Oil Free Cooking Basics + Hacks


Hey, it’s Mike here and today I want to talk about some basics of oil free cooking, as well as some hacks that I’ve picked up over the years, because after my “oil is the vegan killer” video a lot of people just felt completely abandoned they had no idea what to cook with and they basically just haven’t eaten since I made that video. So, a lot of people were like, “So, how do I cook I’ve basically been slathering everything in oil my whole life, so what do I do now?” And I covered a bit of oil free cooking in my whole food vegan transition video. You can check that out. But I wanted to go a little bit more into detail in this video in terms of good cookware to use, good habits to maintain that cookware, and just ways to still eat delicious food without oil. It’s really important to know the basics of oil free cooking, because basically everywhere you’re going to go, every restaurant, is going to be slathered in oil. So if you can at least start by not eating oil at home, you can see some major improvements. I know I did. My acne went majorly down when I stopped cooking with oil. For those of you in which deep frying in oil is the only cooking method you’re aware of, let’s review some non oil cooking methods, such as plain old steaming. There is baking. There’s broiling. There is grilling, roasting, and my all-time favorite, which in that previous video I referred to as water frying, some of you said it looked a bit like poaching, which is essentially taking a nonstick non-toxic pan, then you put a little bit of water in, throw your veggies in, sort of steam until it cooks all the way through, and then wait ’till the water evaporates, and then you start the grilling/browning process. And that is how you get delicious veggies without oil. And I’ll show you a bit about how to cook onions in a second, but first, there’s another technique, which I used on this grilled pineapple lentil burger, which will be in my upcoming cookbook soon, which is essentially grilling without having to fire up a barbecue. Which is, this is just pretty obvious: just take a Panini Maker and just, you know, you can throw a pineapple in or whatever, and just grill it for a few minutes. You get those nice charred lines, which are beautiful and delicious. Another cool technique is air frying. I don’t have an air fryer, but it’s essentially just a small convection oven that cooks, say, little baked fries in a cage, so it gets evenly cooked all around. Another oil-free method of cooking, which I could not live without at this point is using a programmable pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot. No, they are not paying me to say that. Those are pretty cool, because, for example, you can just throw dry pasta, water, sauce, raw veggies in, and then let it pressurize and cook for about seven minutes, and you come back, and it’s a complete meal there. It can also do potatoes in about seven minutes once it’s pressurized. And some of those long cooking grains pretty fast: 22 minutes for brown rice, and in that same realm for beans, like pinto beans and stuff like that. Well, let’s forget about all these gadgets for a second and just go back down to the easily accessible basics. So how do you achieve the same textures and flavors of frying in oil without using oil with easily available tools? And the first and most important thing would be get a nonstick pan. Particularly, a non-toxic one. Really quickly, I want to cover some maintenance points for non-stick pans. First one, you probably already know: don’t use metal on it. I prefer using a silicon spatula, because it’s less volatile than plastic and doesn’t melt. But two points you may have not known about these pans: you don’t want to cook with them over a medium heat. A lot of them just can’t handle it. And another one if you’re coming from a cast-iron pot: you might be used to just putting some cold water in it right after you’ve been cooking and it sort of helps clean it. With this, absolutely not. That change in temperature can loosen up the coating, and it’s really bad. And finally, you also don’t want to clean with any metal Brillo pads or anything that’s abrasive. This is an example of what happens when you do all the wrong things. Very dangerous: all those little chunks out definitely made it into the food, so don’t do any of those things. So you might be wondering, “How do I get that nice golden brown on my onions, for example, if I’m non stir-frying in oil?” Well, let’s take a look at how I achieve this with my sort of water frying technique, whatever you want to call it. Let’s go! Okay, so, instead of putting oil on the bottom of the pan, I just put about a quarter of an inch or maybe close to a centimeter of water in there. And then I can just throw my onions and my zucchini in. And then put it on medium heat. And I’ve got my non-metal spatula. And so what I’m doing is letting it cook through, and then the water will evaporate and that will start to brown. And if you want to get this whole process going faster, you can just cover it and then contain the heat. If you’re really skilled, your water will evaporate at the exact moment that your veggies are cooked and translucent, like you can see. But I’m not a master cook, and I still got some extra water in there, so I’m just going to pour it out. So many nutrients lost! Alright, so now our veggies are cooked all the way through, there’s no more water, and now we are ready to start the browning process. So this is good enough for me. This is about how far I take it, but you can go even further, get even more browning on those onions. But I’m ready to eat ’em! Alright now, let’s get a little bit into baking. If you just want to be baking on a Nonstick surface right now, and you want to go to the store you can just buy some parchment paper, and that’s a good… Which is not super sustainable. It’s you know not reusable, and it’s kind of annoying. But you can also get silicon baking sheets. Silicon baking sheets have changed my perspective on baking everything is so easy things like this cherry peanut butter oatmeal cookie just popped right off the sheet in your mouth. Just be aware of that after a couple years of very heavy use, they will get brown like this no matter how clean they are and the company assures me that it is normal, but these might need to be replaced soon. Alright my final point is a bit psychological, and that is when you go from cooking everything in oil to not cooking in oil you’re probably gonna feel like something is missing your body’s going to tell you that there’s something not in that food and it is most likely the the super refined fat that you previously slathered on it the amount of calories that are no longer in there So just make sure that you were still getting enough calories, and be aware that that’s why your body really wants that it just wants that straight fat. A simple example: french fries with oil could have up to 50% more calories per bite than a baked fry and your body is going to know Finally, so you know exactly what I’m talking about I have added a oil-free cookware page to plantspaced.org There will be links to these various products and you can click on them which helps support plantspace.org in terms of the monthly costs and stuff like that. Alright, so that’s it for today. I hope you learned something if not, you’re already a master of oil free cooking, maybe I’ll have to do an advanced oil free cooking video later on. And if you are a master of oil free cooking, I get a lot of questions about good oil-free salad dressings because most of them are oil-based so let us all know down below what your favorite oil-free vegan salad dressing recipe is. Alright, so that’s it. Thank you for watching. Feel free to like and subscribe, and I will see you in the next video.

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