The popularity of the keto diet has been on the rise in recent years. Such a diet primarily focuses on high consumption of healthy fats, a moderate amount of protein, and very little or no carbs.
The main objective of the keto diet is to obtain most of your calories from fats and proteins rather than carbs, especially refined carbs like sugary beverages or white bread. Some very popular keto foods include avocados, cheese, low-carb vegetables, and meat.
It is suggested to not eat more than 50 grams of carbs per day when following the keto diet. Being more mindful of your carb intake can be a great way to lose excess weight, but it’s a good idea to check with your doctor or nutritionist first!
The increase in popularity of the keto diet came with an increase in creative ways to replace high-carb foods with low or lower-carb alternatives. For example, most of us have probably noticed the trend of cauliflower foods.
Cauliflower pizza crusts, rice, chips, and more have taken the keto world by storm. Another popular replacement is various types of low-carb flour, such as almond or coconut flour.
When mixed with just a few other ingredients, almond or coconut flour can come together to create a delicious low-carb breading for foods that you would typically coat in breadcrumbs. Mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders are an example, but more on that later!
Cooking Keto with an Air Fryer
If you are following a keto diet, an air fryer just might be the kitchen appliance that you need. The hot air that circulates to cook the food inside creates a crispy exterior texture while maintaining a tender interior.
Your keto breadcrumb substitutes might taste a bit different from traditional breading, but an air fryer will help to ensure that they are as crispy as possible, without having to deep fry them in excess oil.
While many keto recipes can be made in an air fryer, the ones that we would like to share with you today feature keto mozzarella sticks, keto chicken tenders, and keto fried chicken.
Sorry lactose-intolerant folks, it’s impossible not to boast about how crispy, gooey, and delicious mozzarella sticks are. If you order them as an appetizer at a restaurant, they are more than likely deep-fried and coated in traditional breadcrumbs, which are high in carbs.
Luckily, if you’re following the keto diet, it is possible to avoid that. Making your own homemade keto mozzarella sticks is actually easier than you might think! They can be ready in just under 25 minutes, which includes prep time and cook time.
This recipe even provides instructions on how to make your own low-carb breadcrumbs to coat the mozzarella sticks in. The ingredients for the homemade keto breadcrumbs are finely-grated parmesan cheese, almond flour, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and sea salt.
The only other two ingredients you will need are one or two beaten eggs and six mozzarella string cheese sticks. The cheese must be low moisture and part-skim, otherwise, it will completely melt when cooked in the air fryer!
An incredibly helpful tip is to double-coat your mozzarella sticks in the egg and breadcrumb mixture and freeze them for about an hour in between coatings and before cooking them. This will solidify the cheese and not make it melt so quickly.
Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Moving on to another favorite appetizer- chicken tenders! Like mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders are traditionally dredged in a high-carb breading and can be baked or deep-fried.
The good news? There is a way to make keto chicken tenders too, of course. You could even use the same breading mentioned in the mozzarella stick recipe above, but there are other methods as well!
Your local grocery store or butcher will have chicken tenderloin cuts that you can purchase, or you can cut a large chicken breast into thin strips.
Did you know that you can use finely-crushed pork rinds as a low-carb breading? This recipe shows you how. The whole pork rind pieces should be blended in a blender or food processor until they reach a crumb-like consistency.
Other than the chicken cutlets and pork rinds, the only other ingredients that you need to make these keto chicken tenders are a beaten egg and nonstick cooking spray! You can also season the chicken with salt, pepper, or other seasonings if you’d like.
The air fryer will help cook the chicken tenders to a beautiful crisp. You’ll forget they are keto!
Keto Air Fryer Fried Chicken
Last, but not least, a keto fried chicken recipe. Yes, you read that correctly. Even the most unhealthy foods can be made more healthy with just a few simple substitutes and your trusty air fryer!
This keto fried chicken recipe uses a breading that is similar to the one used in the chicken tender recipe. There is an extra step, though. It involves dredging the chicken drumsticks in a mixture of coconut flour, salt, and pepper first before dipping it in the egg and keto breadcrumbs.
The coconut flour used in this recipe is for sale on Amazon. It is made by the blogger who wrote it! It is stated that the coconut flour mixture helps the egg stick to the chicken better.
The breadcrumb ingredients are crushed pork rinds, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and dried thyme. The chicken should be arranged in a single layer, the air fryer basket should fit about four drumsticks.
If you prefer not to use drumsticks, chicken breasts or thighs would work as well. However, they make take a bit longer to cook, especially chicken breasts since they are usually pretty meaty.
Always be sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken to verify that it is fully cooked!
These three recipes are just a small sample of all of the delicious keto recipes that can be made in an air fryer. Stay tuned for the full recipe details!