Trying to get healthy is one of the best life decisions one can take, focusing on one’s mental and physical health is extremely important, after all, your body is a temple. When people try to get fitter, they cut down the consumption of oil completely. And even though there are immense health benefits of removing oils from your diet, it is best to have a healthy balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and even sugar in your diet. Cutting any food out completely, be it sugar or carbs, leaves you with many cravings and you may binge eat. Moderation, is always the key.
Fats are not bad, but oily foods are. Essentially, consuming saturated fats in any capacity poses a great disease risk for humans, and a lot of research shows that processed food, including oils are not meant to be consumed by humans as the good bacteria present in the body recognises it as a toxin and breaks it down as such. Deep-friend foods, foods high in oil content have a lot of calories and not enough nutrition to go with it, they are also extremely harmful to health and cause various heart problems. Reducing oil in your diet can also help in weight loss. Even small amounts of foods with oil are loaded with calories, it requires a lot of these foods to make you feel full while eating. If you reverse this process and consume foods that satisfy you hunger quicker and with fewer calories, it can help with weight loss.
Strict diets do not have to mean giving up the things you are fond of eating or sacrificing on taste. There are various alternatives to using oil with food and here are some interesting recipes that use zero oil and are completely healthy.
1. Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
•⅔ cup brown rice flour
•2 tablespoons almond flour
•1 tablespoon tomato paste
•2 teaspoons garlic powder
•2 teaspoons onion powder
•2 teaspoons smoked paprika
•1 teaspoon dried parsley
•1 head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
•⅓ cup hot sauce or barbecue sauce
•Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
•Combine the brown rice flour, almond flour, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and ⅔ cup of water in a blender. Puree until the batter is smooth and thick. Transfer to a bowl and add the cauliflower florets; toss until the florets are well coated with the batter.
•Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets, making sure that the florets do not touch one another. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp on the edges. They will not get crispy all over while still in the oven.
•Remove from the heat and let stand for 3 minutes to crisp up a bit more. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with the sauce . Serve immediately.
2. Roasted Veggie Pasta
•1/2 large red onion, sliced
•2 medium carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
•1-pint tiny tomatoes, halved
•1 medium zucchini, cut into thin matchsticks
•1-pound eggplant, skin on, cut into cubes
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•2 tablespoons lemon juice
•3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
•1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
•Salt and black pepper
•Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and pour back into the pot.
•Preheat oven to 425°F. Grab two large Silicone or other non-stick baking sheets.
•In a large bowl, throw in red onion, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and salt. Mix everything together. Spread out on the baking sheets and then slip them into the oven.
•Roast for 20 minutes, then take them out, add the thyme, garlic, and lemon juice, stir, and throw them back in the oven until some of the veggies start looking a little browned around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
•Add the roasted veggies to the cooked pasta, pour in the balsamic, pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and stir. Taste and add more garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and/or thyme. If you want to up the greens level, serve the hot pasta on a bed of arugula or spinach with a squeeze of lemon juice on them. Done and done.
3. Baked French Fries
•3-4 potatoes washed and unpeeled; any variety (russet, Yukon Gold, sweet potato, or yam), cut into ½-inch wide sticks
•Place cut potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
•Bake at 400º F for 15 minutes.
•Take out and flip the fries over and bake for another 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown and puffed up.
•Serve immediately with Ketchup or mustard.
•Note: Add some flavour by placing the cut potatoes into a plastic bag with ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or dried herb/spice of your choice) and shaking to coat the potatoes before baking
4. Potato Pancakes
•2 russet potatoes, grated
•1 large zucchini, grated
•½ yellow onion, grated
•½ cup oat flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover two sheet pans with parchment paper.
•Spread half of the grated vegetables on a clean kitchen towel, then roll and wring the towel to draw out the excess moisture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining vegetables.
•In a small bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, and pepper. Add to the vegetable bowl, and mix well, using your hands to evenly distribute the flour and baking powder.
•Scoop about ¼ cup of potato mixture, and shape it into a semi-tight ball. Flatten with your palms and place the pancake onto the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining mix, spacing the pancakes about 2 inches apart.
•Bake for 12 minutes. Flip and bake for another 12 minutes, or to your desired level of crispness. Serve at once. Top with the condiment of your choice.
5. Fudge Vegan Brownies
•⅔ cup pure maple syrup
•½ cup unsweetened applesauce
•2 tablespoons almond butter
•3 teaspoons ground flaxseed
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
•½ cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
•5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
•¼ teaspoon baking powder
•¼ teaspoon baking soda
•¼ teaspoon sea salt
•Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, extending paper over edges.
•In a small bowl combine the maple syrup, applesauce, almond butter, flaxseed, and vanilla.
•In a medium bowl stir together the flour, walnuts, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Spread batter in the prepared pan.
•Bake 30 minutes or until firm. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using edges of parchment paper, lift uncut brownies out of pan. Cut into 12 brownies.