A person can be forgiven for mistaking a plantain for a banana. The fruits are genetically and characteristically similar, but they taste entirely different from one another. Plantains are generally sweeter than bananas, and people usually cook the fruit before eating it.
Both plants also share a homeland, Southeast Asia, but they originate in different regions. Today, farmers or producers grow plantains and bananas all over the world.
Plantains and Bananas: Similarities
When looking at a plantain and a banana side by side, it is challenging to decipher which is which. Both fruits grow in crescent shapes, each is tubular, and both plants grow in shades of green, yellow, and brown.
Additionally, plantains and bananas are nutritious with minimal caloric impact. Each fruit is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, and there are many other nutritional similarities as well, including:
- Fiber content
- Vitamin C content
- Potassium content
- Magnesium content
Plantains and bananas can also be used for cooking. However, each fruit tends to stir up its own recipe style and flavor profile. For example, bananas are often used in dessert recipes and can be eaten raw. On the other hand, plantains are usually used in main dishes and can have a slightly sweeter taste than bananas when cooked.
Plantains and Bananas: Differences
When looking at a plantain and a banana, you can often tell the difference by size, skin texture, and color. A plantain is usually larger than an average banana, and the skin is typically tougher. Additionally, plantains can be green, yellow, and brown,
A plantain and banana also taste different from each other. Plantains become sweeter when cooked. Bananas are usually best eaten raw.
Plantains Versus Bananas: Which Is Healthier?
While it is often easy to pick one fruit over the other for its health benefits, the decision between plantains and bananas is not so easy. Essentially, both fruits are nutritionally dense.
Therefore, to determine which fruit is healthier than the other, you will need to consider other factors, including how you consume the fruit. For instance, a raw banana is likely healthier than a cooked plantain, especially if the plantain is drizzled in butter and other fattening ingredients.
You need to consider how you prepare the food to determine its overall nutritional value. The more ingredients you add to an item, the more likely you will dilute its nutritional merit.
Plantains Versus Bananas: Which Should You Eat?
Whether you eat a plantain or banana is based on personal preferences. Some people enjoy the heartier, savory plantain to the banana's soft, subtly sweet flavor. Both pieces of fruit are delicious.
Bananas are easy to snack on on the go because they can be eaten raw. Plantains can be consumed raw, but the flavor is not quite right. It is best to cook plantains to enjoy their sweet taste.
There is no outright winner between plantains and bananas. The fruits are too similar in nutritional value and appearance. However, if you do not want to deal with the effort that can come with plantains, stick with bananas; they are still versatile food and delicious.