Caramelized Spiced Plantains
I have a slight obsession with bananas. No way to hide it. I lived a good 26 years of my life not knowing what a plantain was which is shameful considering my obsession with all things banana. The Hubs was the one to introduce me to this wonderful fruit that is part of the banana family and it was love at first site.
There are several ways to eat a plantain, but I’m a bit biased to how The Hubs prepares his. They are the perfect balance of crispy caramelization (not sure if that’s a word, but it is now), sweetness, and spice from the nutmeg and cinnamon. PLUS, he serves them up with vanilla ice cream for a winning combo.
First things first, you need to pick out the perfect plantain. Most of the plantains you will find in the store will be a bit on the green side unless you live somewhere tropical (jealous!). The greener the plantain is, the starchier it will be and will resemble more of a potato than a banana. Side note, plantains can also be served as as savory side dish when they are more green. For this recipe, you want your plantain to be yellow with black spots; the one in the picture is perfect ripeness for a sweet dessert. Have no fear, they will ripen pretty quickly on your counter if you can only find greenish plantains.
We enjoy caramelized spiced plantains fairly regularly since they are a perfect dessert for two with out having an entire cake staring you in the face for a week. Plus, the ingredients are all natural and no funky business (see notes on ice cream ‘funky business’ below).
To prepare, slice the plantain into half inch slices. Heat a large skillet on high heat and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Once the oil is melted and hot, add the plantains. Dust plantains with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste and drizzle lightly with honey. Cook until bottom side is browned and flip over plantains to brown and caramelize the other side. Add a bit more nutmeg, cinnamon and honey. Once both sides are slightly browned, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Serve plantains topped with your favorite vanilla ice cream and a slight dusting of nutmeg if you are a nutmeg fanatic like we are.
Have you ever looked at the ingredient label on ice cream? What is the deal with it!? Why can’t they make ice cream like the old days with milk, cream, and sugar? Instead they add all sorts of thickening agents, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup. Even brands that claim to be all natural or advertise with ‘real sugar’ have crazy things in there if you take the time to read the ingredient label. I’ve decided my options are to make my own ice cream (which I want to do, but also feel like this will lead to an increased consumption of ice cream, ha!) or to buy something that is moderately reasonable with it’s ingredients. I’ve been settling for this vanilla bean frozen yogurt pictured above. It’s not perfect in terms of ingredients, but decent and good flavor with out busting the dessert budget of indulgence.
Hope you enjoy this super simple dessert as much as we do. Speaking of plantains, we just got back from vacation in Costa Rica where we enjoyed copious amounts of plantains which is why it’s been a bit quiet on the blog. We had a great time and I plan to put together a recap post of our trip in the coming weeks so stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy some caramelized spiced plantains which were our benchmark of plantain awesomeness in Costa Rica. I’m also excited to share some new Costa Rican inspired recipes here on the blog in a few weeks.
Have you ever cooked with plantains? Do you have any foods that you recently discovered and can’t get enough of?
- 1 ripe plantain, yellow with black spots
- 2 Tbsp honey, for drizzling
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Nutmeg, to taste
- Vanilla bean ice cream for serving
- Slice plantain into 1/2 inch slices. Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in large skillet over high heat. Add plantains and dust with cinnamon and nutmeg and drizzle with 1 Tbsp of honey or more to taste. Once slightly browned, flip plantains. Dust plantains again with spices and drizzle with remaining honey. Cook until both sides are slightly browned and caramelized while plantains are softened.
- Let cool 3-5 minutes, top with vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.
Measurements are approximate. We never measure the honey (why dirty more dishes), measurements are just to give you an idea of how much.