How To Cook Without Oil
For optimal health, individuals who consume plant-based diets recommend using very little oil and if possible, no oil at all. This is an assertion that I agree with and totally support. As such, I also reckon that you need to develop cooking oil-free meals.
Oil-Free Baking and How To Cook Without Oil
This means even doing away with the olive oil that has been hailed as a healthy oil. The reality is, it does have calories – 119 calories for every tablespoon. It also contains saturated fats, which is not healthy for you.
And besides, there are plenty of alternative sources of fats, including avocados and nuts. You should not worry about getting sufficient fats for a healthy diet.
With the above in mind, when transitioning to cooking and baking vegan foods without oil, or cutting back on oil consumption, having an intricate understanding of alternative is essential. Moreover, you need to ensure that your kitchen is stocked with the proper equipment and appliances for your new style of cooking.
Herein are some of the ingredients and techniques as well as the best kitchen appliances and tools that you can use to transition to an oil-free lifestyle.
How To Cook Without Oil on stove top
Stir-Frying And Sautéing – This is a straightforward cooking method. You can perform stir-frying and How To Cook Without Oil with water only. For the best results, when sautéing you should start by using a 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. After that, add a tablespoon every time it gets dry until you are done. Always watch to ensure that the water used does not evaporate completely. If you need more flavor, you can elect to use wine or water.
Caramelizing And Browning – Typically, it is not absolutely necessary to use oil when caramelizing and browning veggies. You can achieve both of these cooking effects without the use of oil with some extra time.
For instance, you can sauté vegetables without using water in a hot non-stick pan. In doing this, you will allow the vegetable to release their own water and begin to brown. Be patient and with time they will start to brown. For a caramelized effect, keep turning them in the pan until you achieve the desired caramel effect. The brown bits left in the pan are a good source of flavor. As such, you can deglaze the pan by adding some water and stirring until they float and brown the water.
Steaming – Steaming is a very effective way of cooking vegetables without using oil. Depending on the veggies you are cooking, you can steam your food in as little as 3 minutes. When you steam rather than boil your veggies, you allow the veggies to retain a lot more of their nutrients.
For seasoning, ideally, you should wait until the veggies are steamed before you season with any spices, sauces, and herbs.
Stovetop Kitchenware Suggestions
Nonstick Pans And Pots – When transitioning oil-free cooking, have a set or two of nonstick cookware is a must. The type you choose, whether porcelain enamel, ceramic titanium, or anodized aluminum is up to you. However, do stay away from Teflon.
To help you choose nonstick cookware, you can check out this article by Good Housekeeping which explores 27 different sets. However, if I were to decide for you, I would pick the Scan Pan line of pans. Although pricier, they do have a lifetime guarantee.
Cast Iron is another excellent choice for a set of oil-free cookware to buy. Preferably, you should choose cast-iron pans that are enamel-coated. They will be heavier than almost all of your cookware but they will also impart your food with some iron, which is good if you do not eat meat.
One drawback is that they need to be seasoned with some oil. As such, if you are going totally oil-free, this is not a good cookware option for you. With regards to prices, there are some expensive options on the market.
You should also consider adding a wok to your cookware. The wok will help you stir-fry completely oil-free, especially when you are eating a plant-based diet.
Steamer – For steaming purposes, you can try a collapsible basket.
Oven Cooking Without Oil
Roasting: When roasting, the best appliance is nonstick baking sheets. Baking sheets are perfect for roasting as they provides you with a large space to spread your veggies. You will also need a parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Season your veggies to your desired level and spread the veggies out on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
As for the cooking settings, you can either cook at a lower heat (225° to 250°) and for longer. Alternately, you can use a higher temperature setting such as the 400°, and cook for a much shorter time while still getting the crisping and browning effect.
You can also use veggie chips by thinly slicing veggies and, after that pressing them between layers of paper towel or towel to draw out some of the moisture. Get more oil-free chips recipes and tortillas here.
If you are craving deep-fried foods, you can bread and then bake them. For instance,, if you need an eggless slurry, bake using a non-stick parchment-lined, or silicone-lined baking sheet for a much more crispy outer crust. For some extra crispiness, finish the baking process with a couple of minutes on broil. While this cooking method will not yield the same exact results as deep frying, it is close enough but much healthier.
Substituting Oil In Baking
Although it might not seem like it, you do have a lot of options when it comes to cooking without oil or butter. Herein are some of the best oil-free baking suggestions.
Unsweetened And Unflavored Applesauce – Use an equal amount of butter you need or ¾ of the amount of oil required for a dense baked result.
Mashed Bananas – Use an equal amount of butter or oil needed for a flavorsome and well-baked result.
Avocado Puree – Use equal to the amount of oil or butter needed for a mild flavor that does not interfere with the desired taste and end-result.
Ground Chia or Ground Flax Seeds – Use 3 tablespoons in 1 tablespoon of water for every tsp of oil or butter needed. Mix this mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes before you add your remaining ingredients. Chia imparts little to no flavor while flax does give a heartier flavor.
Squash, Prune, Or Pumpkin Puree – Use a third cup for every one butter stick needed. These are good substitutes for denser and heavily flavored baked goods. They are perfect when baking chocolate things and spice cakes.
While these are good substitutes to butter and oil, they are not effective at imparting the liquid quality that butter and oil do. As such, it is a good idea to slightly increase the amount of wet ingredients in your recipe.
Furthermore, for more effective and proper baking, you might want to use 25° less and use about 5 to 10 minutes less than it is specified in the recipe. As you might appreciate, you will need to do a lot of trial and error to perfect the use of these substitutes in your baking.
Oven Kitchenware Suggestions
When considering the bakeware to use in your oil-free baking endeavor, you should consider purchasing silicone and or nonstick ovenware.
Ceramic Bakeware – This is a great option as it has non-stick qualities but also lasts quite long. Silverstone offers a variety of high-quality and colorful choices at very reasonable prices. You can check them here.
Silicon Bakeware – The number one consideration to have in mind when purchasing silicon bakeware is that it is 100% silicone and, therefore, does not contain any filler. Fillers tend to be hazardous. As such, ensure that the silicone bakeware, you are purchasing is FDA approved and made of 100% food-grade silicone.
Parchment Paper – If you do not want to invest in new bakeware, you can just line the standard bakeware that you already have with parchment paper. This is an effective solution if you do not bake very often. Lining your pie plates, cake pans, muffin tins, and cookie pans will achieve the desired cooking surface for your oil-free items; your goods will not stick.
Oil-Free Salad Dressing
A good trick when it comes to oil-free salad dressing is to substitute processed oils with mashed avocados and soaked cashews. Soaked cashews have high oil content and are appropriate for everyone. For a truly fat-free alternative, you can use Cannellini beans.
Another great trick is to thicken water with 1 tbs of arrowroot or cornstarch by heating the mixture and allowing it to cool. Use this mixture as an oil substitute in your salad dressing.
These suggestions, though not many, will set you on the right path to oil-free baking and cooking. Head to the comment section if you have additional ideas or if there is an item that you cannot live without and it not discussed above. Thanks for reading through the article and happy cooking!