8 Ways to Season and Cook Vegetables Without Butter or Oils

Updated on July 19, 2017
These baby mushrooms are tasty in some veggie broth
These baby mushrooms are tasty in some veggie broth

Fresh vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, many people ruin their nutritional value by slathering them with butter or dousing them in oils to fry them up. Here are eight different ways to season and cook your vegetables without using butter and oil, so that they stay healthy and also taste interesting.

1. Simply Steamed Vegetables. Steaming your vegetables is one of the best ways to get the full flavor of the vegetable itself so that you don’t actually need any seasoning at all. Try to keep the vegetables only lightly steamed so that they’re still a little bit crunchy; that’s how you will get the best flavor.

2. Just a Dash of Salt. If you can’t stand the taste of unseasoned steamed vegetables, there are lots of other options. The simplest one is just to add a little bit of salt. This will bring out more of the flavor of the vegetable. It will also help you get used to eating fresh vegetables if you’re more used to packaged and processed foods. Try to cut back on the salt gradually until you don’t need it anymore and can just enjoy your vegetables without it, though, since salt isn’t ideal in a diet. Bonus: Consider trying flavored salts, such as rosemary salt, to get a different flavor to your vegetables.

3. Just a Dash of Brown Sugar. If you really don’t like your vegetables but are trying to eat more of them then start the process by adding a little bit of brown sugar on top of them. This is especially popular on carrots but is good on many other vegetables as well. You can add brown sugar to steamed or boiled vegetables to get a great sweet flavor.

4. Boil in Broth. One thing that I love to do with my vegetables is to boil them up in a little bit of broth. I use vegetable bouillon cubes personally to create a flavorful broth that I enjoy but you can use chicken or beef broth or any other soup stock that you like. I just put a little bit in the bottom of a pan, add the vegetables and then bring to a boil with the pan’s lid on to keep in the flavorful steam. It adds richness to the vegetables, whether you eat the broth itself or throw that part out.

5. A Twist of Citrus. Add a little bit of fresh citrus juice on top of freshly steamed vegetables to give them a unique tasty flavor. Lemon is most popular and can be used on just about everything (lemon atop broccoli is a favorite of mine personally). But experiment with fresh lime, orange and grapefruit juice, too.

6. Marinade and Throw Veggies on the Grill. Grilled vegetables are super tasty and often have a nice crunch to them. To avoid using oil or butter on the grill, you’ll want to marinade your veggies first. There are many options for marinades; I enjoy ones that are based around soy sauce.

7. Make a Sauce. Marinades are great but they aren’t the only way to soak your veggies in flavor. Another option is to boil the veggies inside of a sauce. Try broccoli cooked in Alfredo sauce, potatoes in curry sauce or mushrooms in red sauce.

8. What About Hot Sauce? Depending on your taste buds you might like some salsa or hot sauce on top of your favorite steamed veggies. Mushrooms and baby corn with some spicy hot sauce on top is a super favorite of mine!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • TycoonSam profile image

      TycoonSam 

      6 years ago from Washington, MI

      Very nice hub. To the point and easy to follow.

      Voted up and useful

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      That reminds me - I need to buy a Steamer. Also a little bit of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray, or the equivalent, may add some flavor to steamed vegetables. Using the boullion cubes is a great way to save money if you do a lot of cooking with broths. The canned broths are quite expensive in my area, so a box/pack of boullion cubes work just as well and are cheaper and last longer. Thank you for sharing, voted up.

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 

      6 years ago from NY

      I can totally appreciate this hub. Many people think that I'm weird because I eat my salad without dressing. The looks I get at restaurants. You would think I belong in a straight jacket! When a veggie has to be cooked, I steam or boil with spanish seasonings for flavor. I like to taste my food, so I often skip the mayo, dressing, ketchup, etc. Voted useful!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      All good suggestions, Kathryn. Just picked vegetables taste sweetest, so have a garden or a community garden plot, participate in community supported farming, or shop at farmers markets. Boxed soups are handy; you can use just what you need and then put the rest in the fridge. You can cook vegies in a little chicken or vegetable broth or try a variety of flavors -- sweet potato, carrot ginger, etc.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Very creative indeed.

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      Earth Angel 

      6 years ago

      Bragg's Liquid Aminos and/or Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar is a wonderful and healthy alternative to many seasonings! Great suggestions; thank you! Blessings always, Earth Angel!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great ideas! My go to is always olive oil, which is healthier than butter, but it's nice to have some other options. I love the broth idea.

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Useful post, Kathryn! I love using broth, rather than oil. Seasoning and fluid in one. And the brown sugar also tastes great. I must say, I don't like steamed veggies that much! My all time favorite (no cooking required) remains fresh vegetable juice made in my own kitchen. The most wonderful nutrient power-punch and so quick and easy.

    • shesacraftymom profile image

      shesacraftymom 

      6 years ago

      Love it! I think these are all great ideas, especially brown sugar...love anything sweet!

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 

      6 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Nicely written Hub that can tastefully keep all of us a bit healthier. Thank you.

    • services4all profile image

      services4all 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Nice post, it really helps all of us to cook better.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)