Call it stimulus spending, boredom or the search for optimum health, but some kitchen gadgets have increased in not just popularity but use.
Just as many Central Valley residents have gravitated to the craft of baking bread, so too has the increase in air fryer enthusiasm and juicers. Perhaps it’s the flavor of the delicious bread, which has prompted the interest in the seemingly “healthy” gadgets.
While at first glance both are seemingly better than their alternatives, the verdict is varied.
First released in late 2010, the buzz behind the air fryer has been slow coming, yet as the quest for health continues valley consumers have embraced the grease free alternative over the past two years.
So, what’s the big deal all about?
The initial selling point to the air fryer is quite simple and easy to identify: deep fried foods still full of flavor minus the heart/artery clogging grease. Same great tasty crispness at half the calories, sounds perfect.
Studies have shown, that indeed air fryers are more healthy than deep frying foods. The hot air circulation with minimal to no oil mimics deep frying through a convection mechanism. The calorie difference between deep frying and air fried foods can be as much as half, a true and understandable selling point. In addition, the cut in fat grams can be as much as a quarter of what one gets from deep frying.
The ease of air frying and minimal mess is also a great benefit. No need to stand over the stove, wipe grease spatter from the stove top or deal with discarding used oil. Air fryer cooking, you simply place a parchment liner, light touch of olive oil or non-stick spray, fill the bucket with food item of choice, choose temperature, time and walk away. Truly that simple.
For the most part, the air fryer delivers tasty results comparable to or better than deep frying. Some items, such as bacon or other meats, may take a bit more time to perfect. Air frying french fries, sweet potato fries or jalapeño poppers offer the at home chef the ability to cook to desired perfection in just a handful of minutes.
All in all, air fried foods offer less calories, fewer grams of fat, yet just like deep fried foods they are not meant to be eaten daily for optimum health. As with any food type, cooking prep, or desired meal; moderation is key.
Kitchen gadgets and how they’re utilized by way of a “healthy diet” is only as good as the chef and the ingredients. The beauty of “google search” and/or Pinterest place a multitude of recipes and ideas at the home chef’s hands. So much so, one would be hard pressed not to find a recipe of their wildest dreams to take for a spin in the air fryer.
Speaking of “hard pressed” the world of juicing at home has also exploded.
Following popular juice chains like that of Jamba Juice with over three decades of success, valley consumers have begun embracing the practice of juice detoxes, daily juicing for its health benefits, as well as its nutrient-adding benefits.
Yet is this machine as magical as many committed to optimum health might believe?
It’s first important to understand the varying gadgets utilized to create such concoctions. Those in search of pressing fruits and vegetables to a vitamin cocktail may choose to do so via blender, centrifugal or cold-pressed juicer. The primary difference between blender versus juicer breaks down to retention of fiber, which can be largely eliminated in the juicing process.
Simply put, blending may not necessarily be as appetizing because it maintains the pulp, which translates to fiber. Juicing offers more concentrated amounts of vitamins and nutrients in a way which is easier for the body to absorb.
Many studies have shown and a number of those in the health industry advocate that the absence of fiber in juicing, gives the body a break from the hard work of digestion. For some the benefits of juicing accompany decrease in disease such as autoimmune disease, heart disease and cancer make it a worthwhile practice.
Yet just as with the air fryer, users are encouraged to use with moderation as both blending and juicing fruits and vegetables have a greater concentration of nutrients, as well as sugar. It is, however, an ideal alternative for the consumer who struggles with getting the proper amount of fruits and vegetables daily.
The practice of juicing vegetables and fruits is most healthy with a blend primarily of vegetables with a hint of fruit to add sweetness. Reason being, fruits hold more calories as well as sugar.
In closing, the benefits and beauty of both kitchen gadgets are no different than the insta pot, the emulsion blender or the panini press, the health benefits and the ease is at the hands of the chef.