There’s nothing quite like the smell of hazelnut, and now you can enjoy it in oil form as well. Hazelnut oil is a refreshingly unique cooking oil that’s gaining popularity among foodies and home cooks alike. It’s made from the kernel of the South American hazelnut, or Corylus Avellana, species, and it’s high in both essential fatty acids and medicinally beneficial properties. Let’s take a look at what makes hazelnut oil a great choice for your next meal.
Hazelnut oil has a light, nutty flavor profile. This makes it a good choice for dishes that call for a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It’s often used as a replacement for butter in baking and other dishes and can be used in place of olive oil in salads and sauces. Hazelnut oil is also great for sautéing vegetables or adding a unique and delicious flavor to roasted meats.
Aside from its unique and delicious taste, hazelnut oil comes with some impressive nutritional benefits. It’s high in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid and linoleic acid, so it helps to reduce bad cholesterol and promote better heart health. Its high fatty acid content also helps to build strong cell membranes, boost immunity, and improve digestive health.
Hazelnuts are packed with vitamins and minerals as well, making hazelnut oil a smart choice for those looking for a nutritional boost. It’s rich in vitamins E, B1, and B3, as well as magnesium, potassium, and manganese, which helps improve bone and nerve health. Hazelnut oil is also a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. All of these nutrients are essential for everyday health and can’t always be found in other cooking oils.
Perhaps one of the most impressive benefits that come from consuming hazelnut oil is the presence of several antioxidants. The antioxidants present in hazelnut oil help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals and toxins. These antioxidants include Vitamin E, which helps to protect the skin from premature aging, and phytosterols, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect against various forms of cancer.
The above properties make hazelnut oil an excellent option when looking for an oil with a unique flavor and nutritional benefits. It’s perfect for those who are looking to add a unique twist to their cooking while still enjoying the benefits of a healthy oil. However, hazelnut oil does come with some caveats. Since it’s a light oil, it has a low smoke point, meaning that it tends to burn easily when heated. This means that it’s best used in dishes that require a lower cooking temperature or as a finishing oil for flavor.
When purchasing hazelnut oil, it’s important to choose a quality brand. Not all brands are created equal, and some may contain additives or chemicals that can diminish its overall health benefits. It’s best to opt for organic, cold-pressed hazelnut oil as these tend to contain the highest levels of nutritional value.
Hazelnut oil has quickly become a favorite in many kitchens. It provides a delicious, nutty flavor and is loaded with vital nutrients and antioxidants that can benefit your overall health. Whether you’re looking for a tasty addition to your salads, a healthier alternative to butter, or a nutritious cooking oil for sautéing, look no further than hazelnut oil.