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Exploring Cooking Without Oil

While cooking with oil can make food taste delicious, brown better, and add flavor, it can also add extra calories and fat, as well as take away from the healthiness of the dish you are preparing.  Because of this, many people are choosing to use healthier oils or cook without oils completely, coming up with new ways to prepare beloved dishes that might have once relied on oils heavily.

There are a variety of ways of cooking without oil, or with minimal oil, allowing you to still retain a great amount of flavor in your dishes while making them healthier. This way you can consume your favorites more often or without any of the guilt that you might have if you were coating them in oils.

cooking without oil

Nonstick or Ceramic Cookware

If you are looking to make your favorite food and want to try cooking without oil (or minimal oil), one way that you can do this is to check out some of the new cookware that has been hitting the market lately.  Stainless steel cookware and cast iron cookware require oils when cooking to prevent sticking, but others can make cleanup a breeze and food come out of the pan with no problems.

Using nonstick and ceramic cookware to prepare your meals might be a more pricey way to prepare food without oil, but it can definitely bring a lot of nutritional benefits to the table.

There are various types of nonstick cookware that you can choose from, such as hard anodized aluminum with nonstick coatings and ceramic cookware.  These types of cookware easily allow for cooking without oil, as the food will release easily from the pan.  Some types of nonstick cookware, like Teflon, aren’t safe around pets such as birds, so it is important to do plenty of research into these types of cookware before purchasing.


Air Fryers

Air fryers are relatively new to the market, and they can allow you to prepare some of your favorite types of foods without the guilt of excess oils and fats.  For example you can prepare frozen French fries, onion rings, and even breaded mozzarella sticks without adding any oil to the pan before cooking.  If you are preparing homemade foods, you can add a single squirt of a healthier oil, to the food by using a spray bottle, which will coat the food and help to make it crispy.

Air fryers are being used for lots of things now, including fresh fish, chicken, and even homemade desserts such as cakes.  Since the air fryer is essentially a table top convection oven, it cooks faster, more evenly, and makes your food crispy and delicious with little to no oil at all.


Different Methods of Cooking

If you are looking for other ways of cooking without oil, there are plenty of different methods you can use that don’t involve them at all.  For example, you might cook some dishes on the stovetop, which can require oil to prevent sticking and making the food have more flavor.  However, if you use another method of cooking to create the same dishes, you can have flavors meld together better and make the dish taste even more wonderful.

If you are willing to try new methods of cooking, some of the best to try that do not require oil while still retaining flavor are cooking in a heavy, porcelain Dutch Oven at a low temperature for several hours, or even using a slow cooker to turn tough cuts of meat into tender, moist, delicious meals that are bursting with flavor.

Pressure cookers, whether electric or stovetop versions, can produce similar results in a faster time period, making them great choices for busy weeknights.  They often have a bit of a learning curve, but once you master this method of cooking and see how healthy it can be, you will definitely use it often!

Grilling is another method of cooking that is great for when you are looking to use less in terms of oils and fats.  Marinade the meat before you grill it, and if you tenderize it first, you will get a huge amount of moisture and delicious results, each and every time.  Grilling vegetables is another way to create a flavor packed dish in a healthy way, too.


Eliminating oils from your diet while cooking can have plenty of health benefits, especially if you use a lot of oil on a regular basis to cook your foods.  Just eliminating half of the oil that you use or switching types of oil can be beneficial.  If you are looking to eliminate all the oils from your cooking, you can always choose a different type of cooking to create delicious and healthy meals for your family.

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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