WRITER :UMM JULAYBIB
DEPARTMENT : PSYCHOLOGY
Assalamualaikumalaikumwarahmatullah. Lots of people obviously find it hard to take unripe plantain, not because they have issues with plantain itself, but rather because unripe plantains are not as sweet as their ripe counterpart. We so much love sweet things regardless of the harm it causes to our health. But, do you know that unripe plantain has a lot more medical benefits than many of its sweeter equivalents ? Some of these benefits are :
>Plantains are very reliable sources of starch and energy.
>Plantains contain a high amount of dietary fibre which helps ensure healthy bowels and reduces constipation.
>Plantains have more vitamin C than bananas. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
>Plantains have more vitamin A than bananas. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A plays a vital role in the visual cycle, maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion.
>As in bananas, they too are rich sources of B-complex vitamins, particularly high in vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine). Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role in the treatment of neuritis, anemia, and to decrease homocysteine (one of the causative factors for coronary artery disease (CHD) stroke episodes) levels in the body.
>Plantains also contain folates, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. Folates (folic acid) are essential for healthy pregnancy.
>Plantains also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.
>Plantains have more potassium than bananas. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering negative effects of sodium.
>Plantains are famed to be diuretic and can help prevent kidney and bladder problems.
>Plantains ease the discomfort associated with the menstrual period.
Now we can see that unripe plantain is no doubt more nutritious to our health. Below is the recipe for making plantain porridge, enjoy!
>3 unripe plantains
>A big bunch of Nigerian pumpkin leaves (or Frozen Spinach: 10 cubes)
>1 medium fish (Mackerel)
>1-2 teaspoons ground crayfish
>2 medium onions
>Red palm Oil: enough to colour the meal
>Pepper and Salt (to taste)
>2 big stock cubes
Note:Before you cook Unripe Plantain Porridge
1. Wash, peel and cut up the plantain.
2. Rinse and cut the pumpkin leaves into small pieces. If you will be using frozen spinach, allow to thaw just enough to let you cut them into tiny pieces. Leave to thaw completely and squeeze out the extra water using a sieve.
3. Wash, cut and remove the fish intestines.
4. Grind the crayfish and pepper.
1. Put the cut plantain in a pot. Add the chopped onions, stock cubes, fish, ground crayfish and pepper.
2. Add water to the same level as the contents of the pot.
3. Cook till the contents start to boil. Add the red palm oil and salt to taste. Cover the pot and keep cooking till done. This is when the plantain is tender to touch.
4. Add the vegetables, cover the pot and leave to simmer.
5. Once it has heated up, stir, turn off the heat and leave to stand for at least five minutes before serving.
Serve with chilled soft drink or natural fruit juice.