With the recent warm weather, I've been craving lighter, cooler foods but knowing my digestive tendencies, I do my best to avoid the go-to raw salads, smoothies etc. that don't feel nourishing or grounding. Similarly, I try to keep dry, light qualities (think crackers and popcorn) to a minimum so when I reached for a snack the other day, I decided it was time for something new!
Ayurveda teaches us that the change of season — and related cravings — are always an opportunity to let our inner wisdom guide us through transition, and for me this is an invitation to be creative in the kitchen. So, this week's experiment became spicing up (while keeping cool!) some plantains that landed in my CSA.
Plantain chips look a lot like banana chips but plantains contain less sugar than bananas. In fact, many cuisines use the starchy quality of plantains as a substitute for potatoes, making it more like a vegetable than fruit. That starchiness also lends them to be a bit astringent, which is great for pitta and kapha-balancing diets. Vatas also benefit from anti-oxidants and minerals, though if you're a vata-type who experience gas or has the tendency to bloat, bananas are a better option and also a great source of vitamin A, B6, C, magnesium, potassium and serotonin.
And because (nearly) everyone loves avocados, I decided to pair the chips with an Indian twist on guacamole. Nourishing, grounding, and ojas-building, avocados are great for vata and pitta balancing. (Kaphas too benefit from these qualities, just in less quantity / frequency.) By adding lime, cilantro, and digestive spices to the mix, this guacamole becomes a transporter for digestion-enhancing goodness.
- 4 medium ripe avocados, diced
- 1 tsp roasted mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida
- 1 6 oz container plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 lime squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 small minced yellow onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 medium plantains sliced thin and diagonal
- 3 tablespoons of coconut (alternatives: ghee, avocado)
- 1 tsp mineral salt
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp Spiced Golden Milk, or plain turmeric
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
Set the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel thinly slice the plantains on a diagonal, discarding the ends.
Melt the coconut oil (or alternative) and rub on parchment paper. Lay down the plantain slices and brush remaining coconut oil over top. Sprinkle with a bit of mineral salt. Place in oven for 20 minutes. *Some of the chips may cook faster so make sure to check half way and take out any that might be burning.
While the chips are baking, prepare the guacamole by lightly pan frying the mustard seeds in a dry saute pan for about a minute. Right before taking off of the stove, add the asafetida.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add the avocado, yogurt, onion, cilantro, and line juice and mix until combined but still chunky. Add salt to taste then set aside.
Place baked plantains on a rack to cool. In a small bowl, combine the plantain chip spices, mixing together the cumin, tumeric, chili, asefetida, and salt. Once the spices are mixed and the chips cooked and cooled, sprinkle the blend on to the chips and mix around until they are evenly coated.
All that's left is to dip and enjoy!
- Vata- Substitute bananas & omit onions. Use ghee or avocado oil
- Pitta- Omit onions. Use coconut oil
- Kapha- Eat avocado in moderation. Omit yogurt
This recipe serves 4.