Cooking oil is an indispensable part of almost every recipe. Apart from adding moisture and binding the recipe, it also adds flavor to it. However, cooking oil may not be the best option for you, as it contains large amounts of fat and cholesterol. Thus, it has a high potential to induce several health hazards in the long run. This is the reason why many people are resorting to cooking oil substitutions, these days.
Applesauce is an excellent substitute used in many baking recipes. It does not have a flavor of its own, but it is still moist and delicious. The moistening properties of applesauce make it the best substitute for oil. It can be used for baking muffins, cakes, cookies, pancakes, brownies, etc. Additionally, it is also low in fat, thus making for a perfect and healthy substitute. However, it is best to use unsweetened applesauce for baking purposes. The proportion of applesauce that needs to be added to the recipes is half of the cooking oil needed in recipes. Alternatively, you can also use it as a substitute for butter or margarine.
Skimmed Milk or Yogurt
Low fat or skimmed milk can be used as a substitute for recipes that demand liquid quality cooking oil. Apart from rendering the moisture and binding to the recipe, skimmed milk or yogurt also add extra flavor to the recipe. Fruit flavored yogurt is a great and healthy substitute for oil in baked recipes.
Mashed fruits like bananas, apples, and papayas serve as a good substitute for cooking oil. However, fruit purees may not be able to replace the full uses of the cooking oil. Hence, it is acceptable to use fruit purees only in some recipes in place of cooking oil. For baked recipes, you should use the proportions of fruit purees that is equal to the amount of oil required.
Shallow fried foods can be cooked in non stick cookware, which demand very less oil. Cooking sprays can be used in place of cooking oil, when using a non stick cookware. Cooking sprays alleviate the need of adding oil to the pan. Thus, the food is free of any fat and the calories that come with it. However, one must not use excess of cooking spray, as it may defeat the whole purpose of using an oil substitute.
Cornstarch solution, often called thick water is an excellent substitute for cooking oil, especially for heart patients. The recipe to make cornstarch solution is pretty simple. Add 4 tsp. cornstarch to 1 cup of water and boil it, until you achieve desired thickness. Cool it before you use it for cooking. The mode of cooking with cornstarch solution is exactly similar to any cooking oil. Also, the proportion required is equal to that of cooking oil. It is especially useful in sautéed or stir fried recipes.
It may not be possible to replace cooking oil in each and every recipe. However, using substitutes wherever possible is definitely a great way to good health. If it is not possible to substitute the cooking oil for the entire recipe, you can at least replace parts of it with healthy alternatives.