40+ Oil Free Plant Based Dressings and Sauces
Want to make creamy dressings and sauces without using any oil?
You can use nut butters, tahini, cashews, and other options to create a creamy base for any oil free salad dressing or sauce.
If you want to reduce the use of oil in your diet, these healthy salad dressing recipes are perfect for your salad bowl, Buddha bowl, or any other meals. You will find anything from oil free plant based BBQ sauce and pesto to vegan Caesar dressing and ranch dressing.
Whenever you have leftovers or a variety of random foods at home, you can mix them in a bowl to create your own Buddha bowl. Then top it with your favorite dressing or sauce.
Sometimes you might find seasonal and local produce on sale or at a market and with some added beans, rice, and dressing, you can create your own poke bowl.
To create a balanced and nutritious bowl make sure half of the bowl is filled with vegetables, one quarter is filled with a plant based protein source (beans, chickpeas, lentils,…), and the the other quarter you can pick a grain that fits the meal.
If you like these oil free sauces, you might also like these easy vegan summer salads, and the whole food plant based beginner recipes.
Why Oil Free Dressings?
Oils are not as healthy as we once believed. Negative health effects are typically based on your current health status, types of oils consumed, and frequency of use.
For instance, someone with heart disease should avoid all oils unless otherwise directed by their physician. In one small study patients were put on a whole food plant based diet, meaning no added processed ingredients like oils.
Removing processed foods caused the patients’ progression of heart disease to be stopped and 70% of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries. Oil is not a whole food, it is processed and stripped of macro nutrients (carbs, protein, fiber).
Therefore, oil is not as nutrient dense as a whole food. Most oils may be healthier than using ingredients such as butter and some oils are better than others. Olive oil, for example, is better than palm oil or highly processed soybean oil.
But coconut oil is just as bad as butter when it comes to saturated fat. The reason why some oils are described as healthy is because of their antioxidant content (vitamin E and K). But you don’t need to consume oils to get your antioxidants.
There are better whole food options with far more antioxidants, minerals, and fiber, and the alternatives contain less calories.
1 cup of mashed avocado contains 348 calories compared to 1 cup of avocado oil which contains 1927 calories. And if you try to use the same amount of calories you get 1 cup of mashed avocado for 380 calories and 0.2 cup of avocado oil for the same amount of calories. Remember, oils are stripped of most nutrients and basically contain only fat.
However, you should still eat healthy fats from whole foods like nuts and seeds. Whole foods like avocados don’t contain only fat. They also contains carbs, proteins, minerals, fiber, and vitamins, and they are a balanced food source for healthy fats.
Avocados are highest in fat but they contain other macronutrients while oils ONLY contain one macro: fat. Fats are higher in calories. Proteins and carbs contain 4 calories per gram and fats contain 9 calories per gram.
Consuming lots of refined oils will also increase the inflammation in your body. Omega 6 fatty acids are healthy on a balanced diet, but they have an inflammatory effect when too much is consumed. Omega 3 fatty acids, on the other hand, have an anti-inflammatory effect. The key is to balance both fats for a healthy diet.
If you use quality oils here and there that is probably okay. If you are more likely to eat your veggies or salad using olive oil, please do.
But to make this very easy, below are oil free dressings and sauces so you can enjoy whole food fats and lots of nutrients without ditching delicious condiments!