Despite its consequences, fried food occupies an important place in most diets.
Many times, frying is the only way we have to prepare our dishes. But that does not mean that there is no possibility of doing it by minimizing your fat and caloric intake. Learn here tips and tricks to fry healthier.
Heat the oil
The first thing you should take into account to make your fries healthier is to choose the correct oil. This should have high smoke points, that is, they are good for stir-frying or frying at high temperatures.
Avocado, sesame, peanut, canola, or olive oils are more stable at high temperatures than sunflower, corn, or soybean oils, so they will maintain their nutritional quality better.
The next step (which many fail) is to make sure the oil temperature is just right (between 325 and 400 ° F or 162.7 and 204.4 ° C).
- These are the healthiest cooking oils
This may not sound important, but if the oil is below the ideal temperature, the food will take longer to cook, so it will absorb more oil.
On the other hand, if it exceeds the indicated temperature, it will cause the oil to burn and smoke, affecting the quality and flavor of the food.
Also remember to pour the oil into the pan before lighting the fire, otherwise the heat from the pan can burn it.
Before placing the food in the hot oil, you can season it and coat it. Tastes are involved in this procedure, although the most common ingredients to achieve a good crust are eggs, flour and breadcrumbs.
Flour, in particular, works very well because it contains gluten, which helps adhere to food. However, this also increases oil absorption.
To get gluten-free snacks, you can substitute wheat flour for corn or rice. You can also add texture to the crust by coating it with cereals or seeds.
Another way to make fried and battered foods healthier and improve the quality is to use carbonated water or baking soda in the batter. This will cause the food to release gas bubbles as it cooks, reducing oil absorption.
It is also advisable to make the coating in advance before cooking, and then reserve in the fridge. In this way, a greater temperature contrast is achieved when frying.
How to fry
To know if the oil is just right, you can add a small piece of food. If it takes less than 5 seconds to rise, it means that the oil is ready.
It is important that you have enough oil to completely submerge the food you are going to fry. If it only covers part of the food, there is a greater risk that the batter will come off, and the cooking and texture will be uneven.
During cooking, it is important to maintain the temperature of the oil, otherwise it may burn or absorb excess oil, turning it into a moist product full of fat and calories.
Once the bubbling around the food subsides and the food has a golden hue, it is time to remove it.
Drain and pat dry
Even if you have carried out all the previous steps correctly, you can always remove the excess oil even more with the help of a slotted spoon (when removing it) and with absorbent paper (when laying it down). Letting it sit for one to two minutes will suffice.
Always clean oil
Regarding reusing the oil that was used for frying, there are different positions. Some experts point out that once the oil is brought to high temperatures, it can break down more easily.
This causes its temperature to increase faster in future uses, making it difficult to handle it correctly for frying.
- Reusing the oil could increase the risk of breast cancer
Others point out that it can be reused, as long as it is in good condition and clean. If it is aged or accumulates traces of food, it can burn, leave a bad taste in food and lose all its nutrients.
To avoid this, remove any traces of food with a slotted spoon after using the oil. Once the oil cools, store it in an airtight container in a dark place or in the fridge.
When the oil takes on a dark color, reaches its smoking point faster or forms foam, you should discard it.
All of these tips can help you achieve healthier frying, but that doesn’t mean they should be a fundamental part of your diet.
Remember, moderation is the key to being able to consume fried foods, try that these are not the main dish and combine them with healthy options, such as salads or legumes.
A diet rich in fatty and fried foods promotes overweight or obesity, contributes to increased levels of body fat, cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, and is associated with an increased risk of different types of cancer.
Despite its consequences, fried food is a key part of most diets. However, its impact can be reduced by frying food properly.
To do this, it is important to choose options with high smoke points for frying, such as sesame, canola or olive oil, control their temperature, prepare good batters, place and remove the food at the correct time and drain it.
If you decide to reuse the oil, make sure it is free of dirt and store it in an airtight container and in a dark place or the fridge.
Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, US Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.