Avocado Oil: The Secret Ingredient You Need to Try in Your Cooking
Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). As a food oil, it is used as an ingredient in other dishes, and as a cooking oil.
It has an unusually high smoke point, both unrefined and especially when refined.
In this guide, I’ll explain what avocado oil is, its uses, and how it’s made. Plus, I’ll share some health benefits and potential side effects.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 What Makes Avocado Oil So Unique?
- 2 What’s the Flavor of Avocado Oil and How to Use It?
- 3 Get the Skinny on Avocado Oil Nutrition
- 4 Conclusion
What Makes Avocado Oil So Unique?
Avocado oil contains a high amount of healthy fatty acids, including oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil. Some of the benefits of using avocado oil include:
- Lowering cholesterol levels
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving heart health
- Boosting skin health
- Supporting eye health
How is Avocado Oil Used?
Avocado oil is a versatile oil that can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Cooking: Avocado oil has a high smoke point, making it great for high-heat cooking methods like frying, sautéing, and roasting.
- Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Avocado oil is a great alternative to animal-based fats like butter and lard.
- Natural Beauty Products: Avocado oil is a popular ingredient in natural beauty products due to its moisturizing and nourishing properties.
- Finishing Oil: Avocado oil can be used as a finishing oil to add a rich, buttery flavor to dishes like salads, pasta, and grilled vegetables.
Why is Avocado Oil Better Than Olive Oil?
While both avocado oil and olive oil are healthy fats, avocado oil has some unique advantages over olive oil:
- Higher Smoke Point: Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, making it better for high-heat cooking methods.
- More Nutritious: Avocado oil contains more vitamins and minerals than olive oil, including vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium.
- More Versatile: Avocado oil has a more neutral flavor than olive oil, making it a better choice for a wider range of dishes.
What’s the Flavor of Avocado Oil and How to Use It?
Avocado oil has a mild, nutty flavor that falls somewhere between buttery and mushroomy. Its aroma is also quite pleasant, imparting a rich, high-quality feel to any dish. The flavor profile of avocado oil is not as strong as olive oil, but it’s still an important factor to consider when cooking with it.
Avocado oil is an ideal ingredient for making dressings, drizzling over veggies, and sautéing. It has a high smoke point, which means it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down and losing its nutritional qualities. Refined avocado oil has a higher smoke point than virgin avocado oil, making it an excellent choice for cooking at high temperatures.
Using Avocado Oil in Cooking
Here are some tips for cooking with avocado oil:
- Use it in place of butter or other oils for a healthier cooking option.
- Use it for sautéing or frying, as it can withstand high heat without smoking.
- Use it in salad dressings to add a rich, nutty flavor.
- Use it for drizzling over veggies or cooked meats for added flavor.
- Use it in baking recipes that call for oil.
When cooking with avocado oil, it’s important to use it in the right quantities. Using too much can result in a bitter taste, while using too little may not impart enough flavor. Start with a little and gradually add more until you find the right balance for your dish.
As mentioned earlier, avocado oil has a high smoke point, which means it can withstand high temperatures without smoking. However, it’s important to note that once the oil starts to smoke, it can impart a bitter taste to your food. To avoid this, keep an eye on the temperature and adjust accordingly.
Get the Skinny on Avocado Oil Nutrition
Avocado oil is a healthy fat that is extracted from the edible pulp of the avocado fruit (Persea americana). According to the USDA, one tablespoon of raw avocado oil contains the following values:
- Calories: 124
- Total Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Potassium: 0 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
- Dietary Fiber: 0 g
- Sugars: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Vitamin C: 0%
- Calcium: 0%
- Iron: 0%
- Vitamin D: 0%
- Cobalamin (Vitamin B12): 0%
- Magnesium: 0%
The Good Fats
Avocado oil is primarily made up of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. The oleic acid found in avocado oil is a type of monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil, and has been shown to have positive effects on certain diets.
Carbohydrates and Sugar
Avocado oil contains no carbohydrates or sugar, making it an excellent addition to low-carb and sugar-free diets.
In addition to healthy fats, avocado oil also contains small amounts of other important nutrients, including:
- Vitamin E: An antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
- Lutein: A group of pigments that gives many fruits and vegetables their color. Lutein has been linked to eye health.
- Potassium: An electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance in the body.
How to Consume Avocado Oil
Avocado oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the type of oil you have. Here are some tips:
- Cooking: Avocado oil has a high smoke point, making it a great choice for high-heat cooking methods like frying and roasting.
- Dressings and Marinades: Avocado oil can be used as a base for salad dressings and marinades.
- Add to Smoothies: A tablespoon of avocado oil can be added to smoothies for an extra boost of healthy fats.
Recommended Daily Intake
The USDA recommends consuming no more than 20-35% of your daily calories from fat, with most of that coming from healthy fats like those found in avocado oil. Depending on your individual needs and dietary goals, you may consume more or less than this amount.
So there you have it- everything you need to know about avocado oil. It’s a great cooking oil with a mild flavor and a high smoke point, and can be used for moisturizing your skin and hair.
Now you can make the best choice for your cooking needs. So go on, get cooking with avocado oil!
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.