A whole plantain and a sliced plantain

How to select

Choose plantains with no mold or cracks. While a plantain ripens it goes from green to yellow to black. Plantains are black when ripe and should be soft.

How to prepare

  • Using a knife cut each end off the plantain. 
  • Cut along the 4 "seams" of the plantain without cutting into the flesh. 
  • Using the knife, pry each piece of skin from the plantain.

How to store

Keep plantains in a well-ventilated area at room temperature until ripe (unripe plantains ripen slowly). Once ripe, use plantains wihtin a few days.

Peak season


Ways to use

  • Green (unripened) plantains are starchy and taste almost like a potato; they can be fried or boiled and mashed. 
  • Yellow (ripe) plantains are sweeter than green plantains and are good grilled or baked. 
  • Black or almost black plantains are very sweet and best used in desserts.

Fun facts

  • Though plantains are fruits, they are often used as vegetables. 
  • Plantains are related to bananas but cannot be eaten raw. 
  • Plantains are staples of West and Central Africa, the Caribbean islands, Central America, and parts of South America.

Nutrition info and facts

Plantains are bananas' starchier, older cousin. Plantains are high in fiber and potassium and chock full of vitamins A, B, and C. Plantains are an inexpensive source of protein.

1 yellow plantain = 329 calories, 4 g protein, 1 g fat, 86 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 47 g sugar, 97 mg magnesium, 1310 mg potassium, 50 mg vitamin C

Expand all


EatingWell. The health benefits of plantains, according to a dietitian. January 30, 2023.

Have a Plant. Plantain.

LoroCrisps. 5 things you didn't know about plantains. February 1, 2021.

The Pioneer Woman. Plantains 101: Here's everything you need to know. September 6, 2023.