Is a substitute for vegetable oil necessary? Baking, sautéing, stir-frying, and frying all require cooking oil to successfully prepare food without it becoming burnt or sticking to the pan.

While vegetable oil has been popular as an alternative to animal fats such as butter or lard, you should be aware that not all oils are created equal.

Some are healthier than others, while some are quite unhealthy, so you should consider switching your vegetable oils with healthy alternatives to ensure your diet promotes health and wellbeing.

Keep reading to find out the best substitute for vegetable oil to try out. Also, see the Substitute For Thyme, and Vegan Butter Substitutes.

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What Is Vegetable Oil 

Well, technically speaking, any oil derived from plants rather than animals is considered vegetable oil. That means olive oil, palm oil, corn oil, avocado oil—the list goes on and on.

Some people even consider coconut oil a vegetable-based product because it comes from coconuts (which are technically a fruit). However, not all vegetable oils have similar nutritional profiles. That’s why some experts differentiate between good fats like olive and avocado oils versus bad fats like corn and cottonseed oils.

However, not all vegetable oils have similar nutritional profiles. That’s why some experts differentiate between good fats like olive and avocado oils versus bad fats like corn and cottonseed oils. To understand why one type of vegetable oil might be better for you than another, it helps to look at their respective fatty acid compositions.

Another distinction is that olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, and other seed oils can be made at home in your kitchen while oils labeled as vegetable oil is manufactured oils.

These manufactured vegetable oils or Industrial oils are made using mostly the seeds, sunflower seeds of plants, using complex machinery to press the oil, or by using chemical extraction using solvents like Hexane.

For example, while most plant-based oils contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, some contain mostly omega-6 (like corn oil), while others contain mostly omega-3 (like flaxseed oil). Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in brain health as well as heart health.

Too much omega 6 fatty acids, on the other hand, contribute to inflammation, the root cause of most diseases. So if you’re looking to consume healthier fats, choose oils high in omega-3s.

Substitute For Vegetable Oil

Whether you are cooking, baking, or even making salad dressing, these simple options are healthy and work as a great replacement. Use them in a 1:1 ratio. To find the best substitute according to your needs and requirements, please read our list given below:

 1. Olive Oil

olive oil in a bottle surrounded by olives

Yes, it’s high in calories, but studies show that extra-virgin olive oil increases blood levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind), lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and reduces blood pressure. It’s also rich in monounsaturated fats—healthy fats that may lower your risk of heart disease.

Some research shows that substituting extra-virgin olive oil for other types of fat can help decrease your risk of developing cardiovascular issues by as much as 40 percent, among other benefits.

This oil is extracted from the fruit of an olive tree and has monounsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease. Use olive oil while sautéing or in salad dressing. 13 Proven Benefits Of Olive Oil.

2. Avocado Oil

avocado oil with avocado on wooden backgound

Avocado is different from other fruits and has so many health benefits. Unlike other fruits, it’s rich in fats and antioxidants and is often used to extract oil. 70 % of the avocado oil contains oleic acid which prevents diseases related to the heart.

It has a delicious flavor and high smoke point, which makes it ideal for cooking. You can use avocado oil in stir-frying, grilling, baking, dressing, and sautéing.

3. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil in glass bottle surrounded by grapes and grape seeds on white background

Grapeseed oil is popular among many for cooking. It is a healthy alternative with a high amount of polyunsaturated fat. According to health experts, it has many health benefits including lowering blood cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk related to the heart.

Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes, which are discarded during the wine-making process.  

Grapeseed oil is a great source of vitamin E, even more than olive oil. The vitamin works as an antioxidant and protects the cells from damaging free radicals associated with cancer, and other illnesses. It also supports our immune system.

The best part about this vitamin is that it can withstand heat and therefore the oil has a high smoking point. Since it has a high smoking point and neutral taste, it goes well with every type of recipe. You can use it for baking, frying, and sautéing.

4. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is made from boiling coconut milk. It contains lauric aid that elevates good cholesterol levels. extracted from coconut meat.  Read 11 Proven Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil.

Use 1:1 coconut oil for vegetable oil in your recipe. You want to make sure your coconut oil is melted if you need liquid oil for your recipe. Coconut oil is sold below 76 degrees F. Coconut oil is great for cooking at high temperatures above 400 degrees F. 

Coconut oil has a sweet nutty flavor that can be strong in certain dishes, especially if you are using cold-processed coconut oil, therefore it may not be the preferred oil in some.

It is especially great in baked goods, like Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Vegan Lemon Pound Cake.

5. Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil in glass bottle

Flax seeds contain lots of protein and fiber which help reduce weight. Flaxseed oil is taken out from the ripened seeds of the plant. This oil reduces cancer risk, prevents heart disease, and lowers inflammation. It consists of compounds like omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, lignans, calcium, and magnesium.

Flaxseed oil can be used as a substitute in salad dressings, dips, and sauces but do not use it while cooking as it doesn’t have a high smoke point and can form unsafe compounds upon heating. 

6. Applesauce

applesauce in a glass bowl with a spoonful

Apples and applesauce have “whole body” health benefits. They protect you against cancer, reduce cardiovascular and cancer risk and have antioxidant properties. 

