Why an Air Fryer Is the Best Appliance Ever
Air fryers might be the most amazing appliance ever. The concept is super simple: you put food in a fryer-style basket and hot air circulates from all directions. The best part is, you need little to no oil, which makes it a million times healthier than your average deep fry — but everything comes out just as delicious.
To help you learn a little more about the device that has vegans everywhere drooling, we spoke to JL Fields, cookbook author, coach, and vegan chef extraordinaire. Her latest book, The Vegan Air Fryer, is everything you need to know about using the ultimate appliance to make kitchen magic.
Seed: What's so cool about an air fryer?
JL Fields: Air frying is a terrific way to enjoy healthier versions of your favorite fried vegan foods. With little to no oil, vegetable, tofu, seitan and other vegan foods crisp up due to rapid hot air that circulates around the food. Healthier fried food adds a texture to plant-based foods that we may be missing if we're avoiding fried foods. Adding variety to our diet - foods, cooking methods, and textures - helps us stay on track!
How did you develop your recipes for the cookbook?
When I first started air frying I simply grabbed foods and tossed them in the air fryer with a spritz of olive oil or canola oil to see how they would "fry up." The results were great! The more I studied air frying, I did learn that you can even bake food in an air fryer - simply reduce the cooking temperature by 30° and the cooking time by 50%. Holy wow! Faster baked goods without heating up the house! What's not to love about that?
What are some tips for newbies to air frying?
First, know that the air fryer is a great way to heat up your favorite convenience foods quickly, with little mess and with more crunch. Think Gardein fishless filets, Sunshine Burgers, frozen vegan onion rings, etc. Second, start with something basic, like french fries. Slice a potato into fries, spritz with a mist of olive oil (try misting with aquafaba - canned chickpea water - if you're avoiding oil) and then season with your favorite spices (I like chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon). Set the air fryer to 390 or 400°F and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the basket frequently to avoid sticking. You'll love the texture and you'll feel like a rock star! Third, join my Facebook group Vegan Air Frying Enthusiasts. You'll find all kinds of tips, ideas, and recipes!