Plátanos Calados are a creamy and sweet fall spiced glazed plantain treat that everyone in the family will love!
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September is approaching, and fall is right around the corner!
We are moving into full blown back to school mode! My older 2 girls are getting antsy to get back to their friends and the daily routine of the classroom, and my youngest is beyond ready for her preschool year! With the anticipation of getting back into the classroom, my oldest 2 were having a particularly “bored” day, and I decided to have a little “school” here at home…
A little taste of Latin American culture
My little Montessorians are used to studying world maps all the time in school, and they were thrilled at the chance to learn more about a unique part of the world we call Latin America! My dear friend, Amanda, from The Curious Coconut just happened to send us her brand new cookbook, Latin American Paleo Cooking that week, and it was the perfect opportunity for the girls to brush up on their map skills, as well as learn about a unique, and very special culture.
A whole new cookbook experience!
I was prepared for Latin American Paleo Cooking to have super fun, gorgeous recipes knowing Amanda (which it totally does!), but what I wasn’t anticipating was the added cultural learning I was going to glean from the cookbook – and that dear friends, is priceless.
My older girls poured over the delicious recipes “ooo-ing” and “ahhh-ing” over the stewed meats, pretty folded little empanadas, and of course luscious sweet treats. My oldest noticed the flags with each recipe indicating what country in Latin America the recipes were from, and was soon glued to the computer maps trying to find the countries. We talked about the people from these countries, their heritage, what the weather is like in these tropical regions, as well as what kind of food grows there. It was a great learning opportunity!
Latin American Paleo Cooking Features and Stats!
Here’s the low down on this amazing book!
- The cookbook has over 80 traditional recipes made Paleo and as authentic as possible, with over 90% being AIP or easily adaptable
- All recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free; all but 1 are egg-free. 2 recipes use white rice BUT there are grain-free options for both of those.
- The countries represented include: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and Brazil, each marked with that country’s flag for easy reference. Some recipes are so ubiquitous that they cannot be attributed to a single country, and are designated as pan-Latin.
- Platos de la Familia (Family Dinners) includes recipes meant to feed a crowd, and many of these recipes are great for batch cooking.
- Comida Fiesta! (Party Food!) includes Paleo versions of Latin recipes that people get ridiculously excited about, like pupusas, pandebono (“cheese” buns), empanadas, arepas, plantain sandwiches, and more.
- Rapido y Facil (Quick and Easy) includes recipes that are, like the name says, quick and easy to prepare. Some are still great for batch cooking, too, extra bonus!
- Accompañantes (Sides) includes many ways to enjoy tropical starches like yuca, malanga, boniato, and plantains PLUS both a starchy and non-starchy rice replacement AND starchy and non-starchy BEANS replacement!
- Un Poco Dulce (A Little Sweet) is a short but delicious desserts chapter
- Lo Esencials (The Essentials) includes cooking bases, sauces, marinades, condiments, broths, and more, which are used throughout the book and can be the launching point for readers to get creative with numerous uses! Of note is the QUESO BLANCO recipe that is unlike any other “cheese” recipe I have seen in the Paleo/AIP community. It melts and stretches like mozzarella!
- While over 80 recipes are written, this book comes with numerous suggestions and options to create dozens of other recipes using different combinations of meats/fillings/breads/pastry shells/condiments/marinades. It is written to empower the reader to try new combinations!
Fall spices meet tropical fruit!
One of the recipes the girls kept coming back to was the Plátanos Calados, meaning “stewed spiced ripe plantains.” This recipe originates in Columbia, and showcases sweet plantains glazed in warm and sweet spices we typically associate with the fall. Think pumpkin spice meets caramelized bananas…it is truly a match made in heaven.
A word about adventurous taste palates…and some veteran momma wisdom
Those of you who have been around here long enough know that I am a huge fan of exposing kids to the tastes of YOUR unique home. As far as our house goes at least, there is no such thing as “kid food” and “adult food” – all food is kid food. It’s family food. Starting these kiddos out young with the tastes and flavors of your home, and different cultures sets them up to be excited about trying new food. Those kids will never bat an eye at new things on their plate when they have been given the opportunity to have a wide variety of flavors and textures instead of being boxed into just “kid food.”
So while this recipe certainly is super fun (who doesn’t love sweet, creamy glazed fruit?!), there are other recipes in this book that I am absolutely planning on making that I have no idea what they will taste like! And you know what? The girls are biting at the bit for me to make something new! I promise you that getting little ones started out eating a wide variety of flavors, tastes, and textures will reward you with the same adventurous eaters I enjoy every day.
This picture right here below, is that of pure and utter foodie kid joy!
A quick note on some additions I made!
Amanda just knows me way to well! She mentioned to me that because I love “making every bite count” when it comes to feeding little kids, that possibly swapping some of the water for nutrient dense, fatty coconut milk might be a good idea to bump up the nutrition. I was all about that. So I swapped 1/3 cup of the water for coconut milk and it was delicious. I think you could even swap more, if not the whole 1 cup. We weren’t sure if the glaze would get too thick using all coconut milk but I think there is some room for more than the 1/3 cup that I did.
I also backed off the sweet a little bit. My kids’ palates aren’t real used to super sweet, and I had a feeling this would almost be more sweet than they would enjoy. They thoroughly enjoyed every bite of these Plátanos Calados with half the coconut sugar. The caramelized ripe plantains were more than enough sweet for them. If you have really little guys in the house, I would definitely recommend doing this. If you have older kiddos in the house used to sweeter desserts, the ¼ cup will definitely please them – I made a half batch just for myself with the full amount and was in absolute heaven eating it with my café con leche 😉
When you start thinking pumpkin spice this fall, put Plátanos Calados on the menu for a quick and delicious sweet treat!
- In a small pot, combine all the ingredients, except the plantains, and stir well.
- Add the plantains and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 to minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the plantains are cooked throughout and tender.
- Serve with a generous portion of sauce and enjoy!
- AIP compliant: Omit the aniseeds and optionally replace with ½ teaspoon of ground mace.