For all you aspiring chefs, there are certain must-have oils that you undoubtedly have in your pantries at all times. Even for those of you who only cook on occasion, cooking oils are a must. But did you realize that cooking oils can have a huge impact on the taste of your foods and really make or break a dish? Plus, they can add loads of nutritional benefits that may be hard to get otherwise. Well here is a list of 7 must-have oils that, as a Personal Chef, I cannot do without!
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is just one of those must-have oils that is not only good for you, but tastes great on pretty much whatever you put it on. From veggie stir-fries to pasta dishes, to the main ingredient in your salad dressing, it is one of those items that the majority of people are sure to have on hand no matter what the occasion.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a relatively new player when it comes to most people’s pantries. Once ostracized due to its high saturated fat content, nutritionists and chefs alike are now considering it a go-to oil due to its uncanny ability to breakdown into energy, unlike other fats. The fact that it can be heated to high temperatures without breaking down the fat molecules and turning them into unhealthy trans-fats is another nice bonus. And did I mention that it is also great for your skin and hair when applied topically?
3. Sesame Seed Oil
Used in a vast majority of Asian dishes, sesame seed oil, especially the toasted variety, has a very distinct aroma, giving foods an almost nutty flavor. And since a little goes a long way, it will give your dish that traditional Asian flair without making it too greasy or heavy.
4. Walnut Oil
I never realized how much of a fan I was of walnut oil until I tried it for the first time at my local Farmer’s Market. Almost sweet, and obviously nutty, this oil is the perfect finish over freshly seared scallops or as an addition to your favorite vinegar used to dress your salad. It’s one of those oils that will most certainly impress.
5. Flaxseed Oil
As one of the best vegetarian sources of Omega-3s, flaxseed oil has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. It also contains a high amount of lignans which are proven to help ward off breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. But why take it in a pill form when you can use it as a finishing oil on top of your pasta or drizzled over salad greens for a slightly nutty taste, while still getting all of the same benefits?
6. Hemp Oil
Hemp oil is fairly new to my repertoire of cooking oils, but one that I no longer see myself going without. With a light green hue and an almost sweet, nutty taste, hemp oil has both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, which are known to help metabolize fat and give your brain an extra boost.
7. Avocado Oil
The newest addition to my list of must-have oils, avocado oil can be used to cook foods at high temperatures without ruining the chemical make-up of the fat. Not only that, it adds a very subtle avocado essence to those dishes that just need a little something.
Whether you are an avid culinary master, or just like your food to taste good, you should definitely jump on the cooking oil bandwagon. From stir-fries to baked goods, and even finishing oils, there are certainly some must-have oils out there that you shouldn’t do without! What are your favorite oils that must be in our pantry at all times?