Cooking Tips + Kitchen Tips

Published on June 29th, 2013 | by Tanya Sitton


Vegan Recipe: Oil-Free Oil

Oil-free Oil

I don’t usually pay much attention to oil use, or fat-free-ness: when my kitchen plans hum along normally, I find that a whole-food plant-based diet sort of naturally works out for me health-and-weight-wise, without oil restriction needed. But during a major household move, my eating habits have been a bit (vegan-)junky lately; and some of my family members are working towards weight loss goals. So I tinkered up this oil substitute, with an eye towards trimming the fat and calories from our daily bread. If you’re trying to cut down on added fats and oils in your cooking, check it out!


  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons ground flax seeds


Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, and let sit 5-10 minutes to thicken. Replaces 1/3 cup oil in recipes.

Production Notes

So far I’ve only used this mixture for baking, but it may work in dressings and other applications too. The cream of tartar gives it a mild neutral tangy flavor, reminiscent of lemon juice or rejuvelac, but less acidic — the flax flavor isn’t noticeable. So I think this mixture would blend well in dressings or homemade mayo or other places oil crops up in recipes.

If you try it this way before I do, please report your results below!

Image by the author.

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About the Author

is an ecovore, veganist, messy chef, green girl, food revolutionary, and general free-thinkin' rabble-rouser. M.S. in a health profession, with strong interests in biology, nutrition, and healthy living - find her on .

3 Responses to Vegan Recipe: Oil-Free Oil

  1. I have learned so much from your website, thank you!
    I have been following Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live plan for the past 11 months for the improvement of my general health, as well as for weight loss. To date, my progress is 60+ pounds toward a 75 pound goal. I love being whole-foods, plant-based!
    The ETL book has many recipes for wonderful salad dressings which rely on nuts, seeds, or avocados for their creaminess, much like this flax-seed recipe. . I have learned that while trying to be “fat free” is dangerous, adding unnecessary refined oils of any kind just adds calories and pure fat to an otherwise clean and healthy dish. Thank you so much for your role in educating the public about delicious and healthful food choices. Here’s to vibrant good health for all.

  2. Pingback: Super-Nom Vegan Wheat Roll Recipe - Eat Drink Better

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