Culture

20 Plátano Recipes That Will Make You Rethink Tostones

Growing up Caribbean meant growing up with a pile of green plantains on your kitchen counter. Platanos are a staple in traditional Caribbean cooking. Keep them green and they make deliciously savory dishes. Let them get yellow/brown and soft and they are sweet and soft. They are one of the greatest foods from Latin America.

Here are some traditional and innovative ways to use our favorite starchy fruit.

Torta de Plátano Maduro (Plantain Cake)

“Recetas Colombianas” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

Try mixing plantains with another exceptional fruit guava and queso fresco for the ultimate dessert or side dish. You literally just have to mix fried plantains with guava paste, a spoonful of sugar, eggs, milk and cinnamon and bake like a cake.

Arañitas

@jeanessapr / Instagram

This is what happens when you grate a green plantain and fry it into fritters. Boricua style involves all the garlic and pepper you can find.

Canoa de Plátano Maduro

“AC” Digital Image. Sazon Boricua. 14 August 2018.

Fun fact: The greener your plantain is, the more starchy it will be. Once it starts to brown, those starches start converting into sugars, which make them perfect for sweet tooths. This recipe is easy.

Preheat your oven, make some picadillo, slice a brown plantain lengthwise, stuff and bake. It’s sweet and salty.

Arepas de Plátano Verde

“Arepas de Plátano Verde (Green Plantain Arepas)” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

Venezuelan arepas are usually made with masa. However, if you use some plátanos verdes you have a totally different feel and flavor palate. Totally worth it if you have some time.

Arroz de Pajarito (Rice with Ripe Plantain)

“Arroz de Pajarito (Rice with Ripe Plantain)” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

Take this recipe with you to college. Anyone can make it, and it’s the ultimate comfort food, especially if you made your rice lime-cilantro style. You can thank us later for this suggestion. You’ll be the hit of any pot luck.

Aborrajados Colombianos

“Aborrajados Colombianos” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.
 OK, amigos, listen carefully. To make this traditional Colombian receta, you’re going to make a cheese tostone sandwich, and then dip the sandwiches into a batter of 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons milk. Then fry otra vez and enjoy!

Mangú

@jacquelinchefrd / Instagram

You can always keep it simple. Mangú is puréed plátanos verdes, and is a traditional Dominican dish. Serve it up with some fried salami and fried queso and you are in business.

Mofongo

@picandord / Instagram

Puerto Ricans go loco for mofongo. It’s made of fried green plantains that are mashed with all the garlic and oil. Then you add chicharrón and drench it in a broth.

Boronia (Colombian Mashed Eggplant and Plantain)

“Boronia (Colombian Mashed Eggplant and Plantain) |mycolombianrecipes.com” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

Similar to mangú or mofongo, boronia is made with mashed eggplant. Sure, eggplant might be a very divisive and misunderstood vegetable, but this might be the way you like it.

Tamales

“Envueltos de Plátano Maduro (Ripe Plantain Wraps)” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

It’s a Caribbean tamal. You probably didn’t know that these existed but plantains can do anything. Mash it up and wrap in a banana leaf and it’s basically the same thing.

Empanadas

“Mature banana pies stuffed with cheese” Digital Image. Recetas Judias. 14 August 2018.

Oh yeah, you can also use plantinas as empanada dough. You can stuff anything you want inside a plantain and the result will be amazing. Name anything sweet or savory. Try me.

Plantain Pizza

@danimarzdesign / Instagram

Let it be known that I made this pizza. Screw cauliflower crust you guys. This is a grain-free work of art. Basically just make mangú, add a couple spoonfuls of coconut flour and you’ve got yourself a pizza dough.

Jibarito

“Jibarito Recipe: Puerto Rican sandwich with steak using plantains instead of bread!” Digital Image. Dominican Cooking. 14 August 2018.

Say bye to bread forever. Unless we’re talking about Cuban bread because I can’t leave that behind. Tbh, plantains have so much more flavor than any other white bread could even pretend to have. Go with it.

Plantain Lasagna

“Pillon of ripe bananas or Tropical Lasagna” Digital Image. Sazon Boricua. 14 August 2018.

Just fry your plátanos verdes in strips, assemble your lasagna and bake. This will throw everyone for a loop with all of the amazing flavors and textures rolled into one.

