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Healthy Cooking Oils: Walnut, Sunflower, Sesame, Rice Bran, Coconut, Hemp

December 27th, 2012

You can stray away from Trans Fats by swapping out your vegetable oil for some healthy alternatives: walnut, sunflower, sesame, rice bran, coconut, and hemp oils.

Salads are meant to be a healthy side or main dish, but what always gets people is the dressing. Instead of buying thick, creamy dressing from the store, make your own vinaigrette! Here’s a great easy recipe:

1/2 c walnut oil (feel free to experiment with different oils here)

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp dijon mustard

Switch up your baking oil as well. Just substitute sunflower oil into your favorite brownie recipe. Since it has a mild taste you won’t notice a difference!

When going to make a stir-fry, don’t set back your high protein and nutritious meal by using high trans-fat oils. Sesame oil is a great alternative because it adds to the Asian cuisine flavors and it heats well for cooking. And just another little trick when making a stir-fry is to make sure your oil is hot before add your meat and vegetables. This keeps the food from just soaking in the oils.

I have to admit, I am a sucker for fried food. Now, I can’t say I have a magic alternative that makes fried food good for you, but I have something that is better. Try using rice bran oil. It is a high-grade vegetable oil that does not have to be hydrogenated to achieve stability and it is packed with fatty acids that help with brain activity.

Coconut oil is very rich in flavor and nutrients making it a great addition to meals. Since it is thicker in texture it can even be used as an alternative to butter…my friend really likes it on her whole grain toast. I also suggest substituting it in for butter into your favorite oatmeal cookies and then add some shredded coconut for extra flavor.

Being a distinctive flavor, I would suggest using recipes specifically for hemp oil, but it is definitely worth it for all the nutrients! There are some really great pasta and quinoa recipes out there that incorporate hemp oil.

It’s really amazing how easy it is to add nutrients to your cooking and baking by just swapping out your oils!

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