Chefs, both professional and amateur, have come up with some of the tastiest snacks and side dishes imaginable over the years.
One of the most popular to make at home, or to order in a bar or restaurant, is potato skins.
Deep-fried potato skins smothered in sour cream, chives, crispy bacon, are a classic. Some people like them with just sea salt, and perhaps a little cracked black pepper. Others want thick molten melted cheese on theirs.
However, no one ever said they were particularly nutritious or healthy.
Are Potatoes Good Or Bad For You In General?
Potatoes in general often get a bad rap. They can be cooked in many ways, but the favorite for many involves roasting or frying. French fries, fried potato skins, roast potatoes.
Even when people boil or steam potatoes they often feel the need to add a chunk of butter to them. Mashed potatoes are full of oil, cream, and butter too.
However, according to WebMD, potatoes are a good source of fiber, which helps to make you feel full. The skins on potatoes are not fully digestible, which provides a different type of fiber the body needs.
Potatoes in themselves aren’t bad, it’s the way they are cooked. Such as potato skins.
Aren’t Potato Skins Bad For You?
It is going to be hard to defend the humble potato skin. They are deep-fried treats that come with a healthy, or unhealthy, whack of calories.
According to Fat Secret, there are 465 calories in one cup of fried potato skins. This is a hefty intake of calories for what is a mere snack.
Once toppings are added such as cheese or soured cream, then you are talking a calorie and fat overload.
How Do You Make Potato Skins Healthy?
Clearly, there are several things causing potato skins to be unhealthy. The potato itself isn’t that bad. Yes, they are full of carbohydrates, but potatoes are also loaded with vitamin C.
The problem areas lie with the toppings or fillings, and the way they are cooked. Therefore what you need is a recipe for potato skins using a healthy cooking method such as air frying
Why Do Air Fryers Make Healthy Potato Skins?
An air fryer generally doesn’t use oil in its cooking process. Therefore, it isn’t technically frying either.
An air fryer simply heats air to a very high temperature, up to 400 Fahrenheit, and then the air is circulated by a fan to cook ingredients.
The result is that the food that comes out looks like it has been fried, and tastes like it too. However, with a massive reduction in calories.
If you are looking for the best low-carb recipes for lunch, potato skins aren’t one of them. However, when you consider that the air fryer is cooking without oil, the humble potato skin starts to be a little healthier.
Can You Make The Potato Skin Even Healthier?
Before looking at your toppings, or how you will load your potato skin, consider something else.
You could also switch out regular potatoes for sweet potatoes. These are generally considered healthier than the regular option and are high in vitamin A.
Nevertheless, the regular potato is most people’s choice when it comes to fried skins. To keep your air fryer potato skins healthy, you will need to be careful what you add to them.
What Toppings Can You Use On Air Fryer Potato Skins?
Chives are always a favorite on loaded skins. You can use herbs from your own garden to add health to recipes. Chives are good for folate and choline, the latter is something that most people are deficient in.
Yet, herbs aren’t going to be enough for most people for their toppings. Here are some options for consideration when topping your skin.
- Fat-free Greek yogurt
- Spring onions
- Parma ham
- Bacon – cooked in an air fryer
- Grilled chicken
- Low-fat sour cream
- Cottage cheese
Don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, by using an air fryer to make potato skins, you already wiped out perhaps seventy percent of the calories that deep frying would have added.
Any Other Benefits From Using Air Fryers?
Don’t stick with potato skins, all your favorite potato and fried treats can be cooked in an air fryer. Fried chicken, French fries, and donuts too.
The benefit you will notice most at first is that your food isn’t greasy. Then you’ll realize that you don’t have a greasy cooker to clean. At this point, you will then see that there is no waste cooking oil to dispose of.
It isn’t just your potato skins getting healthier, you’ve just helped the environment a little bit too.
Loaded potato skins are a treat at any time, but they make a particularly good side dish or bar snack.
Making them at home with an air fryer means that you can eat them feeling just a little bit less guilty if you ever did. But more than that, you can now enjoy the nutritional benefits of them, without adding any fat to them.