Plantains have quietly sneaked their way into the very top slot of my genuinely favorite foods. It's a weird favorite food to have, but I talk about them with all of my friends and acquaintances who begrudgingly listen.
Most people either don't know what they are or have had a lackluster experience, so I'm out to change that.
I have at least 2 in my pantry at any given time so I can whip up some plantain patties or tostones for dinner. But, as a recipe developer, I do need to try out new recipes, which led me to seek out traditional plantain recipes. I wasn't sure what I'd find, but I stumbled on a smorgasbord of recipe ideas that I want to try! And one of them was chapo juice.
Traditionally, Peruvian chapo juice is made by blending plantains, water, and sugar and fermenting the blend into an alcoholic drink. As much as I love fermenting foods, I really don't think my apartment is the place to try my hand at making alcohol, so I decided not to take that route. I also discovered that chapo juice is commonly enjoyed as a non-alcoholic beverage, and I'm much more apt to tackle that.
But, of course, I also wanted to put my own spin on things...so I blended it with coconut milk.
The result was a thick, almost smoothie-like sweet beverage. After the first sip, I was hooked.
It's perfectly creamy, slightly sweet, and surprisingly refreshing.
I really didn't know whether to call it a smoothie or a milk...but, since traditionally it's known as a juice, I decided to stick with that.
If you would prefer it more thin (and with a little less coconut flavor), you can certainly use coconut water in place of the coconut milk.
You've got to let the plantains get super yellow-brown for these. The more ripe, the better...it results in a sweeter beverage with less need for sweetening. Green plantains will not work for this recipe. I shudder to think what would happen if you used green plantains.
Also, note to self, I think I need to develop more recipes with green plantains, because I definitely seem to favor sweet plantains.
Ah well. We all have our preferences, and mine is obviously for sweet plantains!
I really feel like I'm getting a good grasp on my new camera. I'm just amazed with the pictures I can take now. I don't know if I'm talented, but I feel talented. At least, you know, the little seedlings of talent hoping to spring up and flourish. Hopefully that doesn't turn into a hyper-inflated ego. In all honesty, I know I have a lot to learn, but it's encouraging to have a feel for a new hobby...especially one that's so expensive!Print
- Preheat the oven to 400. Peel the plantains by cutting off the ends, slicing vertically down the middle, and peeling. Place the peeled plantains in an oven-safe dish and roast for 20 minutes to caramelize.
- Meanwhile, cut the vanilla bean vertically and scrape out the contents.
- Add cooked plantains and water to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard solids.
- Rinse out blender, add all ingredients, and blend again until smooth. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. The juice will last about a week!
- Serving Size: ~1 cup