Choosing the best oil for different foods

When it comes to cooking oils the choices seem to be limitless when staring at the variety now presented in your local grocery isle.  Here are my top pics with a simple guide for choosing the best oil for eating, roasting, baking, and frying.  These 6 stars are usually always in the pantry.

1. Coconut oil:  86 percent saturated fat means it is solid at room temperature (do not be concerned this is a super healthy oil).  Relatively heat stable and resistant to rancidity.

Go for virgin coconut oil which means it has been extracted without chemicals.  Great for baking.

2. Walnut oil:  Rich nutty taste.  Not recommended for cooking because of its low heat index,  but great on salads and for use in marinades.  Helps to reduce resting blood pressure. Big on flavor. 

3. Canola oil:  Great vegetable oil with a high smoke point.  Commonly used for frying and baking. It’s price point makes it a good oil to use for the bulk of your cooking where you do not want the flavor of the oil to interfere with your food.  Try to choose the organic label if possible to avoid genetically modified seed.

4. Grapeseed oil:  A little on the pricey side but a wonderful, healthy oil to use for frying or roasting meats and vegetables.  It has a high heat index and a very subtle flavor that is plant based.  Also delicious in salad dressings.

5. Avocado oil:  Just like olive oil, avocado oil is 70 percent monounsaturated.  It has been on the heart healthy list for a long time and for good reasons as it it rich in Omega 3’s.

Gives a rich taste to salads or drizzled over foods, with its deep color characteristic to avocados. Can also be used for cooking with its high smoke point. 

6.  Olive oil:  The mediterranean wonder.  I keep several types in the pantry for all varieties of use.  Great for salad dressing, dipping bread, roasting meats and vegetables.  Adds a wonderful flavor to food as it is applied.  It has a low smoke point so remember with olive oil to always heat your pan first, then add oil and heat oil before adding your food.  It is not recommended for frying. 

Where I buy my oils:
Coconut oil: Trader Joes’s
Grapeseed oil: Safeway
Olive oils: Trader Joes’s and Whole Foods
Canola oil: Whole Foods (organic)
Avocado oil: Safeway
Walnut oil: Whole Foods

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