Frugal Friday: nonstick cooking spray alternative

I recently bought a really cheap brand of nonstick cooking spray. It was $2-something at Smart and Final. That would have been a great find, except it didn’t work. It left gunky residue on my pans and it didn’t keep food from sticking. Ick!

I kept thinking there has to be a greener way… a more frugal way… to keep food from sticking. 

THEN. I bought a bottle of liquid lecithin at the local health-food store. I had to have one tablespoon for a recipe. (Don’t you hate it when you just have to have one tablespoon and have a whole bottle of whatever left? I’m just sayin’….)

But that jiggled my memory a bit. When I was a student at a boarding high school, we used some sort of lecithin-oil combination instead of nonstick cooking spray. We used to use wax paper to spread it around the deck pans for the food deck, etc. and I figured that wouldn’t be too green. 

What else could I use to spread around a liquid solution? I thought of using a spray-bottle, but then I would have to find a food-grade spray bottle. It would likely be plastic. And I’d rather not use plastic. I googled around, and found a stainless food-grade spray can, but the reviews were mixed. In the reviews, however, I read that “real chefs” use brushes to brush oil. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

I already had a pastry brush. I decided to use an old applesauce jar to store the lecithin solution. But what is the recipe for this nonstick liquid?

One part liquid lecithin + one part liquid oil = nonstick liquid

(I don’t know what else to call it… nonstick liquid sounds boring, to be sure, but that’s what it is.)

Oh, and I used canola oil in case you’re wondering.

Directions: You just dip your brush into this liquid and brush it onto your casserole dish, baking dish, etc. I don’t use very much. I just get it nice and greasy-looking, but not so there are puddles of liquid. Spread it evenly. 

I have been using this for a few days now and it works very well on everything that I have tried it on. I can’t vouch for it on all surfaces, but I’ve even tried it in my breadmaker and it works like a charm. (The bread used to stick to the bottom of the machine.) 

Nonstick cooking 101

For more Frugal Friday tips from everyone else, visit Fish Mama’s website.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 10:09 pm  Comments (4)  
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Low-Sugar Sweet Rolls – bread maker version


I did an experiment on Friday – low-sugar sweet rolls, predominately sweetened with dried fruit. And it turned out really well! I combined a couple of different recipes, so I guess it’s “mine” now.


  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1 1/2 tsp egg replacer
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (whole wheat, white)
  • 1/4 cup bran
  • 2 tsp Saf-yeast
  • 1/2 cup dates, dried
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, dried
  • water
  • Earth balance
  • variety dried fruit (the more variety, the merrier! See ideas below.)


Place first nine ingredients in order in the bread maker and put it on the dough cycle. Check the dough for the first few minutes and add a little bit of extra flour or water as needed to make a good-consistency dough.

In the meantime, rinse dates so flour is removed from them and then boil them with pineapple in a little bit of water. When they are tender, drain them, and blend them so they make a moist paste.

Create dried fruit and nut mixture. Can use: raisins (golden or regular), dried cherries, dried cranberries, currants, coconut, walnuts, or pecans. Or anything else that sounds yummy to you!

When dough cycle is finished, roll into a large rectangle. Spread the mixture of dates and pineapple onto the dough rectangle and cut small pieces of Earth balance margarine and distribute evenly across the dough. Sprinkle dried fruit and nut mixture evenly over dough.

Roll dough up from the longest side. Cut into one inch long pieces. Lay pieces flat on a baking tray, leaving space in between each roll for rising. Let rise in a dark, warm place for 1 hour.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 25-35 minutes until golden brown.

Glaze recipe:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Dari-Free powder (a special kind of milk powder made out of potatoes. REALLY good stuff.)
  • vanilla and honey to taste
  • 3/4 cup oil

Blend all ingredients except oil. Drizzle oil into blender. Immediately drizzle the glaze over warm sweet rolls. Mmmmmm!

This post is linked at Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm  Comments (5)  
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