It’s no secret that hard work and years of years of experience are at the core of Prime Planet’s success in growing its brand of Tostones to become the preferred alternative snack chip for U.S. consumers.
But what’s exactly at the core of this delicious all-natural treat? The answer is, simple yet innovative ingredients, that when incorporated in a balanced diet, deliver to consumers the tastiest flavors on the planet.
And the top banana on the list of ingredients? Fresh green plantains sourced from Ecuador of course!
First, let’s dispel any confusion mainstream consumers may have about the incredible edible plantain versus bananas. First off, many people believe Ecuador is home to the plantain. Well, many varieties are grown there but they are actually native to India and now grown all over the world, including other tropical regions of the Americas, India, Egypt, and Indonesia.
A banana is a plantain? A plantain is a banana? The most obvious similarity is their appearance. After all, they are both fruits that come from the same family of plants. But the truth is, bananas are a subspecies of plantains.
In Western cultures, however, the term “banana” usually refers to the sweet, yellow variety that consumers are most familiar with. They are smaller, sweeter, and are eaten raw as a fruit.
Plantains are usually larger and tougher than bananas, with much thicker skin. In their raw form, plantains are starchy, tough, and not very sweet. They definitely require cooking, as they are not enjoyable to eat raw. Think of it this way, the plantain is treated in much the same way as the potato. Yum!
So yes, they definitely do look alike. But their commonalities don’t end there. In fact, they share some nutritional and health-promoting qualities, too.
Both plantains and bananas are a good source of several vital nutrients including potassium magnesium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidant compounds. They both provide a healthy source of complex carbohydrates. The main difference is that more of the carbs in plantains are from starch, whereas more of the carbs in bananas come from sugars. They also contain a similar amount of calories, about 90-120 calories per 100-gram serving. However, neither of them provides a significant source of fat or protein.
Not unlike bananas, plantains contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In fact, they share many potential health benefits. Research indicates that plantains possess bioactive compounds that may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Also packed within plantains and bananas are high levels of potassium, a mineral that is essential for maintaining the cell and body fluids that control your heart rate and blood pressure, whereby reducing heart disease risk.
And because of their high fiber content, they may also play a role in promoting digestive health, while helping to lower your cholesterol, which also keeps your heart functioning well.
In order to grow, plantains need consistently warm temperatures and protection from strong winds. The plantain is a tall plant that can grow from 10 to 33 feet high and grows best in moisture-rich, tropical climates. The tree flowers develop into a bunch, which holds about five to 10 fruits. The plantain does not have a single and distinct growing season. In fact they are perennial, meaning they produce crops year round and for many years – up to 100 years!
Ranking as the tenth most important staple food in the world, the plantain is definitely a staple in Ecuador. They may be yellow, or very dark brown, or green – each with its own different flavor. But the green plantains are the most common.
They can be eaten fried or baked, and as bread or chips. Of course our preferred way to enjoy plantains is as “Chifles,” which means “chips” in Spanish. They have a wonderful loud crunch and a light yellow color – and are simply delicious!
Prime Planet is a pioneer in converting green plantains into all natural and ready-to-eat chips. When this wonder fruit gets into our hands, amazing things happen. Harvested and manufactured under the best quality standards and technology, our Tostones are a flavorful chip that are packed with all-natural ingredients – and an irresistible crunch.