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Vegan cooking without oils

Hi Sassy,

My husband and I have been pure Vegan for about 8 months now, and we are loving the results. We are however, also off all oils and it is a challenge to find recipes for creamy salad dressings and sauces without the use of oils or butter or Vegenaise-type products.

I'd really love any tips you can share about how to cook without oils.

In Warm Appreciation,
Judi Light
Washington

*****

Sassy Sez: Hi Judi - Cooking without oils can be a bit challenging, but it certainly can be done. You just have to find ways to replace the moisture and other properties the oil imparts.

You asked first about making oil-free sauces and dressings. I recommend using water to replace the moisture, and agar agar to assist with thickening, or xanthum gum like I use in this recipe. Silken tofu will also work beautifully when making creamy sauces.

As far as oil-free cooking in general, you can always use water or vegetable broth to "fry" or sauté various vegetables, etc. You can also try tamari, wine, lemon/lime/tomato juices, vinegars and sherries.

When baking, I find substituting 1/2 the amount of applesauce for the oil called for works well. You can also try 1/2 the amount of tofu or vegan yogurt, mashed potatoes or pumpkin, or mashed bananas.

I have also heard of an additional trick when baking cakes and muffins without oils and that is to also use carbonated water to sub for water.

When roasting my veggies, I use veggie broth as you can see here.

Hope this points you in the right direction.

xo!


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bakeware for no oil vegan cooking
by: Anonymous

i am on a no oil vegan lifestyle and I need to purchase cookware and bakeware that best suits the lack of oil -- what do you suggest?

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Best pans for no-oil cooking
by: Sassy

Hi there --

I saw your question come through a few months ago, but didn't have any advice for you at that time because I was smack dab in the middle of an experiment with some new pans I bought. As always, I would never recommend anything to my Vegan Coach peeps that I haven't tried myself.

I am now (almost exclusively) cooking without oil - we're talking 95% of the time. You can read all about the pans I use in my oil-free cooking here.

xo

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Lack of oils in diet
by: Shirley

Isn't it important to have plaint based oil in diet? Why would you want to take oils completely out of your diet?

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Why no oil?
by: digibud

Shirley,

Some folks arrive at no-oil vegan cooking by choice. I am here due to serious cardiac artery disease. I wouldn't wish this diet on my worst enemy. Many plants have oil within them. Oil-free vegan doesn't mean you can't ingest any oil or fat, it means you can't eat anything that comes from an animal and you don't eat anything that shows any oil as an ingredient on the label. I'm also cautioned from eating any nuts or avocado. No oil, no added fat, no cooking with oil - even olive oil - no nuts...
I am willing to do this only because the research I've read says it takes this extreme limitation of oil/fat in order to halt the progression of plaque in the arteries and may, to some degree, provide some protection against heart attacks. I'm a serious athlete (for my age) in superb cardio shape in terms of my aerobic conditioning (resting heart rate around 53) but that doesn't make any difference in terms of clogged arteries, hence the need to take extreme measures with regard to diet.

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to digibud
by: Anonymous

Sorry you hate the no-oil diet! Your palate should change after a few weeks so you no longer want foods you haven't been eating. Check out all the books by Rip Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell and Del Sroufe.

If this comment goes through, it will be the first time I've ever been able to make one. Every other site wants you to connect to some social networking site first. THANKS!!

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Diest results
by: dancing555

At 80, heart attacT, after research, plan, strict vegetarian diet, no oils on any kind, no nuts or seeds,no avacados

I am 84, blood pressure 115/75, total cholesterol
115, not so much as a cold since on this diet, wonders for the immune system.

point, it still is hard with such a strict diet, live alone makes it more difficult, but THE RESULTS, WELL WORTH It

ps: BELIVE IT OR NOT, NO ACHES OR PAINS.My girl friend and I are the best swing dancers in a club of l50 members, go for it./

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pans
by: digibud

Since I now cook everything without any oil at all I use a teflon type frying pan. When I do stir fry I don't want to cook things slowly so I do want a non-stick pan. The reality of non-stick pans is that they have a limited life. Even the best of them will wear out eventually. I have a wall full of Wusthoff knives and some very expensive pots and pans but now I buy decent but not too expensive non-stick pans because I know I will replace them eventually. No point in buying expensive stuff. Ceramic coated pans would be a fine idea for many meals, I'm sure but I have no objection to using current teflon type cookware.
There has been no magic change to my taste buds. I have been on the no-oil vegan diet for about 6 months. I have three or four meals I eat over and over. But I continue trying this or that here and there. My big challenge will be a bike tour in early spring. I expect to eat a lot of oatmeal and cereal on that.

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need help to gain weight on vegan diet
by: Anonymous

I too am on a vegan no oil diet not really by choice but as a last resort to extreme heart disease has anyone on this diet lost so much weight they are actually 'skinny' ? I struggle with this eating no fats of any kind .does anyone have some "magic advice" to stay on this diet yet not to look "anorexic" ? thank you

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Eat more
by: Sassy

Hi there!

It sounds as if you are on the diet recommended by Dr. Esselstyn, which means no oil and no (to very low) fat. I went right to the source, and here's what he says:

"If you are losing too much weight, EAT MORE calories. Increase portion size. Eat snacks. Eat more whole grains and beans."

