Fat Free (or low fat) Microwaved Plantain Chips

Microwaved Plantain Chips

I have an interesting relationship with my microwave. Perhaps you’d call it an unwanted dependence? For example, every morning I use it to quickly cook my oatmeal. When I’m on the ball and actually bring my lunch to work I use it to reheat my leftovers. Even in the evening I find myself using it to heat any number of foods, drinks, or dishes. However, I wish that I didn’t rely on it so much. It just doesn’t feel right to be “nuking” so much of the food I eat. I know…I know…it’s silly to have any concern as microwaves have been proven to be completely safe so I really shouldn’t worry about it. Plus, ever since hearing my two-year-old niece say “mic-or-ave” I’ve felt a bit more affectionate towards it. Seriously, I’ve listened to this recording of her dozens of times and still laugh. Every. Single. Time.

 

So when I recently learned that you can actually make crispy potato chips by slicing a raw potato and putting it in the microwave for a few minutes, I figured I’d give it a try. However, I wanted to try it with plantains, which happen to be my biggest chip obsession at the moment. I figured that if it works with potatoes, it’s likely to work similarly with plantains, right?

And besides popping plantains in the microwave for 5 minutes can’t possibly be worse for me than the deep fried ones I am buying at the store nearly every day. So, yes, Mr. Mic-or-ave, you win this time in the “lesser of two evils” battle.

Size of Sliced Plantain Chip

As you can see, I used my mandoline to get super thin and even slices, which is an important step in the process of making these. If you don’t have a mandoline, try to cut them as thin and evenly as possible.

I brushed each slice with a bit of olive oil and then sprinkled salt on top. You can omit one or both of these steps, but I actually think that the slightly dry plantain does well with a bit of both. Again, I have to remind myself that the bit of oil and salt I put on them is far less than what I’m consuming from the bags I buy at the store.

You want to place the slices in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate. Then brush each slice with oil, sprinkle with salt, and place them in the microwave on full power for 3 minutes. As the end of the 3 minutes approaches you’ll start to notice your kitchen smelling like sweet plantains and when the time is up, pull them out of the microwave, turn over each slice, and then place them in for another 3 minutes on half power. At this point you’ll have deliciously, crispy plantain chips! That’s all there is to it!

While I was experimenting with this, I purchased a bag of plantain chips at Whole Foods so that I could eat them all see how the two compare and the best comparison that I can make is that my homemade version are like eating Baked Lays, while the store-bought are like eating regular Lays. The microwaved version tastes decidedly healthier, but they still satisfy the need for a delicious, crunchy snack. The chip I’m holding is my homemade version, which is also the one on the left in the photo below. You can see the comparison to the deep fried version on the right. Not too shabby!

Plantain Chip Comparison

Ingredients

  • 1 (or more) plantains (the riper the plantain, the sweeter the chip)
  • olive oil (optional)
  • salt (optional)

Slice Plantain: Cut open your plantain by running a sharp knife along the long side of it. Try to cut only as deep as the peel. Pull the plantain out of it’s peel and then cut it into very thin and even slices.

Microwave: Place them in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Pull the plate out of the microwave and turn over each slice before putting them back in the microwave for another 3 minutes on half power.

Microwaved Plantain Chips vs Deep Fried Plantain Chips

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9 Responses to Fat Free (or low fat) Microwaved Plantain Chips

  1. Anni says:

    That sounds so good Christina
    love your mom

  2. Dana says:

    I don’t own a microwave (and never have), so I guess I don’t really know what I’m missing re: convenience. The mic-or-ave clip sounds adorable!

    Recipe-wise, I’ve tried something similar using blue, red, and white potatoes in the oven. They turned out great! I put a teensy bit of rosemary on the chips, too, and felt like I had died and gone to heaven when they came out of the oven tasting like angels. 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Nice, Dana! It’s great to hear that you’ve had success doing them in the oven. I’ve too have made chips in the oven and they were awesome as well 🙂 They just take a lot longer than a few minutes in the microwave.

      I think having a microwave is one of those things that when you have it you rely on it all the time, but if you don’t you survive just as well 🙂

      • Dana says:

        It’s probably the case, Christina. The only time I’ve ever wished for a microwave is when somebody gave me a Magic Bag. I could freeze it just fine but wanted to be able to pop it in a microwave for a few seconds and have a toasty massage pad. 🙂

      • Christina says:

        Oooh! That’s a good point, Dana! I love warming my rice buddy in the microwave for added heat during cool nights. I forgot about that use of my microwave too!

  3. Lucille says:

    Ah-h gotta try this!

  4. switlick says:

    Thanks! Only problem I had was that the paper towel stuck to the plantains. Great healthier version though!

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