It’s not often that I eat dinner solo these days, but one recent evening when John was away, I walked to our local Whole Foods and went straight for the hot food and salad bar.
Have you ever been there? That place is like magic!
It was there that I fell in love with caramelized plantains. Oh mama.
One bite in and I immediately knew I had to recreate them for the blog.
I’m not sure what fats or sugars are used in their version, but I wanted to clean things up and infuse some extra flavor.
More flavor is always better in my opinion.
Plantains are grown and enjoyed in many tropical regions around the world, especially in the Caribbean, Latin America, and West Africa. They are a relative of the banana, but larger and starchier. Mmmm, starch.
They can be consumed when green (unripe) or yellow (ripe). But for this recipe, make sure they’re yellow going on brown. Because that’s when they’re sweetest!
Instead of relying on brown or cane sugar, I went with coconut sugar – a more natural sugar extracted from sap of cut flower buds on the coconut palm. Crazy awesome, right?
A lot of you guys have been asking me if I ever use it and have also been subbing it in a lot of our recipes for cane sugar, and it got me curious. So thanks for the tip!
I haven’t done much baking with it yet (recommendations / tips welcome), but what I do know is it works fabulously for caramelizing.
This recipe is simple, requiring just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes. And the flavor pay off is HUGE.
To ensure the plantains got nice and brown I went for coconut oil, which infuses a little extra flavor. And I doused the plantains in coconut sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt before throwing them in the pan – a cast iron is ideal if you have one.
What happens next is pure magic. The outside of the plantains get all brown, caramelized and sweet, and the inside gets extremely tender and melt-in-your-mouth worthy.
Can we say, new favorite dessert?
I think you guys are going to LOVE this dessert! It’s:
I served my plantains with some coconut whipped cream and additional sprinkle of coconut sugar. So good!
But I also think they would be amazing with my Coconut Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream! Can we say best vegan ice cream sundae ever?
If you guys try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment and rate it – it’s super helpful to us.
And, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see! Do you realize there’s more than 7,000 #minimalistbaker hashtags on Instagram thanks to you all? That’s amazing! Keep tagging and keeping up the the good vibes.
Coconut Sugar Caramelized Plantains
- Heat a large cast iron or metal skillet over medium-high heat and chop your plantains in 1/2 inch slices.
- Add to a mixing bowl and toss with coconut sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt.
- Once the skillet is hot, add coconut oil and only as many plantains as will fit comfortably in the pan without crowding. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned and caramelized.
- Serve warm with dairy-free ice cream or coconut whipped cream. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep in the fridge covered for a few days.
*Recipe adapted from / inspired by Whole Foods.