You have this gorgeous meal planned all out to perfection, your shopping list has been made, the trip to the store is complete and you get home, get ready and realize that you have no oil. How are you supposed to cook your amazing meal with no oil? Life as you know it is currently over. It’s done. You have messed up and you have made a mistake and you have changed the way that you feel about everything that will occur the rest of the evening; all because you have no oil. Now, if you’re the pessimistic sort, you will feel like this. If you’re the optimistic sort, you will look for something else to use in place of your missing oil so that you don’t ruin the night and your perfect domestic diva-ness. We like the latter; the former isn’t really our type. Now that you know life without oil does go on, let us show you a few great oil-free cooking hacks that will not only make cooking your perfect meal simple again, but also change the way you approach cooking in a much healthier manner from this point forward.
If you’re going to replace oil in a dressing recipe, water is fine. The consistency will be a bit thinner, but the flavor will still be there and the good health will actually be there. You can also use water in place of oil to sauté foods and even cook things on the stove. It’s simple, really.
Broth makes a great substitution for oil when cooking and when making things like dressing. It has a bit more flavoring than just plain water, which is sometimes preferable. It’ll be a bit thin, but you can choose your flavor and make it work to your needs.
When you puree a bit of avocado to use in a recipe, it overtakes the place of oil without overdoing it on the flavor of your baked goods. This is a great substitution for cookies and things that you bake, especially chocolate goods.
If you replace oil with applesauce when making bread-like baked goods, you’re good to go. This is a great idea for something like muffins, but not so much for cookies or brownies. Anything that’s supposed to be flaky and moist when it comes out of the oven will do well with equal parts applesauce in place of oil.
Since you don’t want to use applesauce in dense baked goods, don’t fret that you can’t make those brownies. If you have a banana, replace the same amount of oil for the same amount of banana and you will be good to go making dense baked goods.
Photo by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images for Humana