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Healthy eating is an important part of leading a healthy life, but how do you get the kids to join in? Let’s face it, kids love food that is inherently unhealthy – chips are a favourite, plus burgers and so on – and we don’t blame them: often, the best tasting snacks are those that are not always good for us! But, as we shall show, it doesn’t have to be that way: let’s talk about some easy ways to make your kids favourite snacks healthier.
Fry the Healthy Way
It may come as a surprise to many people that you can fry food in a healthier fashion, and it is largely down to how you do it, what oil you use, and the coating and food you choose to cook. Regular cooking oil if not a healthy cooking medium, so you need to look elsewhere. The first advice we will give you is to consider alternative oils: olive oil is a great choice, as it is perfect for deep frying, and peanut oil is another viable and healthy alternative.
Both of these are readily available, and you will find they give a great result every time. You want that lovely crispy texture you get with fried foods, and it’s what you will get when you try our ideas.
Healthy Fried Chicken
Chicken is a favourite for frying, and we have some great ideas as to how you can do it and make a healthy snack for the kids. The Japanese are among the most ardent supporters of healthy cooking, and they have a popular recipe called Karaage, which is delicious, fired chicken coated in potato starch (or, if that proves difficult to find, corn starch) for added success. It’s best deep-fried – try it in olive oil – and you can garnish with garlic for added flavour. Quick, simple and very tasty, this is worth trying and the kids will love it.
You may also want to try other coatings, there are many options, and consider cutting lean chicken breasts into small bite sized chunks for the perfect quick finger-food snack. Have a go, experiment, and keep your chicken healthy.
Is there really such a thing? Yes, there is, and there are several ways to make chips that are crispy, delicious and healthy. One essential piece of advice is to cut your peeled potatoes into very think chips; this gives a much more effective result than large chunks. Also, we recommend you double-fry in peanut oil: the technique is to fry the chips initially for a few minutes, then pat dry and refrigerate until cool. Then, repeat the frying process, and you get perfect, crispy chips that are better than ever. You can choose your own garnish, although we recommend rosemary, thyme and a little rock salt.
We should also tell you about how to make air fried chips, as this is by far the healthiest method of cooking very tasty chips. If this is a new concept to you, don’t worry – you’re not alone! Air fryers are a relatively new appliance that use a very small amount of oil and super-heated air to replicate regular frying, and they provide very impressive chips as well as many other fried foods. If you want the best in healthy fried snacks for the kids, buy one of these, as they are not expensive and you will get plenty of use out of one.
More Healthy Fried Food Ideas
Once you begin to look into the possibilities, you soon realise that there are many different healthy fried food options. We like the idea of fried plantain – a very healthy and nutritious food that is easy to cook and can be eaten with many different accompaniments – and zucchini chips, which may sound like an odd idea, but are actually quite delicious.
Deep-fried mushrooms are also a healthy and tasty option, especially cooked in peanut oil, and there are plenty of other vegetables that can be fried in a little oil – or even in an air fryer – with great results. Consider the humble leek, a great alternative – and for many people more flavoursome – to onions for quick deep fried rings.
Of course, we don’t recommend you fry every meal, but kids deserve to eat what they like, and sometimes this means frying! You can encourage your kids to join in with the cooking – a home-made pizza is a great way to do this as they can choose their own topping, and it’s surprisingly healthy, too – as getting them involved will help them learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy meals. It’s also great fun, and gives you the chance to enjoy some quality time with the kids!
Enjoy your fried healthy meals, and definitely consider investing in an air fryer, as we guarantee that you will find it to be a very useful appliance indeed.
Simon Barker is a keen cook and is always on the lookout for healthy ways of cooking. He enjoys cooking with kids and likes to experiment, and is an avid fan of air fryers, and uses his regularly. Find out more at http://www.airfryerhub.com/.