Oil is a multi-purpose kitchen staple that everyone needs because it is used in a myriad of recipes. It can be a source of fat to act as a binding agent in bakery products. Oil is also used for dipping bread and prevents food from burning while cooking and baking.
We can’t even imagine our daily lives without it. What happens if you run out and need to look for an alternative?
Can you use avocado oil instead of vegetable oil? Yes, you can use avocado oil as a replacement for vegetable oil in any situation. You might find that using avocado oil can be beneficial due to its healthy fats and antioxidants.
Let’s go over the advantages of this not-so-well-known oil.
How is Avocado Oil Made?
Avocado oil is made of ripe avocados by slow churning. This process is called malaxation which leads to small droplets of oil separating from the avocado pulp so that they could be collected.
Despite its many health benefits, avocado oil is not among the most commonly used oils partly because of its price tag. It had hardly ever been found on store shelves before the industrialization of its production in the first half of the 20th century.
Avocado oil has become more accessible and affordable in the past few decades, which provides people with a health-conscious replacement for vegetable oil.
What Types of Avocado Oil Can You Purchase?
Not all avocado oils are the same. There is extra virgin, virgin, refined and blended types (blends are mixed with other plant-based oils). The color, smell, and even the exact smoke point will depend on the type you purchase.
Expeller-pressed vs Cold-pressed
Cold-pressed oil is made in a controlled environment where the temperature does not go above a certain point. This helps the oil retain its original properties.
Oil extracted with an expeller inevitably goes through temperature changes due to friction which affects the nutrients and phenolic (health-related properties) content of the oil.
Virgin vs Extra Virgin
Both virgin and extra virgin oils contain useful antioxidants and polyphenols (the latter are micronutrients beneficial for blood circulation).
Both types get extracted without any chemicals and heat. The difference usually lies in their acidity content and overall quality.
Unrefined vs Refined
There is a significant difference when it comes to tasting unrefined and refined oil. Unrefined tastes more like an actual avocado but if you prefer a much more subtle taste, refined might be a better choice.
Keep in mind that hydrogenation is used for preservation. Oils may end up with trans fats which contribute to inflammation in the body. Thus, it is advisable to opt for unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin (so-called “pure”) avocado oil because it retains more flavor and is considered purer compared to regular oil.
What Benefits Does Avocado Oil Have?
High Smoke Point
Avocado oil’s high smoke point of 520 degrees Fahrenheit makes it suitable for sautéing, roasting, frying, and baking. For example, stir-frying requires at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit which can be made easy with avocado oil.
It can even be consumed raw on salads just like olive oil often gets used for this purpose. Moreover, avocado oil is more than adequate for greasing pans in place of another type of oil or butter.
Rich in Vitamins and Antioxidants
The closest match to avocado oil would be olive oil when it comes to nutritional value and consistency. Both avocado oil and olive oil are quite thick and can be interchangeable. They have healthy fats and contain vitamin C, E, B6, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Olive oil is considered slightly healthier because it is higher in nutrients, but avocado oil does not lose its healthy properties at high cooking temperatures.
As mentioned above, avocado oil has a high burning point of approximately 520 degrees which makes it much more suitable for roasting, grilling, and even deep-frying than olive oil.
Many may wonder if avocado oil is better for your health than vegetable oil.
Other than sesame, safflower, and olive oil, avocado oil is considered to have the most health benefits. They all help to replace saturated fats in one’s diet.
Avocado oil has very similar properties to vegetable oil except for certain fats: while vegetable oil is high in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which also promote cardiovascular health.
Oleic acid in avocado oil has been proven to contribute to heart health and less inflammation in the body. Not only can its regular use result in a lower LDL cholesterol but it might increase good (HDL) cholesterol as well.
Besides all the advantages already listed, avocado oil has been proven to lead to better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and immune system strengthening antioxidants called carotenoids.
This means using avocado oil overall provides the body with more nutrients due to better absorption. This beneficial impact can be maximized by sprinkling avocado oil on salads with carrots, spinach, or lettuce.
What Other Products Can Avocado Oil Replace?
Avocado oil is a versatile choice that can be put to use in more ways than people would think at first.
Whether you want to substitute canola, soybean, rapeseed, peanut, safflower, or any other oil, avocado oil should work as a 1-for-1 replacer for them. Avocado oil is also a possible replacement for shortening.
One cup of avocado oil can be used for one cup of shortening. Avocado oil also works as an alternative for butter and ghee with the same 1-to-1 ratio.
Always check the expiration date of your oils because some of them do not last as long as most would think.
Avocado oil does not have any aftertaste, and this makes it an ideal addition to a wide range of products from baked goods and meat to salads. While olive oil has more vitamins than avocado oil does, both of them contain healthy fats which make them healthier choices than most other options.
Therefore, choose either one of these two with confidence in case you run out of vegetable oil or replace your cooking oil with avocado oil altogether.