How I made fruit crumble in a deep fat fryer

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chips-made-actifryA while ago we decided to live without a freezer.

Ours stopped working and we figured a good way to reduce our carbon footprint and electricity consumption would be to not replace it.

The trouble it, Little Miss Green is rather partial to chips and she wasn’t a happy bunny.

Once a week she goes kick boxing for 2 hours, so we’ve started getting a takeaway on the way home. Whilst delicious, chip-shop chips aren’t exactly the healthiest option, especially for a tween who has hormones flying around her body. Alas the chips take a toll on her skin.

Something I’ve always been intrigued with is an item I saw on Lakeland a couple of years ago. It was a machine that claimed to ‘deep fat fry’ with only a couple of tablespoons of oil, so imagine my delight when Tefal sent me an ActiFry to try out. It meant Little Miss Green could enjoy chips that weren’t dripping in oil. In fact, just one tablespoon of oil is required to cook one kilo of chips; which means they only contain 3% fat.

But that’s not oil – the ActiFry is really versatile and cooks much more than just chips. The unit arrives with a recipe book packed with healthy meal ideas such as curries and stir frys and you can use it to make sauces such as pasta sauce. It’s also great for frying vegetables without them turning soggy. The unit works by ‘paddling’ the food around in the oil to keep it coated and evenly cooked.

Now I have to admit, one of the reasons I got rid of my deep fat fryer wasn’t due to health reasons, it was because I couldn’t stand cleaning up after using it. No matter how careful I was, my walls and ceiling would be covered with a layer of grease – combine that with smoke from a wood burner and the house got pretty messy! I also couldn’t bear having to clean the fryer itself, changing the oil and washing it up by hand was not my job of choice.
Fortunately the Tefal ActiFry is really simple to clean and if you’re fortunate enough to have a dishwasher, it’s all dishwasher safe too.

GOOD

Extremely versatile – you can cook things in the ActiFry you wouldn’t dream of doing in a deep fat fryer

Can use it for ‘one pot meals’ such as casseroles, bolognase, roasted vegetables

Can use it for things you’d never imagine such as tortilla, prawns, risotto and even fruit crumbles!

Easy to clean; much simpler than a deep fat fryer

Due to the paddle, the ActiFry evenly browns food which saves you having to stir things

Ideal for people on a low fat diet who want to indulge in a little fried food 🙂

Instructions are excellent; leaving nothing unanswered

Comes with a great recipe book to get you thinking outside the box

BAD

It’s noisy – I have an open plan kitchen and I tend to work in the dining area, but it would be ok if you could shut the door on it. It sounds a bit like a hairdryer on a low setting

It takes up a lot of room; it’s fine for me but for those with a small kitchen and little storage space you’d need to use it a lot to get it to earn its space.

You need to plan ahead – it can take up to 45 minutes to cook a batch of chips; fine if you can plan, but no good if you’re hungry and in a rush

I’m concerned about the build quality of the lid and hinge; time will tell if it will last as it appears to be made from very brittle plastic

If you’re concerned about Teflon then this product is not for you as it is Teflon coated

UGLY

Nothing serious to report

VERDICT

All in all this is a wonderful gadget. It does exactly as promised which, to be honest, surprised me. I didn’t quite believe that you could have good tasting chips without all the oil, but you can. And as it is such a multi-purpose item it’s definitely worth the money because you can virtually use it for any recipe you would make in a slow cooker.

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