Surely you have been confused dozens of times when going to the supermarket or your trusted greengrocer, or literally until you clicked on this article you thought that plantain and banana are the same. An identical fruit intended for fruit salads, smoothies and even savory preparations.
But no: they exist differences between plantain and bananaAlthough it is difficult to distinguish them with the naked eye. Of course, they share a relationship: both fruits belong to the Musaceae family, have a similar shape and some similar nutrients, although their nutritional composition is different.
In this article you will be able to review how bananas and plantains differ in 7 key points. But first, a detail: you should know that there are really 3 main differences. Banana, male banana and Canarian banana.
- Banana: The ones that are marketed today in the European market come mainly from Latin America and Africa, they point from Consumer. It is produced in countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, the Ivory Coast or Cameroon.
- Plantain (also called stew banana: It contains a much lower amount of sugar than the traditional Canarian banana. It is also harder and flourier.
- Canarian banana: It is sweeter than the American banana. As explained by the Government of the Canary Islands, it is of the Cavendish variety of the genus Musa (AAA) spp., the variety that has given it its identity.
The Canary Islands banana is therefore more similar to the banana than to the male banana. In addition, and as indicated by ASPROCAN, “at the end of 2013, Plátano de Canarias received the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) seal, becoming the only one in the world that has this recognition”.
In addition, the permanence on the plant is longer in the Canary Islands plantain (6 months) than in the banana (3 months), which gives the fruit greater maturity, flavor and aroma.
And now, you will be able to know how they differ. The best thing is the variety, so it is recommended that both options are part of your diet.
1. The size
Although the plantain and the banana share an elongated shape, they differ in size.
The male banana is much larger and thicker than the banana, while the Canary Islands banana is smaller and more curved. In addition, the banana is distinguished by being straighter.
As for the thickness of the shell, there are also differences: those of the banana and the Canary Islands plantain are softer and easier to remove, while the skin of the plantain is harder and more resistant. If anything, the skin is highly nutritious and has several alternative uses.
The tonality It is another of the differences between plantain and banana.
The initial color of the plantain is much greener, turning yellow when ripe, with black and brown spots or streaks. These black specks are key to differentiating it from the banana.
when mature, the banana is brighter yellow, and the plantain more ocher.
According to take care plusa The key difference between the Canarian banana and the banana is in the color of the pulp.: the canary tends to turn black more easily due to a higher sugar content. Bananas and plantains have whiter pulp than Canarian bananas, which are yellower and fleshier.
3. Flavor and aroma
The banana and plantain from the Canary Islands have a sweeter flavor, while the male plantain or common plantain is more floury. due to its higher starch content. Also, it’s not that sweet.
The aroma is another difference between banana and plantain: lBananas have a sweeter and more intense aroma, and male plantains, more earthy. The banana from the Canary Islands gives off an even more intense smell, in relation to a series of characteristic aromatic compounds.
The Canarian fruit has a higher humidity index, which is why it has a much juicier and more appetizing texture than the banana, which is somewhat rougher and drier.
Both are softer and smoother than the texture of the plantain, which is more mealy and earthy, and which is usually eaten cooked.
5. Nutritional composition
He nutritional contribution of banana and plantain is similar, but it is not the same. According to BonViveurthe calorie contribution of the plantain is lower than that of the banana (about 90 kcal/100 g compared to 109.6 kcal/100 g).
The plantain has more starch and the banana and the banana from the Canary Islands have more sugar.
The Canarian plantain contains higher concentrations of vitamin A, B2, B6, C and riboflavin than the banana, and it also has more fiber (pectin), so it provides a greater feeling of satiety. It is also richer in potassium (497.8 gr./100 gr. vs. 434.5 gr./100gr.) and phosphorus (59.1 / 38.6 gr.).
In minerals, the banana wins in calcium (12.9 gr. / 7.8 gr.) and magnesium (41.9 gr. / 38.3 gr.). Also in iron, copper, zinc and manganese, as well as vitamin C. For its part, the banana from the Canary Islands has more protein, and a greater amount of vitamin A, B2, B6 and C.
According to the studyo Differential characteristics between the banana from the Canary Islands and the banana of different origins, the banana from the Canary Islands has fewer carbohydrates than the banana, fewer starches and more sugars, so it tastes sweeter.
6. Culinary preparation
The Canarian plantain and the banana are usually eaten more as desserts or alone and raw. They can be used for ice creams, milkshakes, yogurts and fruit salads.
On the contrary, Plantains are eaten cooked and are widely used in Caribbean cuisine., intended for dishes such as fried patacones, fried green plantain slices, a frequent garnish in many Latin American countries. It can be cooked not only fried, but also roasted, steamed or boiled. It is prepared, in short, in a similar way to the potato.
In fact, It is not recommended to eat the banana when it is very green. According to the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), “starch makes it difficult to digest, making it indigestible and can cause flatulence and dyspepsia.”
7. Nutritional benefits
They are perfectly healthy and recommended foods in the diet, especially if you are an athlete.
The banana and the Canarian plantain, more similar to each other and eaten raw or in desserts, are ideal for combating constipation, reducing blood pressure, protecting the immune system, relieving stomach pain and heartburn, and preventing anemia. and combat fatigue.
Meanwhile, the male plantain is ideal for controlling diarrhea, providing the body with prebiotics and feeding the good bacteria of the intestinal flora, preventing hypertension, avoiding cramps, controlling diabetes, fighting gastritis and promoting healing.
In any case, all these fruits are a great source of energy and nutrients for the body.