So I know the Rio Olympics have long since passed, but the Brazilian food craze lives on in our house, in the form of plantains. I feel like the popularity of plantains has skyrocketed- this past year, especially! And for good reason! Plantains are a tasty starch alternative and can take many forms: chips, mash, deep-fried, baked, sautéed, etc.
I’m a huge plantain fan after first going paleo, and now, strict autoimmune paleo. Plantain chips have become a staple snack in my house, but until recently, I hadn’t cooked with plantains a whole lot. Boy, was I missing out! After Mark and I went to San Francisco this Spring, we sampled a bunch of plantain dishes that I fell in love with. I also have seen how often plantains are used in my autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet, for both baking and cooking.
So today, I’m sharing with you an incredibly easy way to cook up some plantains. The question I have for you is: Sweet or Savory? If you answered “Both,” then you’re in luck! I made both Sweet and Savory Fried Plantains and each batch was SO yummy! I couldn’t decide which I liked more, so I’m sharing both versions! 🙂
My Sweet Fried Plantains are fried in coconut oil, sprinkled with cinnamon, and drizzled with coconut butter. They take on a very cinnamon roll-like flavor. While my Savory Fried Plantains are pan-fried in duck fat and seasoned with sea salt and garlic. Such a great snack or compliment to any main dish! And both preparations are only 4 ingredients and can be made in minutes!
Before getting started, you’ll want to make sure you have some jars of good quality cooking oils on hand. I recommend trying Epic brand Duck Fat, which adds a gourmet, savory flavor to whatever you’re cooking. I love cooking veggies and meat in duck fat because it has a high smoke point and won’t burn easily.
And being on AIP, I’ve learned the importance of getting enough healthy fats in my diet- they really help with healing. You can find duck fat and other high quality animal fats on Amazon or Thrive Market. I’m a huge fan of all the Epic products, and you can view more of them in my Amazon Store, if you’re interested.
I also love using coconut oil for frying, which I find at a great price at Aldi, Trader Joe’s, or Thrive Market. Coconut oil worked perfectly for my Sweet Fried Plantains, but it could also be used for the Savory Plantains, too.
In addition to the coconut oil, I keep a jar of Artisana brand raw coconut butter on hand at all times. You may remember seeing this coconut butter in my recipe for Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Spice Ice Cream. If you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time, my friends!
Since I haven’t been eating nut butter on the AIP diet, this has been an awesome replacement! It has a natural sweetness and makes the Sweet Fried Plantains taste like dessert! I can’t wait to try using it in baked goods. It’s even wonderful on top of plain fruit for a light sweet treat.
So, about these plantains. You may be wondering, “How do you go about finding and selecting plantains?”
Good question. I didn’t know much about them until recently. I discovered that my local grocery store carries them in the “exotic fruits” section. They work a little like bananas, in that the riper they are, the sweeter they are. So, green plantains are not at all sweet, while brown plantains are much sweeter. Overall, though, you’ll find that plantains are not nearly as sweet as bananas.
When choosing plantains for my Sweet and Savory Fried Plantain recipes, look for yellow plantains. (Or let your green plantains ripen a bit.) The yellow color indicates they are of medium ripeness and they will work well for both the sweet and savory versions. If you only have green plantains to work with, stick with the savory recipe. If you have very ripe yellow or even brown plantains, go with the sweet preparation.
While plantains may look like bananas, they are definitely tougher to peel! I recommend making a slit down the plantain skin with a knife in order to more easily remove the peel. Then slice the plantain into 1/2 inch pieces.
Now, I made both plantain versions at the same time. If you follow my lead, you’ll want two skillets ready to go. Or, just pick either sweet or savory, depending on your mood, and you’ll only need one skillet for your fried plantains.
On medium/high heat, get your duck fat sizzling in one skillet and coconut oil in another. Place half of your plantain slices in the duck fat and the other half in the coconut oil. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, until the plantains are golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside.
Move the plantains to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil, then transfer to a bowl to season up! For my Sweet Fried Plantains, I loved the cinnamon and coconut butter combination! It tastes remarkably like a cinnamon roll! For the coconut butter drizzle, I just microwaved my coconut butter for about 30 seconds, stirred it, and spooned it on top.
For the Savory Fried Plantains, I tossed them in a bit of Himalayan pink sea salt and garlic powder. These almost remind me of steak fries and have a potato-like quality to them. SO GOOD. They would also be great with a little heat from Mexican spices, if you’re not following AIP.
Super simple, right? My Sweet and Savory Fried Plantains make perfect after-school snacks, game-day finger foods, or easy side dishes to go with your next meal.
Mark and I love to eat both varieties with salmon or white fish, topped with my Easy Mango Guacamole. The Savory Fried Plantains would also make an delicious base for taco meat or pulled pork barbecue. And the Sweet Fried Plantains could be eaten with breakfast and washed down with a pumpkin spice latte or chai tea!
Whichever way you decide to eat these Brazilian snacks, enjoy them and have a great weekend! 🙂
- 1 yellow plantain
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Artisana Coconut Butter
- 1 yellow plantain
- 1 tablespoon Epic Duck Fat
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- sea salt to taste
- Peel and slice your plantains.
- In two separate skillets, heat duck fat in one and coconut oil in the other on medium/high heat.
- Pan-fry plantain slices for 2-3 minutes per side, being careful they don't burn.
- Remove from heat onto a paper towel-lined plate to cool slightly, then transfer each batch to a bowl.
- In one bowl, add cinnamon and drizzle of melted coconut butter. In the other, sprinkle garlic powder and sea salt. Stir to coat.
- Best when eaten the day you make them, served warm.