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The Magic of Air Frying

mexican food

Why Air Fry?

Maybe an air fryer isn’t magic, but it is one tool I have used to make my diet healthier. In fact, it is one of my favorite tools. In addition to making foods crispy using a small amount of oil, and thus cutting calories, air frying is quick, convenient, and versatile.

Tips for Air Frying

  • Preheat. Yes, it’s worth the time.
  • Place food in a single layer.
  • Toss food once or twice for the crispiest results.

How Does an Air Fryer Work?

There are 2 basic types of air fryers: a basket type and a toaster oven type. Food cooked in the basket type of air fryer is usually crispier, and it’s easier to toss food that is in a basket. Tossing the food once or twice during cooking is essential to air frying.

The toaster oven type has a door that opens like that of a toaster oven. It usually has 1 or 2 racks for cooking food. The toaster oven type is more versatile than a basket type. For example, I typically do all my baking and roasting in a toaster oven type air fryer in the summer, rather than my regular oven, because the smaller oven heats less air.

Place setting
Uses convection to cook.
thermometer
Cooks at high temperatures and quickly.
Grease splatter
Makes food crispy with a small amount of

I Eat My Favorite Foods

One of my favorite foods in college was chili cheese tater tots from Coney Island, topped with jalapenos and onions. In addition to this being heartburn waiting to happen, it was, of course, loaded with calories and fat.

However, I still love chili cheese tater tots, so I incorporated into my healthier lifestyle with a recipe makeover. Using my air fryer makes the tater tots as crispy and tasty as if I had deep fried them. Now, I have one serving of tots, topped with my healthy homemade chili, and cheese as a garnish for less than 500 calories! I add all the jalapenos and onions I want–or as many as my stomach can handle. Here is the breakdown:

IngredientCalories
12 Tater tots160
1 cup Healthy chili250
2 tablespoons Shredded cheddar cheese35
Total445
Chili Cheese Tater Tots with Fewer Than 500 Calories

Buying an Air Fryer

Capacity

For the crispiest, highest quality food, the food must be cooked in a single layer to ensure that air circulates evenly on all sides. Thus, even though one air fryer has an 8 quart capacity, it may have no more surface area than a 6 quart, and thus cook the same amount of food per batch.

Safety

Before buying, make sure to check out the design of the air fryer. First, look at the placement of the heating element. Make sure it’s not placed where it would be easy to get a burn. Similarly, the drawer may be designed so that it is difficult to access the food without being burned. Finally, does the air fryer have an auto shutoff function? Although air frying is great, house fires are not!

What Do You Think?

An air fryer can be an amazing tool to help lose weight and keep it off. You can eat foods you love while maintaining a healthy diet. What is your experience with air frying? Do you have favorite recipes or tips and tricks? Share them in the comments, below.

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