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Expand Your Horizons on Cooking Oils: 11 Cooking Oils You Never Knew Your Body Needed

By Megan Redgate

Most of the common recipes you’ll find on the back of a box of cake, within a cookbook, or in HelloFresh meal cards will require one or more of the 3 most commonly used oil or fat sources: vegetable or canola oil, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and butter.

With 1 single gram of fat from an oil bringing in 9 calories, it’s easy to make a dish become very calorically dense simply from going heavy on the oils – however there are many oils and fat sources available to use that don’t just add more calories to your meal, but provide a myriad of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats to your dish that your body will thank you for!

In this article, I’ve listed out 11 different oils you may have never cooked with before, their ideal temperature for cooking, their flavor profiles, health benefits, and recommended means for storage and preservation. I’ve also included details on which are vegan and dairy free, for anyone like me who has a dairy intolerance!

Avocado Oil (Refined):

We all know avocados are jam packed with healthy fats, but not many people regularly use avocado oil in their cooking or dressings!

Avocado oil has a 520 degree smoke point, so it is best used for high-temperature grilling, baking, sautéing, stir-frying, roasting, frying. Like an avocado, the oil from avocados offers a healthy dose of monosaturated fats and vitamins A, D, and E.

For optimal preservation and usage, store avocado oil in a cool, dark place.

Avocado Oil (Unrefined):

Just like refined avocado oil, the unrefined version of this oil offers a variety of vitamins and healthy fats, but this kind has a smoke point of 480 degrees. This means it is best used for cooking at lower temperatures, such as grilling, baking sautéing, stir frying, roasting, frying, searing.

Sesame Oil:

To spice up your salad, try making your own dressing using sesame oil! Sesame oil has a smoke point of 350-400 degrees so it is best used for stir frying, sauteing, or uncooked as a condiment or used in a home-made dressing! It is packed with antioxidants and monosaturated fats and has a flavor profile that brings in a rich, nutty, even toasty element that can add to any meal.<