One of the best ways to have healthier foods is to economize the use of fats/oils during the cooking process. There are a good many ways in which we can cook our foods to make them healthier- we can steam, boil, bake, saute or even have them raw!
In addition to all of these, using an air-fryer to make low carb and healthy meals and one that totally does away with the use of fats is a welcome experiment!
The main way an air fryer is healthier is by not using an excessive amount of oil to coat your food and deep fry it. Instead, you get that fast cooking time and crispy texture, but air is frying your food instead of fattening oil.
There are some perks when it comes to preparing your meals with the help of an air-fryer.
Fried Food Without the Calories
Naturally, one of the top reasons an air fryer helps with healthier dishes is that you are cutting down on the fat and calories substantially. A tablespoon of oil has over 100 calories alone.
We use much more than that when it comes to fried foods.
With an air fryer, you do not use oil as you are relying on the circulating air to cook the food and give it a crispness. This allows you to have your ‘fried goodies’ where the oil isn’t being added to the overall calorie count.
You Eat Less Processed Foods
This is a really important health benefit that you should keep in mind. If time or difficulty of cooking at home is what is keeping you from eating whole, fresh foods, then the air fryer can be perfect for you.
Not only is it convenient, but it encourages you to cook at home a little more often.
This decreases your intake of processed/fried foods you can make at home, also you are going to be eating more whole foods in the process.
Fits Quite Comfortably In Your Kitchen
Air fryers are small appliances, no larger than the standard slow cooker. It should fit just fine on your countertop and is usually small enough to fit in cabinets with just a little organization.
Even with a small kitchen, you can use the air fryer for fast, healthier meals.
Use the Air Fryer For Low-Carb Recipes
One of the top benefits to an air fryer is that you can make food that resembles fried food but doesn’t contain the breading on the outside.
This is great when making low carb versions of your favorite foods. If you are on a low carb diet like Keto, you might be missing your favorite fried foods; but you can still make them with the air fryer.
A great low-carb recipe to try with your air fryer is to make mozzarella sticks, something you probably thought would never be an option while following a low carb diet. This is hard to do in a deep fryer because the cheese melts quickly off the mozzarella sticks, then drops in the fryer. However, with an air fryer, it gives you more freedom to make these. All you do is cut mozzarella cheese sticks in half, dip them in egg, then roll them around in grated parmesan.
Crispy Fried Broccoli
You can make your own healthy version of broccoli using an air fryer. Pre-heat your air fryer while preparing the ingredients.
Soak small florets of broccoli in a bowl of water. Wash, drain and leave to dry,
Season the broccoli any way you want, then while it is still wet, roll it in flour of your choice and drop it in the air fryer basket. It should cook in about 10 minutes. For a low-carb diet, use almond flour.
Essential Tips For Using an Air Fryer
If you already have an air fryer or are going to purchase one, these helpful tips are going to guide you through some basics and help to avoid common mistakes people make with this appliance.
Do The Prep Right
The first tip that can really help you use the air fryer to its maximum potential is to be patient and thorough with your prep work. If you don’t do the coating properly or you fail to pre-heat the air cooker, your food might not come out exactly right.
Make sure the air fryer is a good size where there are several inches between the back of it where the vent is and the wall of your kitchen behind the countertop. If you have shallow countertops, get a smaller air fryer.
You also want to make sure that when you are coating your food to be fried, you start with the flour, then egg, then bread or bread substitute. For low-carb foods, this might be almond flour, egg, or even cheese as the coating.
Also, ensure the air fryer is preheating until the timer goes off before the food goes in.
Know How to Load Food Into the Air Fryer
When it comes time to air fry your food, you should know the basic techniques for loading it inside. Just like a deep fryer, the air fryer comes with a basket to hold the food in place. You want to make sure there is enough space in the basket so that each food item can be cooked thoroughly.
Try not to put too much in there, or your foods might not be as crispy as you want. Foods should preferably be flipped halfway through cooking as well.
Also, shake the baskets when you flip the food to distribute seasonings a little better for the remainder of the cooking.
Clean the Air Fryer After Each Use
After each use, clean the air fryer and the basket thoroughly. This will help to keep it sanitary and prolong its lifespan.
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This should not be any more complicated than other cooking appliances, just be careful to wait to clean it until the fryer has cooled off completely.
With inputs from the Internet and print sources