A Lesson on Oils…

12 Jul

Oils are something that we use every day, whether it be for cooking, skincare, hair care, or even motor vehicles. Of course we will focus on cooking, but the way that we use oil in cooking is just as diverse as its other uses. Here is a lesson on oils…

Oils are a type of fat that remains liquid at room temperature. Cooking oils are refined from various seeds, plants and vegetables.

Fats break down at different temperatures. The temperature at which a given fat begins to break down and smoke is known as its smoke point. Choose fats with higher smoke points for high temperature cooking such as deep-frying and sautéing. If a fat with low smoke point is used for high temperature cooking, it may break down, burn and impart undesirable flavors.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oils are extracted from a variety of plants, including corn, cottonseed, peanuts and soybeans, by pressure or chemical solvents. The oil is then refined and cleaned to remove unwanted colors odors or flavors. Vegetable oils are virtually odorless and have a neutral flavor. Because they contain no animal products, they are cholesterol- free. If a commercial product contains only one type of oil, it is labeled “pure”. Products labeled “vegetable oil” are blended from several sources. Products labeled “salad oil” are highly refined blends of vegetable oil.

Canola Oil

Canola Oil is processed from rapeseeds. Its popularity is growing rapidly because it contains no cholesterol and has high percentage of monounsaturated fat. Canola oil is useful for frying and general cooking because it has no flavor and a higher smoke point.

Walnut Oil

Nut oils are extracted from a variety of nuts and are almost always packaged as a “pure” product, never blended. A nut oil should have the strong flavor and aroma from the nut from which it was processed. Popular examples are walnut and hazelnuts oils. These oils are used to give flavor to salad dressing, marinades and other dishes. But heat diminishes their flavor, so nut oils are not recommended for frying or baking. Nut oils tend to go rancid quickly and therefore are usually packaged in small containers.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil is the only oil extracted from a fruit rather than a seed, nut or grain. For further reading on olive oil, go to EVOO Tid Bits….

I hope you learned something new today.

Mmm take a bite out of that!

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