Serves 2-4 | Prep 2 min. | Cook 10 min.

2 ripe plaintains (The darker, the better.; do not use green ones for this recipe.)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil or other cooking fat
lots of salt
pinch of ground cumin
1 fresh lime


1. Peel the plantains. The easiest way is to cut off both ends, then make shallow slits along the ridges along the length of the plantain. Then you can pry off the skin. (Here’s a very detailed video. Good golly! It’s not brain surgery.)

2. Slice plantains into coins. If you’re fancy, cut them on the diagonal. I was not fancy.

3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Place the plantain slices in the pan, add the water, and cover. The water should steam and soften the plantains. Keep an eye on it! When the water is evaporated, test a plantain and see if they’re almost soft. Yes? Proceed to step 4. No? Add a few more tablespoons water and continue to steam under tender.

4. When the plantains are tender, add the cooking fat to the pan and shake it around to distribute the oil under the plantain slices. Reduce heat to medium-high. Sprinkle the slices generously with salt and let the bottom side cook until browned, about 1-3 minutes. Flip the slices and cook the other side until golden, another minute or two.

5. Sprinkle a pinch of cumin over the slices, add more salt, then stir with a wooden spoon to coat each slice with spice and fat. Remove to a serving plate and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.

Bonus Condiment: We’ve been enjoying Salsa Lizano on just about everything: bunless burgers, avocado and cabbage salad, plantains, ceviche. It include onions, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, and spices — but I  suspected it also includes non-paleo ingredients so Dave and I typed the ingredients list into Hmmm…

water, sugar, iodized salt, vegetable concentrate, molasses, spices (with mustard and celery), modified corn starch (thickener), acetic acid (acidulant), Potassium Chloride, chile pepper, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, sodium benzoate (0.09%) as preservative. Treated with ionizing energy.

Another nutrition note: Plantains are a pretty dense source of carbs. I’m using them as post-workout fuel on vacation, but at home, they’re a once-in-a-while treat. For context, here’s how they stack up against sweet potatoes and bananas.

Sweet Potato, 1 cup baked: carbs 41g | sugar 13 g
Plantain, 1 cup sliced: carbs 48g | sugar 22 g
Banana, 1 cup sliced: carbs 34g | sugar 18 g