Logo NHC

Cooking Oils You Should Try That Aren’t Olive Oil


Olive oil is a wonderful thing, there’s no denying that. Whether you buy the lowest priced oils or spring for the expensive Italian imports, olive oil is versatile around the kitchen and home. It’s great as a salad dressing, and contrary to popular belief, it remains largely stable during frying even under very high temperatures. It can also be used in baking, and it makes a great oil base for various homemade cleansers, salves, and poultices.

However, even olive oil cannot be everything to everybody. Whether you’re on the hunt for different flavors, health properties, or uses, there are a bunch of other high quality oils that you should try.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has enjoyed a great amount of success over the years. Full of healthy fatty acids, coconut oil is also conveniently solid at room temperature, making it easy to portion out without making a mess, as well as serving as a convenient ingredient in many non-food homemade health products.

Coconut oil works for frying and can be used in place of olive oil or butter. It’s also increasingly affordable as its popularity grows. If you don’t know where to source the purest and best quality coconut oil, let us save you the leg work.

Check out Barlean’s Organic Oils by Garden of Life; or looking into Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Organic by Garden of Life. Both products come from brands that value quality and sourcing ingredients from trusted sources.

Feel free to experiment with the coconut oil on everything from food to your own skin, and we know you’ll find a new favorite pantry oil.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is one of the most important and recognizable flavors in the Eastern culinary arsenal. Used primarily as a condiment or aromatic culinary ingredient, sesame oil is known for its savory, almost smoky flavor. There’s really nothing like it, and once you’ve tasted it, you’ll be able to pick it out anywhere.

But did you know that sesame oil also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects? It’s true. By including this handy pantry oil into various dishes, you could be helping your body detoxify and support the immune system.

If you don’t know where to pick up a bottle of sesame oil, we’ve got you covered. Certified Organic Sesame Oil from Flora is an oil you want in your home. This sesame oil is cold-pressed, meaning that the delicate nutritional content and unique flavonoids are not destroyed during the production process as they sometimes are with cheaper sesame oils.

When you get your bottle, try tossing in a few drops when you finish cooking a soup, stir fry, or Asian dish. A little goes a long way, but too much heat will make the taste disappear, so use only at the end of cooking and in controlled quantities!

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points, so it is great for high heat applications, like stir-frys. Although its lack of flavor can leave much to be desired, it is generally more creamy than other oils.

Avocado oil also benefits from the healthy fats found in whole avocados. If you are already eating avocados with your meals, then adding avocado oil to your cooking routine makes sense. Besides good fats, this oil is also a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that is beneficial for the body.

Canola Oil

Often viewed as a cheap or lesser oil, we love canola oil specifically because it’s inexpensive!

When it comes to frying, canola oil is one of the best of the bunch. Canola oil was specifically developed for its low saturated fat and low smoke point, meaning that you can get it really hot without it breaking down and developing body-harmful compounds.

What’s more, canola oil is cheaper than most everything else on the oil shelf, meaning that you can get it in sufficient quantities for fried chicken and the like, without breaking the bank. Of course, we wouldn’t use it for much other than frying, so if you don’t eat that kind of food, it’s no use to you, but if you love homemade falafels, we’d use canola over olive oil any day of the week.

The downside to canola oil is that it is often highly refined, so its nutritional value is lower, and it can lack flavor.

Final Thoughts

There are many culinary oils in the world. These are just a few of our favorites. While many of us want to explore exotic oils, sometimes what is familiar works best. That’s not to say you shouldn’t expand your pallet or try new things, but so long as the food, you are cooking is part of a healthy diet, the oil won’t matters as much.

Check out your grocery’s oil shelf and find a new favorite!