Don't Believe This Myth About Plantain Chips

In the never-ending quest to find snacks that allow us to eat something "good" while still feeling like we're doing something "bad," plantain chips have entered the picture. Plantains are a member of the banana family, says The Spruce Eats — there's certainly a familial resemblance — though they're starchier than their cousin and have to be cooked before they're consumed. For instance, as plantain chips. We love to imagine that these crispy snacks are healthier than potato chips, and may even deliver some added nutrition.

Keep dreaming, folks. Plantain chips are not much healthier than your run-of-the-mill potato chips, according to Livestrong. For starters, unlike a natural plantain, plantain chips are fried and processed, just like natural potatoes are fried and processed to make potato chips. In their natural state, plantains are considered a fruit. Once fried, they are a snack.

In a side-by-side comparison of one-ounce servings of plantain chips and potato chips, calories were nearly identical (around 150). Potato chips have about one gram more fat per serving, and plantains have three grams more carbs per serving (via MyFoodData). So, how can you enjoy plantain chips in a healthier way?

Healthier ways to prepare plantain chips

If you enjoy the taste and crunch of plantain chips, you can prepare them at home and save some of the fat and calories that are found in store-bought versions. Pick up some green plantains and slice them as thin as you like. Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit while you toss the plantain slices with olive oil. Bake them for 25 minutes on a lined baking sheet, then flip and bake another five to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, or your favorite seasonings when they exit the oven. Homemade plantains are best fresh, but will keep in the fridge for up to three days (via Simple Vegan Blog).

Sometimes you just want something other than potato chips. You can make "healthier" versions of favorite dishes using homemade plantains and your favorite toppings. For example, according to Shaped by Charlotte, just add some ground turkey and salsa for plantain nachos.