Only in recent history have fried foods been touted as “unhealthy.” Traditionally, fried chicken was made by frying the chicken in animal fats such as lard or tallow. Fats were eaten in generous amounts if they were available, and fats like bacon grease were never wasted! People didn’t fear from eating these fats. Only in the last century have we begun to use rancid oils like canola, soy and “vegetable.” And ironically, now our nation is terrified of fat consumption.
If people only knew how much fat I ate every day…maybe they wouldn’t be so afraid!
My family often enjoys fried foods like fried chicken, fried eggs and french fries. The list is expanding lately, as well!
Want to start enjoying healthier fried foods? Here’s how:
First, avoid all unhealthy oils (i.e. canola, soy, safflower, vegetable, etc). You also should not be cooking or frying with olive oils. Besides olive oil, you shouldn’t be eating these oils at all, for frying or not. We can’t be perfect, but do the best you can.
Secondly, choose a traditional fat to fry with. Notice I say “fat,” and not “oil.” Traditional fats are solid at room temperature and colder, usually. You should fry foods with fats that have a high smoke point. Try to keep the oil at about 350 degrees with a thermometer, or under the smoke point of the fat you are frying with.
Here are an example of good fats you can choose from:
- palm shortening (I haven’t researched this extensively, but many tout it as a healthy fat)
- coconut oil
- bacon fat
Lard is my personal favorite. I even re-use the leftover fat, which makes for a frugal and healthy option! I strain the cooled oil through a fine-mesh strainer and put it in a glass mason jar in the fridge to save for the next fried treat.
You will get slightly different results with eat fat you use. You can test them out to see which you like best!
Which Fried Food Will You Try Next?