Crispy baked onion rings
Onion rings used to be my dirty little secret. It was much easier for me to swop the potato chips for salad but in the unfortunate instances where I was offered onion rings my self-discipline faultered and shortly thereafter I was suffering from guilty (read greasy) remorse.
Traditional onion rings are not a good choice for runners because firstly, they are incredibly unhealthy given that they are deep fried in oil, and secondly they are often not vegan because the batter usually contains eggs or milk. A regular portion of onion rings is an empty (read nutrient deficient) calorie bomb that is just not worth the jiggle they create.
Don’t fret though because I have the pleasure of informing you that onion rings do not have to be your blast from the past and you can now enjoy them as part of a balanced diet. This recipe will enable you to conjure up mouth-watering, crispy, and golden rings of goodness without the guilt (or the jiggle).
What makes these onion rings a much healthier option? They are baked not fried, contain no eggs or dairy, and can be gluten free. What makes them delicious? The crispy crunchy texture and the full-bodied flavour that come from the combination of spices.
Now let’s quickly talk about spices. There are three common mistakes that people make when it comes to spices. 1) using irradiated spices, 2) using old spices, and 3) using way too little. I’ll explain briefly:
- Irradiated spices have undergone ionised radiation to extend shelf-life and kill any bacteria. This process causes the spice to lose at least some of its health / medicinal properties. Make sure to look out for spices that are labeled as “non-irradiated” to make sure that all the nutritional value and benefits stay intact.
- Spices have a shelf-life that varies from spice to spice. Some dried spices only last for about 3 months while others are good for a year or two. When I say last, they don’t spoil as such but they lose a lot of flavour and intensity. A bland spice defeats the point. Make sure to restock your pantry from time to time with fresh spices and store them in airtight containers.
- Many people are afraid of using spices and use way too little. You will not taste 1/8th of a teaspoon of cumin in a pot of food that is meant to serve a family of four. Now I am not saying that you should add several teaspoons of cayenne pepper because it is likely that your food will be inedible (unless you come from Durban), but don’t be afraid to add ½ teaspoon at a time and taste and add some more if you find that the flavours are complementing one another. I often add several teaspoons of varying spices to a pot of food and the flavours turn out incredibly.
Back to the recipe, as I was saying, the combination of spices really makes these onion rings an absolutely delicious snack, plus you can alter the ratios or add some of your own spices to find your perfect onion ring fit.
2 medium-large brown (yellow) onions, sliced into rings about 1cm thick
½ cup of unsweetened plant based milk (almond is my favourite)
¼ cup of chickpea flour (or wheat flour or oat flour)
¾ cup corn flake crumbs (or panko or your favourite brand of bread crumbs)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (not the same as regular paprika)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Small pinch of salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or use a silicon mat.
- Add the wet mix ingredients to a small bowl and whisk well to combine without lumps.
- Then add the dry ingredients to a separate shallow bowl and stir until well combined.
- Using a fork or a pair of small tongs dip each ring first into the wet mix and then transfer to the dry mix bowl and coat with the crumb/spice mixture. Be sure to let the excess wet mix drip off of the ring before transfering to the dry mix. Continue until all rings are coated and transfer to prepared baking tray or silicone mat.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy, keeping a close eye on them near the end to prevent burning them.
- Serve hot with your favourite dip – ours is sriracha and a sriracha (vegan) mayo.
Let me know in the comments section what spice combinations you came up with, I’d love to try them! 🙂