Healthy Frying Tips
Not all fried food is bad for you, but that doesn't mean it's good for you either. When cooked the right way and eaten in moderation however, it can still be part of a healthy diet. Here are some simple steps you can take to make your fried foods healthier:
CHOOSING THE RIGHT OIL
When frying, oil temperatures can reach over 190 degrees Celsius. If the oil gets too hot it starts to breakdown and smoke, releasing toxic molecules and compounds (such as acrolein) which can have damaging effects on the respiratory system and lead to other more serious conditions.
For healthy frying it is important to choose oil with a high smoke point, like Filippo Berio's Mild&Light Olive Oil which can withstand cooking temperatures up to 200-210 °C. It is also low in saturated fats when compared to other oils and processed fats such as butter, lard or margarine.
Filippo Berio Mild&Light Olive Oil has a neutral, ultra-light taste and no distinctive olive flavour, which makes it the ideal ingredient for frying all types of foods - even sweets.
Flour batters can be delicious but they can also absorb more oil than other fried coatings, such as breadcrumbs or cornmeal. When possible, reduce the quantity of flour in your batter—or if that's not possible try adding a dash of baking soda or beer (even carbonated water) to reduce oil absorption.
While it's important not to overheat oil, it is just as important not to under heat it as well. Food that is fried in oil below proper temperatures will not only take longer to cook but absorb more oil, giving your foods a soggy and greasy texture not to mention a higher fat content. Use a frying thermometer when possible to maintain the correct oil temperature from beginning to end.
Reduce the amount of excess oil on fried foods by draining them on paper towels after removing them from the pan. Change the paper towels once or twice to ensure that all extra oil has been removed.
While it may be more cost effective to reuse the same oil more than once, each time you heat it up you are reducing its smoke point and further breaking down its composition and quality. In addition, if reused oil is not stored correctly -or if it is left too long- it can go rancid and affect the quality and flavour of your food.
To ensure delicious, crispy and flavourful fried foods every time always use fresh oil.