When a recipe calls for oil, most cooks’ first instinct is to use olive oil; however, both European and American cooking techniques are turning to a greater variety of oils for their health benefits and unique flavors.
Here are five alternatives to olive oil you can use to create healthier, more dynamic dishes:
Avocado oil is a healthy, flavorful alternative to olive oil. Avocado is full of heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat and is extremely versatile. Shape Magazine cited research from Ohio State University that determined avocado oil can make a salad healthier by improving the absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants present in vegetables. Avocado oil can be used for all high-heat cooking, such as pan roasting or grilling, or as a garnish on soups, salads and pizzas.
According to Health With Food, a recent study from the University of California Davis found that not only whole almonds, but also almond oil could reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Almond oil is a great source of vitamin E, and is best used to add flavor to baked goods. You can also roast the oil, which is tasty when added to salads, pastas and soups.
Red palm oil
Red palm oil is another great alternative to olive oil. According to Nutiva, red palm oil contains the highest amounts of vitamins A and E of any plant-based oil. Red palm oil works well for baking, sautéing, dips and medium-heat frying. Red palm oil can even be used to flavor a healthier version of buttered popcorn.
Shape Magazine cited a study published in the journal Neurology that showed grapeseed extract has the potential to reduce stroke risk 73 percent. Grapeseed oil has a light, refreshing flavor that can be used on salads. This oil also makes roasted vegetables especially crispy. If you are taking an online pastry course, it is helpful to know that grapeseed oil can be used as a substitute for butter or shortening in most baked good recipes.
Walnut oil adds a rich, nutty flavor to any dish; however, it is best used when uncooked. As noted by What’s Cooking America, walnuts and their oils are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try using walnut oil as a garnish on cooked meats, salads pastas and even desserts. All Day I Dream About Food provides a creative recipe for walnut oil mayonnaise that calls for egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard powder, salt and walnut oil.