Natural Cooking Basics

Cooking with Natural Oils

cooking natural oils

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.

natural oils butter

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)

Coconut oil

  • 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)

Ghee butter

  • 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.

coconut oil

You Might Also Like

  • Giorgia
    August 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Lila im sorry My english! I loved your blog and hope you have all lucky IN the wolrd ! I promisse study more english and comment more! Lises and love from Brasil! Gigi!

    • Lila Gouveia
      August 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear that you like the blog. You are also an inspiration with minigomagourmet, such beautiful cakes. I would love to learn from you! Beijosssss, Lila.

  • Michelle Y
    August 29, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Go Lila! I like this page so much!

    • Lila Gouveia
      August 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you!! So happy to hear you like it and more recipes to come soon! -Lila