5 Oils You Must Experiment With and Why

Thousands of years ago, people discovered that heating certain plants, seeds and nuts in the sun resulted in an oil that could be collected for cooking. Luckily for us, we can just reach for various bottles at any grocery store.

—Frieda Projanksy, managing editor at Baked. Follow Frieda on Twitter @friedaames.

Photo by Tara Botwinick, photo director at Baked.
Photo by Tara Botwinick, photo director at Baked.

1. Canola oil

Its very neutral flavor makes it ideal for baking. Canola oil is also used in cooking and can be used for frying on medium temperatures. It’s one of the healthiest oils due to low saturated fat.

2. Peanut oil

It’s perfect for frying at high temperatures because of the high smoke point, the temperature at which it burns. You can deep fry anything in peanut oil, but don’t worry about your meal tasting like it came from a Jif jar—the peanut flavor is very subtle once cooked off.

3. Sesame oil

Known for its dark, nutty taste, it is often used in Asian and Indian cuisines, providing a rich flavor for stir-fries.

4. Coconut oil

It’s ideal for cooking savory curries, sautéed potatoes and is especially delicious in baked goods. There are numerous health benefits related to the fatty acids found in this oil including reduced appetites, protection from harmful pathogens, and increased energy.

5. Truffle oil

Adding earthy intensity to fish and vegetable-based dishes, the aroma and taste of this oil—which is actually olive oil infused with truffles—is very strong and should be used sparingly.

This story was originally featured in Baked’s Fall 2014 issue. To read more, click here.

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