Oils & Fats
Here is a rundown of my favourite oils and fats that you will find in my recipes.
This oil is full of good-for-you fats. It has a high smoke point of about 495 degrees making it ideal for all sorts of cooking, and also works great in desserts because of its natural almond flavour.
This is probably one of the most popular oils in the kitchen, and cold-pressed extra-virgin oil is a staple in Nourish. This oil is super versatile because of its amazing flavour. You can use it for light cooking at lower temperatures or dreamily drizzled over scrumptious salads. Olive oil is an awesome source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which help control cholesterol levels and have been linked to improved heart health.
Olive oils come in several flavours. Some are rich and fruity while others are lighter and fresher. They also come in a spectrum of delightful colours from dark green to a light golden colour. The colour depends on the type of olives the oil originated from. When choosing an olive oil, make sure you check out the label. Look for phrases such as “first cold-pressed”, “cold-pressed”, “extra-virgin”. When it comes to cooking with olive oil, the good news is that it does have a moderately high heat tolerance. This allows you to cook with it without creating toxic carcinogens. However, despite the higher smoking point, I would still avoid heating it as little as possible since this will decrease the nutritional value of the oil.
Coconut oil one of my all time favourite oils. This is why I use it in so many of my dishes. In the Body Wisdom Cleanse I even use it to make several of my natural skin care recipes and in the daily oil pulling cleansing technique, I teach in that program. I love coconut oil because not only does it have incredible health benefits it also has a lovely deep rich flavour, which goes beautifully with curry and Asian-inspired stir fries. The reason it is called butter and oil is that it has a buttery consistency when it is cold, but when you heat it, it melts into the oil.
Coconut has a high smoke point of about 450 degrees. This enables it to be heated to an extremely high temperature without going rancid. It is, therefore, perfect for roasting vegetables, sauteeing and stir-frying. What is more, the “virgin” variety is virtually scent free so it works well in most dishes. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of this oil without having to flavour all your dishes with the taste of coconut.
Along with being incredibly versatile to cook with it is also super healthy. Packed full of fatty acids this oil works wonders in your gut. It contains oleic acid which has a powerful anti-viral effect along with caprylic acid which is a natural antifungal. This makes coconut oil an awesome choice for those suffering from an underlying candida infection Coconut oil is a delicious butter substitute for those going dairy free. Simply switch butter with half the amount coconut oil in your recipes. Coconut oil is concentrated as it does not contain as much water so you don’t need as much).If you’ve not tried coconut oil before you’re in for a treat. It’s a nutritional game changer.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
This oil comes from pressing raw or roasted pumpkin seeds. Both varieties are delicious. It is a thick oil with a light orange colour and strong nutty flavour. Packed with nutrients, it is an awesome source of vitamin A, C and E and fatty acids.
I always use this raw as it becomes damaged when heated. In my recipes I drizzle this over salads, vegetable dishes, and add it to smoothies and raw desserts.
Grapeseed oil has pleasant mild flavour with a slight nutty tone to it. It is low in saturated fat and has a medium-high smoke point of about 420 degrees. This would make this a good cooking oil, however, grapeseed is mostly polyunsaturated fats, which are unstable. It can, therefore, oxidise easily when exposed to light, air, and heat.
The reason I like grapeseed oil is that it mixes well. It works beautifully in salad dressings, condiments, and drizzled over your stir-fry vegetables. It is packed with antioxidants and is also one of the best sources of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that the body cannot produce itself.
Sesame Seed Oil
Sesame oil has a lovely nutty aroma and a real distinct flavour. It’s properties make it perfect for throwing into Asian inspired dishes. Not only does it help dishes taste amazing it is an awesome source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3, 6, and 9. The only downside to sesame oil is its high-calorie count (120 calories per tbsp).
When buying sesame oil stick with raw cold pressed sesame oil. Sesame oil also comes labelled as unroasted, but this isn’t the same as cold pressed. If you can’t find raw cold pressed sesame oil in the supermarket, your local health food store should have it or pick it up online. Throughout Nourish I drizzle this over steamed and raw vegetables, and raw salads to help bring out their flavour.
Sesame oil is also a good oil to use when lightly sautéing or low heat baking. You will find I use it in some of my stir-fries as it gives dishes a lovely rich nutty flavour. I tend to steam-fry when using sesame oil and then drizzle the sesame oil over the dish at the end.