Plantain Cardamom Frozen Dessert
(Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, no added sugar, whole30, paleo, vegan, any labels I'm missing?)
3 very ripe plantains (they should be pretty much black)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
Peel plantains and cut into thirds.
Place plantains in glass container in freezer for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, until frozen through.
Snag that high speed blender or food processor. Combine coconut milk, spices and frozen plantains and blend until smooth.
Do a little taste test and add more cinnamon or cardamom, as you see fit. (The fresher your spices are the more potent they will be!).
Pour plantain mixture into a glass container and place in freezer for at least one hour to set.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer, and let sit on counter for 15 minutes to soften. Scoop into bowls and top with a dash of cardamom. Enjoy!
I'm all about creating recipes that the whole family can eat-- infant baby included. Because this recipe is free from common allergens, it's a great option for babies 6months and older and their parents! This recipe came about as a way to soothe my teething daughter's gums and hungry belly, and my sweet tooth. The coconut milk is a great source of healthy fats and slows the absorption of the sugars in the plantains. The spices are a great way to introduce different flavors to a developing palette!
Plantains are part of the banana family and like bananas they contain this super awesome enzyme: amylase. Bananas and plantains naturally ripen as they hang out on your counter. That's the amylase at work breaking down the carbohydrates and converting them into simpler sugars. Thus, why the longer a banana sits, the sweeter it gets. Older kids and adults naturally produce a form of this enzyme in their saliva-- salivary amylase-- and it helps break down carbohydrate rich foods while chewing.
Babies don't develop this important enzyme until around 8 months or older, which is why we recommend they stick to mom's milk or quality formula, healthy fats like avocado, coconut, and egg yolk, and proteins (like liver!) which they are well-equipped to digest.
But back to plantains and bananas! Because they contain the amylase enzyme, they are a good option for early food for baby. The amylase in the food helps break it down for baby!
If making this for an early food introduction just for baby, try using mom's milk, instead of coconut milk. The healthy fats and proteins contained in breastmilk will make this a superfood treat for baby and will improve babe's ability to digest. You may also want to use bananas instead of plantains. Plantains are starchier than bananas and may be harder for some baby bellies to break down early on.