Air Fryers: Your New Go-To Tool for Healthy Cooking?

by Delilah Newton | Dec 01, 2021

Air fryers make some bold marketing claims. Crispy foods with less fat and oil. Quicker cooking times than an oven. It may sound too good to be true, but air fryers appear to deliver.

Light on Oil, Lower in Fat
Contrary to the name, air fryers don’t actually fry your food. Instead, they work like a convection oven, circling hot air around food. An exhaust fan also blows when cooking, keeping food surfaces dry.

The result is a crisp, crunchy exterior and browned color. Air fryers accomplish this with minimal oil. Less oil is a good thing because higher fat intake can contribute to inflammation, high cholesterol and other health problems.
Versatility, for a Price
The big downside? The cost. While low-end or smaller models start around $40, larger and multifunction brands might cost as much as $400. If you cook a lot and love fried foods, however, it might be worth the investment.

Healthy Air Fryer Chicken Strips
For a meal that’s fun to prep and tasty to eat, look no further than these homemade chicken strips!

  • 1 lb. chicken breast strips (about 6 to 8; if chicken breast strips are very large, cut them in half)
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk (like almond milk) or skim milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. cornmeal (polenta)chicken-strips_blog
  • 1 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 egg whites or about 4 oz.
  • 2 tbsp. flour (whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour blend)
  • Olive oil spray


  1. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.
  2. Place chicken tenders, nondairy or skim milk, and apple cider vinegar in a bag. Shake to coat.
  3. Stir together cornmeal, ground flaxseeds, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place egg whites in another small bowl, and place flour in another small bowl.
  4. Dredge each chicken breast strip in flour, then dip in egg whites and roll in cornmeal mixture. Set on a plate. Repeat until each chicken breast strip is coated.
  5. If using an air fryer with two fryer pans:
  • Place coated chicken strips into both pans, spread out. Spray with olive oil spray.
  • Air fry for five minutes, remove and use tongs to flip over. Spray again with olive oil spray. Bake another five minutes, then switch trays, and bake until chicken reaches 165 degrees (about 10 minutes).

     6. If using an air fryer with only one basket or pan:

  • Place coated chicken strips into pan, spread out. Spray with olive oil.
  • Air fry for five minutes, remove and use tongs to flip over. Spray again with olive oil spray. Bake another 10 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internally.

Per Serving: Serves four; serving size is about two strips or 4 oz. of chicken. Each serving provides: 200 calories, 4 g total fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 85 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 9 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugars and 29 g protein.

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