Surprisingly, applesauce makes a good substitute to use in baked goods. It has fewer calories than oil and works well while baking cake, bread, as well as muffins. Applesauce is also an amazing fat replacer in baked goods. Baking with this oil reduces calories in muffins, cakes, and bread. It also helps to keep the baked goods fresh and moist because of their water content. Add the same amount of oil, for example, if the recipe requires one cup of oil, replace it with one cup of applesauce and reduce the amount of sugar as it contains natural sweetness. 

7. Mashed Banana

Mashed bananas

Mashed bananas are an amazing substitute as they have a similar function to eggs and butter when baked.

Banana can be used instead of most of the butter in a baking recipe. Using the right ratio is important. Banana adds moisture, flavor, and creaminess to your food.

You can also mix and combine banana and butter to have a different, yummy taste for your cakes and muffins.  

Banana puree is not for your every baking recipe. It has a sweet, distinct flavor that transmits to baked goods.

If you don’t want the taste in your goods, use the banana mash in highly flavored cakes, their flavors will mask the banana taste.

Puree performs well for dense, moist muffins, quick bread, and cakes. Cookies made through banana puree tend to get puffy and cake-like. 

Ripe bananas are the best ones for puree. The skins of these bananas should be speckled but avoid using the ones that have a strong smell or the ones oozing liquid.

Firm yellow bananas don’t provide enough moisture in baked goods. Peel the bananas and mash them using a blender.

If you are planning to use only mashed bananas in your baked goods, they may bake faster, so adjust the temperature accordingly. 

8. Pumpkin Puree 

Pumpkin puree in white bowl on white background

Pumpkin puree is a healthy substitute for oil and eggs in many baked goods. It is low in both calories and fat and high in antioxidants and fiber. Due to its many health benefits, the bright orange and creamy pumpkins are smoothly added to cookies, cakes, brownies, and bread. The substitution adds a slight hint of the flavor but the rest of the flavors usually take over the dessert.

9. Dairy-free Yogurt 

coconut yogurt

Yogurt is an excellent ingredient that makes baked goods tender and moist. The acidity in yogurt reacts with baking soda to help the cake to rise or make it puffy. Therefore it is one of the favorite ingredients in recipes that require a puff or rise. Higher fat yogurts add more moisture and richness. However, to avoid the taste, plain low-fat yogurt may work well for your baked goods. 

10. Silken Tofu

silken tofu on a black bowl

Tofu is prepared from coagulated soy milk, similar to the process of making cheese. It is one of the finest substitutes which has the smoothest texture and high water content.

Tofu is a great source of protein and contains all the essential amino acids. Because of its health benefits, it is used widely as a substitute in cooking and baking. Blend silken tofu and use it in cookies, cakes, brownies, and muffins. It is an ideal ingredient for denser goods. 

11. Aquafaba 

aquafaba in glass on wooden background

Aquafaba is an Italian word for bean water. It is one of the most accessible replacements around. This cooking liquid is full of starch which makes it a good binder in baked goods. You can also give your baked goods a fluffy texture by whipping them into foam.

It also has huge health benefits and contains fiber, folate, iron, phosphorous and healthy fats. The flavor it contains is neutral and its consistency is the same as that of vegetable oil. Aquafaba is a great addition to cakes, cookies, bars, slices, and muffins.

12. Nut Butters

Cashew butter in a ceramic jar on wooden board

If you are looking to adopt a vegan lifestyle, one of the best substitutes is nut butter. Nut butter such as almonds, sunflower, and cashew go well with cookies.

Look for varieties with no added oil and replace the oil with an equal amount of nut butter. If it’s stiff, stir two tablespoons of soy milk into nut butter before using it for cooking.

Cashew butter is an excellent replacement as it has a very subtle flavor. Other than that, many people opt for mixed nut butter, which is obtained by grinding and mixing different nuts. It has an enhanced taste, is rich in energy, and can be used in a variety of goods. 

13. Seed Butters 

Seed Butters are full of nutrients. One of them is pumpkin seed butter. It is extracted from raw or roasted ground pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seed butter is similar in composition to peanut butter but has a richer taste and is greenish. Two tablespoons of this butter contain 160 calories, 13 grams of fat, and about 5 grams of protein.

Pure pumpkin seed butter has a higher percentage of iron. It can be used in a variety of goods, including sauces, baking, homemade energy bars, etc. 

14. Sesame oil

Sesame oil is pressed from sesame seeds and has been used in Asia as cooking oil for centuries. Its high smoke point makes it ideal for frying, roasting, and sautéing foods. But because it’s so flavorful, sesame oil can also be drizzled over cold or steamed vegetables to add a tasty accent flavor.

You’ll want to use a light-colored Asian variety of sesame oil, which is lighter in color than darker varieties. For example, Chinese sesame oil tends to be lighter than Middle Eastern varieties. The darker oils are typically used more as flavoring agents than cooking oils.

When shopping for sesame oil, look for bottles that say toasted on them—this means they’re made with roasted sesame seeds. These have a richer flavor than raw (white) sesame seed varieties.

Also, look for bottles that say cold-pressed, since heat can damage many of an oil’s beneficial properties. Store your bottle of sesame oil in a cool, dark place—the refrigerator is fine if you plan to use it within a few months. Otherwise, opt for a cabinet away from other heat sources such as ovens or hot water pipes.

Other Ingredient Substitutes

  1. 7 Vegan Substitute For Corn Syrup
  2. 11 Vegan Xanthan Gum Substitute
  3. Substitute For Juniper Berries
  4. Bay Leaf Substitute
  5. Substitute For Cumin

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