Avocado oil is not always the first cooking oil that comes to mind in the kitchen, but it has unique health benefits and incredible versatility that makes it a more popular choice.
Why use avocado oil?
Avocado oil, like the fruit it comes from, is high in monounsaturated fats. It is these fats that give it a high smoke point which is important when cooking as it means avocado oil won't break down to create unhealthy toxins when used at high temperatures.
Avocado oil is also rich in vitamin E, is a great source of antioxidants and is thought to help support cardiovascular health, lower cholesterol, improve liver function and promote better eye health.
How is avocado oil made?
Pressed from the flesh of the ripe avocado fruit, the resulting pulp is then separated from the oil resulting in a smooth tasting, buttery, creamy product.
As avocados grow all year round, some makers of olive oil create avocado oil as an alternative when olives are not in season.
How should I use avocado oil?
Use avocado oil in any way you would a regular cooking oil – it is considered to be very similar to olive oil for kitchen use and acts as a great carrier for other flavours. Fry, roast, sauté, bake, grill, barbecue or use in salad dressings, sauces and marinades. Its delicate flavour also makes it a great dip option to serve with a platter of warm breads.
Unrefined extra virgin avocado oil (taken from the first cold pressing of the avocados) is vibrant emerald green which can add colour when used in salads or drizzled over foods for beautiful plate presentation. Refined avocado oils will lose some of the colour and more likely appear to be a delicate yellowish shade instead.
To make your own basic salad dressing, simply add a little lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar to several tablespoons of avocado oil and mix to combine.
NZ Real Health is an online blog by Ange Noy where you can find practical information and advice on health, wellbeing and fitness. For more articles like this, visit www.nzrealhealth.co.nz
In the past, we’ve been cautious of foods high in fat, opting instead for low-fat diets in an effort to improve our health and wellbeing. Recently we are becoming increasingly aware that not all fats are created equally, and certain types of fats are actually essential for keeping our bodies healthy and strong.