Every time I take one or more of the kids to the grocery store with me, it seems like we bring home something “extra.” When the requests start coming, I usually try to persuade them to try a new fruit or vegetable, or at least something that isn’t terrible for us. Coconuts are a popular request, but I’ve learned the hard way to just say no to those (after bruises from hammering my hand while the coconut rolled happily away or cutting my fingers trying to pry the meat out of the shell). Hmph! Coconuts have to be the most difficult fruit/nut to deal with! This time, we decided to give plantains a try! At 99 cents a pound, I figured it was a frugal experiment and it’s awful hard to turn down a request for a vegetable! I’d read about fried plantains, but frying is so greasy and messy, so we decided to try something similar by making baked plantain chips instead.
Plantains look like a banana but aren’t sweet and have more of a woody, starchy texture. The kids thought they were potato-like with a banana smell. They’re pretty neutral in taste, similar to a potato and I think they could be seasoned with just about anything. We simply used sea salt after brushing them with coconut oil (olive would work well too).
To get started, the plantains need to be peeled. We cut off each end, then made a slice the long ways.
Gently wiggle your thumb in between the skin and the plantain and peel away the skin. It’s much tougher than a banana.
Next, slice the plantains very thin into “chips.”
Pour a little coconut or olive oil on a cookie sheet and place the plantains on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
Either brush the tops with more oil or flip so both sides are coated with the oil. Sprinkle generously with salt. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes or so. They should be browned on both sides.
These are great for dipping and because they are kind of starchy, I think they’re very filling. There also best eaten fresh out of the oven – we had some leftover and they weren’t as good the second day, which was kind of a bummer because I was hoping they’d make good lunch box snacks. Overall, it was a fun experiment and introduced us to a new vegetable. Definitely easier than dealing with a fresh coconut!!! 🙂