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Making ends meet: How to stretch your cooking oil

Cooking oil prices are through the roof. Picture: File

Cooking oil prices are through the roof. Picture: File

Published Jun 23, 2022


Cooking oil prices have soared in the country over the past few months. This has put a strain on every South African’s pocket, especially the poor with a 2-litre bottle costing almost R100.

Here is our favourite tip - from Facebook - on how to get your “dirty” oil clean.

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Boil the old oil on the stove; add some corn flour (or any flour for that matter) and all the gritty parts will attach to the flour; then you remove the bundle of dough from the oil, which is now “clean” and ready to be reused.

There is even someone in the Scottburgh Classifieds in KZN on FB who will pick up your used oil.

Here are four extra tips to save on oil when cooking:

1. Sauté without oil

Onions and garlic are the foundation of any good dish. However, they need oil to fry, or so we have been taught.

Water, (as any person who has been on a diet will tell you) - if you do it right, can do the job just fine.

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The key is to ensure that your pot is very hot, to the point where water sputters when dropped in. Add three to four tablespoons of the liquid and wait until your vegetables start caramelising.

2. Rationing

We are not at war so this does not mean rationing in the traditional sense, but inflation has resulted in devastation for many.

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Take a permanent marker and draw on your bottle of oil, dividing it into how much you will use per week. Make it a goal to not overuse it.

3. Steam your food

There are many dishes that work great without any added oil. You don’t have to be in possession of a steamer to cook this way. You can use aluminium foil rolled into balls to elevate a plate with vegetables above water.

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4. Reuse

Oil that has been used to make fries, hotcakes and more is still perfectly reusable. Simply store it in another bottle to make more delicious dishes later. You can reuse oil for up to two months.