“How in the hell do I use these oils?”
Surprisingly to me, this is a common question that comes from my diet clients. My initial response would be “You just, eat it.” But then I remember that most people actually want to enjoy their food, and not inhale it in a primal manner, as I do. Oils supply essential nutrients, as well as supply a high amount of energy for the body, and I consider them mandatory in any diet. Preparing your meals with the right flavor, consistency, texture, and temperature, can make your consumption of oils pretty nice, rather than just necessary.
TYPES OF OILS
Learning about the different types of oils and their uses in cooking can be pretty beneficial if you eat the same foods day in and day out. They can really bring out the flavor of other foods. There are several types of plant oils, which supply different types of fats and health benefits, and it is important to consume a variety, and each in balance. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive, macadamia, sesame, and avocado oils. Good polyunsaturated fats are found in flaxseed and nut oils (almond and peanut.) Less healthy supplies of polyunsaturated fats can be found in vegetable, grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, soybean, corn, canola, and cottonseed oils. Then there are the popular plant based saturated fats from coconut (which also has a high amount of medium chain triglycerides, or MCT’s) and palm oil. And of course, the generally less favorited for flavor, but magical fish oil. Never choose hydrogenated oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, or trans-fats.
So what do you do with all of this information? Here are a few ways to put them to use in your daily diet.
Most oils can be cooked with, especially medium to high heat tolerant oils such as saturated fats (coconut oils.) Monounsaturated fats (Olive oil) can be cooked using low heat. Polyunsaturated fats are better left uncooked, and served at room temperature, as heat will destroy certain nutrients. Toss some in with your meat and vegetables in a skillet, or bake in the same dish in the oven with the appropriate temperature for the oil you are using.
Do you ever notice how high calorie most restaurant style salad dressings and sauces are? Well, you can make your own dressing! Choose one of the mono or polyunsaturated fats as your base, then add herbs and citrus juice or vinegar to create a mix. (Use about 1:1 parts oil and vinegar/citrus juice.) Try Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dried rosemary or garlic powder for an Italian dressing. Flaxseed and orange or lemon juice pair well together. Or try avocado oil, lime juice, and cumin for a Mexican flavor! You can do this with hot or cold dishes, or salads.
Yea, you read that correctly. Freeze your oil. Then eat it. Just make sure you are using coconut oil for this one, as I’m sure frozen olive oil wouldn’t be a great choice. Try this Dark Chocolate Coconut Oil Chocolate recipe out!
Coconut Oil “Chocolate”
1c cold pressed virgin coconut oil, melted
1tsp vanilla or peppermint extract
1-2 TBS stevia or xylitol
1/2tsp sea salt
2-4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.
2. Pour mixture evenly into silicone mold, or ice cube compartments.
3. Freeze or refrigerate until solid (about 20 minutes.)
By now I’m sure you are starting to think I am crazy, if you think I mean to drink you olive oil. But rest assured, I am referring to coconut oil again. You can melt and blend your coconut oil into your hot coffee in the morning, with an optional splash of coconut or almond milk and stevia. Even more specifically, coconut or MCT oils can be used for this one. Just place your oil straight into your hot coffee, add other ingredients if you are using them, and blend on high until frothy.
I actually don’t have a preparation method to suggest for this one, but I do have some tips. Many people don’t like the aftertaste of fish oil. You can try freezing your capsules, which will tone down the fish taste. You can also find lemon flavored liquid fish oil, which can mask the flavor as well.
Oil infusion another way to take your food experience to the next level! You could learn how to do it yourself…..or you could purchase some great ones. They have infused olive oils such as bacon, rosemary, parmesan, jalapeno, chili garlic, and many more oils and flavors!