We all want to feel great and look our best. For some people, a low-carb or keto diet is a good way to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, diets like these are restricted and may leave you feeling like you can’t eat the foods you love. Are there ways to continue to enjoy great tasting foods on a low-carb diet?
I was wondering the same thing myself and thought an air fryer might be part of the solution. Would it be possible to make tasty fried foods that fit with a keto diet? Does cooking at home make it easier to stick with a diet? Could an air fryer make low-carb foods more enjoyable?
In an effort to answer these questions and more, I set out to learn more about healthy low-carb eating and the process of cooking with an air fryer. Here’s what I discovered.
Our Favorite Air Fryer Picks
Can Low-Carb Foods Actually Taste Good?
The short answer is yes! While it may feel like a low-carb or keto diet cuts out all your favorite foods, it’s possible to enjoy healthy, low-carb options that taste great. With creative ingredients and cooking techniques, keto-friendly versions of many foods are achievable, even desserts.
One way to enjoy great tasting food while sticking to a diet is by cooking with an air fryer. This kitchen appliance makes it simple to cook healthy meals quickly so you can eat delicious low-carb foods. Changing your cooking method can help you discover new recipes and techniques that allow you to create great dishes for any meal.
How an Air Fryer Complements a Low-Carb or Keto Diet
Cooking food for a low-carb or keto diet is challenging at times. Certain ingredients are restricted or off-limits which makes it difficult to create the foods you love. An air fryer can help make things easier if you’re trying to follow a special eating plan.
Here are some ways an air fryer complements a low-carb diet:
- You can enjoy fried foods without the carbs
- It makes cooking at home faster and easier
- Versatile cooking options keep things interesting
Enjoy Fried Foods on a Low-Carb Diet
Fried foods are notoriously unhealthy and an unlikely part of any diet. But air fryers turn that around. Their revolutionary cooking method allows you to achieve crispy, fried foods without excess oil. This makes it possible to enjoy fried foods while sticking with a diet.
Choose a low-carb breading option when frying foods for a keto diet. Nut flours are a great option for low-carb breading. For a little extra texture, try finely chopping nuts instead of using a nut flour. Spray or toss foods with a saturated or monounsaturated cooking fat like avocado oil, coconut oil, or macadamia oil.
You can put fried foods you thought you’d given up on the keto diet back on the menu with an air fryer.
Here are a few of the great foods you can fry with an air fryer:
- Chicken wings
- Zucchini Parmesan chips
- Chicken nuggets
- Chicken tenders
- Mozzarella sticks
- Crab cakes
- Onion rings
- Parmesan cauliflower bites
- Calamari rings
- Coconut chicken
- Eggplant chips
- Kale chips
Low-Carb “French Fries”
Here’s an example of a creative use of ingredients in an air fryer. French fries are a delicious food that isn’t part of a keto diet due to the high carbohydrate level of potatoes and the fact that they’re fried. But rutabagas are a vegetable relatively low in carbs that can substitute for potatoes. As a bonus, they’re high in potassium which low-carb diets are often low in.
Thinly cut rutabaga into spears no more than ¼ inch wide; error on the side of thinner since cutting them too thick makes it difficult to get a crisp end result. Use a paper towel to dry the spears thoroughly, then toss with a mixture of oil and your choice of seasonings. Place in a single layer on air fryer trays and cook until golden brown and crispy, turning fries at least once during the cooking process.
Rutabaga fries aren’t a perfect substitute since they don’t taste or crisp the same way as potato fries. However, they are a great way to enjoy a tasty treat that should otherwise be avoided on a low-carb diet.
Cook at Home Easily with an Air Fryer
Cooking more at home is a great way to know what you’re eating and choose healthier food options. Many fast foods, convenience foods, and prepared foods contain ingredients that should be avoided on a keto diet. But cooking everything from scratch takes a more time and doesn’t work with many of today’s busy schedules. Thankfully, an air fryer makes it faster and easier to cook foods at home.
Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air around the cooking basket which cooks food much more quickly than many traditional methods. This means it takes less time to get dinner on the table after a long day at work. Simply prep your ingredients, toss them in the air fryer, and let it work its magic.
Sausage is one example of a great food to cook at home in your air fryer. Many prepared sausages have fillers or other ingredients that make them less than ideal when on a low-carb diet. Choosing your own meat and spices, then cooking it in an air fryer gives you delicious sausage that’s easy to make and that you can feel good about.
Home cooking lets you choose the ingredients so you have control over what you’re eating. Air fryers make it easier and faster to cook foods so you can enjoy the benefits of cooking at home even on busy weeknights. Having a quick method for cooking delicious food makes you less likely to get discouraged in your healthy eating journey.
Versatile Cooking Options
One thing that can be a real diet buster is eating the same foods over and over again. Feeling stuck in a low-carb rut can lead to discouragement and giving up on the diet. Air fryers are a great way to shake up a boring routine. They offer versatile cooking options so you can make a variety of great-tasting low-carb foods.
You can roast, bake, fry, grill, and more in an air fryer. This one appliance makes preparing foods simple. Here are some examples of foods you can cook in an air fryer:
Of course, within each category there is a range of options too. For example, you can cook a rotisserie chicken or chicken tenders. All that variety makes the foods you can eat more interesting and enjoyable, even on a diet.
Air fryers also make reheating foods a snap. Try preparing large batches of healthy, low-carb foods on the weekend, then reheat them during the week for quick meals and side dishes. This is a great way to watch what you eat without having to prepare foods from scratch every day.
Desserts and Appetizers
Desserts are an area that’s often difficult to give up on a keto diet. But an air fryer can bake delicious low-carb dessert options like protein cake, flourless chocolate cake, and low-carb doughnuts. With an air fryer, you can let your creativity run wild and enjoy exploring the many possibilities for great recipes.
Appetizers are another fun area in which to get creative with an air fryer. Chicken wings, vegetable chips, stuffed mushrooms, meatballs, and breaded shrimp are just a few tasty appetizers that are easy to cook in an air fryer. Consider trying shishito peppers for something a little spicy. Toss peppers with avocado oil and salt and pepper to taste, then cook in the air fryer about ten minutes until blistered; finish with a drizzle of lime juice and grated asiago cheese.
Air fryers make it easier to find foods you love on a low-carb or keto diet. They allow you to prepare low-carb fried foods, cook at home more easily, and explore versatile cooking options. What are some of your favorite low-carb foods to cook in an air fryer? Share recipes, comments, or questions below; I’d love to hear what you think.
Get your creative juices flowing and shake up a boring diet routine by using an air fryer to create delicious, healthy food options that fit with a low-carb or keto diet