Best Vegetable Oil Substitutes for Cooking

by iupilon

What can be substituted for vegetable oil in baking? Is there a suitable substitute for vegetable oil? What vegetable oil substitute is best for baking and other cook methods?  

If you are asking, “what can I use instead of vegetable oil?” We’ll teach you all about the substitutions you can make to trim down on fat and improve your recipes’ flavors. 

What Can I Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Baking? What to substitute for vegetable oil during baking?

Vegetable oil is a cooking oil that is usually derived from different plants. These oils include sunflower oil, coconut oil, olive oil, corn oil, soya oil, etc. Some products are generally tagged as “vegetable oil” but do not show specifically what kinds of plant oils have been used in them. These usually are just blended cooking oils made from a variety of plant oils.

The most common oils used for blended cooking oils are canola oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. These are the easiest to produce, and they are among the most abundant plant oils around. Vegetable oil or blended oil is often used for baking because of its neutral flavor profile and light color. This is why there is a particular leaning toward “vegetable oil” instead of individual plant oils.

The question now is, why do some people want to substitute vegetable oil for something else? Cooking oils have different health ratings. For the most part, doctors are worried about the omega-6 fatty acids (high levels of this compound) in some cooking oils.

Small quantities of omega-6 fatty acids are sufficient. Still, if there is too much of it, then it becomes problematic as there is also scientific evidence that high levels of this compound can lead to some tissue inflammation in the body.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils like margarine are no better, either. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are mostly unhealthy for the body. These products have been known to contribute to high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Having too much fat in general in your diet can contribute to metabolic syndrome, which is known as the precursor to many other chronic and degenerative conditions.

The following are some great substitutes for vegetable oil:

  • Canola oil – Canola oil is often used in producing different blends of vegetable oil, so it makes sense that you use this instead of the blended variety. Canola oil doesn’t have many flavors either, so it won’t interfere with what you are cooking. It has a fair amount of polyunsaturated fats, and surprisingly, it is generally lower in saturated fats. The only downside to using canola oil is its processing, which reduces the oil’s nutrient content.
  • EVOO – Extra virgin olive oil may not be the first thing on everyone’s mind when baking, but it sure does perform beautifully as a baking oil. In terms of the oil’s health rating, it is also the healthiest among all the available substitutes for vegetable oil. It has high levels of good or healthy fats and is also remarkable because of its antioxidants. If you are fine riding its robust flavor profile, you can use EVOO for almost any cooking. We recommend it for recipes that call for medium heat, as it works best with medium heat.
  • Coconut oil – Coconut oil is best used as a substitute if the recipe calls for subtle hints of coconut flavor. Almost everything tastes better with this type of flavor, so you can imagine how many recipes you can enhance with it. Additionally, there is proof that you can use this oil to help reduce bad cholesterol and improve your overall heart health, too.
  • Avocado oil – This unrefined cooking oil is heart-healthy and neutral, making it unique for different recipes. Avocado oil has many healthy compounds like vitamin E, to take advantage of in your cooking.

Can I Use Butter Instead of Vegetable Oil?

Yes, butter can be used as a good substitute for any vegetable oil in cooking. Match the quantity of butter with the required amount of vegetable oil indicated in the recipe. For example, if you need a third of a vegetable oil cup, only 5.3 tablespoons of butter for cooking. Be sure to melt the butter to get the right quantity each time and cool it down slightly before adding to what you are cooking.

The downside to this is that it can be difficult to eyeball the butter quantity in the beginning. You are going to have a truly fun time cooking with butter instead of vegetable oil. The additional flavors are always good for home cooks as they strive to make their cooking richer and more flavorful.

What Can I Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Brownies?

The most comfortable substitute that would work wonders for your brownies will be butter. You can also try margarine if you want, but remember that margarine has many saturated fats that aren’t good for the heart. But then again, if you are only consuming a moderate quantity of fats daily, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Utilize the same quantity of butter or vegetable oil substitute when baking to maintain the brownies’ moistness after baking. Add just two minutes more to the cooking time to ensure that you get good results with your buttered brownies. You will notice that your brownies will have a unique flavor profile that is richer and more palatable as well. You may never think of ever going back to straight vegetable oil ever again when you have substituted butter.

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