Tips and Tricks
How to Get The Most Out of Your Avocado Oil
When you get your first bottle of avocado oil in the mail, you may be excited to use it, but you might also have a lot of questions about just what to do with it. Here are some answers to common questions you may have to make sure you get the most out of your delicate oil.
While it is a fat just like any other oil, you can tell by looking at your extra-virgin avocado oil that it’s not exactly like the vegetable oil you buy at your grocery store — it’s not even like the other avocado oils you might find on your supermarket shelf.
When comparing your avocado oil to another oil, it’s best compared to a fine extra-virgin olive oil — it’s dark in color, rich in flavor and nutrients, and has a distinct aroma and taste.
Because of these traits, you don’t want to use your oil for just anything. Some of its best uses are those in which the oil in unheated to really get a sense of the overall flavor. Salad dressing is an excellent use for it, as well as drizzling over roasted meat or vegetables, or making a dip or sauce.
Of course, it does make a good cooking oil, and even has a higher smoke point than olive oil. But, you should still think carefully about what you’re cooking, because the flavor will very likely come through, even if only a little bit. It’s great in stir-fries, for roasting vegetables, and makes a delicious marinade for grilling.
Which Flavors to Pair with Your Avocado Oil
While your avocado oil will go nicely with just about any type of fresh food or vegetable, it does pair well with certain foods. Foods like citrus or fresh herbs are delicious when paired with avocado oil, and of course, if you would add an avocado to something, that’s an easy choice. It also is delicious with rich and creamy foods, so a creamy cheese, or pasta dish made with heavy cream is a good choice.
My favorite foods and flavors to pair with my avocado oil are oranges, limes, basil, mint, almonds, chocolate, and sweet potatoes. I also love it in Mexican inspired foods like corn, black beans, and peppers. Part of the fun of a new ingredient is experimenting to find out how you like to use it best.
Baking with Avocado Oil
If you bake, you may be wondering if you can bake with your avocado oil, and the answer is an enthusiastic YES!
Your avocado oil will add flavor and moisture to a variety of baked goods, but you want to be careful where you use it. It’s great in light cakes, especially with citrus, with chocolate, and even in some cookies. It’s not a good neutral oil, however, so you want to steer clear of using it for something like a vanilla birthday cake — the strong flavor will likely overwhelm the cake, and may turn off anyone that’s expecting a classic bakery style cake. Think about what you’re baking and ask yourself if you want the flavor of the avocado oil in the end result. I’ve had lots of good luck with baking, but also made a few things I wouldn’t do again.
Substituting Your Oil
You can substitute your avocado oil for the oil in any dish in equal measurements, but remember, it’s a strong flavored oil, and that flavor will be present in your finished dish. If you want to make a stir-fry recipe that relies heavily on sesame flavor, you may not be happy with the end result if you substitute avocado oil for sesame oil, for example.
Storing Your Oil
Leave unopened bottles in the box it came in or in a dark cupboard away from light. You can store the oil at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Your oil should last at least 45 days or more at room temperature, but if you notice it smells bad or tastes rancid, throw it out.
It can be intimidating using a new ingredient for the first time, and it may take awhile to get used to using it. Remember, though, home chefs didn’t always rely on popular ingredients like olive or coconut oil, but instead learned by cooking and experimenting, which is the best way to get to know your extra-virgin avocado oil.
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