The title of this post might make you think of petroleum oil, and you know, literal war over limited natural resources, but I’m talking about the battle of which cooking oils to use. What oil do you use? Evaluate if you’re on the good or bad side of oil here.
A few days ago I was telling my sister to make a quinoa and black bean recipe (recipe to come soon), and she told me she had never heard of grapeseed oil. I’m wondering if everyone would switch from basic vegetable oil to a healthier oil, if they knew that all of these oils are interchangable, but some healthier than others. You never want to buy vegetable oil, unless you cook desserts in bulk and want a cheaper nondescript oil for baking cakes and cupcakes. And even if you do this, at least buy the omega-friendly vegetable/canola oil such as Smart Balance.
I want to persuade everyone to kill off vegetable oil, so here’s a list of the good vs. bad troops.
All of the following oils are low in saturated fats and trans fats. Some have high concentration of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Choose corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soy oil or canola oil if you wish to fry foods as these oils have higher smoke point. It is best not to fry with olive oil as its smoke point is only about 190C/375F.
• Good Cooking Oils:
• walnut oil, grapdeseed oil (my two favorites)
◦ canola oil
(but really, don’t use this when you have more exciting alternatives)
◦ flax seed oil (A+)
◦ peanut oil
◦ olive oil
◦ non-hydrogenated soft margarine
◦ safflower oil
◦ sunflower oil
◦ corn oil (B+), sesame oil (really great in asian cuisine)
The following “bad” oils contain high percentage of trans fat or saturated fats. Some, such as coconut oil, even contain more saturated fats than animal products!
• Bad Cooking Oils:
◦ Vegetable shortening
◦ Hard margarine
◦ Butter (Julia would dislike this post)
◦ Palm oil
◦ Palm kernel oil
◦ Coconut oil