The majority of us will fry, bake and roast with oil and whilst these days vegetable oil has taken a back seat to much healthier options such as extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil and coconut oil but they still add fat and calories. So how can you cook without using oil?
If You are Pan Frying
Use water or broth. You can just as easily substitute water or broth for oil particularly when cooking vegetables. Stir with a wooden spoon to prevent burning and add more liquid as needed.
Try PFOA nonstick cookware. PFOS and PFOA stand for perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, respectively. Both are fluorinated organic chemicals, part of a larger family of compounds referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). These substances are synthetic compounds that are unique for being water and lipid-resistant. So when you see “PFOA free” in the marketing message of a piece of cookware, it simply means that the chemical PFOA was not used in the manufacturing process of the non-stick coating, which is usually PTFE or a related plastic compound. Using a PFOA nonstick pan or skillet means that you won’t need to grease it with oil before you start cooking. Ensure you follow manufacturer recommendations closely for care though so as to keep the non-stick coating intact for as long as possible.
If You are Roasting
Use Parchment Paper. The trick to roasting without any oil at all is cooking on parchment paper at a low temperature and for a longer period of time. To keep your food from sticking to the pan and ensure easier cleanup, cover the pan completely in parchment paper rather than oil or butter. Be aware though that parchment paper is only safe up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore if you want to cook at a higher temperature use nonstick aluminum foil. To get even crisper edges on foods like sweet potato fries when roasting without oil, first line the pan with nonstick aluminum foil. Cook for up to an hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then bump it up 100 degrees or switch to your broiler for a few minutes at the end.
If You are Baking
Fruit puree. I love this one! The natural sweetness and moisture of applesauce, mashed bananas, and even pureed dates can be used instead of oil, butter or shortening when you are baking. If you add only half of the named fat in the recipe and substitute the other half with your preferred puree, you will significantly reduce the amount of calories and fat. Therefore if the recipe states that you add a cup of butter, only add half a cup of butter and half a cup of applesauce, the recipe will not suffer in the slightest but you have made it significantly healthier.
Avocado. You can swap in creamy green avocado for butter in a 1:1 ratio. You should be aware thought that it won’t melt in the same way as butter does so won’t coat the dry ingredients in the same way as melted or softened butter. So as with the puree trick above cut your butter in half and replace the other half with mashed avocado. Not only will this cut down on fat content and overall calories, but this nutritious swap will enhance your creation with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Remember another great way of cutting down on oil is to pour your oil of choice into a pump style mister. We will inevitably pour too much oil into a pan but spraying it will probably cut down the amount you use by at least two-thirds. Using your mister style bottle directly onto salads etc will have the same affect by cutting down the amount you use and therefore consume.