Oil is oil, right? Wrong. If you’ve been using one oil for everything or worse you’re not using it at all, this is the post for you! I receive messages weekly about cooking oils and why I recommend using one versus another. I wanted to write a post to break down the best cooking oils so you can stock your pantry and get cooking.
What is the best oil to use for cooking?
Avocado Oil and Olive Oil
Avocado Oil and Olive Oil are my go to oils. Avocado oil is great for high heat. It has a smoke point of around 500 degrees. Not only that, but it’s rich in Oleic Acid, one of the healthiest fats there is. In fact avocado oil is 70% Oleic Acid, an Omega 9 fatty acid. Avocado oil is a real winner in the kitchen and for your health. Don’t worry, even if you don’t like avocados ( which why wouldn’t you? You weirdo ;), the oil doesn’t taste like one.
Olive oil has a much lower smoke point, but some of the same health benefits as avocado oil. For me, it’s a flavor thing. I think there’s nothing better than an olive oil garlic sauce on pasta. I like to slowly simmer the garlic in the olive oil so it releases it’s garlic goodness. Bread is also lovely when dipped in olive oil. Olive oil has a pretty distinct flavor where Avocado oil is neutral. You never want to use olive oil to broil or deep fry.
Butter is amazing when paired with olive oil in dishes requiring a lower heat. I also use butter in baking. I encourage you to do your own research, but overwhelmingly we are learning that fat in it’s purest form is best. Butter and Coconut Oil (not my favorite) are said to increase both LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol). If you like Coconut oil and like baking with it, then by all means, you can do that. For me personally, nothing provides the same flavors or textures as old fashioned butter. Unless a recipe specifically needs coconut oil; I will choose butter every time.
What we do know is that fake butter and margarine contain a whole host of chemicals that the body doesn’t process very well. Saturated fat should be limited and for those with heart conditions, you may need to make other choices, but if you’re otherwise healthy, do not be afraid of butter.
I love Asian cooking. I make my Crispy Tofu Superfood Fried rice at least every other week and I use a little sesame oil. Sesame oil has plenty of healthy fats. Many Asian populations are some of the healthiest people on the planet and we think it has a lot to do with a diet focused on vegetables and healthy fats. To add flavor at the end of a dish, use toasted sesame oil. This oil has a low smoke point. Use light sesame oil for stir frying as this has a higher smoke point. Sesame oil goes rancid very easily. I recommend storing it in the fridge not the pantry.
You should be able to get by with these 4 oils. They aren’t super expensive and now you won’t feel lost when you’re faced with the 100 varieties of oils at the grocery store. While you don’t want to drown your foods in oil, oil has a place and purpose. These are the best cooking oils you can stock in your healthy kitchen- In my humble opinion 🙂
PIN FOR LATER my friends and leave a comment below and tell me your favorite oils!