The Superbowl is this Sunday. Did you know that? I’ve been reminded every waking minute by EVERY SINGLE PERSON in I come across in New England. Football is a religion here, no joke. P.S. Don’t ever, ever criticize the New England Patriots. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Superbowl Sunday is more about food for me than the football. Actually, it’s ALL about the food and not about football at all. Because when you’re eating things like baked honey sriracha wings, homestyle chili, bbq chicken pizza ring, or even cheeseburger pizza who cares what team is winning? I’ll be saving my emotions for This Is Us because priorities, man. Priorities. But while I wait out the game, I’ll be munching on my plantain chips with perhaps some guac and some spicy salsa.
I’ve known that plantains chips existed for a long time but I’ve never been a fan because they’re usually fried and have this weird, filmy greasy taste at the end. You know what I’m talking about? But my kids love them. In fact, Little Man polished off an entire bag, I’m talking FULL, previously sealed bag, of spicy plantain chips during a 20-minute car ride. I had no idea he loved them so much. So imagine how excited he was when he saw me pull a couple of baking sheets loaded with plantain chips out of the oven. I could barely hold him off while I was taking pictures for this recipe. Not even kidding.
The moment, I set them on the counter and said the chips were ready to eat, everyone descended down and polished most of the plate off. So much for serving them with dinner, let alone storing time for snacking later in the week. Little Man was on his tiptoes every 30 seconds, as he “passed by” the kitchen, grabbing chips. And I didn’t stop him because, secretly, I thought it was adorable.
These chips are:
√ baked, not fried so they’re healthier (amiright?)
√ crispy and crunchy so you don’t miss the chips
√ basic, without being plain, but begging to be customized
√ addictive- you’ve been warned
These chips may be basic but they do basic so well. Like really well. In fact, these plantain chips are basic goals. I intentionally left the chips basic because they are the perfect starting point. I love them basic but can definitely get behind sprinkling them with:
√ taco seasoning
√ garam masala
√ sea salt and a squeeze of lime
√ cinnamon sugar, maybe?
√ parmesan and parsley (yum!)
Okay, I’ll stop saying basic now.
Plantains, because they’re so firm, can be challenging to cut. I like to use a sharp knife and cut the ends off. Then I make a vertical slit down the middle of the plantain and use my fingers to peel apart the skin, until the skin is fully removed. You can also cut the plantain in half and peel it that way to make things easier. Try to get green plantains that are blemish free. If I let them sit on the counter for more than a day two, they start developing black spots and being to ripen and during this mid stage, they become harder to peel.
Even though I’m always scared I’m going to slice my thumb off, I use a mandolin to slice the plantains into thin, uniform pieces. The same can be accomplished with a sharp knife– use whatever you’re most comfortable with and don’t sweat it if they slices aren’t fully uniform. Just thinking about the long game. You’ll be relaxing and dipping these chips into your favorite guac and salsa. Let the games begin!
You’ll want to make sure you keep an eye on these chips as they bake. I bake for 10 minutes on one side and then flip them and bake for another 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye starting at the 8 minute marker. Depending on how hot your oven gets, they be done closer to the 8 minute mark or may need a couple of more minutes. Use your judgement.
The other thing I strongly encourage you to do is to line your baking sheet with parchment paper. I have found that the chips stick to both the pan’s surface and aluminum foil, but when I use parchment paper, I’m able to slide them right onto my plate without any problems.
As I enter the final week of my whole30 round, I actually love the way I feel and a part of me just wants to keep going. I haven’t decided yet if I will continue on or add back a very selective group of foods I wasn’t eating. But ideally, I’d like to stay on track with this lifestyle, save a few treats here and there. These baked plantain chips happen to fit into my whole30 lifestyle. Yes, they’re addictive, which is why I prefer to have a handful with a meal and treat it as a part of my meal, rather than as a mindless snacking replacement for potato chips. But I think I’ll make an exception this time and indulge a little bit but still keep on track of healthyish eating. If the teenage me met the now me, she would be in utter shock!
- 3 large green plantains, peeled and sliced as thin as possible (I used a mandolin)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
- ¼ tsp chili powder (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease. (parchment paper works best)
- In a large bowl, toss the raw plantain slices with the salt, oil and chili powder until evenly coated.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip chips and return to oven and bake another 7-10 minutes, until crispy and lightly browned. Keep a close eye on the chips because they burn very quickly.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with more kosher salt if desired. Let cool.
- Serve with gauc and salsa or your favorite dips.