A perfect summary of which oil is best used in what recipe….
Almond oil: Whilst this oil has high smoking point and is generally used in Asian foods for stir frying and sauteing it is best used as a finishing oil in order to maintain its subtle toasted almond flavour. Almond oil is best stored in the refrigerator and has a shelf life of about three months.
Avocado oil: This oil has the highest smoking point of any natural oil and can be used as both a cooking and finishing oil. It has a soft, nutty flavour and is best stored in the refrigerator. Do not panic if this oil becomes cloudy, this will disappear when it reaches room temperature. Avocado oil has a shelf life of one year.
Flaxseed oil: Nutrient and heart-healthy, flaxseed oil should never be used for cooking as this turns healthy fats into harmful ones. It possesses a fishy, bitter aftertaste and should be kept in the refrigerator for no longer than six weeks.
Olive oil: Is best used for cooking, salad dressing, pan-frying, searing, stir-frying, grilling and sauteing. Olive oils vary in flavour depending on the type of olives used and the processing they go through, however they generally have a fruity, pungent and at times bitter, taste. The shelf life is between two and three years at room temperature.
Peanut oil: Best used for deep-frying, cooking and salad dressing. It has a slight nutty taste but at high temperatures becomes more subtle. If kept at room temperature it can last three years.
Sesame oil: This oil is frequently used in Asian cooking. It tastes nutty and is best kept in the refrigerator for up to two years.
Canola oil: Interchangeable with vegetable oil it is best used for cooking, salad dressing and some baking ( three tablespoons can be used to replace a 1/4 cup butter or shortening in dense, moist cakes and quick breads. Best stored at room temperature. Canola oil has a shelf life of one year.
Sunflower oil: Best used for cooking, frying and salad dressing. It is nearly tasteless and can be kept at room temperature for about two years.
Coconut oil: Is almost solid at room temperature and has a soft, coconut flavour. This is one of the healthiest and most versatile oils to use. It has a shelf life of two years and is best stored at room temperature.
Published in Joburg West, Get It Magazine, May 2017 edition.