When looking for a healthier way to live, I started looking at other options in deep frying. I have tried baking as a substitute (i.e., baked fries), and it is just not the same – my three boys would also say that it is not the same. They don’t like the taste of my “fake-baked” fries, and I don’t want them having oil-laden fries or chicken nuggets every other night of the week. No one is happy. Today, I am looking at alternatives to deep fat frying.
Let’s face it – Anything and everything fried becomes a crispy, golden-brown morsel of crunchy and flaky deliciousness. From candy bars and Twinkies to spaghetti and pizza, just about every food can be tossed into a fryer and come out twice as good. Even unappealing greens such as okra transform into mouth-watering delicacies after a trip to the dry bath. Sadly, eating a diet full of fried goodies is a sure way to find yourself overweight, unhealthy, and living with a shortened lifespan. If you love the taste of fried food, there are plenty of healthier alternatives.
1. Try Baking.
Baking is a much healthier alternative to deep-frying because it is an entirely different cooking method that uses convection and heat to crisp up the food. With baking, you are not dunking your food into a bath of high-fat cooking oils, and as a result, you would not be consuming the grease and oil-drenched batter or crust of the fried food. This process significantly reduces your fat and calorie intake while retaining the crispy texture that makes deep-fried foods so good.
2. Pan Sear.
Pan searing meats are an excellent way to get that charred, crispy texture when you are in the mood for something else that’s deep-fried. The caramel that occurs on the edges of the meat will trap in the juices and bring extra flavor to an otherwise flat and floppy steak. For most people, a well-seasoned steak that nicely seared on all sides would be an excellent alternative to a pan-fried steak.
3. Grill it.
One of the healthiest ways to eat is to grill your food. Not only does it add a great smoky flavor and charred texture, but roasting also melts the fat off of meats keeping them nice and lean. Grilled vegetables are also full of character and very nutritious.
4. Broil it.
Very much like grilling, broiling is another means of cooking with a heat source. The difference here is that with broiling, the heat comes from above instead of below. It is another smart choice that will keep your heart healthy and your body in shape.
5. Stew it.
This food preparation technique is most often used to mix and mingle the different flavors of meats and veggies in a pot. Water added to the solid ingredients, and then the whole thing is cooked using low heat and lots of time. The combination of flavors achieved from a proper stew will probably make you forget fried foods for a very long time.
While I am not sure that any of these are an excellent substitute for my three (very picky) kids at home, I am going to start trying these different cooking methods to make my entire family healthier eaters! However, have to make sure they have enough exercise (i.e. waist training, cardio workout, jogging) due to both are an essential part of getting healthy.