PLANTAINS ARE ONE OF THE MOST SUPER LOADED VERSATILE FOOD STUFF IN THE WORLD BUT SOME PEOPLE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.
You can never believe it but it is true that plantains are one of the richest food (vegetables) in the world.The most amazing things about plantains are the facts that they are not only versatile but have health benefits second to none.
Plantain is a versatile vegetable because, you can boil it, cook it, barbeque, fry, roast; chip, and most importantly, can eat it with various vegetables, foods, and diets from all parts of the world.
PLANTAIN IS A TROPICAL PLANT THAT CAN BE GROWN OR CULTIVATED AND EATEN IN MOST TROPICAL COUNTRIES AND NUMEROUS CONTINENTS OF THE WORLD INCLUDING AFRICA AND NIGERIA.
For those who do not know much about this exotic plant, I should suggest that they should look for this versatile vegetable which are now marketed and sold in every cities of the world. Apart from their food values, plantains are heavily loaded with super health benefits which I'm going to write about in my next article.
Plantains are grown as shoots. In any given plantain plantation, a plant can produce as much as 5-10 shoots after the plant had been cut down and the (seeds) harvested for eating.
It can be seasonal only to those who have a few plantain plants. My mother used to have about 30 plantain plants in in our garden and we never lacked eating the stuff all year round.
With about 30 plants, we normally as at that time in our garden, have as many shots as possible. My mother was the exclusive planter and as rich economic plants, she sold the shoots, as well as the plantain seeds both ripped and green to generate healthy financial incomes.
I could remember when I was in a secondary school, my mother paid most of my school fees with money she earned from selling plantains. Nigerian plantains or any other plantains from any other parts of the countries or continents of the world can feed any given community or population that lack essential foods.
A well grown and cultivated plantain plantations with about 50-100 plants can yield such amount of plantains that can feed a thousand people at any given time.
Why should anybody cry of shortage of food to eat when we have numerous plantain plantations that could yield several seeds all year round!
PLANTAIN PLANTS HAVE OTHER USEFUL USES AND BENEFITS TO MANKIND INCLUDING TAPPING WATER FROM PLANTAIN STEMS!
You can never believe it but it is true. I grew up in the village and I learned a lot of things within the rural areas of Nigeria as a boy. Yes, I learned how to tap water from plantain plants.
As a boy, we had no river, lake or stream within our village. The only stream, we know as at that time was about 6-8 kilometers away from our village.
In that case during Nigerian harsh or acute Dry Season which starts from November- March, having a bath, washing clothes as well as cooking with water was a sort of luxury.Thanks to God that we had plenty of well ripped fruits like oranges, pineapples and paw paws that give us sufficient juices although not drinking water.
The practice of tapping water from the stems of plantain plants were not invented by us but had been going on from time immemorial. In short, it was handed to us from our forefathers.
To tap the water, you have to learn how to cut the stem open and how to use "young palm fonds" to tie around the stem and how to place a bucket or an earthen pot to make sure that the water flow into the pot or bucket. It is usually left overnight. The more plantain stems you tap the more buckets of water you will have for the use in washing, bathing, as well as washing clothes. We equally discovered that we can also tap banana stems too.
The water is a little bluish and have bitter taste. Those who want to drink it, can add a well known substance water purifier called "Allum" Once you put a block of it in water, it will work wonders to purify the water and make it drinkable. This stuff is still used in rural Nigeria today.
However, the plantain or banana stems tapping for water is no longer in practice in Nigeria today because there are now several "Boreholes" that produce large quantities of water excellent for drinking and for every thing. Every village in Nigeria has as much as 20-30 boreholes producing healthy clean crystal water.
PLANTAINS ARE THE BIG BROTHER OF BANANAS. THEY LOOK ALIKE IN EVERY FACET; THE LEAVES, STEMS AND YOUNG SHOOTS.
It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a plantain plant from a banana plant. However, the plantain plant is always huge, robust and taller. Plantains are easy to plant. All you have to do is to dig out a large hole, add manure or dead leaves and then plant the shoots and cover.The shoots normally have roots and once planted, will quickly start to have more roots to sustain the growth.
The known disadvantages are the facts that they take years to grow to start yielding. They are many species of plantations: for example, there are ones with heavy robust seeds, some with short fat seeds, medium long and the other species with slim seeds.Naturally, the heavy, robust ones make more money as they produce large seeds. Villages pay extra amount of money to have the shoots of this type of plantains.
You can find all these grown and eaten in most tropical countries of the world. To be sincere, Great Britain and many other countries in Europe do not grow plantain and I bet you although some have not seen, or even eaten them but they are sold in every grocery shops in these countries.
EAT EXOTIC NIGERIAN PLANTAINS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ONLY NUTRITIOUS, DELICIOUS BUT HAVE SUPER HEALTH BENEFITS!
You should eat Nigerian plantains because they are the cheapest versatile food stuff in the world! Apart from being nutritious and delicious, they have vital and essential vitamins to maintain your good health, fitness as well sustain you and your family.
Every part of plantain seed is eatable even the backs especially ripped ones. Starting with GREEN PLANTAIN: you can boil, cook, barbeque, steam, and most importantly, cook it with fish, meat, spinach, GREENS, FLUTED PUMPKIN LEAVES cook and eat with yam, with palm oil, vegetable oil, margarine and butter etc.You can also cook it as porridge and add any type of condiments and ingredients you may wish.
THE RIPPED PLANTAIN: This can be eaten fried, boiled, cooked, mashed, chipped,and most importantly eaten with all sorts and kinds of foods and condiments and ingredients. An average Nigeria knows what plantain is as from the minute he was born. For ripped plantain, you can equally eat it as you eat bananas.It can give you exotic taste and flavour.
Even as a baby, fried plantain can be used in feeding the baby as the first solid food. Ripped plantain is generally known all over Nigeria from North to South, East to West as "DODO or OGEDE!" There is no Sunday breakfast that will be eaten in Nigeria without fried plantain and eggs!
It is as much as a national staple food. There are millions of fried plantains eaten in Nigeria in homes, restaurants, hotels and beer parlours as welll as in many Nigerian parties or gatherings. An average Nigerian can never miss fried plantain with beans, with rice, and even with yams and various other vegetables. Eat exotic Nigerian plantains because they are nutritious and a part of healthy eating. In my next article, Iwill reveal the Health Benefits of Nigerian plantains and other plantains of the world. I will end this article by asking you to repeat this famous tongue-twister: "THE PLANTAIN PLANTER PLANTED PLANTAIN IN THE PLANTAIN PLANTATION!" Organic fruits and vegetables!