You’ve probably looked and pondered, can you eat cooking bananas raw?
We all love bananas, and there’s nothing more satisfying than that sweet taste.
However, cooking bananas, or plantains, may look similar to traditional bananas, but not many of us have tried eating one raw.
So, this begs the question of whether plantains are actually edible without being cooked first.
Allow me to reveal all.
You can eat a cooking banana raw, although it isn’t recommended. Cooking bananas, or plantains, contain much less sugar and a lot more starch than conventional bananas. Therefore, they typically have a texture like raw potatoes and are bitter to the taste. With that being said, plantains don’t contain toxic substances like many other tropical starchy fruits. So, there is definitely no danger in eating a raw cooking banana.
1. Will Eating a Raw Cooking Banana Do You Any Harm?
If you really, really want to, you can indeed eat a raw cooking banana.
With that being said, it’s something that I would personally recommend, but each to their own, I guess.
Plantains are typically best cooked and then eaten.
Plus, they contain much less sugar but a lot more starch than traditional bananas.
This immediately tells you that they will be bitter to the taste.
Additionally, due to their high starch content, the texture of plantains is fairly similar to a raw potato.
But I’m willing to bet that most people would prefer to eat a raw potato over a raw plantain.
However, if you really want to give it a go, then be my guest.
Plantains are unlike most starchy fruits that grow in tropical climates.
In fact, many of these other starchy fruits contain toxic substances, which may cause cyanide poisoning if consumed raw.
A prime example of this is cassava.
Luckily, there’s no such issue with plantains, it’s just that they probably won’t taste that great raw.
2. How to Cook Plantains?
I’ve mentioned that plantains are very bitter to the taste when they’re raw.
So, this is why they are better consumed when cooked.
With that being said, there are various preparations, recipes, and cooking techniques for plantains.
However, once cooked, plantains have a mild flavor, and they can also be quite sweet if they are ripe.
The most common method of cooking plantains is by deep frying.
They will taste a little like potato, but you’ll also find that the edges caramelize and become crispy.
Plantains also taste fantastic when sauteed.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, then you can also boil, grill, or roast your plantains.
If you choose to boil plantains, you can do this with either the skin on or off.
Once they’re done, they are best served mashed, much the same way as potatoes.
Should you choose to grill or roast plantains, then remove the peel.
You can then decide whether you wish to cook them whole or sliced.
Regardless of which healthy option you choose, you’ll know the plantains are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork.
Six Delicious Plantain Recipes
3. What Are the Main Differences Between Plantains and Bananas?
Plantains and bananas come from the same family and even look alike.
But, in truth, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Plantains are generally larger and tougher than bananas, plus you’ll notice the skin is much thicker.
Plantains can also be green, yellow, or brown.
However, as I’ve alluded to above, plantains contain much more starch and less sugar than bananas.
And this is why they tend to have different flavor profiles, i.e., bananas are sweet, but plantains are usually not.
With that being said, the riper a plantain, the sweeter it will be, and they become slightly sweeter through the cooking process too.
Plantains are also considered to be healthier than bananas, and this is mainly due to their lower sugar content.
So, as you can see, it’s perfectly fine to eat a raw cooking banana.
However, whether you’ll actually like the taste will come down to personal preference.
Basically, plantains will be extremely bitter when raw.
You’ll find that plantains are much sweeter when cooked.
Plus, you can boil, grill, roast, deep fry, or saute plantains.
Finally, plantains are considered to be healthier than bananas as they don’t contain as much sugar.
You can read more here on the differences between bananas and plantains.