So you’ve decided. TODAY is the day you create the adult cooking pantry of your dreams. That’s right! You’re doing it complete with allllll the seasonings and various oils, cause HEY, a girl likes to dabble in international flare, you know what I mean? But, if you’re not naturally saavy in the kitchen, it can easily get overwhelming especially with the recent surge of choices in the grocery aisle. Don’t worry! After reading this- you’ll be a pro! Truth is-oils are best used to lightly crisp, fry, roast, grill, baste, sauté, create a sauce, and literally everything else. Oils are an integral part of cooking any sweet or savory dish. PERIOD! If not for their non-stick abilities, for their taste, texture, and richness/lightness! With healthy cooking at the top of everyone’s mind, it’s good to know the difference between oils, and what to specifically use my top favorites for.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or EVOO, as Rachel Ray, of www.RachelRay.com calls it)
If you only wanted to choose one oil to cook with, this.is.the one! Olive oil is high in anti-oxidants and fatty acids, combats heart disease, prevent strokes, aaaaaand I use it on my skin, and in my hair. WIN WIN!!
When roasting, drizzle it over your food and pop ‘em the oven or use it to coat potatoes before you roast them with seasonings. You can also use it as a marinade or as an alternative to butter. Overall, olive oil is a great for most cooking needs, while also offering excellent health benefits! Just remember, use the light colored one for anything you don’t want to add a rich, savory flavor too; and use the darker color to anything you do.
Avocado oil contains Vitamin E and naturally lowers bad cholesterol levels in the body. It’s loaded with healthy monosaturated fats which reduce belly fat and aid in alleviating inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Avocado oil’s high smoke point is great for frying. I recently started cooking everything in it. And, don’t worry, there’s no taste of avocado in sight!
Canola oil is actually a very health conscious option. It contains Vitamins E and K, and both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This oil actually has less saturated fat than most other options (even vegetable oil, which is high in cholesterol)! Canola oil works great for frying, as it has a high smoke point, and its smooth texture makes it versatile. You can use it for grilling, deep frying, baking- you name it!
Grapeseed oil has many antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties and omega-6. This oil has a relatively high smoke point which makes it a great “all-purpose” oil; especially good for baking and sautéing. It’s light, used for its “clean” taste and will not absorb the flavor of what you cook in it, so it’s great If you’re frying multiple kinds of foods at once. The omega-6 makes it a heart health friendly option! And, honestly, it’s become my new favorite oil to cook with!
Oil you can skip
Sunflower oil contains the fatty acid omega-6, which if over consumed can create and heighten inflammation in the body. This option is not entirely unhealthy, but if you’re looking for ones you can skip out on or use in moderation, this would be it!