Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with potatoes—in fact, they are full of their own nutritional benefits—but Melim subs out the tuber for avocado to make the snack one that's truly good for heart health. In fact, one cardiologist told Well+Good that avocados were her all-time favorite food for cardiovascular health. This is because the fruit's monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are directly linked to lowering cholesterol. Besides that, avocados are a great source of fiber, another nutrient linked to lowering cholesterol.
Watch the video below to learn more about the health benefits of avocados:
Another reason why Melim's avocado fries are good for heart health is because they aren't deep-fried. You can probably guess her secret to making crispy fries without all the grease: yep, she makes 'em in her air fryer. The beloved cooking tool uses a lot less oil than traditional frying plus it's faster, cutting down on the time standing between you and your snack.
Even the spices used to season the avocado fries are heart-healthy: Garlic, chili powder, and paprika are all linked to lowering inflammation. Melim says she landed on using these spices in particular because she they were already her go-tos when making guac, so she knew they went well with avocado. "Avocados are flavorful on their own, but also pair so well with spices," she says. "They really punch up the flavor on the avocado fries."
But before you reach into your pantry for them and fire up your air fryer, Melim says there's one tip to keep in mind: making sure the avocados you're using are ripe. "The way I tell if an avocado is ripe is if the skin is dark green or almost black, it has bumpy skin, and when pressed the avocado should give a little under pressure not feel mushy," she says.
If you want to dip your avocado fries in something, Melim recommends a Buffalo ranch or chipotle aioli sauce. But these fries taste great on their own, too. Below, Melim shares her favorite personal avocado fries recipe so you can give it a try at home. It's one fry order you'll definitely want to supersize.
Air fryer avocado fries recipe
3 avocados, peeled and sliced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour of choice
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp dark chili powder
1/4 tsp hot paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Avocado oil spray
Serve with: dipping sauce of choice
1. In a small dish, add the flour, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Stir to combine. In another small dish, add the egg and beat until frothy. Add the panko breadcrumbs to a third dish.
2. In an assembly line manner, roll the first avocado slice in the flour (give it a light tap to remove excess flour), then submerge it in the egg wash, followed by the panko bread crumbs. Gently push the panko into the avocado to ensure its evenly coated. Repeat with all of the avocado slices.
3. Lightly grease the air fryer basket with avocado spray, then place the avocado fries with some space in between, then lightly spray the fries with some avocado oil. Air fry on 390°F for seven minutes, flipping halfway through, or until desired crispiness. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, will depend on how many batches you have to do.
For more healthy snack ideas, join Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
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