There’s usually only one go-to method of making super-crispy veggies in the oven: slathering them with olive oil. While the healthy fat offers plenty of health benefits—from helping prevent heart disease to lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s—just one tablespoon contains a whopping 120 calories. (Aka drowning your Brussels sprouts in it could quickly match the calorie-count of your favorite pasta dish.) Luckily on the days you want to go oil-free, there’s still an easy way you can roast ’em to perfection.
Dana Shultz, the plant-based food blogger behind Minimalist Baker, recently shared her hack to mastering the art of roasting oil-free veggies, and it only adds a few minutes of prep-time to your dinner routine. “Steam your starchy vegetables first until just tender, and then finish roasting them in the oven. And for non-starchy vegetables, throw them straight into the oven with just the seasonings—no steaming necessary,” she writes. “They don’t need the extra moisture because they’re more tender and have a higher water content in most instances, so steaming would make them soggy.”
While veggies like peppers, zucchini, and beets are totally fine as-is, ones like sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts should be steamed beforehand with a steamer basket for four to six minutes, explains Shultz. After they’re slightly tender and can be easily-pierced with a knife, you can throw on some seasonings and pop them in the oven until they’re crisped up to your liking. Making dinner has never been easier—or healthier.
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