If you’ve ever tried plantains, you may have been surprised at how something that looks like your traditional banana can actually taste so foreign. Plantains are more firm than “dessert” bananas and have a higher starch content, giving them a less sweet flavor.
Plantains are generally cooked, whereas bananas are eaten raw. Many African and Asian populations utilize plantains. Cuban cuisine features plantains, and Peruvians boil, brew and ferment them to make the alcoholic beverage chapo juice.
If you’re looking for a convenient way to incorporate plantains into your diet – consider plantain chips. Turbana – a Florida-based company that maintains they are the largest importers of plantains – has a line of plantain chips, available in 6 different flavors.
I sampled the garlic version, as it was the only flavor in stock with 3 grams of fiber per serving (compared with 2 grams in the other flavors). The garlic plantain chips were light and airy, with a satisfying crunch and subtle flavor, impressive considering that they only have 80 mg sodium per serving.
A 1 oz serving of garlic-flavored plantain chips contains:
- 140 calories
- 7 grams fat
- 80 mg sodium
- 20 grams carbohyrate
- 3 grams dietary fiber
- 1 gram protein
The ingredients list includes plantains, vegetable oil, salt and garlic flavoring and the product is gluten free. While these are a great alternative to traditional potato or tortilla chips, one drawback is that 3 of the 7 fat grams are saturated, providing 15% of your daily value for saturated fat.