Diabetes is a *%[email protected]
#, ain't it? Especially when you can't eat fried foods at all, or like you used too (in my case).
But, in my years of being a baker, I've discovered some cheats that work for me for making 'fake' fried foods. They give the appearance and consistency of something fried, but without all the grease, oil, and fat.
There are many variations on this, so you have to figure out what works best for you.
First off, I want to say that if you are interested in an "air fryer", it's a waste of money, unless you don't have an oven in your residence. An "air fryer" is nothing more than a mini convection oven. And although most reviews on them are positive, they really don't cook evenly for "fried" foods.
I have a counter top small oven, which is also a convection oven. This works perfectly fine, and works the same as the "air fryers", except I can fit a whole lot more food in my oven than in one of those little mini ones. Regular ovens work fine too, you just might have to do some adjusting here or there to avoid burned spots.
If you are familiar with Shake-N-Bake, then you know what I am talking about. This is a finely crumbed bread coating with seasonings in it to coat your meats for baking in the oven. Shake-N-Bake is awesome for pretty much getting the "fried" texture on meats and veggies.
Now, the trick to getting the really "fried" texture is to spray a light coating of spray oil over them before they go in the oven. The oil will work with the heat, baking the breading mixture as if it were frying in oil. Now it won't be exactly like something that is deep fried, but it will give you that "fried fix" if you need it.
If you have other requirements where you cannot use store bought Shake-N-Bake, or you don't like the brand, you can make your own.
All you do it put your ingredients into a food processor and puree the heck out of it until its almost powder like. I kind of like mine the consistency of sand, as it makes the perfect "fried" crust for my tastes.
You can make your own coating mixture out of these types of ingredients--
Dried breads of any type
If you like it crunchy and sweet, pecans are very good for grinding up for use as a crust coating. Naturally sweet, and has its own oils, so no extra spray oil should be needed.
You can also flavor your mixture with any kind of spice, herb, or dried veggie you like. Again, just puree it with the base ingredient, or just use all herbs and spices.
If you like that buttery flavor added, there are some butter alternatives like Molly McButter or Butter Buds, which are artificial butter flavored flakes. These can also be put into the mixture.
If you don't like the spray oils that are on the market, you can make your own. Just get a small, heavy duty spray bottle that can handle thick liquids, such as oils. You can pour your own kind of oil or oil substitute into the spray bottle and mist your coated foods before going into the oven. (the oil also helps keep them from drying out too soon)
If you want a thick coating of mixture, then you can dip your meat or veggies in buttermilk, milk, oil, water, or even Italian Dressing.......then bread it and dip it again and bread it again. I'm not sure about almond milk or soy milk, as I have never tried those with baking or cooking.
But that should give you some idea as to how to get around the "fried" issue. As for you guys who can't have fried foods at all.......