Air Fryer Broccoli
Broccoli often gets a bad reputation. Too many times, it’s just the preparation of broccoli that makes some turn away. However, you’ll be adding broccoli back into your meals when you make my air fryer broccoli! My air fryer broccoli does not give you soggy, green mush. In fact, it does quite the opposite. When you cook broccoli in the air fryer, the broccoli becomes crispy on the outside while still being tender on the inside. Air fryer broccoli will sure be a hit for adults and kids, alike!
Please scroll down to see my How to Use an Air Fryer – What is an Air Fryer Introduction.
How to make air fryer broccoli
This air fryer broccoli takes only a few steps to make! First, preheat the air fryer to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the air fryer is preheating, chop your broccoli into bite-sized florets. Then, coat the broccoli with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the broccoli for 10 minutes and viola!
If you want jazz up your air fryer broccoli, here are a few more ideas:
- Coat the air fryer broccoli with my Honey Sriracha Sauce
- Coat the air fryer broccoli with a soy sauce glaze consisting of soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper
- Dip the air fryer broccoli in my Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Can I air fry other vegetables?
Yes! This same recipe can be used for other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as well as other veggies like squash (winter and summer), potatoes (LINK air fryer potato post when live), carrots, peppers, tomatoes and onions! The only thing I would be cautious of are vegetables that are cut into very small pieces or are naturally small (i.e. corn kernels), as they can potentially fall through the grates of the air fryer.
You can take any of the above veggies and use the same proportions of olive oil, salt and pepper to create other delicious side dishes for yourself and your family.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
There is a reason that your mom always told you to eat your broccoli when you were growing up. Broccoli is packed with nutrients, with the nutrients in the highest amounts being vitamin C and vitamin K.1 Both of these vitamins serve important functions in our bodies.
Vitamin C is important for us due to its role in the formation of collagen, which in turn helps attain skin health and heal wounds.2 Vitamin C is also needed for the overall health of our bodies by supporting immune health and cell health.2
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that absorbs best when consumed with fat (think oil-based dressing).3 As for its role, vitamin K is imperative for blood clotting as well as bone health, such as bone turnover.3
These two vitamins, along with the other vitamins and minerals in broccoli, help to support many processes in our bodies.
- Hill A. Top 14 Health Benefits of Broccoli. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-broccoli#section1. Published September 12, 2018. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin K. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 18, 2020.
Have you heard about the air fryer?
You may have seen commercials advertising air fryers, or you may have seen them lining the aisles of your local Target, Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond. With different models on the market, you may be asking yourself, “what is an air fryer?” According to the Kitchn, the air fryer works as a convection oven, however, the fan that circulates the air spins quicker.1 The process of air frying differs from traditional frying as in the air fryer, all portions of the food are cooked at the same rate versus needing to turn the food to cook all sides.1 Additionally, air frying usings less oil than traditional frying, which brings me to my next point!
Why use an air fryer?
As I previously mentioned, air frying uses a lot less oil, which reduces calories and saturated fat making whatever we cook healthier, without impacting the taste or texture! When we traditionally deep fry foods, as little as 8 percent or as much as 25 percent of the oil will be absorbed into the foods.2 This is in the form of saturated fat, which also adds 9 calories per gram of oil absorbed. Research has shown that a diet high in saturated fat can lead to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and death.3 By using the air fryer, you can use an oil high in polyunsaturated fat (i.e. olive oil), and the excess oil will fall to the bottom of the air fryer. In fact, the American Heart Association presidential advisory notes that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat results in about a 30% reduction of heart disease.4 Cooking in the air fryer allows us to enjoy some of our favorite (now not-so-guilty) guilty pleasures.
Air Frying Tips
- Use a light coating of oil (or oil spray) on either the basket and food item to achieve the golden-brown exterior of the food item you are cooking. This also imparts great flavor to the food.
- Do not over-crowd the air fryer. This can lead to uneven cooking, and/or soggy texture of the food item.
- Check the appropriate cooking times and cooking temperatures, as these factors will differ from cooking food items in a standard oven.
- A rectangular air fryer allows for easier spacing of the food items (and more food cooked at once) compared to the air fryers that are more circular.
- Franke S. How Does an Air Fryer Work? Kitchn. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-do-air-fryers-work-265185. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed May 9, 2020.
- Dunford N. Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services – Oklahoma State University. Deep Fat Frying Basics for Food Services | Oklahoma State University. https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/deep-fat-frying-basics-for-food-services.html. Accessed May 9, 2020.
- Souza RJD, Mente A, Maroleanu A, et al. Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMJ. August 2015. doi:10.1136/bmj.h3978
- Sacks FM, Lichtenstein AH, Wu JH, et al. Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2017;136(3). doi:10.1161/cir.0000000000000510
- air fryer
- 1 pound broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces (florets and stems)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Optional: other spices you like!
- Preheat air fryer to 425 degrees F.
- In a bowl, add broccoli, salt, pepper, oil, and other spices you like and mix well.
- Pour mixture into air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes.