Plantains get a bad rap. They’re those “other” bananas. They taste terrible raw and don’t ever really get very soft. But they have potential! They aren’t to be compared to bananas, even though they look like giant ones. Instead of thinking of them as a sweet fruit, think of them as a starch (since that’s what they are).
They’re great cooked and mashed plain or mixed with sweet potato or eggplant. They can be sliced in all kinds of directions and baked with different spices and herbs, or cooked down in a sweet sauce. You can even shred them and put them in a stir fry or egg scramble.
If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, plantains are a great starch choice. They provide fiber, vitamin A, C, and B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. Pregnancy is a crucial time to get more nutrients, not necessarily more meals, so filling up on nutrient dense foods (mostly from plant sources) is your best plan.
Spicy Plantain Chips
Yields: 1/2 cup chips
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 21 minutes
- 1 unripe plantain (greenish, but hints of yellow)
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure easy clean up.
- Peel the plantain. This can be a bit tricky, so you may want to grab a knife to cut through the thick, fibrous peel. Make a shallow (not too shallow as the peel is thick) slice down the side; peel back and discard.
- Using a sharp knife, slice into very thin, even coins.
- Combine avocado oil and plantain coins in a medium bowl. Toss to coat. You may have to rub the oil into the coins as bit, as plantain is dry when raw.
- Next, sprinkle in all spices. Toss again to evenly coat.
- In a single layer, place seasoned coins on your parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. Check on them at 10 if you cut them relatively thin so they don’t burn (mine almost did, as you can see below).
You can easily double or triple this recipe to save and have a snack for later on. If you don’t like things with a kick, I recommend toning down the cayenne pepper, or omitting it completely. They have plenty of flavor and life to them without it, so don’t feel bad.
Mine came out a bit crispy because I felt them in for 20 minutes on accident! Oops. Still good though. Just extra crispy (boyfriend didn’t enjoy them this way, but I did)! These chips are great with a homemade guacamole or hummus. Or even just on their own. I love to make them when I get home from work because that’s usually when I crave some kind of salty snack. These babies are more often than not an easy, quick, healthy choice. If you try them out I hope they satisfy you (and that you don’t over cook them like me)!