Several have asked how I fry my Pumpkin Donuts. A skillet with about a 1/2 inch of hot oil works great, and that’s how I used to fry food. But Matt and the boys got me this Oster Deep Fat Fryer a couple Christmases ago and I LOVE it. This makes the process of frying donuts, chicken nuggets, French fries, etc. so much easier!
The question everyone wants to know is: Aren’t fried foods unhealthy?
My very happy response to that questions is this: If you fry your food in Palm Shortening or Coconut Oil, your fried foods will be healthy! The reason? Palm Shortening and Coconut Oil are digestible, nourishing, and stable fats. This means that they can be heated to extreme temperatures without becoming rancid or without turning into trans fats. #happydance #bringonthehomemadefrenchfries
Other oils – in particular bottled vegetable oils and canola oil – aren’t beneficial to our health in the first place. When they are heated to the high temperatures required for frying, they begin to go berserk because they aren’t stable enough to handle the heat. When heated for frying, they become rancid or oxidized, then they create free radicals that attack our cells. This can eventually lead to many health problems and diseases. #nothanks #blech #stickwithcoconutoil
Olive oil is a healthy fat, but it becomes unstable at about 450° so it isn’t always a great choice for deep-frying food. I do use olive oil to lightly stir fry veggies in a skillet.
I’m so grateful for healthy frying options, because fried food tastes crazy good! Obviously, we need to balance the good fats and fried food with plenty of fruits and vegetables. After all, God created our bodies to function best by eating a wide variety of nutrients. But for the record, fried green beans, fried zucchini, fried mushrooms, and fried asparagus are fantastic. #bestofbothworlds
Now for some big fat healthy deals around the web:
I typically recommend my favorite Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions because it is such fantastic quality. In case you’d like to try a smaller container of this shortening (Tropical Traditions only carries gallon buckets or larger), you may want to try Spectrum brand, which comes in a 24 ounce tub.
Right now, iHerb is carrying Spectrum Palm Shortening for just $6.34 a tub. Even better? You get free shipping at iHerb when your order is over $20. AND, if you’re a new customer and click through this iHerb referral link, you’ll get $10 off your order of $40 or more. (Or use my referral number at checkout, BID487) Sweet deal!
While you’re at iHerb getting your $10 off and free shipping, I suggest picking up other ingredients you might need for baking this fall and winter. They carry my favorite brand of sucanat, Rapunzel Whole Cane Sugar. I often also get Enjoy Life Soy Free Chocolate Chips and Now Foods Cocoa Powder at iHerb. Yay for fun baking! Have fun with your $10 of free grocery money!
Amazon is running a great deal on a Lodge 5-Piece Cast Iron Skillet Set. It’s only $63.99, down from $150.00. This is a GREAT deal if you can swing it. Cast iron is a fantastic, healthy alternative to Teflon. You can use palm shortening or coconut oil to season your cast iron.
Universal Housewares is also offering a great deal on cast iron. Get this 3-piece skillet set for just $24.99, down from $50.00.
What are your favorite fried foods? Have you switched to palm or coconut oil for frying? It’s a delicious change for the better!
This post contains affiliate links.
Just got my first gallon of palm shortening! And I know it’s typically more expensive, but I wouldn’t trade my enameled cast iron for anything!
Michele M says
Vitacost has the Vitacost brand organic refined coconut oil priced at $7.47 for 14 ounces, and it’s on sale BOGO 50% off.
Nice! And you can get $10 off your first $30 order through this code: http://goo.gl/SiVocx
Thanks for pointing out that deal!
I love my cast iron, my healthy fats and I generally disagree with the notion that healthy eating is more expensive. However, I need help with the sugar! I really want to make the change from C&H brown and white sugar to the whole cane, but when it is five time more expensive I freak out! Can you help me with this? How did you do it? I keep waiting to see a better deal but when I compare 50 cents per pound with $2.50 I skip it. Ladies, argue your case for me! Any cheaper source? Can I use less since it’s a different form? Or do I just suck it up and figure it’s worth it?
If there is a COSTCO near you I think that will be the way to go for sugar. I always buy mine there. My costco sells wholesome sweeteners brand organic evaporated cane juice. The 10 LB bag is around $11. I know they don’t have all of the same deals at every location nationwide, but there’s bound to be a similar deal at a COSTCO near you. I also don’t buy organic sugar at the regular grocery store, the price is ridiculous!
Your questions are so good that I think I’ll write an entire post to answer it – that way my other readers will see it too. You’re right, while not all healthy foods are expensive, healthier sugar is ridiculous!!
I would love more information on sugars, why I should switch, and the many options out there. I sometimes get confused just reading the packages. It took me awhile to figure out that sucanat just stood for sugar cane natural! I will look forward to it! And Cassie, thank you for your tip! My costco has a huge organic section so I will spend more time checking things out there.
Those donuts look yummy! Do you reuse your oil? I know when we had a fry daddy when I was a kid we would just leave the oil in it and change it when it started smelling. Sounds really yucky now!
Yes, I reuse my oil several times. :)
Charlotte Moore says
I just placed an order with iHerb. My order was $40.19 less $10. Because it was over $40 I got 10% more off. Didn’t know I would get that. I am thrilled to find the Spectrum at that price. I bought 4 of them and a couple bags of pure cane sugar and another item. I used your code.
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says
Oooh, I’ve never tried deep fried green beans or asparagus, but I do love zucchini and mushrooms. Yes, I love coconut oil and palm shortening. I just ordered a gallon of palm shortening when you posted about it being on sale at TT. Also, the palm shortening makes a wonderful pot pie crust!
I was looking at the deep fryer you have… and was wondering if you have to fill it completely… 4 L worth of oil… when you use it… Isn’t that the entire gallon of palm shortening!? Do you then just wait for it to cool and put it back in the container? I was interested in getting one but I have never used or seen anyone use one before!! :)
It is almost an entire container of shortening, yes. :) I actually just leave it in my fryer instead of putting it back into the container. Then, when I’m ready to use it again, I just plug it in to reheat it.
Laura have you looked at frying in tallow? Oh so good and so good for you!!! Grass fed tallow that is. Wouldn’t work for donuts but man oh man you’ve never tasted fries that before!!!!
I’ve heard this is amazing, but I have yet to try it. I need to ask my grass-fed meat source about their tallow!
Kara M says
So I have a question–hopefully, it’s not a dumb one! I use coconut oil exclusively in place of butter or margarine due to my daughter’s high sensitivity to all things dairy. However, I didn’t know until recently about palm shortening. Can palm shortening and coconut oil be used interchangeably or is one better than the other for certain things?
I LOVE your blog and eagerly await your new posts and menu plans and recipes! Thank you!!
Coconut oil is palm oil (coconuts grow on palm trees), but not all palm oil is coconut (there are many varieties of palm).
I think the main difference is that palm oil is often not sustainably harvested, and palm oil production is responsible for tons of deforestation. There are now many palm oil companies that are sustainably harvested, though, so you just have the check the label. Coconut oil, though, as far as I know, has little to do with deforestation and the destruction and death of orangutans, etc. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that. Still, the coconut oil will usually tell you on the bottle if it is sustainably harvested.
Another is taste. Palm oil really doesn’t have a taste to me, but coconut oil often has a coconut taste (depending on what type you buy, of course).
Hope that helps! I’m sure others will have more to add, but those are the basic differences that I think about between the two.
I had NO idea that fried foods were okay when cooked in coconut oil! Great to know! I’m going to try this.