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​ Plantain Chips: The Perfect Snack

​ Plantain Chips: The Perfect Snack

Published by Emma on 21st May 2022

The perfect snack has to be tasty, healthy, and easy to make. Your snack game will always lack if you feel like things have to match all three categories. Luckily for us, plantain chips are a delicious snack that hits the sweet spot and was made with us in mind.

So next time you're looking for something to munch on, give plantain chips a try.

What are plantain chips?

Plantain chips are a type of snack food made from unripe plantains, ripe plantains, or fried ripe plantains. They can be eaten alone or with other snacks. Plantain chips are also sold in grocery stores around the world.

Plantain is a fruit from which green and yellow varieties grow on trees in many tropical areas.

What do plantain chips taste like?

Plantain chips are a savoury snack made from deep-fried green plantains. The result is a crispy and crunchy chip that can be sweet, salty, or spicy, depending on how it's prepared. Plantain chips are typically more savoury than sweet—similar to other root vegetable chips like sweet potato fries—and they tend to pair well with dips or as an accompaniment to more flavorful entrees.

When you bite into a plantain chip, you'll notice its crunchy texture and taste the natural sweetness of the fruit it comes from. The saltiness of these snacks complements their mild sweetness while adding just enough flavour for them to stand out from similar snacks (like corn tortilla chips).

How to make fried plantain chips

To make the perfect fried plantain chips, you'll need:

Ingredients

  • Two plantains large
  • Olive Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

Step 1

If you want to make the chips, first cut off both ends of the plantain. Then, run your knife through the flesh of the plantain in a manner that could be described as "not too deep."

Step 2

To avoid making a mess, use a mandoline slicer to cut plantains into long, thin strips. If the plantain is too long, cut it in half before slicing.

Step 3

Place the cut plantain in a large bowl, add salt and pepper, and season with salt and black pepper.

Step 4

Heat some oil to a sufficient temperature, add the plantains, and then fry them until they're golden and crispy.

What to serve with plantain chips

1: Black bean soup

Black bean soup is a classic comfort food, and it's easy to make in large batches—just refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Black beans are rich in fibre and protein, which help keep you full for hours. They also contain many vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.

#2: Refried beans

Refried beans are also an excellent option for pairing with plantain chips. They're relatively low in fat, high in fibre and protein, and contain calcium, iron, and a host of other nutrients. The only drawback is that they're high in sodium (the salt), so you may want to consider using less salt when preparing them.

#3: Queso dip

Make sure the queso dip is warm. A cold dip will ruin the texture of your chips and make them soggy, but if it's too hot, you'll burn yourself before you can make it to the party.

Serve a variety of vegetables with your plantain chips. You can use any kind of vegetable that goes well with dips. Still, some good ones to try are carrots and celery sticks (cut them into bite-sized pieces), broccoli florets, and cauliflower florets or chunks of cauliflower rice (made from raw cauliflower).

#4: Hummus

Hummus is a savoury dip made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. It's creamy and rich-tasting, perfect for serving with plantain chips.

There are many different types of hummus – some include tahini (sesame paste), while others have a hint of curry or paprika. You could even make your own by adding your favourite ingredients to basic hummus.

Hummus is also excellent served with other snacks like crackers or crudités.

#5: Jalapeño salsa

Salsa is a great way to take your plantain chips from good to great.

Jalapeño salsa is made with fresh jalapeños and tomatoeschopped onions and cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can also add lemon juice for some acidity if you like.

The health benefits of plantains

#1: Plantains may improve digestive health

Plantains are a staple in many cuisines worldwide for their versatility, but did you know that they're also packed with nutrients that can benefit your digestive health?

It's believed that plantains contain two qualities that make them beneficial to digestive health. First, resistant starch acts as a prebiotic and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon. Second, plantains have a fair amount of fibre, which improves bowel function.

Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that passes through the small intestine undigested and makes it all the way into the large intestine, where it acts like a prebiotic.

Whereas prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut and help them thrive by providing food for them to consume.

Also, prebiotics increase your body's short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) production, which help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation in your body.

#2: High in antioxidants

Plantains are packed with vitamin C. This antioxidant may help boost your immune system and protect you from free radical damage associated with ageing, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.

From studies, Vitamin C displays powerful anti-inflammatory effects. That's why it's often recommended for people who suffer from arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions.

#3: Weight management

If you've been trying to lose weight, you might be wary of plantains.

But plantains are not necessarily a bad thing for weight management. The fibre and starch found in them are complex carbs, which are less processed than simple carbs (processed foods).

They keep you fuller and more satisfied after a meal, meaning less snacking on unhealthy foods.

But if you're not getting enough protein, your body will try to break down the protein in your muscles instead of using it as fuel. That's why it's vital to eat plantains with lean proteins like chicken or fish so that your body gets what it needs to build muscle instead of breaking it down.

#4: Good for your heart

Plantains are one of those foods that can be intimidating for a lot of people.

They're not as popular as their sweet cousin, the banana, and they've got a pretty gnarly exterior that can make you think twice about eating them. But once you get past their intimidating outer layer, plantains are actually an incredibly nutritious food that's great for your heart.

The high potassium content in plantains helps regulate your heartbeat and blood pressure by keeping your cells and body fluids balanced. And their fibre content helps lower cholesterol, which keeps your heart functioning at its peak.

Plantains are a great option if you're looking for a healthy substitute for foods like potatoes or grains like rice or pasta.

FAQs about plantain chips

Are plantain chips healthy for you?

The humble plantain chip has more vitamin A and C than its potato cousin, making it a healthier snack option. Both vitamins A and C are antioxidants, which means they protect your tissues from damage.

Vitamin A plays a role in low-light vision, so you can see at night even after eating those delicious plantain chips, and eating enough vitamin C may keep your tissues from getting rusty.

What is the preservative for plantain chips?

Most plantain chip brands market themselves as healthy snack alternatives, so they omit preservatives from their recipes. Ingredients lists are so simple that they simply list plantains, the oil used to fry or cook them, and salt.

However, another ingredient that may appear in the ingredients list for some brands is vinegar powder. This is often added for flavour, but it also helps with browning during frying. Plantains contain natural sugars that caramelize when heated, so adding vinegar powder helps speed up this process and gives the finished product its signature colouration.

How do you keep plantain chips from getting soft?

Plantain chips are a healthy, delicious snack you can make at home.

To indulge in a healthy snack, simply toss some plantains in hot oil. After five minutes of stirring, remove the plantain chips from the pan and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Store them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag when the chips are cool. You can eat them just like that or dip them in ketchup or salsa for extra flavour.

Wrapping up

Unless you have a very unique definition of the word "perfect," there is no such thing as the perfect snack. However, that doesn't mean you can't find good snacks for yourself and meet your criteria.

Plantain chips are a healthy snack choice because they are made out of plantains which contain a great source of vitamins and minerals. Though food experts still encourage people to eat complex carbohydrates and stay away from frying food, plantain chips are a great alternative to regular potato chips.

If you're looking for a salty snack that will give you a little boost while keeping you healthy, these snack foods may just be the thing you have been looking for.