There is no doubt that fried foods are among the most popular types of food in America. Whether it is fried chicken, or french fries, everyone has at least one guilty fried pleasure.
Although frying foods can certainly make them taste a lot better, it also has the potential to make the nutritional value decrease, if not prepared correctly. If you are looking to eat healthier, without sacrificing eating fried foods, be sure to follow these hacks.
1. Use olive oil.
Olive oil is probably the best kind of oil you can use to make your fried foods. Olive oil itself holds many health benefits, so it has an advantage against its other competitors.
Olive oil is more stable at high temperatures compared to corn oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil, meaning you can use it longer than the other kinds of frying oil, and it will still maintain its quality and nutrition.
The best olive oils to use would be Virgin, or Extra Virgin; this label indicates that there where less chemicals used for extraction, which can decrease nutritional value.
To learn more about why you should use olive oil, click here!
2. Keep your oil clean.
It is important to make sure you keep the fry oil nice and clean. If you let it get old, and collect debris, the oil will start to burn, and it will make your food taste burnt. Using old oil also means that the oil probably lost its nutrients as well.
Some ways you can help keep your food tasting good and staying nutritious is includes removing debris in your oil as often as possible and, of course, changing out your oil once it starts to get old.
3. Improve your batter. Go gluten free.
Having a good batter for your food is super important to having a great tasting meal, but how you make your batter can determine if your fried delights are going to be a healthy treat, or a greasy mess.
A lot of people probably use all purpose flour for their batter. All purpose flour works well because it contains gluten, which helps stick to the food really well, but it can also absorb a lot of oil. Instead of high gluten all purpose flour, you can use gluten free ingredients, like cornmeal or rice flour in your batter.
4. Use carbonated liquids or baking soda.
Another popular way to help improve the quality of fried, battered foods is to use a carbonated liquid, or baking soda in the batter. What this will do for your food is when it is cooking, it will release gas bubbles, which will help reduce the oil absorption in your food.
Pairing this method with gluten free ingredients in your batter is a sure fire way to promote a tasty and health conscious batter for your foods.
5. Maintain your oil temperature.
One thing that most people fail at when trying to make a healthy fried dish is making sure the oil temperature is right where it is supposed to be. The ideal temperature for fry oil is anywhere between 325°F-400°F.
If your fry oil is not hot enough, your food will not cook as fast as it should, and it has a lot more time to soak up more of the oil. If you cook it too hot, it can cause your fry oil to burn and smoke, which will not only make your food taste terrible, but it is also a major safety risk.
Some other quick tips to keep in mind is to always try to use a deep fryer, rather than a pan. This will decrease safety risks, and it is easier to maintain the condition of the oil.
Also, always allow your food to sit on a bed of paper towels, or something to help soak up the excess oil on the exterior. Remember, you don’t have to give up fried foods to eat healthy, you just have to know how to do it right!
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