Love the taste and texture of fried foods, but hate the calories and fat? An air fryer is your solution, says Amy Gorin, RDN, a plant-based diet specialist in Union City, New Jersey.
Instead of a deep fryer’s vat of hot oil — into which you plunge your food — these small countertop appliances use a fan to circulate hot air, which quickly toasts food from the outside in. The result: the same crispiness you love with less oil, meaning fewer calories and less unhealthy fat.
You can use an air fryer to make healthier versions of your favorite fried foods, such as fries, mozzarella sticks, and churros, keeping in mind that you’ll still want to eat them in moderation. After all, healthier mozzarella sticks are still mozzarella sticks, Gorin notes. But this appliance can do even more, allowing you to whip up veggies along with proteins like beef, chicken, fish, and tofu.
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An air fryer is a great option for quick meals and snacks. “It takes much less time to preheat than an oven,” says the Denver-based recipe developer Leanne Ray, RDN. Typically, you can score a crispy and delicious meal or snack in 30 minutes or less — and that includes prep time.
Still skeptical? Have a look at these 10 tasty air-fryer recipes that are sure to rival anything made in an oven or deep fryer.