A Healthy Cooking Masterclass with Frylight

Frylight is on a mission. They want to encourage people to make better food choice, and believes making healthy cooking easier is the first simple step.

In case you haven’t come across the brand before, Frylight is a unique pump spray oil application that allows you to accurately control the amount of oil you use to cook, helping to dramatically cut calorie intake without any compromise on taste. It is made with no artificial ingredients, naturally low in saturated fat, contains no cholesterol and one spray is exactly 1 kcal. I wasn’t actually aware of this but there are seven varieties currently available for all kinds of uses: Golden Sunflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Delicate Butter Flavour, Creamy Coconut Oil, Mild & Light Rapeseed Oil, Garlic Oil and Avocado Oil. Not everyone knows that it is recommended that you start by spraying the Frylight into a cold pan, and heat the pan with the Frylight in it before adding your ingredients – now that’s a tip I’ll be taking on board when cooking with it!

Now, while I’m not one for counting calories or leading a super low-fat diet, I am conscious of the amount of fats – and good fats – I eat. So when I received an invite to Food 52 Cookery School on behalf of Frylight to find out more about the products, how easy it is to cook with them and also be joined by a dietitian to nail the facts on fat, I was intrigued. My first trip to London for an event after having Tom too, so this was exciting 😉

Cooking with Frylight

Along with eight other lovely bloggers, I arrived at the gorgeous kitchens of Food 52 ready to cook up a healthy three-course lunch as demonstrated by the venue’s chef. First up: Mushroom Bruschetta, using the Garlic Frylight spray to coat the mushrooms and add flavour before sauteing in a pan with fresh thyme. Served on top of toasted sourdough bread spritzed with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a simple but delicious combination. Despite squirting a fair few pumps the dish didn’t taste oily and was great to be reassured that the calorie content from fat was kept to a minimum – bonus!

Garlic Oil bonus: Made with natural garlic extract so is great for saving time on peeling and chopping – it adds quite a strong flavour!

Extra Virgin Oil bonus: Offers a delicate hint of the Mediterranean and is ideal for roasting vegetables, toasting bread and spraying on fish before cooking.

Miniature Burgers were up next, combining lean minced beef with caramelised red onions, whizzed up crackers and plenty of seasoning. After shaping into patties we used Rapeseed Oil to cook them in a pan on both sides, resulting in a deliciously crispy outside while keeping the meat juicy. I stacked mine up with tomatoes and lettuce rather than bread together with a simple sauce made from light mayonnaise, natural yogurt, smoked paprika and ketchup – because a burger isn’t a burger without some kind of sauce!

Rapeseed Oil bonus: With a higher proportion of monounsaturated than most other seed oils, this makes it more stable at higher temperatures so is a good choice for flash frying and prolonged baking.

For the vegetarian option, we had fun putting together Halloumi & Vegetable Skewers which we marinated in the Avocado Oil spray, chilli, fresh mint and lemon zest before grilling. As a huge fan of halloumi this was my favourite dish, especially as the spray offered a hint of avocado after cooking without being greasy in the slightest.

Avocado Oil bonus: Pressed from the pulp surrounding the avocado pit; this pulp produces an oil full of healthy fats, including oleic acid and essential fatty acids.

Finally, dessert: Summer Crepes filled with a berry and cinnamon compote. Using the Butter spray to coat the pan to prevent the crepe batter from sticking, this also provided a delicate buttery flavour which I’m sure many will enjoy – particularly vegans! A simple but tasty way to end a meal, any fruit would be a perfect partner for these posh pancakes.

Butter Oil bonus: A great alternative if you’re used to cooking with butter as the familiar flavour is strong enough to enjoy without packing in the fat and calories.

Eating fats the balanced way

We all had a lot of fun cooking up these tasty, healthy dishes but it was also interesting to hear Helen Bond’s – Frylight expert and Consultant Nutritionist – opinion on fat and our attitude towards understanding oil consumption. We need to move away from glugging healthy oils in food, according to Helen – for instance, adding coconut oil to EVERYTHING (she isn’t a fan) – stressing that small things like this are significantly contributing to our daily required intake without even consciously realising.

Helen revealed that nearly 40% of people make no effort to avoid saturated fats which can increase cholesterol, carrying a risk of heart disease. More concerning is one in ten people believe that trans fats are actually healthier than other types of fats; these are considered to be the worst offenders by nutritionists and dieticians.

On the flip side there is also the issue that the consumer sector views fat negatively – the whole ‘fat is bad’ message – which may have been influenced by the recent trend for clean eating. That’s where Frylight wants to educate households on the benefits of the products, shifting away from a slimmer’s choice to a healthy brand for families. At the end of the day, and something which Helen is strongly keen to promote, is the idea of balance – isn’t this something we all strive for?!

I came away from the event with fresh ideas on how I can incorporate the Frylight products into my own cooking and baking while also thinking a bit more about the amount of things I consume like coconut oil and nut butters. Although I certainly won’t be cutting these out, as with anything I’ll be more aware of portion control while still enjoying them as part of my diet.

Disclaimer: This was a paid opportunity but all views are my own.