Plantain Chips

Plantains are a favorite in our house! They are so versatile! You can use ripe plantains to make muffins.  Chickpea flour Banana/Plantain Muffins with Ginger. Plantain, Blueberry Muffins with Teff and Buckwheat Flour

Use this LINK for an excellent video all about plantains, by The Paleo Mom.  She details the properties of plantains, everything from flavor, texture and baking properties to chopping the green plantains. It is thorough and worth the six minute watch.

Green plantains contain a kind of starch, amylose, that is indigestible to us in the raw state. When cooked, the starch changes making it digestible. When the resistant starch reaches the large intestine, bacteria attach to it and digest or ferment it. Resistant starch feed and help grow our good bacteria. These bacteria are especially important for colon and overall health. Dr. Amy Nett, MDdescribes the many benefits of resistant starch in her post, How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner

When I approach recipes for my kids, I look to maximize the positive health benefits while also satisfying their taste buds. Everyone loves great crunchy foods like chips, pretzels and crackers. But, these foods offer little nutrition and contribute to inflammatory reactions. Most chips and crackers contain one or more inflammatory vegetable oil like safflower, sunflower, canola, corn or sesame oil. These oils are very high in Omega 6 content (safflower being the highest). High omega 6 fatty acids ratios are  directly correlated with all inflammatory diseases, which really is all disease.

Chris Kresser writes,

In fact, Americans now get almost 20% of their calories from a single food source – soybean oil – with almost 9% of all calories from the omega-6 fat linoleic acid (LA) alone!

How does all of this connect with plantain chips? I have found some plantain chips on Thrive Market. But, all brands contain one or more vegetable oil. For this reason, I decided to make my own.

Green plantains are typically sold by the pound in most grocery stores. That can be very pricey! I have found them priced per unit in big superstores and Asian markets. I have found them at our local superstore for $.42 each!! I look for large, green evenly shaped plantains.

I have fried green plantains in coconut oil. But, they don’t last as long in the fridge and they have to be lightly warmed up after refrigeration. Not ideal for throwing a snack together on the go.

 

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My solution is to dry them in my dehydrator. It is a super simple process that takes about 15 minutes to prepare and 5-6 hours to dry.

RECIPE:

Peel and slice green plantains thin (I use a mandolin. Make sure you use this protective glove)

Rub with a thin coat of olive, avocado or coconut oil

Season lightly with your favorite spices. I like cinnamon and salt. Garlic powder, oregano, black pepper and salt. Nutmeg and cinnamon are especially good on slightly ripe plantains)

Dry in a single layer in your dehydrator at 135 degrees for 5-6 hours until crisp.

When cooled completely, store in a mason jar.

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