Today’s Spring Cleaning item is your Cooking Oil!!
What oils do you cook with?
How do you store them?
Can you tell if they are rancid?
Are you afraid of Saturated Fat?
I have found that oil is a huge source of confusion for most of my clients. What kind do you use? One article will say one thing, and the next one tells you the opposite. Although thanks to Rachael Ray, everyone uses EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). But sadly, she has it a tiny bit wrong….I will get back to that in a bit.
How do you chose an oil? I can’t chose just one, I cook with many different oils.
First Rule: Do NOT be afraid of fat. Fat is good, Fat is Essential, Fat makes your food taste good, Fat provides energy, Fat is required to adsorb A, D, E, and K vitamins, Fat is required to use protein. Love fat, do not hate it. <3
Degrees of fat saturation:
- Saturated~ Extremely stable at high heat. The best oil for cooking. Unrefined Coconut oil is the ideal cooking oil. You may also use butter or lard.
- Monounsaturated~ Relatively stable at low to medium heat. Olive oil is in this category but it is unstable at just 200 degrees causing it to release free radicals and become unhealthy to eat at a very low temperature. It is served best cold and not for cooking. (This is where Rachael has it wrong). You can also use Sesame Oil for a light saute.
- Polyunsaturated~ Unstable at high heat, these oils release free radicals when heated and are not healthy for cooking.
- Cottonseed source
Then there is Avacado Oil.
“From an omega standpoint, avocado oil gives you a nutritional profile similar to olive oil. Nearly 70% of avocado oil is oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Aside from the significant monounsaturated content, avocado oil is about 16% saturated fatty acids and 14% polyunsaturated.” source
Pretty decent Oil with a smoke point of 510 degrees. It seems to withstand rancidity well. I am kind of in love with this oil.
AND Almond Oil!
Great for desserts. Can be heated to 495 degrees. Full of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.
A blog post all by itself. It is a saturated/monounsaturated oil. It is amazing for high heat cooking..think crispy egg roll. But it is surrounded by drama. I buy it once in a while as a treat, only from Nutiva. I trust that their oil is sourced without damage to the rainforest.
Now don’t get me wrong, please don’t throw away your Olive Oil…unless it is rancid. Just remember these few things:
- It goes rancid very easily. Store in a cool dark place. Buy it in small bottles. Always replace the cap when you are done.
- Do not heat it above 200 degrees.
- It is often diluted with low quality oils (this will not be on the label). Make sure you research your brand.
- “To further help protect extra virgin olive oil from oxidation, Dr. Moerck suggests putting one drop of astaxanthin into the bottle. You can purchase astaxanthin, which is an extremely potent antioxidant, in soft gel capsules. Just prick it with a pin and squeeze the capsule into the oil. The beautiful thing about using astaxanthin instead of another antioxidant, such as vitamin E, is that it is naturally red, whereas vitamin E is colorless, so you can tell the oil still has astaxanthin in it by its color. As the olive oil starts to pale in color, you know it’s time to throw it away.” source
Healthy oils that are not for cooking:
- Hemp Oil
PLEASE AVOID THESE OILS:
- Sunflower (some exception here)
For some in depth info on fats: The Skinny on Fats
My spring cleaning challenge to you: Clean out you cooking oil cupboard. Store oils like Walnut, sesame, and delicate oils in the fridge. Buy quality olive oil and store it properly. Oil should never be stored by the stove where it will get warm. Throw out your old rancid oil. Check out the Avocado Oil, it is at costco 😉 Buy some unrefined coconut oil for cooking, It is amazing!