Healthy Cooking Thursday! Plantain Chips

By Chef Lisa on 03/11/2010
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Plantain chips about to go in the oven

These are about to go in the oven...and then my belly! :)

Here at Green Mountain, we get a lot of questions on how to use unfamiliar produce that ladies have noticed in the grocery store.  It’s a great idea to explore unknown territory in the produce section, as you might just find something that was previously unknown to you is quite delicious, and it’s always good to add a greater variety of veggies and fruits to everyday life.  I’ve heard something about variety spicing life up, as well as being a big part of healthy eating…  With that in mind, let’s get down to the business at hand, an overgrown banana (kinda).

Plantains are actually a larger cousin of the banana, and can be eaten at various stages of ripeness.  When they’re green, plantains are reminiscent in taste and starchiness to a potato.  At that point, a plantain is best if its fried or boiled.  If you let it get nice and yellow with some black spots, though, it becomes another creature altogether.  Just like the banana, a plantain gets sweeter as its skin gets blacker.  But that doesn’t mean you should eat it raw…ew.  Cook it and you’ll be much happier.

For the recipe below, I suggest you let a plantain ripen to the point of being almost half black or so.  The sweetness of the ripe plantain paired with a good Chinese five spice is a great dessert, snack, or even a starchy side dish.  (I like it with a spicy grilled pork tenderloin or barbequed chicken.)  If you don’t have Chinese five spice in your arsenal, you can substitute cinnamon for it instead with a similar result, or leave out the spice altogether.

Plantain Chips

2 plantains

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1/4 tsp Chinese five spice (optional)

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Open the plantains by cutting off the tips and slicing just through the skin lengthwise (it’s not as easy as a banana is to peel).  Slice the plantains at a uniform thickness; I like about 1/8 of an inch.  Toss with the remaining ingredients, then, on a parchment lined or lightly greased sheet pan, lay the slices in a single layer.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, turning over once during baking to ensure even browning.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before eating.

What are some veggies or fruits you’ve seen in the produce section that you have little or no idea how to use?

5 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Cindy says:

    Mmm, those sound yummy! I thought they had peanut butter on them. Hee! A day without peanut butter…

    There’s a lot in the produce aisle I’ve never used before. I can’t think off-hand, but I’m going to revist this post after my next trip to the grocery store!

  • Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ichange: Healthy Cooking Thursday! Plantain Chips http://bit.ly/cxncK1

  • Val Kotowski says:

    I always was concerned in this subject and stock still am, thank you for putting up.

  • Whanz says:

    It taste great plantain chips with tender loin. I put some spices on it. to taste good and deliciously. I make this twice a month, when my cousin May visited us. She really love it when its first time to taste it. She always request me to make this if she visit.

  • Lucio Hefel says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

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