We all know that going vegan is the healthiest and kindest choice people can make for themselves and countless animals who are tortured and killed for food around the world, but why not go a healthy step further by eliminating oil from your cooking? As much as we love oil in all its animal-free forms (we’re looking at you, vegan butter), it doesn’t always love us back. Cutting oil from your cooking is an excellent way to reduce your fat intake. Luckily, there are tons of simple kitchen hacks and vegan ingredients for oil-free cooking. We guarantee that you have all the tools and ingredients necessary to make some healthy swaps in your kitchen already.
Oil-Free Ingredient Swaps
You might think that using oil is necessary to ensure that our veggies don’t burn or stick to the pan, but we can use any one of these zero- or low-calorie options in place of it:
Water: Using water in place of oil when sautéing is the easiest way to cut calories and fat from your meals. Just be sure to season your ingredients well.
Vegetable broth: This is another excellent replacement for oil when sautéing, especially if you’re worried about losing any flavor.
Citrus juice: Adding lime, lemon, or even grapefruit juice to your ingredients before baking or sautéing will up the flavor ante but not the calorie count.
Coconut aminos: Soy sauce’s low-sodium cousin, coconut aminos, is a flavorful alternative to oil. Sprinkle it over your ingredients when sautéing or baking for a rich umami flavor.
Vinegar: Replacing oil with any type of vinegar is an excellent way to season and cook your dishes. Just be sure to cook on low heat so you don’t burn your ingredients.
Oil-Free Cooking Kitchen Hacks
With these quick tricks, you can omit oil from your cooking without having to use or pick up any new ingredients.
Baking or roasting: Instead of using oil to crisp your veggies, try lining a baking sheet with parchment or foil and tossing your produce in the oven. Season the ingredients with your favorite spices and sprinkle them with citrus juice or balsamic vinegar to enhance the flavor.
Grill: A grill gives you a great way to avoid using oil while preparing flavorful food.
Removing oil from your cooking is an excellent way to cut calories, but be kind at the same time by refusing to eat animals. If you’re thinking about taking a compassionate and low-cal step in the right direction, grab one of PETA’s free vegan starter kits.