There are so many appliances today to help us with cooking our foods.
Many are geared to help with creating healthy meals.
One I would like to focus on today is the Air Fryer.
Whether you already have an Air Fryer or are still thinking about investing in one, there are so many ways to use an Air Fryer to keep things exciting in the kitchen.
After all, it allows you to make the fried foods you love with much less fat and calories.
But aside from the healthier "fried food" option, there are endless ways to use it for healthy options.
So, how can you cook healthy meals in your air fryer?
Here are a few tips for using it beyond making fried foods.
- Roast your veggies
Sheet pan veggies are always a hit at dinner. The problem is that they can take a while to bake up. If you don't have time, don't make excuses. Just pull out the Air Fryer. You can do this with any vegetable you choose from brussels sprouts to broccoli and everything in between. Just cut them into bite-sized bits, toss to coat with a little olive oil, and then drop them in the basket of your air fryer. A good rule of thumb is about 375F for 20 minutes. You can even do this while they're still frozen! Don't overcrowd the basket and shake it every 5 to 7 minutes, so they all brown nicely.
- Make fish
Fish is a healthy choice but doesn't need to be coated in batter to be delicious. Dab on some natural butter or coat your fresh fish fillets with plant-based butter and lemon juice and then cook them at 375F for around 8 minutes for perfectly cooked fish.
- Turn chickpeas into a crispy, crunchy snack
For many people, eating healthy is hardest when it comes to snacks. You can fix that by making your own crispy chickpeas in your Air Fryer! They make great snacks or even can top your salad for a bit of texture. Simply drain a can of them and mix with a little drizzle of oil, sea salt, and pepper. You'll want to use 400F and toss the basket every 5 to 10 minutes until all of the chickpeas are nice and crisp. Play around with seasonings like curry or cumin once you get the hang of it.
- Get baked potatoes in no time
Why keep making fries in the air fryer when you can make baked potatoes? Poke a few holes in your potatoes, and air fry them for about 40 minutes. They come out amazing and take less time than the oven.
- Go for tofu
Looking for a delicious way to make tofu? Cube up a block of extra-firm and then mix the cubes with avocado oil and pepper. It takes just 15 to 20 minutes to cook in the Air Fryer. Just be careful when you shake it, or it could fall apart. Once finished, add low sodium soy sauce and fresh shaved ginger. Don't forget the sesame seeds for garnish!
With these tips, you can do so much more with your air fryer. It's not just about healthier fried versions of food, but fast ways to healthier foods that makes the air fryer a gem in any kitchen!
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Alicia Williamson RN, BSN, MSNW, CHC
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