Anyone that knows me, knows I love snacks. I don't mean how most people love snacks and grab the occasional piece of fruit, vegetable or even a sweet treat. I'm talking if I could eat them without gaining a ton of weight, my diet would probably solely consist of snacks!! Granola bars, cookies, crackers, vegetables, grapes, and candy.
My favorite kind of snack, however, is something that is both crunchy and salty. Yes, like potato chips and popcorn. I love chips so much, I stopped buying them for the house because a family sized bag of UTZ plain, salted potato chips do not stand a chance in my pantry. It's almost as if I can hear them calling out to me, much like Carol Anne could hear the spirits calling to her from the TV in Poltergeist. Since I was a child, all it took was my mom to walk in the door and without even looking, I could proclaim, "They're here!"
Alas, I realized that consuming bags of potato chips was going to get me no where near my goal. So I started making homemade potato chips. Then homemade vegetable chips, baked in the oven with different flavors. And they were good, believe me, but just not the same as the stuff that comes in a half-way filled bag, leveled off with tons of air. Enter in plantains. I fell in love with plantain chips a long time ago. my mom accidentally bought some at work during her lunch and ended up bringing back a 1/2 of a bag home. I devoured them. There was something about them that just stood out from a potato chip that I loved. I did not grow up eating plantains, so it was a new concept to me. And once I started to eat more caribbean food, I was exposed more to plantains, but I did not like them. It took me quite some time to realize sweet yellow plantains vs. savory, starchy green plantains. I like the green ones.
Much like the potato, the green plantain is a perfect candidate to become an oven baked chip. More so, if we're being honest. These plantains are drier than potatoes, so they spend less time drying out in the oven to get crisp. Especially when you cut them thin. They also are great sources of vitamins A, C and B6, they are potassium rich and are a high fiber food, which aids in digestion. My favorite thing about this recipe? It's easy, you can easily scale it up to make a lot in advance and its fast, only 30 mins stands between you and your crispy, crunchy snack! In this recipe, I cut them in small circles, but you can also cut them in longer pieces to make them vessels for delicious dips, such as guacamole, salsa and queso. The possibilities are endless!
Crispy Chile Limón Plantain Chips
- Author: Monique Manning
- Servings 2 (Depending on if you're sharing)
- Nutrition: 140 cal, 3.7g fat 26.7g net carbs, 1.2g Protein, 20% Vitamin A, 28% Vitamin C
- 1 Green Plantain
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
Chile Limón Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Chile Powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Zest of 1 lime
Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and moving your oven rack to the upper third of the oven.
Now, using a sharp knife, like a chefs knife, cut off the ends of the plantain, making sure not to cut too far, just enough to expose the flesh.
Make a slit on the skin, just touching the flesh and draw a line with the knife all the way to the other end. Repeat on opposite side to make peeling easier. I personally do this on 4 sides of the fruit to make peeling the simplest.
Next, slide your finger into one of the slits and gently lift the skin away from the flesh. Drag your finger the length of the fruit until the skin is completely removed from the flesh. Repeat under each slit you made.
Next, using a knife or a mandolin, cut the fruit into slices, as thin and evenly as you can get them to ensure you get even cooking. On my mandolin, I set my dial to #2 so that, which gives me 2mm slices. I use this setting for chips that I want to eat as a snack, or later crunch up for a crust or topping. For chips that I plan to use as a dip vessel, I increase to 3 or 4, depending on how heavy the dip is.
Once your plantain is fully sliced as desired, take your coconut oil and pour over the fruit. Making sure to get the oil on all of the slices. This is what helps the plantains crisp up in the oven and stay moist.
Once they are all coated, arrange the in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure that there is some space between the slices so that the air can circulate around them and give them that crispy texture all over.
Next, take your sprinkle of kosher salt and apply to the tops of the plantain. This step is optional, but I find that it makes sure all of the plantain has flavor, even if some pieces don't get as much of the seasoning you will toss them in after baking.
Next, put your plantains in the oven for 20 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees 1/2 way through baking. Be sure to check on them during the 2nd half as some people's ovens run hotter/colder. I found that 20 minutes was perfect for my thickness and oven.
While the plantains are in the oven, make your seasoning blend. Zest the lime directly into the container you are using. I like to zest 99% of the lime and leave a little to add to the container just at the end, so that there are visible green pieces floating throughout. Make sure that you zest only the peel, and not the pith. You will know you are doing this properly because the lime will be white. You should not see the flesh of the fruit, or you've gone too far and the rub will taste bitter.
Next, add in the rest of the seasonings. Then using your fingers, rub the spices all together. This makes a well blended, unified seasoning, but also releases the oils from the lime zest into the rub to give maximum limón flavor. Once you have rubbed it all together and it resembles the picture, zest the last bit of lime peel into the mixture and give it a quick stir. Set it aside.
Once the chips are finished baking, remove them from the oven and put them immediately into another bowl. top with your seasoning, a little at a time and give it a toss. Do this several times until you get the desired amount of seasoning to coat your chips. If desired, give a quick spritz of lime juice to up that flavor.
Store the rest of the seasoning (if there's any left!) and enjoy your chips!! I served mine along side my lemon pepper roasted chicken and a cool, creamy slaw. Only after I ate a few...for testing purposes of course ;)