Tostones aka fried green plantains are a staple side dish in my family. Green plantains are a relative of the banana but they are used to make tostones have a hard green peel. Tostones are easy to make at any time but are traditionally fried in a lot of oil which doesn’t make them healthiest to eat when cooked this way. These tostones are baked with a minimal amount of oil so they are not only healthier but are also crispy.
Plantains contain less sugar than traditional bananas and contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. They help regulate the digestive system and can help boost your immune system. Before I never thought that plantains were actually good for you because I always ate them fried and topped them off with a lot of salt and garlic mojito which my family makes with a lot of oil.
Baking plantains helps prevent the plantains from absorbing extra oil that you do not need to consume. When buying plantains to make tostones make sure they are green and firm since those are the ones that haven’t ripen yet and will come out crispy.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the plantains by cutting off each end of the banana. Then with a knife carefully slice the peel down the length of the banana on each side. Don’t press the knife all the way through the banana but just deep enough to go through the peel. Take your finger and lift the peel where the knife made the incision and remove the peel.
Slice the plantain into ½ inch slices and with a pastry brush spread some of the oil on each piece. Make sure each piece is covered in a little bit of oil. Put the pieces on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. You need to cook them a little first to be able to flatten them since they are too hard to flatten them when raw.
This next step is important for turning the plantain slices into tostones. You will need a tool called a tostonera or a plantain smasher. There are several types of tostoneras but for these you will need the traditional one that just flattens them like the one shown below. If you don’t have a tostonera you can place the pieces on a cutting board and flatten them using the bottom of a jar.
The plantains will be hot from the oven so be careful. Flatten each piece one at a time and spread some more oil on both sides of all the pieces. Return the plantains to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle some salt over all the pieces and serve with the garlic mojito sauce or any other dipping sauce.