Piononos

“how-to-cook-plantains-recipes-piononos-CG18880” Digital Image. Dominican Cooking. 14 August 2018.

The cutest plantains have ever looked. All you do is slice a plantain very thinly, roll it with a slice of ham and cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Done and delicious.

Plantain Cups

@tropicaltastenj / Instagram

If you don’t want to dip them, you can make tostones in a cupcake sheet and fill them with your favorite things. You can stuff these with rice, beans, gaucamole, etc. How delicious does this sound?

Aguají

@chevreculinaire / Instagram

Fry your plantains as usual and then enjoy it in the most garlicky, green oniony broth you can find. Golden spoons mandatory.

Coconut Plantain Mini Cakes

“Simple Ripe Plantain and Coconut Mini Cakes” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

You don’t need to add any sugar to this naturally sweet tropical fruit based cupcake. Más o menos, you make magú, add a good amount of coconut flour, baking powder and shredded coconut along with some coconut milk to make this grain-free muffin made entirely of fruit.

That’s health right there.

Torta de Maduro

“Torta de Maduro (Ripe Plantain and Cheese Cake)” Digital Image. My Colombian Recipes. 14 August 2018.

We’re talking more queso y maduro combos here. Your maduros should be almost black they’re so ripe. While this looks like a fresh take on plátanos, it actually hails from El Valle de Colombia. Go get yourself 5 ripe, mashed plantains, 2 cups grated mozzarella, 3 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup milk, a few tablespoons of brown sugar, melted butter and a dash of cinnamon, vanilla and baking powder.

Mix it all together and bake for 50 minutes at 350.

Mala Rabia

“how-to-cook-plantains-recipes-malarabia-2” Digital Image. Dominican Cooking. 14 August 2018.

This is not naturally sweetened. Your terrible rage will either settle or spark after eating this sweet potato, plantain, guava dessert, all served in a light syrup.


READ: Tamales And Conchas And Platanos. Here’s The Most Delicious Gift List

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Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

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A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Culture

A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Social media is where people can show off just about anything they create. This includes art in any and all media, like pancake art. Claudia, the creator behind Nappan Pancake art, is the latest artist watching their art reach the masses.

Claudia, the artist behind Nappan Pancake art, got her start because of the pandemic.

@nappancakes

casi ✨1 año✨haciendo #pancakeart 🥞 #parati #foryou #viral #trend #glowup #art #foryoupage

♬ Inox la bggg – ᗰᗩᖇIE ᗰOI ᑎᗩᖇᑌTO

The artist first started to play around with pancake art last spring break when the pandemic forced businesses and schools to close. Claudia wanted to get more creative with her kids’ breakfasts since they were now always at home.

“I started experimenting with making Pancake art,” Claudia recalls to mitú. “At first I only used the color of the natural dough and a little cocoa. At first, I just used the ketchup dispensers and little by little I learned.”

Claudia uses her pancake art to honor some truly iconic people.

@nappancakes

Responder a @detodoun_poco233 Cepillín ✨🥞✨ en nuestros ♥️ #parati #fy #HijosAdopTiktoks #adoptiktoks #viral #foryou @cepillintv #pancakeart ncakeart

♬ La Feria de Cepillin – Cepillín

Cepillín recently died and the loss was felt throughout the community. He made our lives joyous and fun with his music, especially his birthday song. Some of the creations are done for fans who request to see their faves turned into delicious pancake art.

The artist loves creating the edible works of art.

The journey of becoming a pancake artist has been a fun adventure for Claudia and her children. The more she has practiced, the more she has been able to do.

“Sometimes I scream with excitement and I go to all the members of my house to see it,” Claudia says about her successes. “Other times it’s just a feeling like “disappointment could be better” other times it just breaks or burns and then I just cry but it usually feels very satisfying.”

You can check out all of her creations on TikTok.

@nappancakes

Responder a @reyna100804santoyo siii🥞✨ díganle que me adopte 🥺 @ederbez #adoptiktoks #hijosadoptiktoks #parati #foryou #viral #fy #art #pancakeart

♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

With 350,000 followers and growing, it won’t be long until more people start to fully enjoy Claudia’s art. Her children can’t get enough of it and she is so excited to share it with the rest of the world.

READ: Spicy Food Lovers Have Reason To Celebrate As New Study Says Eating Chilies Could Be Secret To Longevity

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