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The Use of Oil in A Vegetarian Diet

Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.

Seeds from plants and fruits are the best source of oils. Plants that grow in hot climate produce oils which are of a ‘cool’ nature, those that grow in cold climate produce oil which are of neutral nature. Coconuts that grow in hot climate are of a cooler nature. Olive which grow in the warm climate of the Mediterranean have a neutral nature, but sesame are of a hot nature. Nuts and grains are also sources of oils, for example soybean oil, rice bran oil etc.

It is best to take oils directly from unprocessed seeds. If one needs extra oils, choose cold pressed or expeller pressed oils and not oils extracted with chemicals; bottled oils after opening should be kept in the refrigerator. Also avoid buying huge bottles of oils and keeping them under room temperature because oils after oxidization will produce compounds which are harmful to the body.

Oils are especially important to women after middle age because the secretion of progesterone also occurs through fat cells in the body. After menopause, the secretion of progesterone is greatly reduced, thus obtaining reasonable amount of oils is necessary.

The following are recipes of seeds and nuts provided for suggestions:

Oats Porridge with Nuts

1 cup of oats
3 cups of water
8-12 almonds
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon of Chinese wolfberry
4 Chinese honey dates
4 dates
4 red dates


  • Soak almond and sunflower seeds in water overnight, then pour away the water.
  • Cook all above ingredients. Cook over a small flame for 15 minutes, then leave it to brew for 1 hour.


Muesli with Nuts

8 cup of oats
1/2 cups of buckwheat
2 cups of wheat germ
2 cups of coconut bits
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup almond or walnut (soaked in water overnight), cashew nut
1 cup of sunflower seed oil or sesame oil

Mix both together and pour into a baking pan. Bake at low oven temperature (150 F or 65 C) for one to two hours. Stir a few times. Store in a glass jar after cooling. Can be served with warm water, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, sweet fruit juice, or sesame milk. Those who like to have it sweet can also add dates.


Almond Milk

½  cup of almonds
2 cups of water (warm to hot)
4 dates


  • Place almonds which have been soak overnight (with skin removed) into the blender and blend with ½ cup of water. Add remaining ingredients and the balance water to blend.
  • May also use sunflower seeds, walnut, sesame or cashew nuts for substitute.


Sesame and Millet Waffle

1 cup of millet
½ cups of sesame (ground)
2 tablespoon oil


  • Add millet which has been soaked in water overnight to 1½ cups of water to blend. Leave under room temperature for 8 hours to ferment. Add sesame powder and 2 tablespoon oil. Pour into a waffle mould to cook.
  • May add moderate amounts of malt sugar or brown sugar syrup to taste.


Coconut Milk, Black Glutinous Rice, Green Bean, Black Bean Porridge

1/2 cup of green beans
1/2 cup of black beans
1/2 cup of black glutinous rice
10 cups of water
½  of a fresh coconut


  • Soak beans and rice in water overnight. Pour away the water. Add 7 cups of water to cook. Use another 3 cups of hot water to blend with coconut meat and strain out the pulp, the add coconut milk to the cooked porridge.
  • Those with sweet tooth may add back sugar.


Note: Before consumption, it is best to soak almond and walnuts in water for 8 hours or soak in hot water for 1 hour and pour away to remove tannin.

The above are mainly for breakfast. Food contains fat are best consumed before lunch for easy digestion.

Extracted from Lapis Lazuli Light Magazine 2000 Nov Issue
Translated by Lapis Lazuli Light Singapore