Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
-Michael Pollan, Food Rules
Partly in an effort to move away from overly processed foods and the fast food chains that are homogenizing America, and partly because I’d love to see my abs again, I’ve been really trying to keep an eye on my diet, particularly my fat intake.
Now, some fats are good. You should always go ahead and spoon a bit of full fat dressing on your salad— it helps you absorb the nutrients. I think full fat dairy is better than dairy that’s been processed. And the fats in olive oil, almonds, etc are beneficial.
But the fats in french fries, Chinese food, anything cooked in heavy oils or drenched in butter… yeah, not so much. Heart disease is America’s #1 killer, guys, and preventable. We need to move more, eat better, trim those bad fats.
I love Michael Pollan’s Food Rule about making your own junk food. It’s just plain sensible: potatoes, in and of themselves, are actually not bad for you. You could live off potatoes for a long time. Chinese food has a lot of good stuff in it. There’s nothing inherently bad about an onion ring until you drop it into a vat of heavy oil.
That being said… making french fries can be a time-consuming process. This is why the Food Rule works: you’re just not going to be willing to take the time every day, so the indulgence gets balanced out over time.
But what if you could make the process easier and healthier, but still tasty?
What if you could do it in a way that’s no muss, no fuss, no nasty hot oil splatter burns? (I have NEVER deep fried anything without burning myself slightly.)
What if you could do it without that lingering smell of cooking oil that takes seemingly days to go away?
What if you could do it without the waste/expense of using large quantities of oil?
And perhaps most importantly, what if it was so easy you could delegate it to the kids?
Oh hai. Allow me to introduce you to my nifty new friend the Actifry.
The Actifry uses a pulsating heat system on a T-Fal ceramic non-stick (PTFE and PFOA free) pan. A revolving paddle (reminiscent of an ice cream maker paddle) continually turns the food so oil is evenly distributed throughout as it cooks, making for a crispy exterior.
One tablespoon of oil (I used olive oil) is all you need to make 4 servings of french fries.
OK, OK. I also added Italian seasoning to make them supah tasty. But with only one tablespoon of oil, we’re talking 3% total fat per serving, compared to 16% in fast food fries.
Chicken wings? Just throw them in and hit the ON button, and you’ll have wings that are crisp tender in 30 minutes. IT’S REALLY THAT EASY.
I used to make both fries and wings in the oven, which works but doesn’t get that crispy texture. Plus, the oven uses way more energy than the Actifry (not to mention, heats up the house: a big deal as we head into summer).
Cleanup is easy: all the major pieces come off and are dishwasher safe. No more scrubbing grease off the cooktop! (Jeffrey’s pet peeve. Well, one of a million.)
Got kids? One of the easiest ways to get a kid to eat (and understand why it’s upsetting when they don’t eat foods YOU’VE cooked) is to let them prepare meals themselves. With Actifry, you can do that with much younger kids: help them chop, let them season and place into the Actifry. Then let them set the timer and hit ON. They can watch the food cook under the clear steamless lid (no need for stirring) and serve it from the removable pan. “I made it all by myself!”
Check it out:
The Actifry comes in white and black to match your decor or wardrobe (only sort of kidding). I think of it as my slow cooker’s husband; they will make a great team this summer, keeping the kitchen cool and the kids cooking. I’m also thinking it will work great to keep those wings coming on the 4th of July.
It retails for about $200, depending on vendor (all the usual suspects carry it), and comes with a handy-dandy booklet of good-looking basic recipes. The website helpfully includes community-submitted recipes.
LIKE THIS ONE!
Actifry has supplied me with one unit to give away to a lucky health-conscious reader. Just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget to enter. Up to 12 entries are possible, do as many as you like. Good luck!
I received an Actifry for review purposes and one to give away, as well as compensation for my time. All opinions are my own.