I am particularly interested in natural cooking oils. I find myself consistently evaluating the natural oils I use in my kitchen and I’m always exploring new options. The one thought that continues to cross my mind after much research is that it’s quite interesting how we have to play this game of dodge the bullet with refined oils that have been conjured up in a lab (aka Canola, Vegetable, Soy, Corn, Safflower, Cottonseed oil & many others). Refined oils are conveniently sold in almost every grocery store & promoted as healthy, although they are really the farthest thing from it. In short summary, to get oil out of a plant it must be processed mechanically (unrefined) or with chemicals and heat (refined). There are more chemicals & additives within or used to create non-organic refined oils than I can count or list out here.
By no means am I an expert but here is what I have learned and practice in my kitchen….if you’re looking to cook with healthy oils, stick to organic, unrefined, natural oils provided by the one and only Mother Nature. Avoid refined oils product developers have designed to mass produce and market. Keep it back to the basics.
The very good news is that you can find organic, unrefined oils within your local grocery store or even online very easily. You just need to keep an eye out and be mindful of which oil your selecting. Look for unrefined & organic on the labeling.
Tip: If you use Amazon.com, they ship organic unrefined coconut oil and many other unrefined organic oils. I’m not sure how much more convenient we can get here.
Here are the organic, unrefined oils & fats I enjoy using in my kitchen. I find they work well for my everyday cooking adventures and recipes. I hope you find them useful too!
Natural Oils & Fats I love:
Extra virgin olive oil
- Subtle and light herbal flavor, perfect for a wide array of dishes and dressings or for that finishing drizzle. Good for medium-low cooking temperatures (sautéing)
Organic cultured butter
- Provides a wonderfully light and smooth flavor although not overbearing. Allows for higher cooking temperatures (searing or frying)
Sesame seed oil
- Comes either plain or toasted and has a distinct savory flavor. Allows for higher cooking temperatures (deep frying)
- Mildly balanced and nutty flavor. Although it’s solid at room temp, once heated it unravels evenly. Good for medium-low cooking temperatures (sautéing & baking)
- Incredibly light and golden buttery flavor, perfect for high heat cooking.
Refined oils to consider tossing & swapping out for natural oils:
Canola oil // Soy oil // Cottonseed oil // Corn oil // Non-organic, refined Vegetable oils
Just a little note to end on, store all of your oils away from the heat (like your oven or stove) and within a cool area/cabinet. This helps the oils from turning bad and keeps them fresh.