Who doesn’t love hash browns or home fries? They are a delicious addition to breakfast (or any meal) that provides more nutrition then processed breads, cereals or gluten containing grains. Hash browns can be loose shreds or formed into patties while home fries are either sliced or cubed. Home fries are phenomenal with caramelized onion and sweet bell peppers. Prepared properly they provide a crispy contrast to your creamy eggs and a good way tool to get the yolk running around the plate?.
I have made home fries and hash browns with regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. Both are delicious but what do you do if you can’t have potatoes? Maybe you’re on an elimination diet and avoiding nightshades or you just don’t want potatoes. I discovered an alternative that is just as delicious and still has nutritious benefits.
And the secret ingredient is… PLANTAINS!
Some of you might be wondering what a plantain is. While it is not a common ingredient in traditional American dishes it is often found in African, Caribbean, and Latin cuisine. Plantain looks like a large banana. It’s not as sweet and is starchier like a potato. Plantains contain more magnesium and potassium than a banana. Plantains start off green (they are starchier like a potato) and sweeten as they ripen going yellow to dark brown. The plantain is a good source of vitamin A, C, B6 as well. Another benefit of the plantain is in its green stage (more potato like) it has a good bit of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a fiber that passes through the gut without being digested (helps the blood sugar rise slowly). It helps you feel full longer and feeds the good gut bacteria. Plantains are typically eaten cooked; fried or boiled.
My two favorite ways to eat plantains are tostones (fritters) or chips. Since cutting plantains super thin for chips can be difficult, I usually stick with tostones. Basically you cut the plantain into thicker slices and pan fry until they’re soft enough to smash with a spatula. Then you fry them a little bit longer to make them crispy. And they are so good with homemade guacamole or used in place of tortilla chips for nachos.
The other day as I was making breakfast I decided to use a plantain I had on hand. I don’t know why but this time I decided to cut it into small cubes instead of slices. I already had a bell pepper chopped up so I sautéed the bell pepper and the plantain together. It went amazingly with my scrambled egg whites (going for that low fat protein). In fact I enjoyed it so much, I made sure to add plantains to my next grocery order and will be adding this into the regular rotation of breakfasts and lunches. In case you can’t tell, breakfast is my favorite type of food to eat so I eat it quite often.
Here is the recipe. Let me know what you think.
1- green or yellow plantain – peel and chop into cubes
1- bell pepper (any color) – chopped
1 small onion – chopped
Cut off the ends of the plantain then carefully run your knife lengthwise down the skin, making a slit all the way down. Use your finger to separate the skin from the flash of the plantain. Cut the plantain in half and then cut each half into fourths. This makes it easier to cube and set aside. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and chop it however big or small you prefer. Set aside. Chop your onion again however big or small you prefer.
Add a small amount of avocado oil, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil to the pan (spray oil works well too) and place over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté gently allowing to caramelize. Once the onion starts to turn translucent and caramelize add the bell pepper and plantain. Season with salt and pepper and toss/stir everything to coat with the oil. Continue sautéing until the plantain is lightly browned and crispy.
When you’ve reached your desired doneness, plate it with your favorite protein such as ham (in video), eggs, shredded chicken or even chorizo. Have fun with this. You can add any kind of spices you want to change up the flavor profile. For example chili powder and cumin or a nice curry spice blend. Let’s see your creations!