You go to the market and see some fruits that look like bananas, only they are greener and larger. Your suspicions are right – those are not bananas, but plantains. Comparing banana vs. plantain will give you some details about this less popular fruit that aims to gain some prestige in local markets.
Banana Vs. Plantain
One plantain provides close to 20% of the recommended daily intake of vitamins C and A, as well as 3% calcium. It is rich in phosphorous and potassium. Bananas have similar numbers, only the sugar content tends to get higher as they ripen.
On another note, bananas are richer in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Also, they have a lower content of potassium and vitamin A. A regular size plantain has 116 calories and 31g of carbohydrates, while a banana only comes with 89 calories and 23g of carbohydrates.
Health benefits are relatively similar when comparing banana vs. plantain, but with a few differences. Bananas are easier to digest and have higher amounts of antioxidants and fiber. Obviously, they can provide more energy.
Given the higher amounts of potassium, plantains are better in boosting brain power and keeping the blood pressure under control. Plantains also help against constipation and hemorrhoids, while the high amounts of vitamin A enhance eye and skin health.
Preparation and Serving
The best plantains should feel firm and heavy. Keep them at the room temperature for around four days. They should be cooked before eating due to the starch in their composition. Preparation is simple – wash the fruit, trim ends and cut it into short lengths before peeling the skin.
You can fry, bake or grill plantains, but also come up with mashed plantains. They can easily replace potatoes. They are extremely common in various Asian cuisines. If you have a kid, plantains can be dried, crushed and mixed with milk for a healthy breakfast.
Bananas should feel more fragile and must have a rich aroma. They are sweet and have to be consumed within a few days once ripe. You can use them in milkshakes, jams, cakes or fruit salads, but also as snacks between meals.
Keep in mind that both bananas and plantains can cause bloating if you have too many of them.
In the end, deciding between banana vs. plantain is up to your preferences. They might look similar and come from the same family, but they have different uses.
See also: Durian vs. Jackfruit