Cooking without oil and creating oil-free recipes like salad dressings is pretty easy in most cases. It’s very easy to cook without olive oil. You can steam, boil, sauté (in water or vegetable broth), or bake food all without any added oils. Oil has 120 calories per tablespoon and is 100 percent fat. When you’re looking to cut a few calories in your diet and give your arteries (and waistline) a little break from things like butter, olive oil, cheese, etc., this is a good way to cook.
1. Baking/Roasting Without Olive Oil
When you’re baking with an oven, not adding oil or cooking spray will make your dish take a little bit longer to cook, but that’s about it. You can add a little water to your roasting pan if you are worried about burning, or turn the temperature down just a little and cook it for longer. For instance, you can bake Russet potatoes in the oven at 400 F/205 C for about an hour without any oil rubbed on their skin and they will cook just fine. It’s also less carcinogenic if you avoid cooking oils at very high temperatures. I roast things like squash, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and cauliflower in the oven without oil. Add a little water or vegetable broth to a roasting pan if you like, or use a little balsamic vinegar and water for oil-free roasted Brussels sprouts, or roast your russet potatoes dry in the oven like I show you here.
In baked goods, substitute applesauce or mashed banana for any oils. Canned pumpkin works great too in certain recipes. In my vegan baked goods, I add a 1 tbsp. ground chia or flax and 2 tbsp. of water to substitute for the eggs, and then I add applesauce for the amount of oil and I find that this helps give moisture and texture to whatever I am making.
2. Sautéing/Cooking Onions Without Oil
Many people think you need oil to cook with over the stove. When you’re sautéing onions or garlic in a pan, you can sweat them dry over medium heat, as long as it’s non stick. Doing this for 5 to 6 minutes should be fine and you won’t have a problem with anything getting stuck. If you’re going to cook them for longer, then you can add a little water or vegetable broth if necessary. The better the pan, the less stick you will have. You can also use a ceramic pan.
Check out this recipe for Home Made Vegetable Broth (and this read about how to make oil free salad dressings here) that can be used for sautéing onions, garlic, and soups. It’s really easy! Just add a little more broth or water if you start running out of liquid.
There you have it. Cooking without oil and making oil-free food is really easy!
Image Source: Indian Spicy Sautéed Mushrooms
Vegan Comfort Foods From Around The World by Veronica Grace can be found here.