In my opinion, there is a fat that works for any type of cooking need. Whether you like to fry, bake, sauté, or drizzle on your salad, choosing the right fat can lead to delicious results.
Here are my tips for using healthy fats in paleo cooking.
I want you to consider what the taste and texture of the fat you’re using has on the foods you’re using it in. When sautéing for instance, ingredients will easily absorb the flavor of the fat. The same is true for soups and stews, baked goods and sauces.
When paleo cooking with any type of fat, avoid heating it to the point where it begins to smoke. This is when the fat begins decomposing and can have a bitter or burnt taste.
Olive oil is made from ripe olives and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet — and nowadays also in the paleo diet. Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of olives. Light olive oil is lighter in flavor and color. Olive oil has a light fruity, tangy or bold flavor, making it perfect for spreading on breads or drizzling over toasted paleo bread and soups.
Use your olive oil as a base for Italian, Greek and Spanish paleo dishes. It can be used for grilling, sautéing, or roasting. It can be used for stir-frying or browning. Use it as an ingredient in marinades or sauces like mayonnaise or pesto. It can be served with your meal as a condiment for dipping paleo bread or drizzling over soups, salads or other dishes.
Different olive oils complement different foods and uses.
- Strong and robust, extra virgin olive oil is perfect for cooking meats, fish or using as a marinade. Many people enjoy the oil drizzled over garlic paleo bread or roasted peppers.
- A medium intensity extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is great as a paleo bread dipper. It can also be used in vinaigrette.
- Olive oil or plain virgin olive oil works well for frying or sautéing.
- Mild-tasting light olive oil is a perfect fit for paleo mayonnaise.
Which brings me to the question, “Can you use Olive oil for frying?”
Yes. But in all honesty you should use light olive oil, those labeled as “pure” or “light”, instead of extra virgin olive oil, just on a cost basis and for better, milder taste.
If you’ve never cooked with coconut oil, you’re in for a wonderful treat. Made from the fruit of the coconut palm tree, the oil is ideal for subtly flavored dishes, giving a hint of coconut flavor. This oil can be used in baked paleo goods, desserts, smoothies and confections. It’s good for baking, cooking and eating, as well as a massage oil or skin moisturizer. In fact, you can use coconut oil everywhere! Ever have heard of oil pulling? Just google it and try out to see the wonderful benefits for your teeth!
Choose certified organic in extra virgin coconut oil. The type will depend on the recipe and your personal taste. Extra virgin coconut oil has a coconut aroma and a noticeable coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil doesn’t have as much of a coconut aroma or flavor and it doesn’t even give too many health benefits. Always opt for good-quality extra virgin coconut oil.
Use coconut oil
- For frying, baking, sautéing, stir-frying, deep frying, and mixed in paleo dishes.
- To fry your eggs. Or melt it over poached eggs.
- In your baked paleo goods recipes like bread and cookies in place of butter.
- Like butter on paleo pancakes, muffins, waffles or French toast.
Replace other oils or butter with a 1:1 ratio of coconut oil. For shortening, replace one part shortening with 3/4 part coconut oil.
Coconut oil can be melted or used at room temperature, depending on the cooking need.
Butter has a sweet, creamy mouth feel (the melting point in your mouth) with a sublime flavor unlike any other fat or oil. It is the preferred fat for almost all types of food preparation, often also on paleo diet which otherwise doesn’t contain dairy products.
Butter is used in baking everything from paleo cookies to paleo bread to pastries.
Use it for frying, sautéing, browning, baking, marinating, toasting, in sauces and spread on paleo bread.
Pan-fry with butter for browning meat or cooking vegetables. Pre-heat your pan over medium heat and add butter. Once melted add your ingredients. Stir, watching closely and adjusting heat if needed.
Caramelize foods with butter. Caramelizing brings out the natural sugars in food. To caramelize, cook thinly sliced foods like onions or other vegetables in a small amount of butter over low heat for about 10 minutes. Thinly sliced red onions caramelized in butter until soft and gooey is one of the best ever treats!
On the whole, cooking with different kinds of fats is the same. You mainly have to know what you are wishing to accomplish, the flavor you want to add and the method you will be using to cook with.
Why You Should be Paleo Cooking with Healthy Fats
All things considered, cooking with olive oil, coconut oil and butter is healthy. Each one has different nutrition properties. Recent studies have shown us that the fats found in most cooking oils and fats fall into different types of fat. It’s no longer recommended we eat a low-fat diet, as our bodies need fat to maintain itself and prevent diseases. It’s also advised to avoid vegetable fats high in omega-6 fats as they contribute to inflammation in the body.
The Mediterranean diet. The Asian diet. The people’s diet of the Pacific. All these cultures have long ago adopted the use of certain types of cooking fats into their diets. All these cultures have populations of heart healthy people. These diets are rich in olive oil, coconut oil, and omega-3 rich fish oil.
The American diet, for over 30 years, has consisted of low-fat foods, pushing them towards a diet rich in carbohydrates and refined sugars. This has led to obesity and heart disease, as well as many other diseases.
Once scientists started to realize the problem, they began studying the different types of fats to find the ones that are good for our health. Now it’s recommended to consume a variety of good for you fats like coconut oil, olive oil, and, surprisingly, butter. Bacon has even been taken off the no-no list.
The simple truth is, people have been eating fats since the caveman. That’s why paleo diet is containing all those healthy fats which are perfect for cooking nutritious paleo meals.
You can choose the type of oil you prefer based on the flavor, how you are going to use it and its health benefits.
Once you have your fat, you need to learn how to store it correctly to make sure it doesn’t go rancid.
- Don’t buy in large batches at a time.
- Keep unsaturated fats like olive and avocado oils in an environment where they won’t oxidize, like a cool, dry and dark place.
- Screw the lid on as soon as you’re done using the oil.
In the end, when choosing the right, good for you fat and using it in the way it was intended, fat can be — and should be! — your new healthy friend.
Now when you know about paleo cooking with healthy fats it’s time to get some easy and delicious recipes! Try Paleohacks cookbook already today, you won’t be disappointed!