I purchased were green and my research showed that if you want them to be sweeter then let them ripen and become more black. Plantains are larger than most bananas. It took several days for them to get ripe sitting on my kitchen counter.

After a little Internet research I decided to go with a dessert type recipe for preparing the plantains. I found several recipes where a smaller amount of butter or oil was used instead of deep fat frying them. The plantain on the left was the one I started with and it was actually very ripe so much so that I thought it might not hold together once sliced so instead of cutting longer pieces on a diagonal I went with small slices. It would look much prettier sliced on the diagonal so I won’t let it get so ripe next time.

Just a tablespoon of butter melted and a light spray of canola oil spray in a nonstick skillet is all that is needed to cook these discs of sweet goodness. The slices on the left were from the very ripe plantain, the ones on the right were firmer but still sweet enough.

Brown the plantains on one side and turn over to brown on the other side. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar and let them caramelize into warm little bites of sweetness. Beautiful! Slightly sweet, with a caramelized crunch to the outside and then you bite into the inside to find a warm center with the consistency of a sweet potato but a flavor similar to a banana. Pure delight!

We ate them just like this but they would also be wonderful served with a dollop of Greek Yogurt or over vanilla ice cream or frozen vanilla yogurt. The leftovers were just as good at room temperature the next day. Did I mention that they are very filling, you can only eat a few. I will definitely be making these again and again.


Caramelized Sweet Ripe Plantains


  • 2 Ripe Plantains, mostly black on the outside
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Canola Oil Spray

Peel the plantains and cut into circles or on the diagonal into 1/2 ” slices or a little thinner.

Spray a non stick pan with the canola oil and melt the butter in the pan over a medium heat. Add the plantains to the bubbly melted butter. When lightly browned turn over and brown on the other side. Sprinkle with the sugar and let them caramelize slightly. Remove from pan and serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: 128 Calories; 2g Fat (11.3% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 4mg Cholesterol; 18mg Sodium.


Inspired by food fit.com & African Vegan Recipes ivu.org

Enjoying family time and good food!


What new food have you tried lately?

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  1. Genie@dietof51 says:

    Tami! Those look awesome! You had me at “carmel”.

    If I’ve had plantain before, I don’t remember it, but I do remember the natives eating breadfruit and plantain in my geography book in grade school. I don’t think they ate them carmelized, though.

    Good luck sending your daughter off tomorrow! It’s so exciting, yet it has to be hard to see her go.

  2. Kristy says:

    I have two plantains ripening now – Thanks for the recipe inspiration! 🙂

  3. Karen says:

    I can’t remember the last new food I tried. Sounds pretty darn boring!

  4. Carol says:

    The plantains look awesome Tami! I do similar with bananas so I’m sure we would love this!!

    Prayers for Katy! Hope she has lots of fun & a great learning experience!!

  5. tj says:

    mmmm those look like a perfect dessert! I like the greek yogurt idea too! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!

  6. Debbi Does Dinner Healthy says:

    I’ve never had these before, they look fantastic!!

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