While reading the super wise and impressive columns my colleagues wrote, I sit here laughing at my computer at the topic I thought to write about. I am going totally rogue and throwing in a wild card this month and talking about something semi-ridiculous but also fantastic—the AIR FRYER. Related to diabetes?- meh, sure!
There was a period of time not that long ago that everyone I knew was talking about the InstantPot and the Air Fryer and I was completely on the sidelines of those convos. I think I was secretly saying, really? What could be that great about them? I do ok with my normal appliances.
Then comes Mother’s Day 2021 and my sweet, well-intending husband gifts me an Air Fryer (I just smirked typing that). Yes- as a woman/wife/mom the last thing we usually want to be gifted is something domestic, for our home or to prepare more food for the family. A few seconds after those thoughts entered my mind I was like well I guess I can be part of those “fancy appliance” convos now.
One of the first things I made I knew I needed to start easy- a family favorite- chicken parm. I figured that was a good one to start with to really see how crispy the air could get the chicken. I was pleasantly surprised at how little time it took to cook and how well it turned out. My husband was a little too overzealous with his compliments knowing that I used his gift aka patting himself on the back for his stellar purchase. I see right through you Tim Garron—but, ok solid purchase, I’ll give that to you.
I quickly learned of the versatility, speed, and quality that this sucker can put out. I have personally tried things like chicken, steak (filet-4 minutes each side and you get immediate Medium perfection), vegetables (YUM), cookies (my daughters and I tried a hearty breakfast cookie- recipe at the end), there are just so many options. There are a ton of air fryers to choose from. The size can be an issue. A lot of them are ginormous for the countertop so I would look for one that doubles as a toaster oven that you won’t mind looking at daily on your counter or finding one that will tuck away in a cabinet when not in use. There are some that have additional functions like dehydrator, rotisserie, convection, toaster, roaster, and some that are smart and work with Alexa/wifi/Bluetooth.
After much research and searching, there are two front runners with customers: one that is pricey and another that is more practical.
The air fryer is a fantastic option to have in your cooking arsenal; however, it is not for everyone.
It may be an extra unwanted gadget in your kitchen that you don’t use enough to justify getting it or you feel you can get by just fine without it. It really comes down to personal preference. It can certainly make meals healthier by not requiring lots of extra fat; however, a little fat is still needed so the food doesn’t dry out. Think a little bit of olive oil versus the food being completely immersed during deep frying.
Pros and Cons of an Air Fryer
Pros of an Air Fryer:
Healthier meal options
Easy to clean
Easy to use
Cons of an Air Fryer
Can be expensive
It may be too small a quantity to cook at one time for large families
Can be bulky
Can dry out of burn some foods
Air Fryer Breakfast Cookie by Lainiecooks_ (Instagram)
2 ripe bananas
¼ cup peanut butter
1 cup oats
3 Tbsp chia seeds
½ cup chocolate chips
1. In a large bowl, mash the 2 ripe bananas.
2. Add the peanut butter, oats, and chia seeds and stir.
3. Add the chocolate chips and stir again.
4. Line the inside of your air fryer with parchment paper.
5. Using a cookie scooper, scoop the mixture onto the parchment paper.
Kristen Garron RD, LDN, CDE
Director of Group Education.
Kristen joined IDS in 2018 after working for seven years as a clinical dietitian in a community hospital and eight years as lead instructor for a diabetes self-management education company. With a knack for making complex issues seem simple and relating to people with a strong sense of empathy, group diabetes education has become her specialty and her passion.
“I think it’s important to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere,” says Kristen. “Everyone at IDS is that way – with patients and with each other. It’s tough enough living with diabetes; the least we can do is make those around us feel like family.”
A graduate of LaSalle University (go Explorers!), Kristen majored in Nutrition while earning All- Conference honors in division-1 lacrosse. In keeping with IDS tradition, she remains very active with distance-running and weight-lifting.
Kristen lives in West Chester, PA with her husband Tim, daughters Grace & Sadie, and dog Kirby. She enjoys traveling (visited 30 of 50 states and more than a dozen foreign countries so far), scrapbooking, and being outside with the kids and Kirby.