“But you’re on a diet and you eat fruit?”
“You can eat any kind of fruit?”
“Oh, no! Banana, coconut and avocados are way out of line!!!”
“Grapes are a sugar bomb!”
“Oranges can be as high in calories as a glass of coca-cola.”
I lost track of how many times I heard (and still hear) all those remarks regarding my food habits. Oh yeah… in our modern crazy diets world, even poor little fruits are getting demonized. They are considered a crime because of all the sugar and carbs they contain. You might have heard about those feared fruit sugars called fructose; which is responsible for providing energy to our body and brain.
Let’s not forget, please, that fruits are a very important part of a balanced diet and that’s the trick: balance. Equilibrium is everything, right? Any food, in excess, can be bad (and getting thin or fat is the least of your problems), weather we’re talking about cupcakes, lettuce or the yummy juicy fruits.
Yes, I ate fruits during my diet and I keep eating them now that I’m no longer dieting. Any fruit! There were (and there should never be) prohibited items on my food habits. I’m the crazy banana chick. I love coconut. I snack a few of grapes almost every day. I go crazy with the berries here in Europe. In natura, baked, crushed, you name it. They are my sugary pleasure in life. I like them so much that I have loads of fun experimenting with them, even in savory dishes. Pears, strawberries and pomegranate on salads. Apples on my pumpkin soup. Avocado on my pesto sauce. Banana with the grilled cheese. Sky is the limit.
Knowing about my love for fruits (bananas in particular), a few weeks ago, my mom sent me a recipe of a plantain ceviche that she saw on the Brazilian website of Vogue (if you speak Portuguese you can see the original recipe here). I, being a lucky girl, had a ripe plantain just laying around the house so I felt the urge to adapt the recipe to my taste and share it with you.
I do “ceviche” in quotation marks because I think ceviche has to have fish, but I was ok with almost calling it like that because the main part of the Peruvian dish is the citric marinade that will, in a way, cook the fish. Here, the marinade will get rid of the strong taste of uncooked plantains. And, even if I’m not vegan nor vegetarian, I love when I can find a nice tasty recipe that suits all lifestyles.
Well, let’s get down to business.
1/3 red onion
Juice of one Sicilian lemon
1/2 tea spoon of pepperoni flakes
1/4 cup of parsley
Salt to taste
I swear I could just write chopp and mix for it’s basically it, but, for the sake of this blog existence, I’ll be more specific.
- Dice the plantain. You can do it as big (or small) as you wish, but I cut it in half and then each half in two and made my dices from that shared half of the fruit
- Chop the onions finely
- In a bowl mix the plantain and the onions and season it with the salt, pepper and lemon juice. Mix it all together and leave the marinade work its magic for about 10 minutes.
- Before serving add the chopped parsley for some freshness, and it’s more than ready!
* Yes, you can do cilantro instead of parsley if you like it, of course. And you can chop some fresh chilly peppers (mind the seeds for they’re super strong). I did the dried flakes because I love it, it’s easier and it prevents me from having hot pepper all over my hands (I always tend to rub my eyes with the hands still “contaminated”, so, be careful).
Here you go. It’s so fresh, tasty, colorful and nutritious. I doubt you’re not ready to give the fruits a chance.