A fantastically versatile oil that’s great for everything from frying and baking to dressing salads and drizzling on bread, grapeseed oil is an increasingly popular ingredient, especially with health-conscious foodies. Is there a grapeseed oil substitute though?
It’s not the easiest product to get hold of. So, what if you’ve found a great new recipe that calls for using grapeseed oil but you haven’t got any?
Relax. There are lots of great alternatives to grapeseed oil!
What is grapeseed oil?
Wine, glorious wine. As if this liquified gold wasn’t already great enough! Now, even its waste product is sought after.
Yep, that’s right. Grapeseed oil comes from… you guessed it… grape seeds. A beautiful by-product of the wine-making process, grapeseed oil came about when one smarty pants decided that the seeds were too good to waste.
So, the oil was extracted from the seeds and a new, popular culinary oil was created. Not just culinary though – grapeseed oil is also become a favourite massage oil in spas.
What does grapeseed oil taste like?
Not much, but that’s the point. It has a mild ‘nutty’ taste that’s very neutral. Most good all-round, versatile oils need to be pretty clean tasting to avoid overpowering the flavor of the dish they are used in.
The fact that grapeseed oil is clean tasting makes it a great all-purpose oil – it can be used to stir-fry, sauté or bake without dominating the flavor, and can also be used as a base for salad dressings.
Where does grapeseed oil come from?
Most of the common grape seed oils that you’ll find in supermarkets and local grocery stores come from wine producing countries in Europe – think France, Italy and Spain.
What’s the smoke point of grapeseed oil?
An oil’s ‘smoke point’, or ‘burning point,’ is the temperature at which its fat content starts to break down and turn to smoke.
It’s important to know the burning point of an oil. This is because when you heat an oil past its burning point, not only do you ruin the flavour, you also destroy the nutrients in the oil and you can also create harmful free radicals.
Luckily, the burning point of grape seed oil is pretty high – around 216ºC/420ºF. This makes it a particularly good oil for roasting, baking, frying and sautéing.
Is grapeseed oil good for you?
There’s a reason health freaks are falling over their kimchi to get a hold of a bottle of good old grapeseed oil.
First off, it contains high levels of vitamin E – more so than even olive oil – which helps to maintain healthy skin, eyes, tissue, cells, organs and helps to strengthen the immune system.
It’s also packed full of flavonoids, which help to reduce levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as help to protect blood vessels.
Lastly, grapeseed oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-9. According to the American Heart Association, these healthy fats are good for the heart and should be eaten in place of trans fats and saturated fats.