Indian Inspired Pan Fried Plantains – Whole30 Plantain Chips!
There’s nothing like the crispy crunch of a plantain chip—but have you ever tried pan fried plantains? Instead of crunch, you get to enjoy the plantains’ comforting, starchy texture and natural sweetness!
It’s a common side dish and snack in some Latin American, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines, and there are TONS of tasty flavor possibilities. For these Indian inspired pan fried plantains, I used chili powder and turmeric for a fun Whole30 snack with a sweet heat! Of course, you can try this recipe with any seasonings you like.
And, I kept this recipe clean and fuel-filled by making my pan fried plantains with coconut oil—just a few tablespoons! They’re scrumptious freshly-cooked, but you can also pack them up and enjoy them cold as an on-the-go snack.
Pan Fried Plantains with Coconut Oil vs. Traditional Plantain Chips
Many store-bought plantain chips are surprisingly not-so-healthy—just like other packaged, ultra processed foods! Like plenty of potato chips out there, some plantain chips are deep fried in loads of oil. And, even most of the ‘healthier’ baked plantain chips are made with a highly refined, inflammatory vegetable oil of some kind!
But, it’s just as easy to make crave-able, Whole30 approved, pan fried plantains with coconut oil! You only need a little bit of oil in your pan, and you can fry until the edges are irresistibly crispy. And, I think the mild flavor of coconut oil is the perfect match for the hint of sweetness in the plantains!
Rather than worsening chronic inflammation and increasing heart disease risk—as inflammatory vegetable oils can do—coconut oil is actually a heart healthy option. And, it’s full of wholesome fuel!
Is Coconut Oil Healthy?
While recent research links man-made trans fats to heart disease, we now understand that natural saturated fats (like those in coconut oil) do not increase heart disease risk. In fact, some studies show that coconut oil may help to protect the heart by increasing good cholesterol levels in the body.
Plus, saturated fats are the strongest fats, with the greatest heat tolerance and highest smoke points. When an oil reaches its smoke point, it begins to oxidize. (You’ll know because you’ll see wisps of smoke coming from the oil.) But, that oxidation produces harmful byproducts, including free radicals that can attack our healthy cells.
So, its heat-resistant saturated fats make coconut oil ideal for these pan fried plantains!
Fighting Chronic Inflammation…with Flavor?!
Besides a zesty zing of flavor and vibrant color, the chili powder and turmeric add some powerful antioxidants to these pan fried plantains! Those antioxidants help to reverse damage caused by free radicals, and they can also help fight chronic inflammation.
In chili powder (and hot chili peppers), the antioxidant capsaicin that produces its spicy flavor also has an anti-inflammatory effect in the human body.
But, the inflammation-fighting superstar in this recipe is the turmeric, which contains the antioxidant curcumin. Across several research studies, curcumin has proven to be one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory compounds on the planet!
So, if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t be afraid to sprinkle some extra seasoning on your pan fried plantain chips!