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Cheap Food – Sweet Plantains


First, let’s talk about the difference between plantains and bananas. Plantains are part of the banana family but aren’t eaten raw. The plantain averages about 65% moisture content and the banana averages about 83% moisture content which affects the flavor as well. Plantains are typically longer and have a thicker skin than bananas.

Plantains vary from the green, starchy fruit to the ripe, sweeter version and are used very differently in recipes. The plantain recipe highlighted in this post is using the ripe fruit in a sweet side dish called ‘Plátanos Maduros en Gloria’. It is a typical sweet side dish as part of the Costa Rican casados (typical food).

This is a typical cheap food found in Costa Rica. Total amount spent on the dish: $2. Serves 6.


4-6 ripe plantains, cut into 1″ slices
1/2 Cup of margarine or butter
1 1/2 Cup of sugar
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 lime
2 Cups of water
1 tsp pure Vanilla


1. In a large pan, melt the butter and saute the plantains on medium heat until golden. Add 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, lime juice and vanilla. Stir for 1 min.

2. Add water and sprinkle on the remaining sugar.

3. Reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid is reduced and caramelized. Serve hot, or let cool.


  1. I love plantains. I usually like the hot plantain chips. I’ve never had it like this before. I will definitely give it a try.

  2. MMMMM i love plantains! If only I can find them in Australia 😐 I’ll definitely have to try this recipe when I get a hold of some!

  3. Good luck on the search. I’ve learned to REALLY love these.

  4. Plantain chips are my fav too, a little cayenne and salt. Yum!

  5. Yumm- this recipe takes me back to my childhood. Just the smell of sweet plantains reminds me of my abuelita.

    thanks for the reminder of fond memories :-)

  6. thanks for your comment. I just had the rest of them with lunch today. yum.

  7. This looks great. I have never made these before and can’t wait to try this recipe!

  8. thanks for the comment. They are amazing. I’m sure because of all the butter/margarine and sugar, but I’m sure there’s some nutritional value in there somewhere.

  9. Nice blog you have here. Here we have something similar but using bananas, sugar and cloves.
    BTW Just voted for you. Really appreciate if you could vote for me too http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/73925

  10. I have only had this once and it was one of the most memorable desserts I’ve tasted. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I will try this out for company.

  11. Those plaintains look very good!too bad I am allergic to bannanas! i loathe and despise the fact that i cant even make contact with one.

  12. […] As seen in a previous post. […]

  13. […] American and Caribbean countries, most recipes are very simple, e.g. variations of tostones. This plantain dessert caught my attention. It was the first time I bought plantains, which are similar to bananas but […]

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