Store-bought plantain chips are addictively delicious, but they're no healthier than regular potato chips. If you bake your own plantain chips at home, however, you can control how much oil you use and you can add spices to boost the flavor without the fat. (For a more healthful store-bought alternative to packaged plantain chips, try banana chips, which have less sugar and fewer calories.)
HomemadeRecipe adapted from The Kitchn
2 green plantains, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Thinly slice the peeled fruit using a mandoline. In a bowl, toss plantain slices with olive oil, spices and salt. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 to 17 mins., turning slices over after about 8 mins. Watch closely after turning, since the chips can burn quickly. Remove from oven and serve.
Try not to eat them all in one sitting!
For a fat-free, fruity alternative to plantain chips, try Nature's All Freeze Dried Fruits, available in snack-size bags in banana, mango, strawberry and pineapple. Although a couple of our taste testers were put off by their slightly chalky flavor, the banana chips were the clear winner here.
For sheer crispy, crunchy deliciousness, the potato chip is tough to beat. It’s no wonder, then, that Americans spend more than $7 billion a year on the salty snack. Not coincidentally, it’s also one of the top dietary contributors to weight gain, according to a recent Harvard study.
But rather than lecture you on your naughty chip-chomping habit, I’m here to help you kick it: following are five delectable — and healthier — alternatives to potato chips, all taste-tested by members of the TIME.com team. You can buy the snacks at grocery stores, but they taste better baked from scratch, so I’ve included the recipes I liked best. (If you go the DIY route, it might be worth investing in a mandoline, which can help you make neat, even slices in a snap.)
Whether you bake or buy these treats, each has less fat and fewer calories than deep-fried potato chips. And they’re all delicious.