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Healthy Way To Fry Foods
I know that healthy and fried don’t usually cohabitate in the same sentence. One is evil and lives on the other side of the railroad tracks while the second one is welcome in our homes but there is a way to have fried foods without the guilt.
Here in the southern United States of America fried food is at the top of our list with the flag and big hair. We love it.
I love fried okra and can eat it by the platefuls but it’s usually breaded and deep-fried in some mystery oil of which we can only guess its origin. Probably a recent clean up from a coastal spill or residue from a racehorse. Who really knows?
First we need to buy good oil- extra virgin olive oil. The name sounds a bit weird making us wonder if the other olive oils have practiced extra curricular activities we’d rather not think about but it really has to do with the age of the fruit and not its sex life. It’s the healthiest kind of oil we can eat. Oil types make all the difference in the world. It’s not only okay, it’s part of a health diet.
Sweet potatoes- these are much healthier than russet, red or any of the other color potatoes. Vitamin A-769%, vitamin C-65%, calcium-8% and iron-8%
Even though it's called a potato it's closely related to the carrot and much better for you.
It’s more about how you serve this vegetable than anything. I’ve ordered it in restaurants where they’ve smothered it in marshmallows, cinnamon or sugar so that it resembles a dessert and not a vegetable. It tastes good and already sweet without adding all that extra unhealthiness.
Okra- this vegetable is underused, easy to grow (if it will grow in Africa it will grow anywhere) and loaded with vitamins. Vitamin A-15%, vitamin C-52%, calcium-24% and Iron-9%
You can cook it in gumbo or fry it up. I personally prefer it fried and I’ll tell you how to do that the healthy way down below. Y'all haven't lived until you've had some fried okra.
Chicken breast- boneless and skinless is best. Don’t bread it but if you must at least use whole wheat bread crumbs, herbs and spices of your choice for a healthier version of the chicken fried chicken.
Fish- cod or tilapia are good choices. These are good with a little lemon juice squeezed on top or just sea salt and pepper.
Frying your food
You will need a baking sheet preferably with sides so you don’t have any drips.
Slice your vegetables and dip in extra virgin olive oil coating all sides. Spread out on baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes or until light brown around the edges.
For fish and chicken I brush the pan with oil, arrange the meat so the edges aren’t touching and brush the tops with more olive oil. Season with soy sauce or whatever seasoning you usually like on your meat.
Bake fish for about 5 to 7 minutes in preheated 350° Fahrenheit oven. You don’t want to over bake your fish or it will be chewy. Chicken takes a little bit longer, probably about ten minutes. I put poultry seasoning and sea salt on my breasts… chicken that is.
The result will be a crispy crunchy treat that is every bit as good as the deep fried version without the guilt.
You can do white potatoes this way too. It’s not as healthy but at least it’s better than deep-fried French fries.
You can slice sweet potatoes in the shape of French fries or in round slices, the choice is yours. You can even use one of those fancy wavy cutters to give them a pretty look.
Ovens vary in temperature so keep an eye on your food until you know how long it takes. Some take longer than others. I have a convection oven and it cooks quicker than a regular stove.
Beware of what sauce you use to dip your healthy fried foods in because if you dip them in a high calorie sauce like ranch dip or mayonnaise you are defeating the purpose. There are low fat alternatives that taste good and will keep the calorie count down.
These are the best pans and hard to find in stores. They help protect your food from burning. You can still burn things but not as bad.