The plantain chip is a snack made from frying plantain slices. A plantain is a raw banana, as opposed to the ripe sweet one. Plantain chips are crispy and salty. They can sometimes be spicy too. These are popular in several countries including Central and South America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico, India, and Haiti.
Ingredients and Method
Plantains, oil, and salt are the basic ingredients needed to make plantain chips. The snack is usually made by cutting the plantain into thin slices and frying them in oil until they are crispy and golden brown. Once they are fried, excess oil is absorbed by placing them on a paper towel. The chips are then sprinkled with salt.
Plantain chips can be served alone as a snack. They can also be served with dips or salsa.
In Haiti and Honduras, plantain chips are made with vertical banana strips. In Kerala, India, these are fried in coconut oil and salted. Chili powder and spices can also be used to prepare the chips. This snack can also be made with different plantain varieties.
Plantain Chips and Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5 throughout United States and Mexico. The day is observed to honor the Mexican culture and heritage. It is celebrated with a variety of traditional Mexican dishes. With plantain chips being a traditional fare in Mexico, the dish usually finds a place in the Cinco de Mayo party menu.
One cup of plantain chips can have approximately:
Calories – 197
Saturated fat – 11 g
Sodium – 2.3 mg
Potassium – 203.7 mg
Carbohydrates – 22.2 g
Are Plantain Chips Healthy?
Plantains are an excellent source of potassium, which is essential for the body in many ways. Potassium helps with muscle contraction and aids in regulating blood pressure. It can also bring down the effect of salt on blood pressure. However, in this particular dish, fat constitutes more than 50% of the nutrition as the chips are fried in oil. Hence, consuming too much of this on a regular basis can lead to increased cholesterol levels. Thus, plantain chips should be consumed in limited portions on an occasional basis.