Avocado oil has the aroma of globe artichokes and celery, with the rich, lingering flavour of avocado. It is usually produced from avocados that are damaged or not aesthetically pleasing.
Nutrition and Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
The benefits of avocado oil outweigh those of extra virgin olive oil, but the use of the oil is more limited. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. Monounsaturated fatty acids are usually found in plant products such as avocados and olives and their oils.
In a nutshell, monounsaturated fatty acids lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and protects cells in the body and is a defence against life-threatening diseases.
Refined avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any plant oil, at 255°C (it breaks up around 268°C), making it suitable for quick searing of food in very hot oil.
Cooking with Avocado Oil
Don’t think of it as a replacement for extra virgin olive oil, but rather as a new oil, a new flavour, to introduce to food. Use it in place of other oils, or as a blend with olive oil.
- It will heighten the flavour of any dish that features avocados. Stir it into avocado dips, guacamole and avocado soup, for example.
- Drizzle it over a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few squirts of lemon. You could also add some plump Spanish or Italian green olives to this. Basil, lemon and lime basil will also add an extra complementary flavour.
- Make a New World gazpacho with avocado oil in place of olive oil and garnish the chilled soup with finely diced avocado carefully tossed with avocado oil, chopped fresh red chilli and chopped coriander.
- Make a bulky gazpacho (use very little liquid) and strew the top with garlicky prawns seared in avocado oil.
- Sear fresh scallops in very hot avocado oil, grind over some black pepper and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
- Drizzle over a salad of cos lettuce, goats’ cheese, snipped chives, lemon or lime segments and serve with crispy chunks of garlic or walnut bread.
- Make a tapas of fat green Spanish olives with a few strips of orange peel, a few cloves of smashed garlic, a sprig of oregano or marjoram and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with avocado oil.
- Drizzle it over cooked seafood, mixing in crushed garlic and chopped Italian parsley, or crushed garlic and a little finely chopped fresh red chilli.
- Mix it with ground pink peppercorns and drizzle it over salmon steaks before grilling them.
- Marinate seafood in avocado oil and lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper, before pan-frying, grilling or barbequing.
- Use it in a fruity smoked chicken salad that includes cubed rock or honeydew melon.
- Dress freshly steamed artichokes with avocado oil mixed with lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and crushed mint leaves