As I began my chronic illness and fibromyalgia healing journey through nutrition, I shifted from processed foods to healthy, whole, nutrient-dense foods. I sought healthier versions of my fav’s. Do you do that, too? Along the way, I’ve learned that there’s a healthier swap for every craving! This post focuses on a recipe to address cravings for salty, crispy, and crunchy foods.
Are you in?
Good! I knew you’d follow 😉
Confession time. I spent YEARS eating crackers like Saltines, Wheat Thins, Goldfish, Cheez-Its, and in a pinch, Triscuits (not my fav). It’s no wonder I suffered from disastrous digestive issues! My intestines were probably cemented with this junk for most of my 20s and early 30s.
Boxed or bagged chips and crackers no longer hold an appeal for me, but once in a while, I do get a hankering for a crispy crunchy snack. I can enjoy a salty and crunchy combo from nuts and seeds. But … salty, crunchy, and crispy?
That taste trifecta isn’t necessarily
found in nature.
So, I’ve gone on the hunt.
Since I’m sans dehydrator, I’ve experimented in making every baked natural chip on the planet. I’ve sliced and baked sweet potatoes, yams, green beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, carrots, kale and more. I’ve met with much success and savored the results. I’m particularly fond of the sweet potato varieties.
But, in order to really get the crispy thing going, I’ve recently made fried plantain chips (even though I couldn’t find a green plantain as you can see above). I’m sure a comparable crispy result could be achieved in the oven, but since it was over 100 degrees outside today, I decided to give my oven a rest.
As a holistic practitioner, I’m asked this often since I don’t recommend bananas to my clients. Bananas are a high-sugar fruit, and since most of my clients are dealing with inflammation concerns, they’re not typically a desirable option.
But plantains and bananas aren’t the same thing. At least, not exactly. Think of them more like Samantha and Serena Stevens on Bewitched. Kooky cousins (dreamed up by 60s sitcom execs) who look a lot alike, but, um, are not alike.
Plantains are bigger, thicker-skinned, and are actually more like a veggie than a fruit. And, while they look like a steroidally-enhanced banana, they’re actually quite different from their sweeter, more dessert-like relative.
Here are a few highlighted features of this interesting un-fruit: Plantains are lower in sugar than bananas, and higher in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, potassium, and the all-important fiber.
Like bananas, plantains are high in many additional nutrients including folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. They also provide a good amount of magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
What you need to know about selecting plantains:
– Unlike bananas, plantains are eaten cooked, not raw
– Unlike bananas, they can be cooked and eaten even when green
– Unlike bananas, they stay pretty firm inside even after the skin turns darker
– Unlike bananas, you can cut off a chunk of the plantain for single use, and the rest stays okay for a few days.
Are plantains the perfect every day snack?
Not really. Any starchy food is probably not a good idea on a regular basis – especially if whole body inflammation is a concern. But, they do make a great treat. So, why wouldn’t you just run out to the store and buy a bag of potato chips? If you did, you’d miss out on the following benefits of making your own:
1) No chemical-based seasonings and preservatives
2) Many higher nutritional features than potatoes
3) Made with the seasonings and flavors of your choice
4) Made with the best ingredient of all … love. (You do add that to everything you make, right?)
5) Made in the exact quantity you plan to eat — natural portion control!
It’s better to eat treats
by PLAN than by eyesight.
To experiment on your own, try this —
- Thinly slice green plantains (the thinner, the crispier).
- Cook in single layer in a pan with heated coconut oil. (Remember that coconut oil is a medium-heat oil, so don’t let it get hot enough to reach a smoking point). Or, if you prefer, I suggest using almond oil, avocado oil, or macadamia nut oil.
- When evenly browned, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel or rack.
- Season with sea salt and/or any favorite seasoning such as cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, chili powder, etc.
- For crispiest results, serve immediately.
TIP: Just make a handful or so at a time. For a single serving, there’s no need to make an entire batch (and then feel tempted to eat them all). I used a 3 ½” chunk of the plantain which made 20 single chips.
Have you tried plantain chips? Have you tried them baked as well? What’s your favorite seasoning? I’d love to hear about your kitchen experimentation! Share below…
Does what you eat for breakfast relate to your PAIN? To learn more, grab your FREE Stop Feeding Yourself PAIN guide here!