From frying to sautéing, cooking is one of the most commonly used ingredients in cooking. In fact, if you’re like most people, you probably can’t even imagine cooking without it. But while oil certainly adds taste to food, here’s the thing: it’s not exactly the healthiest thing in the world.
In fact, a single tablespoon of oil contains about 120 calories. It’s also 100 percent fat! Now, think about how much oil you use when you’re cooking. It probably translates to a ton of fat and calories with each meal.
In addition to causing weight gain, oil also reduces blood flow, damages the cells that line the inner walls of the blood vessels, and causes an accumulation of plague in the blood vessels and heart.
Not only does oil damage your waistline, but it also wrecks havoc on your overall health.
If you want to lose weight and just improve your health, you should seriously consider cooking without oil. Think it’s not possible? – Think again! While you might be under the assumption that oil is an absolute necessity for cooking, it’s really not. In fact, cooking without oil is not only possible, but can yield food that is just as flavorful, crisp, and delicious.
Tips for Cooking Without Oil
How can you possibly cook without oil? Here are some helpful tips that will completely remove oil from your kitchen and make your food a whole lot healthier and just as tasty.
Choose Non-Stick Cookware
A lot of people use oil as a way to ensure that food doesn’t stick to their pots and pans. While it certainly prevents food from sticking to the surface of your cookware, it adds unnecessary calories and fat to your diet.
Instead of using oil to make your pots and pans stick-proof, choose non-stick cookware to begin with. Opt for pots and pans that are coated with Teflon, a material that prevents food from sticking to the surface. If you don’t want to use Teflon, you can simply use high-quality, stainless steel cookware that has a heavy bottom, silicone casserole dishes, or use cast iron pots and pans that have been coated with enamel.
Once you’ve selected the right cookware, you can start cooking without oil and skip out on all of those unwanted calories and fat.
Stir-Frying and Sauteing Without Oil
You’re probably thinking that it’s impossible to stir-fry or saute without oil, but guess what: it really is!
Instead of covering your pans with oil, use broth and water. Pour in a few tablespoons of water and oil to a preheated pan of your choice, add in your veggies, chicken, or whatever you’re cooking, and keep stirring or tossing it to prevent it from burning.
Not only will sautéing and stir-frying with broth make your food healthier, but it will also make it a whole lot tastier.
Baking Without Oil
Oil is a staple in baking. That’s because it aids in browning and crisping baked goods; however, it’s not the only thing that can help with the process.
Fruit puree is a great alternative to oil, and it’s much healthier and so much tastier. Try replacing oil with mashed up bananas, applesauce, pureed peaches, or any other type of mashed or pureed fruits you can think of that would nicely accompany the flavor of whatever it is that you are baking.
Nut butters and flour that’s made of nuts can also be used as a substitute for oil in baked goods. They can also help with browning and crisping, resulting in foods that are just as crispy and even tastier than they would be if you used oil.
Roasting Without Oil
You don’t have to cover your meats, veggies, or anything else that you are roasting with oil. Sure, using oil helps to speed up the time it takes to roast your foods, but it’s not necessary.
Before putting your veggies or meats in the oven, cover them with some herbs or spices. You can also coat them with some beef, chicken, or vegetable stock, or coat them in a mixture of water and light soy sauce. Your food will be perfectly roasted, taste absolutely delicious, and most importantly, it will be so much healthier!
Excellent Substitutes for Oil
Now that you know some ways that you can bake, stir-fry, saute, and roast without oil, here’s a look at some great substitutes for oil that will make your food super flavorful, crispy, and a whole lot healthier for you.
Water and Broth
If you’re cooking on the stovetop, try using water and broth instead of oil (as mentioned above). Mix together vegetable, beef, or chicken broth with water, and use the mixture to create savory, tasty stir-fry and sautéed dishes.
Vegetable and Fruit Juices
Vegetable and fruit juices also make a great alternative for oil. Use them instead of broth and water for your stir-fried and sautéed meals. They will add a wonderful and unexpected flavor to your dishes!
Mashed or Pureed Fruits
For your baked goods, you can use mashed or pureed fruits as an alternative to oil. They’ll add in a nice amount of sweetness to breads and cakes, as well as moisture. They also help with the browning process. Plus, your baked goods will be much healthier.
Herbs and Spices
Coat the foods that you are planning on roasting with a healthy amount of herbs and spices (mixed with water) before putting them in the oven. The results will be super flavorful and of course, healthier.