Looking for a fast way to whip up a delicious and filling snack? An air fryer could be the key to the kingdom.
Sometimes, lunch just isn’t enough to fill the time between noon and dinner. When the afternoon slump hits you hard, sometimes the best pick me up is a cup of coffee and a healthy snack. The right snack can reinvigorate you and help you get through the afternoon productively.
But it’s always a good idea to eat a healthy snack instead of a bag of salty chips. The only problem: it’s tough to make healthy snacks at home… or is it?
Turns out that if you have an air fryer, you can make lots of quick and easy snacks to enjoy anytime. Today, let’s break down nine healthy air fryer snacks you can make right at home.
Why Use an Air Fryer for Snacks?
Air fryers are wonderfully efficient and easy-to-use machines. These countertop-sized convection ovens simulate deep frying. But, unlike conventional fryers, they don’t require you to use lots of unhealthy oil. Even though frying foods in an air fryer is quicker and healthier, the snacks you create will be just as tasty as those you can get at fast-food restaurants.
Air fryers are so effective since they circulate hot air at very high speeds while their food is being cooked. The result? Crispy, delicious snacks, sides, and even main courses. For many folks, using an air fryer for snacks means they can enjoy delicious yet healthy snacks without compromising their dietary health.
Let’s break down some great air fryer snacks you should try the next time you feel a bit hungry.
Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas
First up are crispy air fryer chickpeas. Chickpeas are already super healthy. As delicious vegetables, they’re often enjoyed as sides for main meals. But they can also serve as solitary snacks. Also called garbanzo beans, you can make chickpeas in your air fryer by throwing a cup of them in your fryer oven and roasting them for less than 20 minutes.
Spray your chickpeas with oil after five minutes or so in the air fryer for the best results. This will form a relatively healthy yet crispy layer on the outside: delicious!
Low Carb Air Fried Onion Rings
What’s that? You can enjoy healthy onion rings with your air fryer? That’s right! You can make low-carb air-fried onion rings that are less greasy and less carb-heavy than standard onion rings.
Take some low-carb flour, dunk your onion rings inside, then put them in your air fryer for eight minutes or so. For the best results, you’ll want to add a few seasonings plus one beaten egg and about a cup of milk. That creates a bonding agent to help the breadcrumbs or other seasonings wrap around the rings fully.
Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Then there are crispy air fryer zucchini fries. These are ideal as solitary snacks or side dishes/appetizers for larger meals. All you have to do is cut up some zucchini into fry-shaped pieces, then throw them in your air fryer. Mix them with some breadcrumbs and dried herbs for even more deliciousness.
Air-fried zucchini fries are superior to regular French fries since they’re veggies. Plus, they have a little water on the inside, ensuring a crispy finish no matter what.
Air Fryer Macaroni and Cheese Balls
Everyone likes macaroni and cheese, and you can make tasty, relatively healthy macaroni and cheese balls in your air fryer pretty simply. Take some leftover or refrigerated macaroni and cheese, and roll the noodles and cheese into balls. You can add Panko breadcrumbs, salt, or anything else you like.
Then dunk the macaroni and cheese balls in an egg and milk mixture. Throw them in the freezer for 30 minutes, then put them in the air fryer at 360°F for between 8 and 10 minutes. You’ll know the macaroni and cheese balls are done when they look crispy and cheesy on the outside.
Air Fryer Pretzel (Bites)
Ah, soft pretzels: a delightful and delicious snack you can emulate with your air fryer. In fact, you can make delicious air fryer pretzel bites with flour, yeast, a little sugar or honey, salt, and egg or baking soda.
Get some uncooked dough, roll it into balls, then bathe the balls in a baking soda bath and egg wash. Add a little bit of butter for great flavor, then throw them in your air fryer for a satisfying and filling snack that’s perfect for movie nights at home.
Stuffed Mushrooms, Air Fryer Style
Your air fryer can be used to prepare delicious vegetables in more ways than one. For example, you can take whole white button mushrooms, top or stuff them with cream cheese, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese, then mix them with garlic powder, salt, and chives. Put the stuffed mushrooms in your air fryer for between five and 10 minutes until the mushrooms have softened or the cheese has melted. Quick, simple, and healthy!
Let’s take a look at another alternative to traditional French fries. You can slice carrots into strips, then add a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasoning. Lemon and herb seasonings are fantastic. No matter what seasonings you choose, place your carrot sticks in a large bowl, toss them with a tablespoon of oil, then put them in your air fryer basket.
Fry them for about seven minutes at 350°F. Shake the air fryer basket to flip the fries around, then fry again for the same time and serve. These are perfect for pairing with burgers or steaks. For even more flavor, feel free to sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top. Alternatively, eat these with a dipping sauce like spicy mayonnaise or ranch dressing.
One last note: always cut the carrots into relatively thin slices. If your carrot fries are too thick, they may not cook in the above timeframe, and you’ll need to cook them for longer. Try to avoid stacking the carrots on top of each other.
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
Having some Mexican food? In that case, your air fryer can provide you with a healthy side in the form of air fryer tortilla chips: perfect for serving with your favorite salsa or guacamole.
Take some corn, flour, or low-carb flour tortillas, some salt, and some cooking spray. Cooking spray is preferred since it has fewer calories than oil, so it’s healthier overall. Spray the tortillas with the cooking spray, cut them into triangles to emulate tortilla chip shapes, then spread them out in your air fryer basket. Add the seasoning and cook for three minutes at 350°F, then another two minutes after flipping the chips.
Last but not least, you can roast yourself some edamame and enjoy healthy yet tasty veggies whenever you get a hankering for an afternoon snack. Edamame or soybeans are phenomenally healthy thanks to their high protein content and low caloric value.
You can grab frozen or fresh edamame pods, then rub a little bit of olive oil spray and garlic salt on top. Throw the edamame pods in your air fryer for 10 minutes, then remove. Simple! As a side note, roasted edamame can be a good way to get your kids to eat some veggies if they aren’t fans of “eating the rainbow,” as the saying goes.
As you can see, your air fryer could be the healthy snack solution you’ve always wanted. With your air fryer in the right batch of recipes ready to go, you can take care of snack time for you and your family no matter what – and without introducing too much salt and sugar into your diets!
While the above nine healthy air fryer snacks are great places to start, you might want a few more to stay healthy and supply your stomachs with delicious snacks for a long time to come. 1AND1 Life has the perfect collection of healthy recipes for you to check out.
Not only are there several healthy air fryer recipes in this list, but there are also healthy recipes you can enjoy for dozens of other foods made with your oven, a grill, and much more.
Check out our recipe collection today!