We all know about the Chanukah miracle when a tiny jar of pure, sealed olive oil lasted for 8 days, even though it was only enough for one. While olive oil was the oil of choice in the Beis HaMikdash, there are many other oils available today to optimize your healthy cooking.
- Canola oil has a neutral taste, is low in saturated fat, and has a high smoke point (400° F), making it ideal for frying.
- Coconut oil makes a great body cream and its texture makes it a perfect pareve alternative to butter for baking.
- Peanut oil has a strong taste and a high smoke point (450° F), so it’s great for making Asian stir-fry dishes.
- Avocado oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and has a relatively high smoke point (520° F). It’s neutral flavor and minimal processing makes it great all-around cooking oil.
- Safflower oil is high in omega-9 fatty acids and has a high smoke point (510° F). It has a neutral flavor and is low in saturated fats.
- Sesame oil has a potent flavor and is an excellent alternative to peanut oil (for those with allergies). It is great in salads and in Asian cooking.
- Flaxseed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids and is great for those who don’t consume a lot of fish. It should NOT be used in cooking, just drizzled on salads, over hummus, or added to smoothies.
- Olive oil has multiple grades – from extra virgin to “pure”. Extra virgin has the most intense flavor and is cold-pressed. Other types of olive oil are more chemically processed, or mixed with other oils to reduce cost. Extra virgin olive oil is the best oil to use for lighting the Chanukah menorah.
*Oils (other than extra virgin olive oil) require a reliable kosher supervision.