This One Item Can Save You Hundreds of Calories at Dinner

I’ve been trying to eat healthier, and by proxy eat more plants. Veggies are healthy for so many reasons. Getting in the proper daily servings has been linked to lower risk of chronic disease and a longer life span. Plus, they provide your body with hard-to-get nutrients like fiber, and vitamins like potassium, calcium, and folate, which pretty much none of us are getting enough of.

But let’s face it, a bowl of raw kale or a handful of baby carrots doesn’t always sound appetizing (even for a Cooking Light editor). One of my favorite ways to enjoy veggies is by roasting them on a sheet pan with olive oil and spices.

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Though it’s absolutely delicious, I know that olive oil I’m drizzling piles on calories quickly! According to the USDA, there are 119 calories and 13.5 grams of fat (about 2 of which are saturated) in every tablespoon of olive oil. And while I wish I could say I diligently measured out my olive oil in tiny increments, I don’t. In fact, I’m inclined to carelessly glug it on until my veggies glisten like oil-slicked teens sunbathing by the pool.

I knew the veggies I was cooking several times a week could be a little healthier, so I set out to find an alternative. I’m part of the Weight Watchers community on Instagram, and found that some users were shaving points off their meals by using spray olive oil.

Related: Does Cooking Spray Really Have Zero Calories?

So I went to Trader Joe’s, and bought this Spanish Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray for $2.99. I didn’t have high hopes, but I went ahead and sprayed a layer on my veggies the other night, and put them in the oven to roast. When I opened the oven door a little later, I was SO EXCITED to see that my veggies turned out perfect: Slightly browned and crispy, just the way I like them!

I like the TJs bottle even more because there are no weird propellants or preservatives (like there are in some other cooking sprays), so it tastes just like my beloved bottled EVOO. And though I’m probably using more than the 1/3-second spray—which has zero calories or fat—I know I’m cutting back on both by using a light mist, rather than a hefty drizzle.

A healthier alternative that doesn’t alter the taste of my food? Count me in!

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