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baked patacones (green plantains) topped with tropical salsa and on a pewter tray.

These Baked Patacones with Tropical Salsa are a healthy spin on the twice-fried – and very delicious – South and Central American crispy snack, patacones. In this Food To Glow recipe green plantains are sliced, steamed and mashed into tiny patties, then slicked with a little oil and baked to crispy-chewy perfection. Perfect little golden dippers for a healthy and fruity salsa. A taste of Latin America.

baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glowIf you read my last post you will know that I am just newly back from a fantastic trip to Costa Rica. As well as falling in love with the incredibly colourful and vibrant scenery, flora and fauna, I fell hard for the food. While it isn’t the most exciting of cuisines, it is very wholesome, relying largely on what can be grown in their particularly fertile soil.

Andrew and I were surprised that they are not limited to growing “tropical” foods, but successfully raise crops that I associate with frosty nights, like beets and carrots. But it was the tropical flavours and dishes that drew us like hummingbirds to nectar-laden flowers.

One of our favourite “discoveries” was the more-ish patacones.baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

baked patacones (green plantains) – a great fiber-rich snack or appetizer

Patacones {aka tostones}: what are they and where do they come from?

Patacones, sometimes referred to as tostones, are smashed and fried – often twice – unripened plantains. Latin America’s answer to potato chips. These crispy-yet-chewy golden disks are often served with a pot of spicy dipping sauce, or a cool goblet of ceviche. They are also fabulous with hot and cold soups. Patacones – usually pronounced “paht-ah-cōn-es” – are found on menus and as street foods throughout the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Variations are also found in East and West African countries as well as Southeast Asia. In an ideal world I would like to try ALL of the variants.baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

peeling and slicing green plantains for baked patacones

What are plantains?

Although they look a lot like green bananas, and are closely related, plantains are quite different. If you have ever eaten an uncooked plantain you will have spotted this difference. Visually plantains are longer than bananas and have thicker, ridged skins. As for the taste they are starchy, not sweet, although they do taste of a mild banana. And even though they can be eaten raw, you wouldn’t want to. The flavour only reveals itself when cooked in some kind of fat.

Grown year-round in tropical climes as a staple crop, plantains are prepared as a vegetable, especially in Latin America and Africa. Luckily they transport well so most of you will be able to buy a couple for this recipe. Plantains are sold individually in the fresh produce section of many larger European, US and British supermarkets (I am assuming in Australia and New Zealand too). They are often available in two ripenesses. If they are sold green this means they are unripe – and perfect for this recipe. If nearly black in colour they are ripe. These mottled and rough-skinned fruits will be sweeter and less starchy than green plantains – ideal for the sticky-sweet fried plantains – maduros – of my youth. But to keep it healthy, bake, steam, grill or roast them.

If you buy green plantains they will eventually – like bananas – ripen if not used while green. You can still make patacones from ripened plantains (and indeed, bananas), but they will be sweeter and less crispy-edged.

baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

brushing mashed green plantains with olive oil to make baked patacones

How to make healthier patacones

Traditional patacones/tostones are deep-fried in hot oil – sometimes twice. So, just by virtue of us not deep frying these babies we are making them healthier. But I want us to take it a step further and pair them with a beautifully bright and nutritious fruit salsa. Full of juicy, fragrant mango, papaya and lime as well as red onion, cilantro, avo and jalapeño, you might just eat it straight off the mixing spoon. But if yet more fruit doesn’t float your boat, you can instead make up a fresh tomato salsa. Or what about something like this fiery salsa roja? Below I’ll link to a few Food To Glow recipes that the patacones would also be great dipped into.

baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

lightly smashing the steamed plantains for baked patacones

Having a smashing time: making the patacones

Okay, this is the fun bit. After you steam the sliced plantains to soften them, you smash them. All you do is get something flat-bottomed and heavy – like a mortar (of pestle and mortar fame) – cover the plantain rounds with parchment paper and give a light smash smash smash until they are uniformly flattened. Very satisfying. Rarely will they be properly round, but rather ragged and imperfect. That’s a good thing: more surface area to get crispy! Then it’s a matter of slicking with olive oil or spraying with a good oil spray (here’s a homemade oil spray to make) and banging in the oven. In about 15 minutes you will be munching on a delicious crispy-chewy, carby treat!

Other Food To Glow dippers and toppers for your patacones

Cuban-style Tofu Picadillo – terrible photos but this is a glorious mess of a dish. Very scoopable!

Beetroot and Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Salsa – dip the patacones in BOTH!

Simple Guacamole { + how to choose an avocado!}

Jerk Black Eye Peas Stew

Beetroot & Cashew Hummus

Spiced Dal Hummus

Avocado, Pomegranate and Feta Guacamole

The topping of this Fruity Summer Bruschetta

Chimichurri Bean Dip

Ethiopian Lentil Soup

Smoked Salmon and Yuzu Ceviche

Colombian Cream of Avocado Soup {one of my most Pinned recipes}

Caponata – ignore the extremely dodge photos; this is one of my favourite summer recipes

…and loads more. Just peruse my messy, untamed Index

 

 

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Plantain nutrition

Steamed or boiled plantains are highly digestible and come in at a similar calorie count and nutritional profile (but slightly superior) to boiled potatoes. They are a great source of fibre, vitamins A, C, and B-6, folic acid and the minerals magnesium and potassium. This article on how to healthily cook plantains may be of interest to you.

