Plantains used to intimidate me. I'm not sure why, but every time I'd see them in the store I'd scrunch my nose, furrow my eyebrows, and ask myself "who buys these things?" as I made my way over to the planet of banana bushels that occupies like a fourth of the produce section. To my delight, when I actually ventured out and bought a plantain after being inspired by a delicious looking Instarecipe, I quickly added plantains to my "favorites" list. They contain healthy starches, have less sugar than bananas, and are incredibly versatile with the ability to contribute to both sweet and savory dishes. Rule of thumb - the green plantains are not ripe yet, making them perfect for saltier snacks, like my plantain chips and these tostones. Plantains that range from yellow to brown are ripe and sweet, making them great for dessert-like dishes.
Here I present you with a recipe for tostones, inspired by a co-worker of mine who frequently brings in his mother's tostones in the mornings...they are easy, require 3 simple ingredients and are freaking delicious. I normally eat them by themselves, but they are also fantastic served with some guacamole or even a little cheese, if you're channeling your primal side. One time I sandwiched them with almond butter...another fantastic decision I'd strongly recommend. Enjoy!
- 1 green plantain
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- sea salt to taste
- Make three horizontal cuts around the plantain, deep enough so that you can easily peel the skin off.
- Slice your plantain into 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices (this is much thicker than you would slice for plantain chips).
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When melted, add plantain slices across the skillet's surface (so that they all lie flat) and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown all around.
- Remove plantain slices from the skillet to a paper towel. Using the bottom of a cup or mug, press down on the plantains so that they are somewhat smashed and flattened out (use your muscles!)
- Return plantains to the skillet and cook for another 2-3 minutes per side or until they are crispy and reach a darker brown color.
- Add sea salt to taste