Cooking Oils -- A Slippery Slope

John and I just returned from a couple of days in Cambria. 

We drove through the beautiful Paso Robles wine country on the West 46 highway to one of the best olive oil companies I know of  www.pasolivo.com.

They hand-pick their olives and press them just steps away from the groves in their own olive press.  

Their olives are grown organically and sustainably, and their products have won many awards.  

Their flavored oils are fantastic!  Unlike some other flavored oils, their added flavors like basil, rosemary, and citrus, are added at the time of milling. 

Click to watch this short video where I share why I love www.pasolivo.com

Speaking of cooking oils,  did you know that there is no such plant or seed called Canola? 

And yet how many of us cook with Canola oil and think we are being healthy?   How many of us think that using any kind of vegetable or seed oil is being healthy?  

Man-made Canola oil is made from rapeseed oil and stands for “Canadian Oil Low Acid.” 

Most vegetable oils like Canola oil are made with a harsh chemical process involving high heat, bleaching, deodorizing and a toxic solvent, turning the oil rancid and/or creating the dreaded trans fats (hydrogenated oils) we all are trying to avoid in the first place. 

It’s hard to believe, but these oils are actually rancid before they ever reach the grocery store shelves.  

Because they are so highly processed, these oils are essentially devoid of any nutrients, and are actually harmful.  

The healthy fats are, understandably, are the ones we’ve been eating before there were processing plants – Olive Oil and Coconut Oil.  

I fell prey to the advertising for Grape Seed Oil and thought that was a healthy alternative to Canola, but guess what?  Grape seed oil is just as harmful, if not more so, than the other seed oils, and can cause an increased risk of heart disease.  

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • The healthiest cooking oils are those that contain mostly saturated fats (like butter and coconut oil). 
  • For salad dressings use the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can find.  
  • For low temperature cooking use Olive Oil –don’t waste Extra Virgin in cooking.  
  • For baking and frying use Coconut Oil and/or butter.  
  • And as you learn in Salad Joy, I love my bacon grease!  

Hope this info helps you avoid sliding down the slippery slope of cooking oils!

Here's to your JOY,
Julia