Lately, we have turned our focus to lovely edible oils.
Whether applied topically or taken internally, they are really great for your skin.
If you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, whether you’re baking, roasting, or frying, you need to ensure you are selecting the right cooking oil.
For this reason, we have put together this handy guide, so you can get the most out of your edible oils.
What is the best cooking oil to use?
We know from previous articles, that oils can be divided into two categories: unrefined and refined:
Refined Oils: These are obtained through heat extraction, or with the use of chemical solvents.
Unrefined Oils: These are the oils that you should use when you are cooking.
They are obtained through cold extraction and are left in their virgin state after pressing; their molecular structure is still intact, and they are fuller and healthier in flavour.
Follow the link to find out which are your unrefined oils.
Know your smoke points when cooking
Why? Because no one oil can do everything, and if you are cooking oil at the incorrect temperature can actually break down the stable molecules and make it unhealthy.
So, what exactly does smoke point mean?
This is a term used when oil is heated. It refers to the point when the oil begins to smoke.
If you’re cooking oil at a higher temperature then the smoke point, it can change the structure of the oil, which can create oxidation and free radicals in your body.
Smoke point up to 220°C
This is high-heat cooking; the best oils for this are the unrefined oils, which contain lots of lovely oleic fatty acids.
These oils are neutral-tasting and great for use at high temperatures, such as frying. Canola oil, avocado oil, almond oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil, are all really good examples of high-heat oils.
Smoke point up to 190°C
These are medium-heat oils, which are great for your wok and sauteeing dishes such as meats, stir fry, and omelets.
Good examples of these are Virgin Coconut oil and Sesame oil; these are the oils that have full-bodied flavours that are intended as an integral part of a dish.
Smoke point up to 160°C
Your low-heat oils are the full-flavoured oils that are great for gently heating thick sauces and dressings.
Typically these oils include Sunflower, Safflower, and Virgin Olive oil.
What is the correct storage of my oils?
Most oils will go rancid over time especially when exposed to the air, so buy in small quantities, keep the lid on tight, and store in a cool dark place,
Ideally, your specialty oils should be kept in the fridge and will come stored in a dark glass.
The only exception when it comes to the longevity of your oils is Olive oil which is high in oleic acid, Olive oil is naturally rich in antioxidants which helps to prevent oxidation, and the oil from going rancid quickly.
For further reading, this is a great article, which looks at the best healthy cooking oils, as recommended by a dietician.