I’ve gotta tell ya, I’ve been so excited to share this recipe! But first, I’ll share a little background.
Last year, I started pan frying with coconut oil. I’ve pan-fried chicken legs (and made gravy), chicken legs and liver (and made gravy), pork chops (and made gravy) – can you tell we like gravy – tortillas (for soft-shelled tacos, but no gravy), and, just recently, onion rings.
I’ve been so pleased with the taste of everything made with coconut oil.
I had been using olive oil for these sort of meals (except the onion rings, which is a new thing for me). After hearing about coconut oil, I decided to give it a try. Coconut oil is also better suited for medium-high heat cooking.
I use good oils in my home cooking, but I’m more relaxed about it when eating out. (You almost have to be.)
I’ve purchased onion rings at a cafeteria I frequent, but during a recent visit, I asked what oils they use. Most restaurants and cafeterias use hydrogenated oil, and this place, I learned, was no exception.
I walked away. No onion rings for Holly. The only solution was to figure out how to make home-fried onion rings.
I had my challenge. I say challenge because I wanted to figure out how to make them with no internet research, the old-fashion way: trial and error.
As seen in the photo, my first attempt was anything but successful. They turned out more like sautéed onions. Not a complete waste, instead of a side of fried onion rings, we had a delicious burger topping.
John suggested pancake batter. I wanted a healthy recipe, so the boxed pancake mix in our pantry would not work. (My real food journey has been one of gradual changes.) But it did get me thinking differently about my approach. I needed something thick, like batter. Boxed pancake mix, while not real food, gave me a starting point.
They turned out great! We savored every scrumptuous, golden brown, crispy breaded onion ring that came out of that pan.
“Oh, please, make these again!” was John’s response.
The only thing left was to swap the boxed pancake mix for something healthy. That’s when it got tricky …
I tried using whole flour, and I now realize it was because I made the batter too thick and did not let most of it drain off, they tasted HORRIBLE! John hates to waste food, but these were so bad, we had to throw them in the trash.
I figured I’d go back to the pancake batter, measure my ingredients this time, and THEN swap ingredients. Still, no success. I made numerous batches, but was never able to duplicate that yummy batch.
So, I looked online, but only at two recipes. I picked one of the two recipes and worked with it. After a successful batch, I started changing the recipe. One of the many changes I made was adding unsweetened coconut flakes.
Ready to learn how to make these?
1/3 – 1/2” Coconut Oil (when melted in pan)
Unsweeted Coconut Flakes
1 ¼ c. Milk (*see note)
1 c. Whole Wheat Flour (*see note)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
- Slice the onion into thick slices.
- Place coconut oil into pan.
- Turn up the heat (low-medium heat) to melt and heat the oil.
- Mix dry ingredients (but NOT the coconut flakes) in a bowl.
- One by one, dip rings into flour mixture and set rings aside.
- Add milk and egg to flour mixture. *(If you use unbleached white flour, you may only need 1 cup of milk.)
- Dip rings into the batter.
- Place battered rings onto wax paper to drip.
- Once the rings have finished dripping, place onto a clean wax paper.
- Pour unsweeted coconut flakes into a deep bowl.
- One by one, take the battered rings and dip into the coconut flakes. Shake the bowl to get coconut on all surfaces. (I had to use my hands for some of it.)
- CAREFULLY, maybe with tongs, place battered onion rings (single layer) into the hot coconut oil.
- Fry the rings on each side until they’re a light golden brown color, maybe 2 minutes per side. I did not time it, so that’s just a guess. Look for the color.
I can’t wait to make these with my garden onions this summer!