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  • What Cooking Oils to Use in Your Kitchen and Why?

    Ever wonder the difference between cooking oils in the kitchen? We found an article in Yoga Journal from Feb, 2015 that has some great information about three different oils to use for cooking and what to look for when shopping for them.

    Celine Beitchman, a chef instructor and nutrition counselor at New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute, shared her top three oils and tips for selecting, tasting and storing the right oil for your next dish:

    Shopping: when buying, look for USDA organic label, which certifies it’s free of artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. Pick up only dark bottles, which keep out the light and heat that speed spoiling.

    Tasting: Sample your oil right after you buy it. If you’re not familiar with how your oil tastes when it’s good, you won’t know how to tell when it’s gone bad.

    Storing: If you buy in bulk or have a pricey bottle you don’t want to risk spoiling too soon, decant a small portion for your counter and refrigerate the rest to preserve it.

    Coconut oil: Virgin coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial that’s used to reduce skin swelling and redness. It can support a healthy immune system. Add it to dishes you want to taste like coconut, such as sweets. It’s good for: Baking, Frying or Pan-searing.

    Extra-virgin Olive oil: The go-to at the Natural Gourmet Institute, it’s high in “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are linked to a lowered risk of heart disease. Bottles labeled “estate harvested” indicate a conscientious producer made it with oversight and care. It’s good for: Low- to no temp recipes since its flavors can quickly break down in heat.

    Sesame oil: Often used in Ayurvedic and macrobiotic diets, sesame oil has been shown to help lower blood pressure and is rich in vitamin E, an anti-oxidant crucial for healthier skin, hair and nail growth. Vitamin E has lately been studied for its role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s too. The oil can range in color from light to amber to dark. In general, the darker the oil, the stronger its flavor. It’s good for: Sautéing when it’s refined (processed to withstand high heat), drizzling over cold dishes when it’s unrefined.

    Now you can feel like an expert when next you use an oil in the kitchen!!

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