For most of my life, I have always had a (totally rational) fear of fried foods, something I can say I happily accepted and followed. It wasn’t until this past year or so that I finally experimented with for-real frying at home, beyond a simple pan-fry. Besides the occasional french fry indulgence, I never really found myself drawn to deep-fried anything. It just was never my thing. But to be totally honest, beyond the fact that I intuitively never liked how fried foods made me feel, it was mostly because of the scary calories and fat. And while calories and fat should absolutely be a valid concern, in excess, after spending time truly learning about fats and oils in nutritional therapy school program, I have learned what we should really fear more than these numbers, instead are the oils themselves and the havoc that they can wreak on our bodies and our health. That old saying ‘quality not quantity’, has really never been more appropriate.
At most restaurants, even the nicest of places and honestly in most people’s homes, fried foods are generally cooked in denatured vegetable and seed oils. These are usually highly refined polyunsaturated fats that are highly unstable, especially in high heats. Often they are hydrogenated and when exposed to heat they oxidize and go rancid very quickly and form free radicals. “These chaotic, skewed fatty acid molecules, now in the form of free radicals, wreak havoc on the body attacking and damaging DNA and RNA, cell membranes, vascular walls, and red blood cells, all of which cascade into deeper physiological damage such as tumor formation, accelerated aging, arterial plaque accumulation, autoimmune imbalances, and more!” WOAH – just woah, right? My life-long intuition-led opinion on fried foods was definitely not for nothing.
Now, before we get into this recipe, I am certainly not advocating that fried foods, even in healthful oils, are something we should consume often. Like sweets and treats, even of the more healthy variety, this type of cooking falls into the category of once-in-a-while eating. But, being totally afraid of something and never being able to enjoy it, that doesn’t really feel good either and it certainly isn’t a lifestyle I ever want to live or promote. However, these curiosities for a better option, this is usually how I manage to come up with an alternative, a new way to enjoy something one-in-a-while that I never get to, but in a much more health-minded approach.
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