Amongst a variety of breathtaking places, beaches and cities I saw, reconnecting with my friend made me really feel at ease again – more than I have felt in a long time, which resulted in the conclusion that this trip to Panama was not my last one. In fact, I had one coming up in November.
I also got to explore some dishes, I have never tasted before – biggest achievement for me: I ate a whole fish.
Yes I am 29 years old, always hated fish without ever really trying one. So being in the Caribbean, looking onto the picture perfect ocean triggered me to try and love it. And also with a latin american typical go-to side dish: patacones aka fried plantain chips.
I know I know, those babies are not low carb – I am usually on the rather ketonic paleo route, avoiding high-starchy foods. But hey I can not talk about finding balance without doing it myself and as plantaines never harmed me on my vacation, they won’t harm me today as a paleo lunch treat. So here are some facts, I did my research and paleo approved them:
Plantains are often mistaken with bananas, and while they are part of the banana family, they are very different. The main difference is that they have to be cooked before eaten; this is due to the fact that they are much starchier than your usual banana, but has less sugar in total.
Plátanos though are a must have ingredient in many Latin American dishes and can be both used for savory recipes (green plantains/ verdes) and sweet desserts (ripe, yellow/brown plantains/ maduros).
〰 PALEO 〰 NO ADDED SUGAR 〰 GRAIN-FREE 〰 LOW-FAT 〰 CLEAN 〰 DELICIOUS
They look like bananas and smell like bananas, but you certainly don’t want to eat a plantain raw. They’re much too hard and woody if you try to just peel them and take a bite: to get the full nutritional advantage of a plantain, you have to cook it first.
- 1 medium green plantain
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- sriracha/ salsa/ guacamole (condiment of your choice).
- Bring a pot of water to a bowl, in the meantime cut open your plantain. It is easy if you cut both top and bottom tip off, slice down the side with a sharp knife and then peel of the thick skin.
- Cut your platain into equal sized pieces, a medium plantain yielded 6 wheels for me.
- Place your slices into the boiling water and cook them for 4-5 minutes or until the soften a bit.
- Drain them and pad dry on a slicing board.
- Now you can use the bottom of a drinking glas/ the flat side of a meat tenderizer/ a plate to press down onto your plantain pieces to smush them and create disc shape patacones.
- Brush or spray the squished plantains with coconut oil and either place them into your Airfryer to bake for approx. 5 minutes at 200°/ 390° until golden brown.
- If you do not have an Airfryer, add a little bit of oil into a headed pan and fry your patacones until they are crispy and golden.
- Now sprinkle your patacones with salt or add your favorite condiment.
Yes, I made my patacones a little bit less naughty by “frying” them in my beloved Philips Airfryer – only used 1 tbs of coconut oil and achieved a perfectly crips crust with a nice and soft core.
Traditionally, patacones (or tostones) are double-fried and could be considered at a non-healthy food by many, but as anything fried they are delicious, plus perfectly paleo as they are the perfect grain-free, real food dish to accompany meat or fish. I ate mine as a snack and a savory treat within my lchf-paleo lifestyle.
Remember, balance is key.