Cooking Without Oil

Kathy's picture

It’s hard to imagine a diet without oil and added fat. Most of us are used to sautéing with oil in cooking, slathering our salads with oil-based dressings and buttering bread with butter or margarine. I was the same. Before I took on cooking without oil I never thought it could be done, and done deliciously. Now I never think about it and the oil-free skills are second-nature.  Best of all, the flavor of foods and spices POP, when not masked with oil. So give your taste buds a de-greaser simply by changing habits. Switch to oil-free dressings, sauté and stir-fry using water or broth, and find substitutes for baking with added fat.

Here are a few tips that I have picked up along the way

  • Splash a bit of broth, a flavored vinegar, soy sauce, wine, juice, or any liquid instead of using oil to stir-fry or sauté, and make sure there is enough liquid to keep from burning as you cook.

  • Use parchment paper or a non-stick baking sheet or pan for roasting and baking. I don’t use any pan preparation for baking and never have a sticking problem. Glass baking and roasting pans are good for this.

  • On the stovetop, make sure there is enough water in the bottom of the pan to keep from sticking or burning

  • Substitute bananas, flax meal or tofu in baking

  • Use mashed bananas, soaked dried fruit or chopped fruit instead of jams on bread 

Here are some oil substitutes for salad dressings

  • 1 Tblsp ground flax seeds mixed with 1/3 C water

  • 1 ½ tblsp arrowroot mixed with 1 cup cold water, whisked, then gently heated in a pan until just boiled.

  • 1 can drained artichoke hearts, packed in water, whizzed in a blender

  • Unsweetened soymilk, if you want a creamy-ish replacement

  • Mashed avocado



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