Cooking with Hot Air – News from Mother Earth – Advice Eating

As a head of household with fast-growing children, teaching them proper nutritious eating has been a top priority since the days I spent consuming organic vegetables for my first toddler. Over the years I have adjusted my family’s diet as needed and carefully developed nutritional specifics as I researched nutrition. Each helpful article or documentary gradually changed the list of things I would no longer bring into my kitchen or make for my kids. One of the first and most obvious dietary ills was fried food. Cleaning up our food intake meant that many of the comfort foods I grew up eating were no longer on the table. I’d like to say that I didn’t miss her occasionally – but that would be a lie.

Imagine my sheer delight when I discovered there was a way to enjoy recipes that are traditionally deep fried without soaking them in oil, increasing the fat and calories and stripping them of moisture. You can do that with an air fryer. That delicious, fried flavor and texture can be achieved without all the fat and negative health effects. The end result is so similar to traditional frying without submerging the nutrients in oil. The deep fryer uses little to no oil, and many recipes call for olive oil, a much healthier alternative to the hydrogenated oils commonly used to deep fry foods. Fried foods negatively impact our health in a number of ways, so switching to a healthier option reduces trans fat and calorie intake and results in recipes that are crispy on the outside yet retain more moisture than traditional deep frying.

Another plus is how time efficient using an air fryer is. It’s quick and convenient with delicious results. There is no constant surveillance. I don’t have to supervise it like I do with frying. However, I can pause it to check progress and avoid overcooking a new recipe. I just prep the ingredients, set the easy-to-use controls, and forget about it until the alarm notifies me it’s done. This appliance reduces the time it takes to prepare a hot and healthy home-cooked meal by using wholesome ingredients that are carefully selected to suit my family’s dietary preferences. Unlike eat-in or take-out, we know if the ingredients are non-GMO or gluten-free, made from whole grain, locally sourced, sustainably produced or organic.

Extremely versatile, air fryers can be used to fry, toast, grill, steam and bake, or to prepare frozen food that needs to be fried or cooked in a fraction of the time in a traditional oven. The results favor microwaves for refreshing and reheating leftovers, especially pizza, food comes out crispy and hot – not mushy. It can be used to prepare all types of food including meat, vegetables, fruit and even baked goods. It can even cook whole eggs instead of boiling them, which is a total time saver. I also discovered that I can easily prepare croutons and have control over the seasonings as well as the quality of the bread used to make them. If you’re on a gluten-free diet like me, you know croutons are a rare treat.

The absence of hot oil means no more ruined clothing or spilled messes on the range and worktops. The hot air fryer not only saves time when cooking, cleaning is also child’s play. Few parts require cleaning and the interior is coated with an excellent non-stick surface that wipes clean with a damp cloth or soap and water. In addition, no old grease has to be disposed of. The air fryer has become my favorite kitchen appliance.

To explore the versatility of my air fryer out of the box, I dug into The Air Fryer Bible: 200+ Healthier Recipes for Your Favorite Foods by Susan LaBorde and Elizabeth Hickman. I just started and did a quick inventory of my kitchen for everything that needed to be consumed and started preparing. Using the index on the back, organized by ingredient, I found recipes with sweet potatoes, chickpeas, apples, tofu, and to my surprise – cucumbers. By the time the timer alerted me that it was done cooking, I had the next recipe chopped, seasoned and ready to pop into the air fryer basket. I soon had many healthy and tasty new options to add some crunch and variety to our menu again. I’ve evolved into creating more complex recipes, quickly putting together veggie burgers, jalapeño poppers, and granola with delicious, crunchy results.

The Air Fryer Bible contains over 200 recipes ranging from simple to complex. The book is divided into categories including breakfast and brunch; appetizers and snacks; Bread; my personal favorite, meatless entrees; as well as many others. The recipes are easy to follow, with itemized prep and cooking time, and include labels to quickly identify which recipes are vegetarian, kid-friendly, a flavor favorite, gluten-free, and more.

The recipe book contains tips for beginners, including safety precautions, how to adjust cooking time to get the perfect crispiness, and definitions and explanations of the ingredients that must be used for a successful recipe. It also describes how to cook in batches, as you may need to adjust the amount cooked to serve a larger group. If you’re looking for portion control in your portion sizes, this device is great for preventing you from overcooking. There’s even a section explaining the terms and techniques used in the Air Fryer Bible.

The Air Fryer Bible is so thorough, and the device proves bite after consistently roasted bite, that I only have one question: Where has this device been all my life?


Christine Stoner is Editor of Gas Engine Magazine and works on various other titles at Ogden Publications. She is passionate about fitness, healthy living and sustainability.

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