Chances are you have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil stashed in your pantry. It’s true that this lynchpin of the Mediterranean diet is crazy healthy for you. But if EVOO is the only grease you eat, you might be missing out on some key fats and nutrients. Just as a runner should switch up the training routine for better results, a body in motion can also benefit from running toward a greater diversity of culinary oils.
Not only do oils vary in their flavor nuances, they can also vary hugely in nutrition. In other words, switch up the oil you douse your greens in or use to sizzle up pork chops. You can benefit from eating a wider range of healthy fats, vitamins and oh-so-important antioxidants. And no longer are we being told to approach high-fat liquid oils with more caution than a hungry grizzly. So reach for any of these slick picks, and get ready to strike oil.
This oil, extracted from the flesh of the fruit that everybody is smashing on toast, is blessed with a buttery flavor. Its nutritional résumé is brag-worthy, too. For starters, avocado oil is brimming with monounsaturated fats (10 grams per tablespoon, the same amount in olive oil) and the compound beta-sitosterol. Both of these can bolster heart health by improving cholesterol numbers. You’ll also take in lutein, an antioxidant shown to improve eye health.
Researchers at Ohio State University determined avocado oil can make your salad bowl more potent. The oil can improve absorption rates of fat-soluble antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene found in vegetables. With a sky-high smoke point, avocado oil is at home in and out of your frying pan. This oil is available in more delicate “virgin” varieties, which have a greenish tinge and stronger avocado flavor, and refined versions, which have a more golden hue and milder taste along with a much higher heat tolerance. To prolong shelf life, store in a cool, dark place such as a pantry cupboard away from the oven.
Make: CRISPY AVOCADO POTATOES
Poke several baby potatoes with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel and heat until tender and nearly cooked all the way through, about 6 minutes. Slice potatoes in half or quarters and heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil (not virgin) in a frying pan over medium-high. Add potatoes plus salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and cooked through.