If you’re used to cooking with lots of butter and oil, then you might be surprised to know that it’s quite easy to eliminate it when cooking. While some oils (like olive oil) are for sure good for you, they do add additional calories. For those watching their weight, these calories can be better spent somewhere else. Read on to find out how you can experiment with oil-free cooking.

When used in baked goods, oil adds moisture. It keeps them tender and fluffy. But there are many oil-free alternatives: unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana and yoghurt. You can also try beans or nut butter. These work especially well in chocolate-based desserts.

Oil is a popular ingredient in salad dressings and sauces, but there are so many other options! Nut butters and seed butters are naturally high in oils, so when you combine them with a bit of water, lemon juice and seasonings, they make a tasty dressing. Alternatively, you can make an avocado dressing. Avocados are high in good fats, so they have the perfect texture for a dressing. Combine with a bit of lemon juice (to prevent browning), salt and pepper, and enough water to get the right pouring consistency.

If you have a non-stick skillet, then cooking without oil is easy peasy! But if you don’t have one, it can be a bit more challenging.  But it is possible! You can actually sauté food with water, stock, or even wine. Add about 2 Tbsp of the liquid to a skillet. Once it heats up and begins to sizzle, you can add your vegetables. Sauté them and add a splash of water as you cook to prevent the veggies from sticking. If you want your veggies to brown or caramelize, then you need to cook them in a dry pan before adding water.

Another great way to cook veggies without oil is with steaming. Add a splash of water to a hot skillet with veggies and cover to create steam.

It’s important to use the right cookware if you want to cook oil-free. When buying a non-stick pan, you should buy the best you can afford. Some manufacturers offer a lifetime guarantee which means you can have yours replaced free of charge. Cast iron skillets are also a good option, provided they’re seasoned properly. For oven-baking, invest in a silicone baking mat. Using it to bake cookies or to roast vegetables.

Have you tried going oil-free? Tell us in the comments below!