Dole Food Company is encouraging everyone to expand their horizons this autumn by eating plantains, a fruit that cooks and eats more like a vegetable and works overtime as an easy replacement for recipe staples like potatoes.

Plantains are members of the banana family but starchier and lower in sugar, meaning they will still be green when ripe.

Dole said that while consumers are most likely to find them baked, roasted or fried as a savoury side dish at Latin, African, or Caribbean restaurants, they are growing in popularity as stars of their own recipes or as nutritious, exotic swaps for starches.

“Plantains are popular right now, and not only among banana fans, as a way to spice up mealtime routines and school lunches – especially since many of these lunches are still being eaten at home because of the coronavirus,” said Bil Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications. “What’s remarkable about them is that they can be used at every stage of ripeness: boiled like a potato when green; prepared in sauces and soups, air-fried or roasted as snacks when yellow; or baked in desserts and sweet recipes when black or spotted.”

Dole is actively encouraging adoption of Dole plantains on social and digital, and through PR and the national distribution of a number of comforting, time-saving recipes including Plantain Crusted Salmon Fillets; Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Plantain and Lentil Caribbean Curry; Plantain and Tomato Salad, and Dole’s Sweet and Spicy Plantain Soup, among others.