I didn’t pay much attention to plantains until I went to Costa Rica with my husband Patrick a few years ago. He served an LDS mission there for two years, so he had plenty of time to try all the Costa Rican specialties. Sweet and Salty Plantain chips included.
There are SO many ways to prepare plantains. Some of my faves include patacones, sweet caramelized plantains, and of course, these sweet and salty plantain chips.
They have such a satisfying C-R-U-N-C-H and make the perfect mid-afternoon snack. Also, Patrick loves these chips. Not sure if it’s because of the sentimental aspect or not, actually I take that back, because he is the least sentimental person I know, so it must just be because they are dang tasty and very addictive.
And if Patrick loves them, I would assume most kiddos would love them too (sorry babe, but you gotta admit you do eat like a 5-year-old. 😉 ) So if you do have little ones at home, and are always on the hunt for a healthy snack for them, maybe give these a try! They’re a healthier alternative to potato chips and still gives you the crunch and salty (or sweet!) satisfaction.
A few tips and tricks for this recipe…
Tip #1: Use mostly green, un-ripe plantains. The green ones are for treats like this. Use the mostly yellow/brown and ripe ones for sweet treats like caramelized plantains with ice cream. (These were even a little on the yellow side. They work best when they’re even a little greener…)
Tip #2: Plantains can be a pain to peel. The best tip I can offer is to start by cutting off both ends, and then slice from one end to the other, being careful to only cut the skin, don’t go too deep or you’ll mangle the plantain. Make about six of these slices, evenly spaced, around the plantain and then carefully peel each strip off. Here’s a video demonstration if you are more of a visual person… (I use the first method shown).
Tip #3: Use a mandoline to thinly slice the plantains. This keeps them a consistent thickness, which will help them bake more evenly. But *PLEASE* watch those fingers. Mandolines are sharp (yes, I speak from experience…)
Tip #4: Place the plantain slices on a cooling rack and then on the baking sheet. This helps them get nice and crispy.
Tip #5: Watch these carefully, because they can burn quickly. Depending on your oven, they may cook faster or slower, so keep an eye on them. As soon as you notice a few of them turning brown, pull them out!
When I make these, I do half of them salty and half of them sweet. If you have more of a sweet-tooth, just do them all sweet. Love the salty stuff? Make them all salty! That’s the great thing about these. They’re like an empty canvas for you to fill with all your fave flavors. You could even throw some chili powder on to give them a spicy kick. SO many options…
But regardless of how you prepare them, these little snacks are a crunchy, crispy treat that can be a healthier alternative to the classic potato chip. And maybe your husband will love them as much as mine did. It’s a win-win for all 🙂
- 1 mostly green, un-ripe plantain
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 mostly green, un-ripe plantain
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. coconut sugar
- To peel the plantains: Cut off both ends of the plantain. Carefully slice from one end to the other, being careful to only cut the skin, don't go too deep or you'll cut into the plantain. Make about six of these slices, evenly spaced, around the plantain and then carefully peel each strip off.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Thinly slice the plantains using a mandolin or sharp knife. (Mandolin recommended, but be careful, it's easy to cut your fingers!)
- Melt the coconut oil and add the salt or cinnamon and coconut sugar, depending on which flavor you want. If you want to make both, do one recipe first and then the next.
- Toss the plantains in the oil, making sure each is coated evenly.
- Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and arrange the oiled plantains (not touching each other!) on the cooling rack. (One plantain will cover about one baking sheet, so you'll have to do two batches if you're making more than one plantain. You can also bake two baking sheets at a time if you have a convection oven).
- Bake for 15 minutes, check to see if they are beginning to brown. If they are, remove them from the oven. If they're not browning yet, let them bake for another 5 minutes or so, checking often.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy within three days.