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These sweet plantains are sliced up then placed in the air fryer that is made with much less fat and calories than its traditionally fried counterpart. You’ll love making these air fryer sweet plantains (PLÁTANOS MADUROS) as a nutritionally dense side dish or meat substitute.
One of my all-time favorite foods as a child was plantains. We ate them often, and there never seemed to be enough and they’d get gobbled up so quickly.
Today the same is true in my house now with my own children. Growing up, the traditional way we made plantains was to fry them in a pan of oil.
These days, I use the air fryer to make a deliciously crisp plantain with minimal oil that tastes just as great!
We love this recipe because the plantains can be used in a variety of ways. They are a great substitute for meat when added to tacos or wherever you’d add ground beef. You can even eat them for dessert with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar on top!
What are plantains?
Plantains can be described as a banana that has tougher skin, that are starchy and not very sweet. Although plantains are classified as a fruit, it is used more like a vegetable than a fruit.
They are originally from Southeast Asia but are now grown all over the world.
Plantains are also widely used in Latin cuisine. Plantains can be prepared in many ways, including steamed, boiled, grilled, fried or baked.
Ingredients & Equipment You’ll Need
- Ripe Plantains – A ripe plantain is best when it’s mostly black and has a bit of yellow skin left. It’s slightly firm but still a bit soft when you poke the skin. The riper they get, the sweeter they are, and that’s what we want when making maduros. Try not to use a plantain that is too overly ripe as they may be too soft and sweet to hold up in cooking.
- Avocado Oil – Avocado oil is the perfect cooking oil because it is tasteless and has a high smoke point which stands up well in the air fryer.
- Salt – Helps bring out the natural flavor and sweetness in the plantain.
How To Make Air Fryer Plantains
1 – Peel plantains. Then slice into 1/2″ thick pieces.
2 – Place plantain pieces in a medium size bowl. Add oil and salt. Mix well so every side of each plantain is covered with oil.
3 – Add plantain to the air fryer basket. Be careful not to overcrowd the basket. You will likely need to cook in batches.
4 – Turn on the air fryer to 400°. Cook plantain for 10 minutes, flipping over half way through.
5 – Remove plantain pieces carefully from the air fryer basket and set on plate.
6 – Sprinkle with additional salt if desired. Repeat until all the plantains are cooked.
- This recipe still calls for oil, but a significant amount less than deep frying. Rather than cooking them in oil, the plantains are coated in a little avocado oil. Cooking spray can be used if you don’t want to use oil, but you won’t get the same delicious results the oil gives, which is the browning of the plantain. This is the best way to go if you’re looking for more traditional plantains.
- I recommend using an oil with a high smoke point because they are better for cooking at higher temperatures. I use avocado oil, but oils such as canola, grapeseed, sunflower and safflower oils also work.
- It’s important that the plantains cook in a single layer in the air fryer to make sure they don’t steam and become mushy. This may mean you’ll have to cook the plantains in smaller batches.
- Make sure all the plantain pieces are cut roughly the same size. This will ensure that they cook evenly.
- Air fryer plantains taste best when served hot.
- For a unique flavor, use coconut oil instead of avocado oil.
- Toss your favorite seasonings with the plantains before air frying.
- Add some heat by sprinkling them with a pinch of cayenne pepper before air frying.
- Slice them very thin and air fry for less time to turn them into homemade plantain chips.
- Cut them into french fry shapes to make plantain fries.
- Squeeze lime juice for a fresh flavor.
Storing & Freezing
- Storing: Place cooled plantains in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last up to 3 days. To reheat, place on a plate and microwave for a minute.
- Freezing: You can freeze cooked and cooled plantains if they are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 4 weeks. Let them defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Are plantains healthy? Plantains are a rich source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and the minerals magnesium and potassium.
How many calories are in a plantain? A medium sized plantain has 218 calories.
Can you eat raw plantain? Technically, yes! But they don’t taste nearly as good as when they are baked, fried or air fried!
Calories per serving (1/2 one plantain): 130
- 2 medium plantains, ripe
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Peel plantains. Then slice into 1/2" thick pieces.
- Place plantain pieces in a medium size bowl. Add oil and salt. Mix well so every side of each plantain is covered with oil.
- Add plantain to air fryer basket. Be careful not to overcrowd basket. You will likely need to cook in batches.
- Turn on air fryer to 400°. Cook plantain for 10 minutes, flipping over half way through.
- Remove plantain pieces carefully from air fryer basket and set on plate. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired. Repeat until all the plantain is cooked.
- If avocado oil is not available, canola oil can be substituted.
- Find plantains in your local grocery store, usually near the bananas.
- Different air fryer brands may cook at different rates, so be sure to keep on eye on food.
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Gorilla Grip Original Oversized Cutting Board, 3 Piece, BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe, Juice Grooves, Larger Thicker Boards, Easy Grip Handle, Non Porous, Extra Large, Kitchen, Set of 3, Black
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6) Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set - Easy To Clean, Nesting Bowls for Space Saving Storage, Great for Cooking, Baking, Prepping
KitchenAid Classic Measuring Spoons, Set of 5, Aqua Sky/Black
Power Air Fryer XL 5.3 Quart
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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