Making Your Old Family Recipes Paleo-Friendly: Cooking Oils

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Starting the Paleo Diet can be quite daunting when you start to plan for dinners and the big holiday meals. What will you eat now? How are birthday parties and Thanksgiving meals going to look and taste like now? Luckily for you, going Paleo doesn’t mean you have to toss out EVERY thing you knew about cooking. You can keep your beloved family recipes and enjoy holiday meals just as you normally would with a slight twist. In this post, I will discuss cooking oils and sweeteners.

What is the easiest way to turn the treasured recipe of Grandma’s into a Paleo recipe? By identifying each ingredient that is not Paleo-approved.  If you can eliminate the ingredient without any detriment to taste or quality of the recipe, prepare the recipe without it by all means. If you feel the ingredient is absolutely instrumental, consider one of the Paleo-approved alternatives. A benefit of the Paleo Diet’s popularity is that alternatives are more readily available and easier to find now.

For cooking oil, you have the most flexibility in Paleo options. Olive oil, that most popular (and some would say quintessential) is allowed. Other cooking oils allowed on the Paleo Diet include avocado oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and sesame oil. Cooking oils you should avoid include: cottonseed, corn oil, peanut oil, rice bran, soybean oil and wheat germ oils.

Vinegar is another biggie that you want to avoid at all costs – this one is a lot harder than it may initially appear to be as vinegar is a very common ingredient in salad dressing. If you find your recipe needs that extra bit of zest and tang vinegar offers, look to fruit juices. I recommend using lemon juice for your recipes, lime juice for your recipes with tomato-based recipes and apple juice as a substitute for cider vinegar.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of work to find a Paleo-friendly alternative but it does take some creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. With a little preparation, you can create a Paleo-friendly recipe that is as good as the original but healthier for you (and maybe even tastier!). In the next article, I will tell you how to replace sweeteners with Paleo-friendly versions so you can keep your baked foods as sweet as before but are even better for you.