Cooking with oil usually involves grabbing your bottle of canola or olive oil, right? While those are great choices in terms of health, they shouldn’t be your only options. There are lots of nut and seed oils out there that let you reap the benefits of plant foods but with additional perks as well. Mix and match your favorites and you’ll have new food options at the same time that you boost your health. What more could a girl ask for?
1. Pumpkin Seed
This oil has a lovely dark color and is made from roasted pumpkin seeds. You know that tasty flavor you get after roasting the seeds when you make a jack-o-lantern so think about it when you cook. The best way to use pumpkin seed oil is to drizzle it lightly on steamed or sautéed veggies just before serving them. You’ll love the flavor, I promise!
2. Walnut Oil
Walnut oil is a great choice for homemade salad dressings. Not only does it have a delicious color, but its taste pairs wonderfully with lots of other ingredients. It has loads of heart healthy fats and protein so you can feel good about eating it. Walnut oil is also perfect for making marinades for chicken and fish and also makes a great choice for making baked goods.
3. Sesame Oil
I love to use sesame oil in Oriental style cooking. It works well for marinades and dressings, but it also a great choice for stir-frying veggies and meats. This type of oil is usually made from toasted sesame seeds, but you can also find a cold pressed version. The toasted sesame oil is great for marinades and dressings while the other is perfect for cooking. Try them both and decide which type you like better.
4. Palm Oil
This oil is made from the fruit of oil palms, also called a palm nut. It’s similar to canola oil in that you can use it for many purposes, including baking, homemade dressing and frying or sautéing. It has a mild flavor that allows you to pair it with many ingredients for meals with a pleasant nutty taste. Experts say to use it up quickly though because it goes rancid much more quickly than other kinds of oil.
5. Pine Seed Oil
Be prepared to shell out for this kind of oil. It’s much pricier than other nut and seed oils. That’s because it’s produced in France and is hard to come by. If you can get your hands on some, don’t waste it as a cooking oil. Instead, drizzle it over a salad or use it make a dipping oil for bread or veggies. This allows you to experience the full flavor of the pine seed oil, making it worth your splurge.
6. Peanut Oil
If you’re looking for a virtually tasteless oil that you can use for a myriad of purposes, peanut oil is the one for you. You can use it for deep frying or sautéing without changing the flavor of your dishes. You can also use it in marinades, sauces, dips and dressings as a mild balance to the stronger ingredients you often find in such recipes. Peanut oil is easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
7. Avocado Oil
Before you get on me for including an oil that isn’t a nut or seed, this is actually made from the avocado seed, also known as the pit. It’s commonly used in place of canola oil as it has a pretty mild flavor. Use it for drizzling and you’ll get the full flavor palate.
Which nut or seed oil is your favorite one to use? Will you try any of these others? What do you plan to do with it?