Plantains: Naturally Gluten-free Foods - Celiac Disease
May 4 2010

Plantains: Naturally Gluten-free Foods

I love to try new foods (new to me) that are naturally gluten-free. There is nothing better than food that has not been processed and is gluten-free. I am 37 years old (shh…don’t tell anyone) and have never tried a plantain. Have you tried one? Plantains are used for cooking, where softer, sweeter bananas are more along the lines of the “dessert banana”. Plantains are firmer and lower in sugar than the dessert banana. Plantains usually require cooking (steaming, frying or boiling) and are used when they are green and under-ripe (starchy) or when they are over-ripe (sweet). Plantains are staples in the tropical areas of the world and are treated much like potatoes. They have a neutral texture & flavor when unripe.

Tostones are a popular twice-fried plantain dish in Latin America. Tostones are made by deep frying slices of green plantain for 1-2 minutes per side or golden brown, then drained of their oil. The plantains are then pounded flat, fried again and seasoned to taste. These are eaten a lot like potato chips or French fries here.

I bought my first plantain last week and sauteed it up in a frying pan last night to go along with my Sunshine burger & roasted vegetables. I sliced the plantain in half lengthwise and then the other way. I sprayed my pan with Pam and then heated it up. I placed the plantains in the pan and then sprayed them with Pam and seasoned with salt. I cooked them until they were golden brown.

I loved the plantains! I can’t really compare the flavor to anything else I have had. I loved the texture and they went perfectly with my dinner.

Here are some recipes for plantains:

Plantains can be found in your local grocery store, close to the bananas. If you have tried plantains, how have you made them?

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. Renee says:

    I have eaten them before and love them but I have never attempted to make them…

  2. Aracelis says:

    Peel and then slice them.. Fry in coconut oil… Add a little salt!! Amazing!!

  3. J'Marinde Shephard says:

    Never had them. Please, some information on how to shop for them. How to know when they are ready to be cooked, etc. Thank you, and thanks for the information you have provided so far.

  4. J'Marinde Shephard says:

    Another question just occurs to me. It seems to me that years ago I saw boxes of powdered plantain in the stores. Is this an actual product? If so, do you recommend them? What brand? How to use this? Thanks again.

  5. Deb says:

    Today is the first time I noticed them. I was looking them up to find out if they were gluten free. Thank you! I’ll try them now. The recipes look wonderful.

    I also saw something about plantain flour while I was searching online. I’m wondering if that would make a good substitute for a breading flour.

    Love to find new ideas and I am enjoying the gluten free journey.

  6. Maggie Reni says:

    Cut the plantain in half (longways) and treated like a “toston” both halves. Then substitute bread for the fry plantain and make yourself a nice sandwich. Get some ham or any type of deli, try it with shredded chicken, your favorite slice cheese, don’t forget your veggies like lettuce tomatoes onions. Be creative! And enjoy.

    • Ferrelle says:

      I’m so glad to see plantains are finally getting the grand recognition they deserve! I’ve been eating them for four decades and I knowwww a few things about them…they are of course gluten free, loaded with potassium and a little bit of iron, and the amino acid called tryptophan!
      My best way of enjoying them is to cut them into small chunks, boil them for about 20mins, add cool water and let stand for another 5mins…they get nice and soft! I make some fresh plum tomatoe and beef or fish stew. My plantations go on a plate, and I add my beef/fish stew on top, some steamed vegetables on the side…and I have dinner from heaven!!
      Plantains are also rich in tryptophan, just like bananas, so they can help you sleep well if eaten for dinner with high vitamin D foods like salmon, sardines, etc.
      They are a great type of starch with low glycemic index; so they don’t give you the high blood glucose spike and then drop you to a weery low!
      I eat them about 3-4times a week, especially on days I workout…I believe they give me a ton of energy at the gym!
      The green ones are good complex carbs, and the ripe ones are of course higher in sugars.
      They are ready to cook when you take them home, either deep fried, boiled, or made into fries just like French fries! Most international sections at grocery stores carry them as “plantain chips”, but it’s best when you make them yourself and enjoy them hot because they don’t keep well.
      Lastly you can cut them into flat pieces, add a sprinkle of salt, fry them and enjoy with your favorite salsa dip!!! Hmmmm!!

Leave a Reply

How do I change my avatar?

Go to and upload your preferred Gravatar.

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>