Olive oil is no doubt a much healthier alternative to other unhealthy oils to cook with, and while you can use it in most cooking (you can heat it, although some people will tell you otherwise), it does have a particularly strong flavor, which is why many cooks choose more neutral oils such as canola or soybean oil.
Problem is that those oils aren’t as good for you as olive, nut or flax oils, but we’ve been using them because they have a neutral flavor and an extremely high smoke point.
This is where grape seed oil comes in. Grape seed oil is essentially exactly what it sounds like: Oil pressed from the seeds of certain varieties of grapes; mainly those that are by-products from wine making. Because of this, you’re getting healthy polyunsaturated fats, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants you don’t get from canola and other vegetable oils.
As an added bonus, grape seed oil has a high smoke point so you can use it for stir frying or sauteing, but you can also use it in baking and dessert recipes where you may not be able to use olive oil due to flavor issues and you don’t want to use butter because of health issues. This makes grape seed oil a win-win in these situations.
It can also be used in such recipes like mayonnaise and salad dressing, or can even be infused with herbs, spices and other flavorings to use as a dip for breads or drizzling over finished dishes. It’s really an amazing oil that once you try, you won’t go back to other oils again.
When purchasing grape seed oil, you want to look for cold expeller pressed oil. This basically means that no heat was used to extract the oil from the seed, insuring you end up with a higher quality oil that has all those health and flavor benefits you are looking for. If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, try health food stores or you can even purchase it online from reputable sources.
Buy only as much as you’ll use in a short time, as like other oils, it will go rancid quickly if left at room temperature for too long. Don’t store it near a heat source such as above your stove, and if you don’t plan on using it quickly, you can store it in the refrigerator and it will last longer.
If you haven’t yet tried this healthy and versatile oil, you should do so when you’re ready for your next neutral oil purchase. You won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever used grape seed oil before? If so, what for? Do you like it?
Photo by jronaldlee