There are too many cooking oils available on the market to count, but the three I can’t do without and use all the time are olive, canola and sesame.
One of the best things for me, is these oils all come from natural products, no preservatives added! Deciding which oil is best can be a bit of a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Olive oil is widely known as the heart healthy fat. It's very high in antioxidants & nutrients. It’s also an excellent choice for nearly everything you will cook, but you need to be careful with the amount of heat you use.
Using medium-high or high heat isn't a good idea as it can result in a loss of flavour as well as decreasing the oils beneficial compounds. Because olive oil has a lower smoke point than many other fats it is best used for making salad dressings and vinaigrettes or when sautéing on medium to medium-low heat.
The smoke point is the temperature that an oil will begin to burn. This gives food a nasty flavour and may damage any beneficial nutrients the oil has.
Canola oil is a kitchen staple and is so versatile it can be used in baking and cooking. Canola oil comes from the canola seed. If you live in Western Canada it is abundant and is quite beautiful when the fields are in bloom!
One of things I like best about canola oil is that it has a neutral flavour and doesn't alter the taste of what you are cooking. Canola oil has a medium - high smoke point which makes it an excellent choice for high heat cooking such as searing meat to get caramelization and great flavour.
Sesame oil, also known as the Queen of Oils, is nutrient dense and good for your heart. It's total fat and calorie content is very similar to olive oil. It’s smoke point lies between canola and olive oil.
Sesame oil has a bold nutty flavour and a little bit goes a long way. Too much and your dish will be over powered and not enough and you won't even notice that you used it, both are disappointing.
Sesame oil is great in Asian stir fry and sauces. One of my favourite things to do is to sprinkle 1 -2 Tbsp over food just before serving or to use it as a marinade.
Why not try Thai Ginger Stir Fry for a light and delicious supper that has a bit of a kick.
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