As a vegan, you put a lot of thought and effort into choosing healthy foods. Now, you’ve heard about air fryers, and you’re wondering how they might fit into your lifestyle. These counter top appliances are quite versatile. Despite their name, frying foods is not their sole function.
They have the potential to serve you on an almost daily basis. They shorten the heating times for frozen convenience foods, bake cookies, and can make some crispy chickpea snacks.
How Do They Cook Food?
Basically, air fryers are small versions of convection ovens, which use a fan to circulate heat and maintain consistent application of heat throughout the food. Unlike an oven, an air fryer has a basket that holds the food. You place it into a drawer that shuts the basket inside the appliance. Some larger models have racks instead of a basket.
The relatively small heating space within the air fryer allows for rapid heating and the precision delivery of heat to every piece of food. It’s important not to overfill the basket, however, to avoid interfering with this process. You can open the appliance and check for doneness or flip food to promote even browning as necessary.
When you want to use one to fry foods, the hot air hitting the outside of the food is equivalent to the heat of submerging food in hot oil. You’ll generally need to spray oil on the food to achieve crispiness, but this process uses far less oil than deep frying.
What Can an Air Fryer Cook?
If you can put a food in an oven or toaster oven, it will translate well to air frying, except it might cook faster. Air fryers also do a great job with breaded foods, like avocado fries, and vegan cooks like how they can fry tofu. The one limitation that you could encounter concerns foods that require a batter coating because the liquid will drip inside the basket, and the results won’t be what you want.
Some Vegan Favorites:
- Potato chips
- Sweet potato fries
- Ranch chickpeas
- Vegetable dumplings
- Portobello mushroom pizzas with hummus
- Veggie burger patties
Vegan Fried Ravioli
There are vegan bloggers out there who have developed air fryer recipes, like this one for vegan ravioli.
Many vegan foods come out of the grocer’s freezer, and an air fryer gives you almost instant access to these convenient foods. You won’t have to allow any time for thawing. You can place frozen foods directly into the air fryer basket and heat them up quickly.
Get a Specialty Cookbook
Often a cookbook makes studying recipes easier than surfing cooking sites online. Everything is organized in one place, and you can focus on information for the vegan cooking niche.
The Vegan Air Fryer: The Healthier Way to Enjoy Deep-Fried Flavors is one title that has earned high ratings from readers. Its content focuses exclusively on plant-based ingredients, and the author has tested the recipes. The cookbook presents 80 recipes for foods like onion rings and the vegan versions of grilled cheese sandwiches, eggrolls, jalapeno poppers, and corndogs.
How to Select the Right Size
With so many air fryer models available, one of your major decisions will involve choosing a size. Their capacities range from about 3 quarts to as large as 16 quarts with most units falling into the 3 to 6 quart size.
Because these electric appliances go on your kitchen counter, you’ll want one that fits your space. Their dimensions can be as small as 9 inches wide to as large as 19 inches. Most models tend to be about 12 to 15 inches tall.
- You’ll likely be satisfied with a smaller model if you have limited counter space or only plan on cooking snacks or single meals. This could be useful if you’re the only person in the household who cooks vegan. A small air fryer works well for rapidly preparing small portions.
- Larger models naturally have the space to cook meals for 2 to 4 people. They would also meet your needs if you’d like to prepare a vegan dish in a larger quantity so that you have food prepared ahead of time.
Takeaway Tip – If space allows, you should buy a little more capacity than you think that you’ll need. The extra space will keep you from crowding the basket, and you’ll be able to cook larger recipes if the need arises.
Convenience and versatility are not the only positive aspects of air frying. People also appreciate them for reasons like:
Energy efficiency – They use less power than an oven due to their relatively compact size. They also help people avoid heating up the kitchen on a hot day.
Reduction of oil use – Instead of filling a reservoir with oil for deep frying, you’ll only spray 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil on food while cooking. Using less oil also results in savings on your grocery bill.
Quick cleanup – The drawer and basket come out of air fryers easily. You wash them in the sink and that’s it. You don’t have to deal with storing and reusing large amounts of oil as with a deep fryer.
Discover a New Way to Cook Vegan
The features of these appliances have just about everything a busy modern person would like. Air fryers cook food quickly, especially frozen convenience foods, and models to fit any size kitchen are on the market.
They also adapt well to vegan recipes, and you’ll find no shortage of inspiration as bloggers and book authors develop new dishes. To learn more about the possibilities of air frying and vegan cooking, read a specialty