Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oven Baked Plantain Chips

Well, nearly a month later, I have returned to actually write my first food post (the cat is not food...). 

In an attempt to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, I began to make a point of buying new and different produce items. One of those items was the plantain, a relative of the banana. Unlike bananas, plantains should not be eaten raw...they do not taste good and leave an awful "green banana" feeling in your mouth afterward. Generally, green plantains will be more starchy/potato-like, and yellow/blackened ones will be sweeter and more banana-y tasting. For this recipe, I used yellow plantains, and the chips came out tasting like bananas. Pretty good. 

Simple ingredients: Plantains, and Coconut oil. The real trick here is to get the plantains sliced evenly, which, without a mandolin, can be difficult. Here's what I did:

1. Slice ends off, remove skin by making 2 cuts through the skin lengthwise down the length of the fruit. Gently remove the skin. 
2. Slice plantain into even thirds - this will make cutting the slices easier. 
3. Slice off rounds about the thickness of a nickel. Attempt to make the slices as equal as possible to ensure even cooking. 
4. Place rounds into a bowl with some melted coconut oil - about 1-2 teaspoons per plantain. Toss the rounds to coat with the oil. 
5. Pre-heat oven to "warm" - mine registered at 170 Fahrenheit. 
6. Arrange rounds in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. They can touch at the edges, because they will shrink as they bake. 
7. Bake for ~6 hours, opening the oven every half hour or so to "vent" the moisture. Flip the rounds around the 3 hour mark. 
8. Remove to cool for a bit, store in an airtight container. 

One of two sheets, I used 3 plantains.

Slightly oily, but not bad at all.

I found some of my chips to be a bit thicker and chewy, but most of them are nice and crisp. Unfortunately, I did not take "before" pictures of the unbaked chips, but I'll likely make these again and perhaps leave something to show just how much these guys shrink. 

Here's one of ideal thickness and crispness once finished.

Special note on today, remember to pray for the families and friends who were hurt by the tragedy 13 years ago, and for the brave people who continue to serve their communities and country.