Eating oil-free can sometimes be a challenge.
That’s why having healthy food options that are quick and don’t take much preparation can really help.
Learning to cook and finding vegan recipes without oil is one thing. But shopping for oil-free prepared foods is a whole different ball game.
Luckily, with the increasing demand for healthy options things are changing. Finding ready-to-go foods you feel good about eating are becoming more available.
Of course, whole plant foods are always best. But it’s likely that’s not always realistic in your busy life.
The next-best thing is to find healthy food options you can trust to fill-in.
If you’ve ever found yourself wandering the grocery store tirelessly reading ingredient labels, this list is for you.
Most of these items can be found in your local grocery store or online.
These products are all easy to prepare for when you don’t have much time.
And they’re made with whole, plant foods, so you don’t need to compromise on nutrition or flavour.
Here are 8 healthy food products that make choosing oil-free easier:
1. That’s It. Fruit Bars
They’re made with simple ingredients. You can’t get much simpler than just fruit.
The apple and strawberry bar contains dried apples and strawberries. That’s It.
There are no additives or preservatives.
As That’s it. fruit bars are made using whole fruit they don’t need to have added flavouring. It comes with the fruit.
These bars are great for a snack when you don’t have much time.
And they’re Kid-friendly, so you can feel good about giving your kids a healthy snack you both love.
With no prep required, they’re ready to eat. Just peel and go.
You can use them as snacks between activities, after a trip to the gym, or put them in kids lunches.
They’re also a nice, quick snack to have before you head into the grocery store.
Because we all know what happens when we shop hungry…
2. Wild Garden Hummus Dip
Most oil-free hummus is made in the kitchen. But what about when you don’t want to spend time preparing it?
Wild Garden All Natural Hummus is a low-fat, oil-free option that comes ready for dipping!
Just grab some crackers or veggie sticks and you’re all set. It’s a good evening snack to tide you over until dinner is made.
And it works well for anytime you may need an appetizer. No fuss required.
Plus, you can also get Wild Garden snack packs that are great for kids lunches. All they need are some vegetable sticks or oil-free crackers for dipping.
But hummus can be more than just a snack. Try it in a wrap or pita pocket.
3. Gold Rush Organic Hash Browns
These Gold Rush frozen potatoes are a nice way to have hash browns for breakfast.
They’re a healthy food option that’s oil-free with no added sugar, salt, or preservatives. Just potato.
Even on a busy weekday morning you can enjoy a filling meal. All you need to do is toss them in the pan with a bit of water or vegetable broth and “fry” them up.
Hash browns are great for anytime of day though. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
You can have them on their own or cook them with chopped vegetables. Then eat them as is or top them with ketchup, tomato sauce, or last night’s vegan chili.
Also, adding them to a soup or stew will save time on prep. A bit of potato can really fill out a soup, making it thicker and more robust.
At the moment, Gold Rush frozen foods appear to only be available in Canada. So, if you don’t have an oil-free brand in your area, you can always go with a quick recipe.
Try an oil-free hash brown recipe from Straight Up Food.
4. Taste Adventure Soups
Taste Adventure soups are available by the cup or in resealable packages.
You just add hot water and stir.
These soups are made with whole plant foods and only a few ingredients. For example, the golden pea soup contains: organic pre-cooked yellow split peas, sea salt, and organic spices.
Soup can be a filling addition your office lunch. Their minimal prep also makes them a good food to take camping or backpacking.
There are a selection of Taste Adventure soup flavours to choose from:
- golden pea
- split pea
- curry lentil
- black bean
- sweet corn chowder
They also have dry black and pinto re-fried bean mixes.
Enjoy them on their own or add them to a rice or potato dish for one satisfying meal!
5. Pacific Foods Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
This low sodium vegetable broth is made with vegetables, herbs, spices, and sea salt. No preservatives or added flavouring.
Although using prepared vegetable broths make cooking more efficient, many are loaded with salt.
With far less sodium per cup, this vegetable broth from Pacific Foods is a great alternative.
Plus, it comes packaged in a tetra pack rather than a can, for those concerned.
It’s especially great for adding to soups or stews.
The first step of many soups calls for sauteing onions. Using a vegetable broth can replace the need for oil.
You can also use it in any recipe that calls for broth.
Also, using it partially or completely in replace of water will add more flavour to your meal.
