Old-timers to the website will know that I often suggest a low-fat cooking spray in my recipes for spritzing or spraying cookware or food prior to cooking or baking. I have often in the past used a ready-made spray (like Frylight or Pam) but now often use one that I make myself.
Why? well it’s cheaper, but it also enables me to know what’s in the mix other than water and oil. I’m not always happy with the long list of synthetic ingredients in commercially prepared ones; know the build-up negates their use (and guarantee) with certain cooking appliances (like air-fryers and some bakeware); and sometimes the synthetic flavours I think fall short of what I want and I think I can improve upon by using my own fresh.
Making your own is really simple and means you can choose the oil you like; add flavourings you approve of like herbs and spices, plus you can make a ‘bespoke’ one for say stir-frying.
For simplicity I have a very basic one of just water with oil (and usually extra-virgin oil is my choice) and then a special one for flavouring too. In the one you can see above this has herbs, chilli and garlic. But you don’t have to stop there you can make a Chinese or Thai Stir-Fry one with say sesame oil, ginger, garlic, 5 spice powder and coriander/cilantro, for example. The only limit is your own imagination!
I make my basic low-fat spray with a 1 part oil to 5 parts water in a spray bottle ratio, and because I cook a lot I use a bottle that will hold 350 ml/12 fl oz/1½ cups distilled water with 50 ml/2 fl oz/4 tbsp oil (you might only want to make half of this quantity). I do halve it this quantity myself for my special sprays, like the one above, where I use 175 ml/6 fl oz/¾ cup water and 2 tbsp oil.
And what kind of bottles do I use? I have used plastic sprays that are really cheap, cheerful and effective in the past but now have invested in some pretty plant or gardener’s spray glass bottles (still inexpensive at under £5 each) that I am happy to even display. That said, I do tend to keep mine in the refrigerator (and especially the ones with fresh ingredients within them). Their shelf life does depend upon their ingredients but I think a good rule of thumb is about 2 weeks. I do use boiled distilled water when I make.
And so there you have it – a quick, easy, healthy and simple cooking spray for lower-fat cooking. All that you need to remember is to shake before every use!
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