When baking muffins or cakes, mashed bananas, applesauce, prunes, and plain yogurt can each be an excellent alternative for cooking oil. It may also be beneficial to add a bit of skim milk to the fruit in order to liquefy it if the oil needs to be liquid for the recipe. Not only does this replacement reduce the amount of fat in the recipe, but it also adds a bit of flavor and a healthy component to these otherwise unhealthy foods.
Pureed fruit can be used to replace cooking oil in an equal substitution. If the recipe calls for ¼ cup of oil, for example, ¼ cup of applesauce can be used as a replacement. This provides the baked good with the necessary moisture. It is also acceptable to replace only a portion of the cooking oil with a fruit puree substitute.
Meats can also be cooked without using cooking oil. In order to eliminate the need for oil altogether, the meat can be wrapped in foil and cooked on a grill. By adding some vegetables inside the foil, the meat can get a little extra flavor while an entire meal is cooked.
Many recipes, particularly baking recipes, require adding baking oil to the pan in order to prevent sticking. In order to avoid adding this extra fat to the dish, a non-stick cooking spray is an excellent alternative. It prevents sticking, yet eliminates the unwanted fat and calories associated with cooking oil. Care must be taken, however, to avoid using too much of this spray on a pan. Otherwise, non-stick cooking sprays can add more fat to the recipe than using traditional cooking oil. Only a thin layer of non-stick cooking spray is necessary.