Try this low sodium vegetable broth out in a Tomato Risotto recipe from The Vegan 8.
6. Woodstock Farms Organic Frozen Fiber Fruit Blend
Using frozen fruit blends make your morning smoothie a breeze to make.
Just pop them in the blender with a touch of water. Maybe add a piece or two of fruit, and you’re good to go.
Mixed fruit adds a variety of flavours and nutrients. And frozen fruit means you can enjoy fruit that doesn’t happen to be in season.
This organic frozen fruit blend from Woodstock Farms contains:
- organic apricots
- organic figs
- organic plums
As it’s a more unique combination, it can really help mix things up a bit.
But, understandably, frozen berries and berry blends are also a popular choice. They especially blend well with banana for a creamy and filling smoothie.
And you can always add some greens in too!
Smoothies made with fruit blends are a great way to add kale to your diet. The sweetness of the fruit and nutrient-rich greens make for a perfect pair.
7. Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods
Plant-based and oil-free, Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods are a reliable go-to when you need healthy “fast food.”
They’re great as a snack or quick meal.
But they also make for good camping fare. They taste great either on their own, a side-dish to your meal, or poured over rice or potatoes.
Right Foods has ready to-go oatmeal, soups, and noodle entrees with a number of different flavours to choose from.
Just add hot water or warm them up in a sauce pan. They’re that easy.
8. Raw Wraps
Unlike many tortillas, these whole food wraps don’t come with a long list of ingredients you can hardly pronounce.
They are made with simple, plant foods:
- coconut nectar
- psyllium husk
The whole, plant food ingredients create a flavourful wrap. You don’t need to worry about these tasting like flour and leaving you with a weird aftertaste.
Raw Wraps are gluten-free, vegan, low sodium, and oil-free. Plus, they’re quite moist so they don’t crack and fall apart as soon as you pick them up.
They work really well for vegetable wraps. Just load them with your favourite raw or cooked vegetables and roll them up.
You can also use them to make quesadillas or vegan burritos.
Healthy food you can rely on when you’re busy will make your life easier.
Keep your favourite “quick and easy foods” where you’re likely to need them most:
- in the car
- in the cupboards/fridge at home
- in your gym bay
- with you at kids activities
Snacks with help you get from A to B. And other “quick and easy foods” will ensure you don’t dread the evening meal prep after a long day.
There are other foods too…
In addition to these, fruit as well as ready to-go salads and vegetables mixes are other healthy food items to always have around the house.
A number of Food for Life products, such as their sprouted whole grain tortillas are another nice option. In particular, the corn tortillas make for a great taco.
Make them nice and crispy by putting them in the oven for a few minutes. You can shape them into corn taco shells by curling them over the oven rack.
There’s no need for cooking oil. Just keep an eye on them to see when they’re done.
Or, cut (or tear) them into quarters before warming them in the oven. This way they’ll be more like chips for dipping with hummus or a homemade salsa.
And at Whole Foods Engine 2 Plant-Strong Products are available in the US. These include whole grain wraps, cereals, and rice blends.
Healthy eating isn’t a phase, or some diet to jump-start the year with. It’s a lifestyle.
Making healthy choices is something that can, and should be sustainable. Having quick, oil-free foods on hand really helps.
So, keep your eye out for new products.
Supply follows demand. And healthy living is here to stay.
That means it’s only a matter of time before you see even more healthy food choices lining the shelves.
Help encourage healthy-minded companies to create more plant-based, oil-free products. Let them know which of their products you like so far and why.
The more they know what their customers want, the more likely they are to make new options.
These 8 healthy food products are great to have on hand.
And they are just the beginning.
Things are changing.
As more healthy food products become available it really makes healthy eating do-able, even with a busy life.
Preparing food from scratch is always the best option, but our modern lifestyles rarely allow for that all of the time.
So, have”back-up” foods for those busy evenings you spend taking children from one activity to another. Or for after late nights at the office.
They’ll make your life a whole lot easier.
Next time you go grocery shopping, make sure to have a few of these healthy food items on your list.
Try them out and see what works best for your life.
It really does help to have a plan. So, find healthy snacks and recipes you can make in a pinch for those busy days and nights.
Because after a long day, you know you won’t want to spend much time in the kitchen.
What healthy food products do you think make oil-free eating easier? Which ones have become go-to staples at your house?