Oil-Free How To
When I tell most people that I can’t digest oils they look at me like I’m crazy, but it’s true and I’ve met several other individuals that also cannot consume oils. That’s why I created this page to teach you how to cook and bake and live a healthy, flavorful life if you don’t have any oil in your pantry or if oil upsets your stomach. I get hundreds of emails asking for oil-free recipes and I want to show each of you how easy it can be to cook without oil. If you are not able to eat oils, it’s important to consume healthy fats that are in their ‘whole’ natural form and not processed or packaged such as nuts, seeds and avocados.
Below are a few suggestions that will help you flavor your food and develop recipes without using oil.
- Baking: Oil is used in many baked goods where it acts as a softener and emulsifier. Instead of using oil, you can opt for other moist foods such as dates, tofu, soaked dried fruits like prunes or cherries, apples, applesauce and bananas. I have been known to add moist quinoa to my baked goods such as breads and muffins along with ripe bananas instead of using oil- this does take practice and it’s important to take notes as you go along so that you can determine the amount of quinoa or other substitute such as banana you need to use next time. If your baked goods come out too dry- you know you need to add more. If they come out too moist and fall apart- you know you need to cut back. I also use parchment paper instead of using oil for lining baking pans for cookies, breads and cakes; it works wonders and is calorie-free! Prune puree can also be used to replace oil. Puree 6 oz. of prunes, 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Flax meal can also replace all the oil or some of the oil in a baking recipe; the ratio is 3:1 Flax seed meal for every oil/fat you are replacing. So, for 1 Tbsp. of fat to be replaced, use 3 Tbsp. of flax seed meal. Flax tends to brown much faster than original recipes, so be sure to have a close eye on your oven!
- Dressings & Marinades: I love making homemade dressings and marinades since I cannot eat processed condiments. I add tea, mustard, vinegar, fresh organic vegetable or fruit juice and water to replace oil for salads, vegetables and marinades that go with lean proteins. I blend avocados, bananas, cucumbers, apples, pears, limes, oranges, lemons and peaches in a blender along with fresh cilantro, parsley or dill then add a pinch of sea salt, pepper, chili powder and cinnamon for a sweet and savory combination. You can mix and match any of the above or add in your favorite spice, fresh herb, fruit or vegetables! You can also add a bit of stevia or (gluten-free) organic wheat grass powder/fresh wheat grass to your mixture for a boost of vitamins! White beans, chickpeas, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds and cashews also make a great addition to dressings and marinades.
- Cooking Vegetables: When cooking vegetables on the stove top or in the oven, you can replace oil with vegetable broth, tea or purified water. I also like to add in a splash of flavored vinegar and fresh herbs for extra (calorie-free) flavor. Veggies are full of water, which is released when they are cooked so you’ll only need to add a small amount of water when cooking. Be sure to keep an eye on your vegetables so that they do not burn or stick to the pans. When I was growing up, my mother rarely used oil and we made numerous recipes using water and broth. Simply add a few tablespoons of liquid to the bottom of the pain (instead of adding oil) and then add in your vegetables and/or lean proteins to cook (covered) until tender. My clients love when I cook with water, tea and broth instead of oil because they end up tasting more of the ‘food’ instead of tasting the ‘oil’ in finished recipes.
- With any vegetables, you can stir-fry or sauté without oil by using the above method.
- Cooking Proteins: You can roast or bake proteins in the oven or stove top without oil by using water, broth, tea and vinegar. I add crushed red pepper and fresh herbs for optimal flavor since the finished product will be sweet (because cooking allows the natural sugars to release and intensify) leaving your proteins and veggies crispy yet tender.
It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.