Baked Tostone Pizza Bites – Discover the Healing Benefits of Plantains

Looking for a healthy and satisfying game day appetizer?  These pizza bites made from plantains can’t lose, and the resistant starch, found in green plantains, will surely be the next new champion in Superfoods!

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Plantains are a starchy fruit found commonly in the Caribbean.  These cousins to the banana can be used in both savory or sweet dishes, depending on their ripeness.  Green plantains are not sweet and can be thought of more like a dense potato.  I was in Puerto Rico over the holiday and I tried all sorts of local plantain dishes. Most of the time you find them fried, or even twice fried!  So here I made a healthy version by baking the smashed plantain slices instead of frying.  The texture and taste of tostones remind me of a cracker or crusty flatbread when baked, making it the perfect gluten free alternative that is healthy, Paleo and clean diet friendly, and just plain delicious.

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Recipe for your Mind, Body and Spirit:

If you practice yoga consistently you begin to notice the subtle signals your body is sending you letting you know exactly what you need to thrive.  If your have any sort of food allergy these signals  may not be so subtle!  Plantains can help you heal from digestive issues and will also provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Thank your body for sending your these signals, giving you the opportunity learn how to heal, how to flourish, and how to become aware and fully present in your body.  What we eat literally becomes who we are, and if we eat healthy and healing foods to nurture our bodies we become healthy, healed and nurtured.

Green plantains are chocked full of essential vitamins and minerals and are a resistant starch food, which is healing to your lower intestine.   Check out this clip from Dr. Oz to learn more about why you should incorporate resistant starch into your diet:

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/resistant-starch-flour

The main reason why resistant starch is so beneficial is that it feeds the friendly bacteria in your large intestine and colon, turns them into important short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate (known to help reduce inflammation) and is extremely helpful in cases of autoimmunity, IBS, colitis and allergies.

Ingredients for Pizza Bite Tostones (serves 4):

2 large green plantains

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 roma tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning

¼ cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

2 sprigs fresh Italian parsley (optional)

Method:

Cut the ends off the plantains.  Cut a slit through the peel lengthwise.

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Microwave the prepared whole plantain for 3-5 minutes.  The peel will turn black and will be easily removed.  Be careful when peeling the hot plantain!

While the plantain is still hot, slice into 3/4 rounds.

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Flatten the rounds in tostonera, or between two cutting boards.  You can buy an inexpensive tostonera here.

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Place smashed plantains on a greased cookie or baking sheet.

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Lightly brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and flip, season the other side with salt and pepper and return to the oven for 7-8 more minutes, the edges will become a beautiful golden brown.  Remove the tostones from the oven and add a slice of tomato, mozzarella cheese and red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning.  Return to the oven until cheese is completely melted, about 1-2 more minutes.

IMG_0058You can also omit the pizza toppings and use the baked tostones as a vehicle for your favorite dip.  Here I made a quick yoghurt lime dipping sauce out of yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro and garlic.

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I think these baked beauties would be perfect with a spinach or artichoke dip as well.  Want the recipe for my yogurt lime dipping sauce?  Was this recipe helpful, inspiring, difficult?  Let me know your comments below!