Credit: Time Inc.

In the Cooking Light Test Kitchen, we are always looking for ways to add flavor and texture to food without adding calories or grams of fat, too. The best solution I've found: Cooking sprays! I love cooking and baking sprays.

Minimize the amount of oil you need for a quick sauté by coating your pan with cooking spray before adding the oil. (Don't use sprays on non-stick pans, however. We suggest you use two or three teaspoons of oil if your pan is coated with a non-stick lining.) The smaller amount of oil goes a lot further.

I really love baking spray with flour. It will help smooth out the rough edges of your recipe so you can add more flavor and texture-enhancing ingredients. As the resident baker in the TK, I hardly see a week without a couple of recipes for a baked product. Since I started using baking spray with flour, my life in the TK has gotten so much easier. Cakes come out of the pans cleanly without stuck centers that need to be patched with icing. Bread practically jumps out of the loaf pan, and I even use it on glass pie dishes before the pastry goes in.

Here are a few more tricks and uses for cooking spray:

  • Try spraying your chef's knife before you mince garlic to keep it from sticking to the blade.
  • Spray a light coating on the wire racks you use to cool your cakes in order to prevent ripping off the outside layers.
  • To help contain the mess cooking spray can create, open the dishwasher and spray over the open door. The next time you wash dishes the excess spray will be washed away -- and you won't be left with a greasy film all over your counter.