Fry bread is one of those foods I just can’t give up entirely. I wasn’t raised on it, like a lot of my native friends. I did, however, eat a great deal of it in my early 20’s while exploring my native roots. The stuff is melt in your mouth awesome. It’s pretty tough going without it, now that my eating habits are healthier. I’m a GMO free eater and a vegan. Still, every once in a while, I get a craving for good old fry bread. My situation begs the question, “Is there a way to make fry bed healthier?”
Of course, there is.
There’s a way to make just about any favorite food healthier. Now, that is not to say it will be nutrient dense or even all that great for you. After all, it’s a piece of fried bread dough. But, it will be an improvement over the original. Not only that, healthier versions of fry bread can be just as tasty or better than the original.
Making it vegan/vegetarian.
If you’ve gone vegan or vegetarian and still want fry bread, you’ll just need to make a small change. You see, traditional fry bread is often fried in lard. Lard is pig fat. So, rather than using lard, you’ll want to fry your bread in vegetable oil. Read the labels on these. Choose the healthiest one. Watch out for those processed hydrogenated versions. Stay away from conventionally made corn, soy and canola, all of which contain GMO. My preference is organic coconut oil. There is absolutely no difference in flavor. It’s just a kinder, more environmentally sound choice.
Make it GMO free.
The vast majority of flour sold in the U.S. contains genetically modified wheat. That’s a shame, isn’t it? You try to make homemade food that’s better for you and behold, it contains GMOs anyway. The good news is that if you’re willing to pay an extra buck or two for that bag of flour, you can easily find GMO free varieties in your regular supermarket. You don’t even have to make a special trip to a natural foods store or spend a lot of money.
Whole grain fry bread?
If whole grain fry bread sounds too healthy to you, go ahead and just use regular GMO free white flour. However, the thing is, you are missing out if you do. There’s something special about the texture of fry bread made with GMO free, whole wheat flour. I was skeptical about using whole grain flour in my fry bread at first. I’m all about the original. But, guess what I found out? It’s even more amazing than the regular kind.
Using whole wheat flour turned out so well for me that I have since tried all kinds of other healthy, GMO free flours in my fry bread. Some were a bit expensive, but well worth it. From graham flour (Yes, like used in graham crackers) to coconut flour, I’ve had so much success with alternate flours that I will likely never return to regular old fry bread, even though it was my first love.
Note: Using alternative flours also enables you to make a gluten free version.
Additives can be a good thing, when it comes to making fry bread healthier. Oh, you won’t be using chemical additives. I’m talking about things like wheat germ, chopped nuts, berries and whatever other healthy thing you might add to regular baked goods. These things turn regular old fry bread into an almost pastry.
The most important ingredient to add to your healthier fry bread is a healthy helping of restraint. That’s because while these ideas will make you fry bread healthier, it’s not a food you should be eating every day. So enjoy your healthier fry bread in moderation, please. Even though, it’s so delicious, you won’t want to.
More from Jaipi:
Southwestern Vegan Staples
How To make Your Indian Fry Bread Tacos Vegan
The Vegan Tofu Reliance Myth