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The Air Fryer Could Be The Newest Healthier Kitchen Gadget
There’s no denying it: You probably love eating high-fat, oil-laden foods. Why? They’re comforting and delicious, and science says your brain is wired to seek them out. Unfortunately, a diet that’s high in unhealthy fats (saturated and trans) can slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain over time. That’s where the latest cooking trend the air fryer comes in handy. It reduces the amount of oil you need to cook with to still get the same flavor and texture you’d expect from fried food. (As a reminder, there are plenty of healthy fats out there. Looking at you, avocado.)
So, what’s an air fryer, exactly? This magical gadget basically “fries” food by using a tiny bit of oil and hot air in order to dehydrate and cook whatever you’re using. So those fried mozzarella sticks will get a crisp, breaded texture but with only half the fat. Is it worth it? And does it taste the same? Here are a few mouthwatering recipes so you can find out for yourself.
Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato
Apparently, the air fryer doesn’t just “fry” foods, but it can mimic the texture of baking them, too. Thanks to the air fryer, you can enjoy a rich, baked sweet potato using no oil whatsoever. Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and fiber, which keep you fuller longer and keep your heart and skin healthy, so it’s an excellent starchy side or lunch option. (Try stuffing your sweet potato with black beans, cheese, and avocado.) And even if you do use a tablespoon of olive oil, the finished product will only be 153 calories a serving.
Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Breaded Fried Chicken Wings
Love fried chicken wings but hate all that excess oil and fat? The air fryer is the solution. Breading them with Parmesan helps nix even more calories and fat. Each serving has only 274 calories and 15 grams of fat, which keeps the count especially low without jeopardizing that comfort-food flavor. The best part? You can have a full plate of wings ready in only 30 minutes.
Air Fryer Vegan Fried Ravioli
Try putting a new twist on classic Italian. Whip up a batch of ravioli, but “fry” it in the air fryer for a crisp texture instead of boiling the pasta. You can use different herbs and spices for a tasty seasoning (like garlic, nutritional yeast, basil, and oregano) and include a sauce for dipping (like marinara). This particular recipe is vegan but will appeal to everyone. (FYI, there are a few more ways to enjoy a lighter pasta night.)
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Fried Brussels sprouts are so amazing you’ll wonder how you ever cooked them differently. That crispy exterior serves up crunchy satisfaction with every bite while still being a low-cal veggie that’s high in nutrition. Traditionally, fried sprouts can be drenched in oil. This air-fried Brussels sprouts recipe, however, saves you a ton of calories and fats—but still incorporates a bit of bacon for that oh-so-good fatty flavor. (If you’re hooked on this green vegetable, try these other ways to cook with Brussels sprouts at home.)
Air Fryer Tofu Scramble
Have you ever ordered a fried tofu dish from Chinese takeout thinking the tofu automatically made it healthier than a meat dish? Not so fast; that tofu is still fried. The air fryer will give you that crisp outer layer, but without all the greasiness. Try this air fryer scramble for a tofu dish that truly is healthier takeout food you can make at home.
Air Fryer Gluten-Free Onion Rings
There’s nothing like a side of crunchy, flaky onion rings to go alongside (or on) a burger. The only problem with those rings is that they’re usually deep-fried in oil with breading just as thick as the onion underneath. These gluten- and dairy-free onion rings are a healthier option and even have a touch of cayenne and paprika for a spicy kick.