Your Complete Guide to Cooking Oils

| Diet & Nutrition

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting all our ingredients together for a savory dish or refreshing salad that we take cooking oil for granted. Although this is by no means an exhaustive list — and feel free to add your favorites in the comments — we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites and the dishes that best work with them.

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Extra virgin olive oil: It’s best to break out the extra virgin olive oil for salads. If you’re one of those people who prefer to eat salads in summertime because it’s just too hot for anything else, then head to the grocery store for a bottle of the good stuff.  For more info on how olive oil can come in handy around the house, click here.

Walnut oil: While we’re on the topic of salads and healthy dressings, let’s talk walnuts. If you want something on the nutty side rather than plain extra virgin — and you’re fortunate enough to not have a nut allergy — you definitely should try walnut oil.

Sesame oil: This is the oil you break out when preparing Asian or Asian-inspired dishes like our delectable Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta recipe.

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Flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil is great to add to smoothies, use as a salad dressing (in lieu of extra virgin olive oil) or use it to dip your bread (in lieu of slathering it in butter). Also known as linseed oil, flax oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (which may help boost immunity), and vitamin E.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil has become very popular within the last few years and has adapted many uses. From cooking to hair treatments, coconut oil is now becoming a kitchen staple in most households with its various uses. Our Pan Seared Salmon Citrus Salad uses a coconut oil base to give it that beautiful seared glaze, without the added fat! For the full salad recipe, click here.

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Canola oil: So if you don't have any of the oils listed above on hand, then canola oil is always an option. While it isn't at the top of the health list, it is acceptable to use it sparingly when you don't have the other on hand.


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