Great Grape Oil
By Fiona Breslin
Fresh, juicy grapes might not seem to have much connection to sautéing vegetables for dinner. Yet the fruits’ little seeds contain oil that’s gaining appreciation for its utility in healthful cooking.
Grape seed oil (also spelled grapeseed oil) is light-flavored and low in saturated fat. One tablespoon provides 19% of the recommended-daily dose of the antioxidant vitamin E. The American Cancer Society reports that chemicals found in grape seed extract, proanthocyanidins, boast antioxidant properties as well. Lab studies, thus far conducted only in animals, have suggested that grape seed extract may help fight against cancers such as prostate, colon, and breast and may improve the effects of certain chemotherapy drugs against breast cancer cells.
Grape seed oil is neutral tasting and can be used interchangeably with canola oil to sauté foods. Its high smoke point means it won’t burn easily when a recipe calls for cooking at high temperatures, making it perfect for pan frying and stir-fry recipes. Look for organic or cold-pressed oil when possible.
Grape seed oil can be used as a healthy alternative wherever a recipe calls for a mild-flavored oil. It’s perfect for dishes where spices are the number-one flavoring. Use grape seed oil to prepare a delicious, Indian-influenced recipe like CFYL’s Spiced Beet and Tomato Soup or the Asian-inspired Stir Fried Greens with Ginger. When possible, prepare stir-fry recipes in a wok as opposed to a frying pan; this will allow you to cook vegetables using much less oil and yield more even cooking.
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