Friday, August 24, 2012
For as long as I can remember I've been a fan of plantains or platanos. They are extremely popular in Latin Carribean cultures and in some nations of Africa as well. Plantains are usually prepared as a side dish but depending on it's ripeness, the preparation varies. I enjoy eating them in so many different ways - the really ripe ones are sweet enough to be considered a desert! For the uninitiated, Chiquita has developed a labeling system (that you will see at Walmart's carrying Chiquita plantains) that provide direction: Green-fry me, Yellow-grill me, Black-Bake me.
I suppose I may be a little of a rebel because I've always fried plantain no matter what color! Obviously, the combination of oil and sweetness (I'm a fan of the really ripe ones) probably are not the best for my health so I decided to try something different and bake them. At home in New York, I am able to purchase bags of plantain chips which I love but haven't seen them here in Atlanta. Baking my own is a solution! Since plantains are full of Vitamin A, C, and fiber, I want to make them in the healthiest way possible!
You start with yellow plantains.
The yellow plantains have just the right consistency for cutting and bake well. Next you thinly slice the plantains. Try for 1/4 inch or less in thickness so that the cooking time is uniform for all of them.
The next step is to spray with Olive Oil. I like using the spray (which I found at Walmart) but my can sprayed a straight stream so I used a brush to distribute the oil evenly on the plantains.
Finally, I topped with spices. I used basic Sea Salt on half of the chips and Creole Seasoning on the other. I baked them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (bake time varies depending on the thickness of the slices) but I suggest setting your timer for 20 minutes and checking them. If they are crispy to your liking remove from heat. Otherwise set the time for five minute increments until they are perfect!
The finished product are crispy chips that I think truly rival potato chips, especially since they are quick, easy and pretty good for you too! My recipe is just one of many ways to prepare this versatile vegetable. You can check out the Chiquita website for more recipes and inspiration. And I may go on the hunt for black plantain to introduce my son to joy of fully ripen plantains. In the meantime, I'll pack some of these chips for his lunch!
Disclosure: I am a Walmart mom and have been compensated for this post. My participation is voluntary and all opinons and views expressed are my own.