Fats & Oils

An essential component to build texture and flavor in a dish

May 18, 2018
Fats & Oils | Cook With ❤ The functions of fats and oils:
  • an essential component to building flavor and texture in a dish,
  • provide balance to flavor profiles, and to help carry and smooth flavors over the palate,
  • acts as a vehicle for flavor – help evenly distribute other flavors within the dish.

Fats may come from added ingredients, such as oils, but they may as well come in the form of whole food fats from nuts, seeds and avocados.

What you should think about while choosing the oil:
  • the method and temperature of cooking (properties of the oil and how it will behave under the cooking conditions),
  • the flavor, texture and health benefits that want to achieve,
  • benefits for health - good fats are a very important part of the balanced diet,
  • beneficial or harmful properties of the oil (not all the oils are equally useful).
Smoke Point of Fats & Oils:

Smoke point is the temperature at which the fat or oil begins to smoke, above this temperature, the fat or oil begins to break down, resulting in flavor and nutritional degradation.
If it's heated above this temperature, the oils begins to break down and that leads to:

  • spoiling the taste and appearance of the burnt aftertaste,
  • can develop free radicals, which can damage cells in your body.

That is why it's important to choose the fat or oil that is stable at the temperature you use.

Oils Health benefits How to store The heating Using
Linseed oil Omega-3;
anti-inflammatory properties;
it's helpful for the brain and the immune system;
Store it in a refrigerator; it's better to buy this oil in small bottles;
Note: add a capsule of vitamin E as a preservative;
Don't heat; Salad dressing, you can pour the warm oatmeal or cooked vegetables after they have slightly got cold;
Hemp oil Omega-3 and omega-6;
anti-inflammatory properties;
it's helpful for the brain and the immune system;
Store it in a refrigerator; it's better to buy this oil in small bottles;
Note: add a capsule of vitamin E as a preservative;
Don't heat; Salad dressing, you can pour the warm oatmeal or cooked vegetables after they have slightly got cold;
Walnut oil Omega-3 and omega-6;
anti-inflammatory properties;
it's helpful for the brain and the immune system;
Store it in a refrigerator; it's better to buy this oil in small bottles;
Note: add a capsule of vitamin E as a preservative;
Unrefined – don't heat;
refined – it's possible to use it for low-temperature cooking;
Salad dressing, you can pour the warm oatmeal or cooked vegetables after they have slightly got cold;
Sesame oil Omega-6;
vital for skin;
Store it in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight; Unrefined – don't heat;
refined – it's possible to use it for low-temperature cooking;
It's perfect to add this oil to the cooked stir-fry or other Asian dishes;
Avocado oil Omega-9;
if you add this oil to vegetables, it will improve phytonutrients absorption;
Store it in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight; Unrefined – don't heat;
refined – it's possible to use it for low-temperature cooking;
Salad dressing, it's worth adding avocado oil to the cooked vegetables;
Extra virgin olive oil Omega-9;
useful for intestines, hair and skin;
Store it in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight; It's possible to use it for low-temperature cooking, don't use it for baking and frying; Salad dressing, also used for low-temperature cooking (like risotto);
Grape seed oil Omega-6;
anti-inflammatory properties;
Store at room temperature; buy in glass bottle; It's possible to use it for any kinds of cooking; Any way of cooking, including baking;
Virgin coconut oil Saturated fats (medium-chain triglycerides, it must not be confused with saturated meat fats, which everyone is so afraid of);
useful for brain, intestines, hair and skin;
Store at room temperature; buy in glass bottles; It's possible to use it for any kinds of cooking; Any way of cooking, including baking;

My personal favorite – grape seed oil and I have already "hooked" several people on it; firstly, it does not smell; secondly, it doesn't matter whether you fry, stew, bake, prepare wok or sauté – it's perfect!

The cooking methods and the oils:
  • stir-fry (frying in wok) – a high-temperature method of cooking, it's best to use the oil with high smoke point, for instance, organic virgin coconut oil or grape seed oil, which was not subjected to heat treatment during the manufacturing process,
  • frying in a pan – a method of cooking at temperature above average, it's better to use the oil with high smoke point,
  • stewing – the method of cooking at average temperature – the oil with high smoke point,
  • grill – a high-temperature method of cooking – the oil with high smoke point,
  • non-thermal methods of cooking – get the whole benefit from omega fats using linen, hemp and nut oil; these oils are especially sensitive to heat and should be used only for cold meals cooking.
How to choose the oil:
  • don't be saps for the words "natural" or "healthy" on labels – all the oils are useful and all the oils are natural (well, I hope so),
  • buy the oil in dark glass bottles, standing away from direct sunlight: firstly, nobody wants to eat a fat-soluble muck from plastic, secondly, a dark bottle protects from sunrays and the oil will be stored in it longer.