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Author Notes: One day I woke up and was like: Why chose between plantains and bananas for breakfast? Why not have both and double the delicious fun??
So the first time I decided to buy a plantain it was a bit of a bust. The fact that it looked like a giant banana only made me more nervous! The funny thing is I bought the plantain when it was technically ripe (yellow with large black spots and a bit tender to the touch). However, when I tried to peel it, and found that the skin didn’t slide off easily like a banana, I actually threw the fruit out thinking I had messed up before I’d even tried cooking it.
About a week ago, while buying copious amounts of ripe bananas for green smoothies, I looked furtively at the little plantain section again. Before I knew it I had resolutely placed a plantain in my cart. I was ready to try again and actually look up (duh, I guess) some information on plantains and how to cook with them.
I’m really happy I did because now I have for you one of my favorite green smoothie concoctions! It’s pretty bangin’ good and I’m really excited to share with you how easy it is to prepare.
My favorite time of day to drink eat this smoothie bowl is after a morning workout. I find that smoothie bowls can be really hydrating, but also make me feel like I ate my food rather than drank it.
The cool, fruity liquid feels so refreshing sliding down my throat, and I usually save the crunchy bits of granola and almond butter for a powerfully flavored finish.
For the smoothie:
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I usually use unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened cashew milk)
- Some happy handfuls of spinach!
To cook plantains:
- 1 ripe plantain (should be yellow with black spots)
- Either some oil or non-stick oil spray (my favorite is coconut oil or avocado oil/spray)
- Blend ingredients until they’re all blendy, yellow-green, and delicious looking. This is the base of your smoothie bowl. Place in fridge to chill.
- Note: In my vegan cooking adventures I tend to use as little oil as possible. I prefer getting my healthy fats from other sources such as nuts, seeds, and avocado. I find that, many times, when a recipe calls for oil, it can either be substituted or at least substantially reduced. Using less oil can be fun because it encourages us to focus on highlighting the natural flavors of the foods we’re eating!
- To sauté the plantains, heat a pan with some avocado oil spray, and pretty much just throw in the sliced plantains. After a few minutes of letting the plantains brown, pour in a bit of water and put a cover over the pan to help keep the plantains moist while they cook and soften a bit more. Once they’re both yellow and slightly brown, set aside to assemble your smoothie bowl.
- To assemble: Pour the banana smoothie base into a bowl. I like to add a chopped Granny Smith apple to my bowl because I love how the tartness of the apple offsets the sweetness of the banana. Then add some of the sliced plantain to your smoothie (I usually have some leftovers for future smoothies). I like to sprinkle my bowl with some cinnamon (my favorite!) and some crunchy, oil-free granola (I’ll be sharing this easy recipe soon too). Lastly, I can’t have a smoothie bowl without adding some creamy almond butter.
- Also, sometimes I’ll add a few dark chocolate morsels if I’m feeling feisty!