This story comes with the message: always do your research.
It’s a bit shameful to write this story actually and for a while there I wasn’t going to for fear of judgement. But I want to share this with you because I’m real, it’s real and no good would come of me not sharing it.
It starts with a story of my own. There was a time when I thought rice bran oil was OK to use. For quite a while I’d pick it up in the supermarket because it had a big fat label saying ‘OK to cook with high heat for healthy cooking’.
Turns out it’s not OK to cook with high heat for healthy cooking. It turns out it’s quite the opposite.
It wasn’t until a friend who is a nutritionist pointed it out to me and I dug a little deeper.
I fell for the one rule that I dish out to all my clients, in my cooking classes, in my lunch delivery and my corporate clients. Always do your research, never believe what the label says. Actually,
If there’s a label claiming something, it probably means its covering something up.
I can think of many a food products where this is true: wholegrain potato chips are a good example. They’ve got some grains, but there’s nothing wholegrain about them.
So I’ve compiled this list – 4 healthy oils I like to cook with and I’ve linked to a really great resource too. I urge you to take a browse and fall in love with Diane Sanfilippo like I have.
Always remember the golden rule: question everything before you treat it like gospel.
There are so many oils to choose from and even a quick Google search can leave you confused about the best oils to cook with.
Walking through the supermarket is no better either, every bottle says its ‘good for you’ with a ‘high smoke point, while this may be true to some degree the thing that matters most is how that oil has been processed and how its stored too. I want to share this amazing resource from Diane Sanfilippo, its the most comprehensive guide I’ve seen yet and clearly lays out what you need to know when choosing an oil to cook with.
3 rules for choosing a fat or oil to cook should be based on:
- How they’re made—choose naturally occurring, minimally processed options first;
- Their fatty acid composition—the more saturated they are, the more stable/less likely to be damaged or oxidized;
- Smoke point—this tells you how hot is too hot before you will damage the fats, though it should be considered a secondary factor to fatty acid profile.
Here are 4 healthy oils that I use and how I choose to cook with them.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
I use EVOO when cooking on a medium heat. EVOO has a smoked point of around 160 degree’s.
I love using this to cook my popcorn! Great in salad dressings in summer, I also use in my curries to add an extra coconutty flavour.
Coconut oil has a smoke point of around 175 degree’s.
I use butter when cooking eggs, omelettes or when I feel French (I’m not kidding).
I’ll use butter or ghee on my roast chicken. It makes the skin super crunchy and a total treat.
I save the dripping from my roasts (link to roast chicken post) and store in a jar in the fridge. Using this to cook adds so much extra flavour to your dish – deeelish.
Bonus tip: Broth
If I have a batch of broth in the fridge, I’ll use a tablespoon or 2 of it to cook with instead of oil.