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Why an Air Fryer Should be Your New Best Friend in the Kitchen

As a college student, planning out meals can often be a struggle. Plus, ordering in and going out for meals every single day is not always reasonable. However, many students are not experienced when it comes to the kitchen. As a junior, this is my first year with access to a full kitchen. Although I was initially excited to cook my own meals, I felt overwhelmed with where to start. Besides the fact I’ve never been a chef at heart, I knew that on weekdays when I had a lot of work on my plate I would struggle to find time to make a proper meal.

But, after two weeks, I was introduced to an item I never knew I was missing out on: an air fryer. Some may ask: Why buy an air fryer when you have access to a stove, oven and microwave? However, the air fryer does it all for you. With almost every recipe, you simply have to put your ingredients in the air fryer and set the fryer to the given temperature and time… and voila! You now have a delicious meal ready to go.

In addition to the convenience of purchasing and using an air fryer, it also takes away the grease and fat of ingredients, allowing you to have a healthier and more nutritious meal. The air fryer also allows your meal to be extra crispy. Just about any meal you can cook on a stove can also be cooked in an air fryer. So, where do you start? Here are some of my personal favorite recipes:

Crispy parmesan brussels sprouts

When it comes to vegetables–especially brussels sprouts–eating them plain isn’t always ideal. On the other hand, when you start to play around in the kitchen and spice it up, brussels sprouts can turn into a go-to side dish. Simply add the seasonings of your choice, such as salt, pepper and garlic powder, and put it in the air fryer for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Take out your brussels sprouts and sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Next, place the brussels sprouts back in the air fryer for about 5-7 minutes . Next thing you know, you have the perfect vegetable to pair with just about any main course.

Trader Joe’s gnocchi

If you’re a Trader Joe’s fan like me, you’re bound to start trying all their items in the air fryer. Trader Joe’s is known for its cauliflower gnocchi, but I happen to enjoy their sweet potato gnocchi even more, especially in the air fryer because it gets even more crispy. Simply put your gnocchi in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and then add on the sauce of your choice.

Oreo pancakes

If you haven’t tried Oreo pancakes, what have you been doing? All this scrumptious dessert requires is coating an Oreo in pancake mix and placing it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for the timing of your choice, depending on how cooked you like them. This is definitely the best way to eat a fried Oreo grease free.

Chicken parmesan

Over time, I’ve experimented with a lot of chicken dishes in the air fryer, ranging from barbeque chicken wings to chicken teriyaki. I’ve never been huge on cooking chicken until I played around with unique recipes that are easy to make in the air fryer. My all-time favorite is chicken parmesan. Simply whisk your eggs, dip your chicken into the egg mix and then dip your chicken into a bowl of breadcrumbs. Cook this at about 370 degrees for 8 minutes. Finally, add your sauce and cheese and cook for another 5 minutes.

Regardless of what you choose to make, anything in the air fryer is bound to be mouthwatering. So, if you haven’t already purchased an air fryer, you now know what to do.

Jolie Freedman is a Sophomore at the University of Florida and is from Melville, New York. Jolie is working towards achieving a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with an outside concentration in marketing. Jolie has a passion for storytelling and digital media, and she places a heavy emphasis on the importance of social media. Jolie is also a campus trendsetter for Her Campus Media and an ambassador for the College of Journalism and Communications. Aside from her journalistic involvement, Jolie enjoys skiing and art. Jolie's inspiration to join the Her Campus community stems from her involvement as the Print Manager and Staff Writer/Editor for her high school's newspaper.
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