So, he recommends you eat more. Do you feel you can make this work? Do you feel you're eating enough?

xo!
Sass

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This diet has been more fun than problems
by: Kathy

I started this vegan, no oil, whole grain diet last February. The no oil part is truly the hardest. I do the best I can and enjoy life. I cook for myself and my husband who eats a 'normal' diet. We have been doing a lot of traveling the past few months. If possible I simply make up a salad or 2 and bring them with me. I love this diet and find it relatively easy cooking. Salad dressing I start with Balsamic Vinegar, add lemon juice and sometimes honey or honey mustard, or Italian spices or whatever I feel like for the day. I feel great. Have lost 40#. Don't plan to loose any more. Sometimes I can get a little discouraged but then I remember - I do not want to live my life taking a handful of pills everyday.
I choose to eat as healthy as I can. Blessings and Joy to anyone reading this.

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No Oil Vegan
by: Shaylyn

Just wanted to add my two cents, since I just started not eating oil last week. I gave no oil a try because even on my gluten free vegan diet I've been having a lot of GI issues. So while I see my GI doc I switched to oil free to try and ease the symptoms.

So far it's happily helping, but man is not eating oil difficult. Everything has oil in it! It's like sugar- pops up in places you'd never expect.

I've been references a lot of Lindsay Nixon's recipes over at Happy Herbivore. (Sassy says: "Click here to check out Happy Herbivore.") She cooks oil free vegan dishes. To saute I first coat the bottom of my pans (regular, not non stick) with veggie broth or water. And then when I bake I use parchment paper instead of spray. Also take a look at Sassy's page on roasting veggies without oil! Very helpful =) Good luck with your diet!

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Oil Free Diet
by: Earl & Donna

Been on this diet for 8 months and my husband has had great results. His cholesterol is now normal, his blood pressure is great, and his lower heart flow has progressed from 29 - 41 in that short time. Needless to say his cardiologist is thrilled. Dr. Esselstyn's diet is hard but worth it.

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no oil vegan diet...I want to gain weight!
by: Anonymous

What does Dr. E. mean..."to eat more calories and snacks"? What exactly does that mean? I too am on the no oil diet and now at 98 pounds....I'd love to gain 10 pounds!!
I feel great!

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Ironman
by: Tony

On the Vegan no oil no nuts etc diet for the last 3 months only thing I have as an option because doctors cant give me anything else
(5 heart attacks and the last one been a major 5 stents later
I was super fit not over weight and thinking I was doing all,the right things go figure

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skinny on no oil diet
by: Sharon

been on Esselstyne no oil vegan diet for 2 years, after a stroke, but lost 20 pounds (was already thin at 135#) otherwise great health at 75

finally started eating a couple tablespoons almond butter/week and 1-2 avocados/week, plus some raw cashews or almonds. Am holding now at 120#.
It seems impossible to gain weight beyond 120#.
yes, it's frustrating, but I prefer a healthy cardio system!


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plant strong, no oil diet
by: Anonymous

Thanks to all who wrote re: plant strong, no oil diet stating they feel great but lost too much weight, (like me). Seems to me it is more important for me to feel great than to be 10 pounds heavier! I'll stick with the diet. I've been on it about 11 months and enjoy the foods now. It took awhile but I have NO desire to return to oil and meats and dairy! My husband is now on this diet, also. Thanks, Sassy and Jeff for your fantastic classes!

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Thank you for the tips
by: Sandy

Thanks for everyone's tips on the no oil, vegan, plant based diet. I was feeling depressed because my husband is now on this diet, self imposed for cardiac reasons, and I have always loved cooking, mostly Mediterranean and healthy recipes. Giving up olive oil and fish, nuts and avocadoes is tough. I am encouraged by the comments in this page. Thank you!

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No oil vegan
by: Jan

I have been on a no oil vegan diet for 6 months due to cardiac health issues. The longer I do it the easier it gets. Foods made with oil or sugar are too rich and not enjoyable anymore. I've seen a dramatic reduction in statin use and an improvement in my orthopedic and general health. Dr McDougall's web site also has lots of useful information on the subject. Hang in there, you "newbies" it's worth it!

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Eating on a No-oil Dietstyle
by: Ralph Rhineau

I'll chip in my 2-cents worth. I went vegan three years ago because I decided I wanted to stop supporting the inhumane way animals are raised and slaughtered in this country... if there was a way to feed myself without causing suffering, I couldn't justify creating a need to kill animals to put on my plate. I'd been a egg-milk vegetarian for ten years prior, but I also couldn't live with the way chickens and cows are treated even though they aren't immediately slaughtered.

Once I made that decision, I had to figure out how to eat that way. As I looked around I noticed that Bill Clinton and Al Sharpton had lost a ton of weight and looked healthy. Whatever one thinks about their politics, they'd gotten great results on whole-food vegan diets. A year before I went vegan, my new family doctor suggested my going vegan when she discovered I was a vegetarian. Turns out, I'd had a massive heart attack two years earlier and whole-food, no salt-oil-sugar (no SOS) eating has been clinically proven to not only arrest cardiovascular disease, but reverse it. No drug ever been able to make that claim.

Turns out that I'm a scientist/engineer who also loves to cook and so I view cooking without SOS as a puzzle/challenge. Today, I've dropped all but a minimal dose of ACE inhibitor and 1/4 of aspirin. I've dropped over 75 lbs, my cholesterol is under 150, my LDL runs under 90, and my BP runs 115/75. My cooking is so good, that I cook a full buffet no-SOS meal for 80-100 people and they come back for seconds and clean the trays. It can be done, not that difficultly, and the health results are definitely worth it!

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