Fresh plantains don’t keep long and are easily damaged during handling and storage. When there are plenty of fresh plantains available they often fetch a low price. And where people eat plantains or plantains twice a day, many want to eat different foods as well, which further pushes down prices. Many people like to buy plantain flour, because they can use it in many ways, such as Ugali and chapattis.
Plantain peels are full of nutrients
Plantains that are green and not yet ripe have a lot of sap in their peel which contains many nutrients. Ripe plantains have a lot of sugar, so flour made from ripe plantains will spoil easily.
How to make plantain flour
1. Harvest plantains from your garden or buy fresh plantains from farmers.
2. You can turn most plantain varieties into flour, any time of the year, but make sure the plantains have not been sprayed with chemicals.
3. Remove the plantains from the bunch and wash them thoroughly with clean water to remove any dirt. Remove any damaged plantains.
4. Chop off both ends of the plantain. Do not peel them. Slice the plantain lengthwise 2 or 3 times. Cut the plantain across into thin, equal pieces, not more than half a centimeter thick. The thicker you leave the pieces, the longer they will take to dry.
5. You can dry your plantain chips in the sun, but it will be faster and cleaner if you dry in a solar dryer. Anyone entering the solar dryer must wash their feet in disinfectant.
6. Spread the plantain chips on the racks in the solar dryer, making sure they do not stick together. Turn the plantain pieces once a day for 3 to 5 days for consistent drying.
7. At a mill, grind the chips into flour. Pack in airtight containers and store in a dry place.