Whether on PinterestInstagramFacebookTwitter or of course here on the blog, I love to see what you do with my recipes, and I welcome your comments, star ratings, tweaks and suggestions on this Baked Patacones with Tropical Salsa, and any of my other 600+ recipes. 

Also, if you’ve made/intend to make this recipe, please do consider rating it as it will make this recipe more visible on search engines. To do so, click the appropriate star underneath the small photo on the recipe card, below. Thank you!**baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow

baked patacones (green plantains) topped with tropical salsa and on a pewter tray.
5 from 4 votes
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Baked Patacones (Green Plantain Chips) with Tropical Salsa

Baked Patacones (also called tostones) are the healthy version of the classic - and twice-fried - Central and South American smashed plantain snack. Serve with juicy fresh Tropical Salsa for a real treat.

Course Snack
Cuisine Latin America
Keyword appetizer, baked, patacones, plantains, salsa, tostones
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 290 kcal
Author kellie anderson

Ingredients

Patacones

  • 2 large green/unripe plantains
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or oil spray
  • Flaky salt to taste

Tropical Salsa

  • 1 ripe mango peeled and diced
  • 1 ripe papaya peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 1 jalapeño or red chilli deseeded and minced
  • handful of coriander leaf/cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado peeled and diced

Instructions

Patacones

  1. Preheat your oven to 190C fan/200C/400F. Line a baking tray or two with baking parchment/wax paper.

  2. Take each plantain and slice the ends off; discard. Cut each plantain in half crossways. Now cut vertically through the thick skin (see slideshow image) in three places for each plantain half. This will make peeling much easier as the skin won't slip off easily, like a ripe banana. Run your index finger underneath one of the cuts and lift up the skin. Carry one until the plantains are peeled. Cut each short length into thick coins about 2 cm or 3/4 of an inch. No need to get out the measuring tape though.

  3. Spray a steamer basket or colander with oil spray, or brush with oil. Place the plantains in the basket/colander and steam for five minutes.

  4. Tear two sheets of baking parchment/wax paper and place one on a cutting board. Pop a handful of cooked plantains on the board and cover them with the other sheet of parchment paper. Use a mortar, flat-bottomed, heavy bowl, or saucepan to gently bash each individual plantain into a rough disk (see slideshow image). Carry on with the rest.

  5. Lightly slick the parchment-papered baking tray with oil or spray on oil spray. Place each flattened plantain disk on the paper and brush with a little oil/oil spray until all are lightly coated. Bake the plantains for 10 minutes then remove from oven and flip over to bake a further 5-8 minutes, depending on how quickly your plantains colour. You don't want to burn them at all. If you only used oil spray they may colour more quickly with a tendency to be a bit drier too - see side-by-side comparison slideshow image. Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt,  and eat soon after baking while still warm.

Tropical Salsa

  1. Gently mix all the chopped ingredients until they are well distributed, adding a little salt and extra chilli if liked. If possible let the flavours meld for half an hour before serving. 

Recipe Notes

These baked green plantain chips can be baked using oil or an oil spray. For best result use the oil as it will give a better texture overall. But both taste great.

 

The patacones will keep for up to a week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. You will need to "revive" them by either popping in a hot oven for three or four minutes or in a hot pan on the stove/hob. They really taste and "feel" best when warm or hot.

 

The patacones and the salsa will individually go with loads of things. Try the salsa with seared tuna steak or in a spring roll wrapper with cooked shrimp. Try the patacones with a spicy bean dip or a zesty mojo dip or similar.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Patacones (Green Plantain Chips) with Tropical Salsa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 1000mg29%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2310IU46%
Vitamin C 104.4mg127%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

RIPE FOR PINNING!

Baked patacones (green plantains) and tropical salsa by food to glow. A healthy taste of Latin America.

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Baked Patacones Recipe {Green Plantain Chips} with Tropical Salsa

  1. In the Island of Jamaica, we cut the plantain in halves or thirds, and dunk them into hot oil. When they are softened, we remove them from the oil and flatten them with a spoon. Then we place them back into the hot oil until they are crispy. I prefer the plantains that are quarter ripe, love the slight sweet taste.

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Hi Noel. Thanks for being the first to comment! What do you have with yours? And what do you call them in Jamaica?

  2. Great post 😁

  3. Love the way you’ve brought the tropical colours and flavours home. Gorgeous!

  4. superfitbabe says:

    My family and I are obsessed with the plantain chips from Trader Joe’s. Both the sweet and spicy kind, to be exact! However, I’d believe that these homemade baked plantain chips are super delicious AND are probably healthier. The salsa is SUCH a winner too. Nothing beats a healthy and fun snack recipe to enjoy at an outdoor spring picnic!

  5. Mr A says:

    These are fantastic, love the contrast of flavours, textures and colours

  6. Sally says:

    Alphonso mangoes from India have just come into season and they are fantastic. I must look out for plantains – I’m sure I could find some. This is right up my street.

  7. Rachel Anderson says:

    you had me at those colours ! <3

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