Who loves calamari but hates the greasy high carb batter it comes with? Try paleo calamari rings with lemon zest almond flour crust.
They're a refreshing change and a quick and healthy, cheap high protein snack.
What is calamari?
Calamari is Italian for squid. Many people think calamari is made from octopus but it is made from sliced squid, battered and fried.
The calamari ring shape is from the tube of the squid that is sliced then fried.
Are there carbs in calamari?
Calamari however is most commonly sold fire in batter or breadcrumbs. It's the flour and starch in the batter and breadcrumbs, along with the unhealthy cooking oils that make fried calamari unhealthy and high carb.
Homemade calamari that has been rolled in lemon and almond flour crumbs, however, is low in carbs, tasty, and nutritious.
Is squid high protein?
Yes, squid is high in protein. It has 18 g protein per 100g making it a wonderful high protein appetizer, snack, side dish, or meal.
1: Slice squid into rings that are ½ inch / 1cm thick.
2: Roll in the lemon almond flour crumbs.
3: Gently fry in coconut oil or olive oil on medium to low heat for a minute on each side. If you are not paleo, calamari rings are delightful gently fried in butter.
How to use an air fryer
Using an air fryer to cook calamari is quick and easy. But you do need to cook them in small batches, so it may not be economical for a whole family. But it's a great way to cook them for a quick and easy high protein snack.
- Preheat to 180C/350F.
- Spray the wire basket with cooking oil.
- Gently place each coated calamari ring into the oiled basket. Ensure there is plenty of space between them.
- Cook for 2-5 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your squid rings.
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Calamari is best served with a squeeze of lemon juice all over.
It can be served as a side dish or as a light meal on a bed of leafy green salad.
Which oil is best for frying?
It's important to understand which are the best cooking oils to use for frying. Use healthy fats and oils which have a high smoke point, and cook at the lowest temperature required.
Most restaurants or fast food joints use highly processed seed oils such as canola, soybean, sunflower, or corn oil which are unstable, easily oxidized and high in pro-inflammatory omega 6.
They reuse the same oil again and again making them rancid, oxidized oils and inflammatory.
Fried food at restaurants and fast-food chains is also fried at much higher temperatures than homemade fried food.
An inflammatory diet high in processed oils, omega 6, and highly processed carbs increase our risk of so many modern diseases.
When we say we eat a high fat diet, that doesn't mean you now have a license to eat fried fatty foods every day, there is a difference. It means eating healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and butter with each meal.
It means eating healthy fats until full, no more. It means stopping the industrial seed soils. It means stop eating fried food not made at home.
Paleo Calamari Rings (High Protein)
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- Mix the almond flour/meal with the lemon zest and salt/pepper.
- Slice the squid tubes into ½ inch / 1 cm slices.
- Roll the calamari rings in the lemon almond mix.
- Heat your oil of choice in a frying pan and fry on a gentle low heat for 1 minute each side until just cooked and the almonds have started to turn golden.
- Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon wedges to serve.