Air fryers are all the rage. These small, electric devices “fry” food with a fraction of the oil by circulating hot air around the food, creating a similar crispy texture to deep-frying.
Deep-frying requires a large amount of oil, which is lower quality oil that is reused. Deep-frying has been shown to create cancer causing compounds in food. Deep-frying is also dangerous, and messy.
You can use healthier oil, like olive oil, in an air fryer since only a few teaspoons are needed. This reduces or even eliminates the amount of saturated fat in your “fried” food. Air fryers cut down on cooking odors, even with fragrant foods like fish. The cleanup is relatively easy. There are smaller air fryers that take up little space on your counter or your pantry.
While you can cook many foods in your air fryer, I would like to cover vegetables. The natural sugars, in the veggies, caramelize, creating a sweet, crispy, healthy treat. Veggies that work well include (but are not limited to):
- Use a small spray bottle filled with heart healthy olive oil.
- Spray the bottom of the tray with a layer of oil ( about ½ -1 tsp)
- Spread the cut veggies on the tray (don’t load the basket as the hot air needs to circulate)
- Spray another layer of olive oil on top of the veggies
- Add seasoning like Mrs. Dash, or a very light sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Stir to mix with a non-metal spoon
- Set the air fryer to 400 for 10 minutes
- Check halfway and shake the basket
- Cook until desired doneness
Eat these veggies as a snack or a side dish with your favorite lean protein. They work well on top of a salad too.
Start with veggies then move onto other foods. The air fryer is a fun way to add healthy foods to your diet.
by Christy Coughlin, Wellness Coach