I’ve survived AIP as long as I have mainly due to two indispensible foods: Terre Plantain chips and Chunky Avocado. I eat these plantain chips dipped in chunky avocado nearly everyday in the mid-afternoon as a snack (alternating occasionally with sweet potato chips). They are absolutely indispensible for sticking with AIP week after week.
I was afraid to try the plantain chips at first because plantains were new to me and sounded weird. Plantains are basically a type of banana that you cook. If you cook them when they’re green, they taste starchy, like potatoes. I read about this, especially from Sarah Ballantyne in her blog (thepaleomom.com) and in her books. She’s a big fan of plantains. I had been eating Siete grain-free chips, which are made with cassava flour and taste similar to potato chips, but cost $4.99 per 5 oz. bag and contain chia seeds, so they are not technically AIP. I was looking for a cheaper chip that was compliant with AIP. Terre also has root vegetable chips that taste good, but they are cooked in safflower/sunflower oil so they are not technically AIP either. However, Terre’s plantain chips are cooked in coconut oil, so they are AIP-compliant, and they only cost $3.49 per 5 oz. bag at the Whole Foods near me.
So, I bought a bag and screwed up my courage to try them. I was pleasantly surprised. They taste closer to potato chips than the root vegetable chips. They are crunchy and salty and don’t curl up funny like sweet potato chips do. They are great for dipping into my chunky avocado. The price is reasonable and I find they often go on sale. They have become a staple, must-have in my AIP diet!
The other must-have food that goes with the plantain chips is Chunky Avocado. I looked at a lot of different guacamoles in several different grocery stores and all of them had at least one ingredient that was not compliant with AIP (jalapenos, pepper, tomatoes, etc.). I tried making my own guacamole at home. I bought fresh avocados, mashed them up, and added AIP-compliant spices like lime juice, sea salt, etc. When it was freshly made, this homemade guacamole was okay, but I found it was kind of runny. Too moist, too much extra liquid, and it just wasn’t as appealing as the store-bought kind.
Then, I found Chunky Avocado in Walmart of all places. The only ingredients are Hass Avocados, with no other seasonings. The taste is plain, but AIP-compliant and very easy to buy and eat as a dip. After I open it and it eat the first time, I squirt lime juice over the surface to help prevent the avocado from turning brown in the fridge. It will still turn brown around the edges, but the lime juice helps prevent the whole top surface from turning brown and also adds some flavor. Regular guacamole certainly tastes more flavorful, but this Chunky Avocado is quick and easy and helps me get through many AIP days. I can only find it at Walmart in the fresh section, next to the other guacamoles.