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Orange-Glazed Plantains

The plantain banana is not your typical peel and eat variety. It is low in sugar and must be cooked before serving. This recipe features the plantain with a sweet orange glaze that makes a great brunch offering or dessert. A plantain has more calories than a banana, but it is richer in potassium and is a good source of Vitamins A, C and B6.

Ingredients

2 very ripe medium plantains, with peel on
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup (1 oz.) shredded cheese (such as queso fresco)

(As always, choose organic content as much as possible for the healthiest recipe.)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil.

2. Pierce each unpeeled plantain in 12 places, using a small, thin knife. Place the whole plantains in the baking dish. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until the plantains are soft in several places when pressed with your finger.

3. Meanwhile, for the glaze, in a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, cinnamon and butter and bring just to boil over medium heat. Set the hot glaze aside.

4. Transfer the plantains to a cutting board, and set the baking dish aside. Increase the oven to broil. Cut off the ends of the plantains and halve them lengthwise. To remove the peel, run a thin knife along both sides of each half, separating the flesh and skin. Flip the plantains over and lift away the peel, using the tip of the knife as needed to detach the flesh. With a wide pancake turner, return the baked plantains to the pan, lining them up. Pour on the hot glaze and sprinkle on the cheese.

5. Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is soft and browned in places, 2 to 3 minutes. To serve, halve the plantains crosswise and let them sit for 5 minutes. Use the pancake turner to place two pieces on each of four dessert plates. Spoon over the liquid from the pan, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 140 calories, 2.5 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 15mg sodium.

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