Fried foods are the bane of all chronic snackers. They can come either sweet or salty. Crispy or chewy. Light or heavy!
It can be meals or it can be snacks. So long as we get our fix for the crunch, we are sure to be able to fall in love with all kinds of fried foods.
Such a shame it is then, that fried snacks are delish, but super unhealthy! Thank goodness for ovens, offering a healthier alternative with the same crispy, crunchy results.
Everyone loves potatoes!
They’re such a versatile cooking ingredient. They can be boiled, baked and yes, fried. Potato chips are one of the world’s most beloved snacks. However, because it’s so full of starch, potatoes absorb a ridiculous amount of oil.
Baking your potatoes is the answer to a healthier diet!
There are several ways you can bake them too:
- Slice them thinly, dab some oil on an aluminium sheet. Bake them and sprinkle on some herbs and spices.
- Dig out the center of a potato, fill it with cheese, eggs and bacon.
- Chop them into shapes like cottage fries or just normal fry shapes. Dab some oil on an aluminium sheet. Bake them and sprinkle on some herbs and spices.
- Make mashed potatoes (with potato skins), put them in an oven-safe container like a pie dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella and cheddar, sprinkle on some herbs and bake.
It’s hard to convince kids, and even some adults to eat their vegetables.
But the secret to making vegetables people want to eat is the same as with any recipe: It’s all in how you make it. While some vegetables are naturally unappetizing like the bitter gourd and is best eaten fried to make the taste tolerable, many others release their full delicious potential when baked rather than fried.
You simply need to slice or dice vegetables and season them slightly before baking.
Some examples of vegetables that taste better baked are:
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
Yes, even doughnuts!
Did you know that if you adjust your convection oven to the proper settings, you can actually bake your doughnuts?
Generally, the differences between the two types of doughnuts are few. Fried doughnuts are yeast-based whereas the leavening agent for baked doughnuts is baking soda. This means that baked doughnuts may be a bit more cake-like, but it will still taste great!
You can be happy with the knowledge that you’ve greatly reduced your fat intake by avoiding having to deep fry your doughnuts.
Another fried pastry that you can remake by baking is churros.
It won’t have the same gooey insides as normal fried churros, but that seems to be its only downside. And the best part is you don’t have to deal with an oily mess when you’re done frying!
Churros are a type of pastry that is similar in concept to the Chinese youtiao. However, they are more often served as a sweet sna rather than a savoury one as they have common toppings such as cinnamon sugar, melted chocolate or icing sugar.
Unfortunately churros aren’t quite common locally, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to make one yourself, and a healthier version too! The deep rid of the churros make it great at mimicking the crispiness as if it were fried when you actually baked them instead!
5. Cheese sticks
Another guilt pleasure that everyone loves is cheese sticks.There’s just something really special about gooey melted cheese encased in crusty bread crumbs that really speaks to a lot of people.
Although mozzarella is a high favourite for making cheese sticks, you can jazz things up by using various different cheeses instead!
Shred them using a grater and press them tightly together either into any shape you want. Dip them in egg yolk and roll them in some bread crumbs, herbs and spices. Then, bake!
6. Buffalo Wings
A more substantial dish than the others in this list, fried chicken is a common favourite meal of nearly every person that isn’t vegan or vegetarian.
While you can simply follow similar steps as mentioned in the cheese sticks entry, there are other types of normally fried chicken recipes that you can bake too! One good example is buffalo wings.
Buffalo sauce is a sweet, spice yet tangy sauce that buffalo wings are often fried with. However, when you bake them in that way the flavour is literally only skin deep. Instead, marinate them in the sauce for a minimum of 1-2 hours before baking.
7. Onion rings
As you can see, bread crumbs seem to be an answer call for people missing the crunchy crusts that come with fried food.
Onion rings are even better baked than fried because the onion’s flavour has time to seep into the bread crumbs and combine the flavours m thoroughly. Besides that, if you’re the kind of person that likes to add in some herbs and spices, you can taste them more clearly too as their flavours wouldn’t have been burnt away by deep frying.
Once you’ve made your meal out from your oven, it’s time to move on to dessert!
While there are plenty of easy recipes online for you to whip up fantastic baked goods, you can give your oven a rest by making some desserts that don’t even need an oven.