Avocado oil in a decanter surrounded by avocados on a wooden surface

Avocado Oil: Benefits, How It’s Made and How to Cook With It

When you open up your kitchen cupboards, you may find coconut oil, olive oil or some old inflammatory seed/vegetable oils — but have you ever tried cooking with avocado oil?

Avocado oil is a healthy oil made from the flesh of the avocado fruit (that’s the green inside part). Hunter & Gather cold-pressed avocado oil is light in flavour, green in colour, and (in our humble opinion) has a creamier taste than olive or coconut oil

Plus, avocado oil packs a number of hidden health benefits into every bottle. Avocado oil is filled with healthy fats and antioxidants, which offer a number of advantages for your heart health, joint health and skin health. 

Below, we explain what avocado oil is, how it's made and the advantages of this beneficial oil. Lastly, we explain what to look for when shopping for avocado oil and why it should become a staple in your kitchen cupboards. 

What Is Avocado Oil?

As the name entails, avocado oil is oil that is extracted from a ripe avocado. While it’s often advertised as the latest, trendiest cooking oil, avocado oil has been used since ancient Aztec times. The avocado fruit originated in Central America, with its cultivation extending to warm, tropical climates across the globe. 

Avocado oil has many uses and has found its way into skincare products, beauty regimes and of course, your kitchen. The oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, has a very low percentage of free radicals and contains high levels of chlorophylls and carotenoids. Avocado oil has a light green, emerald colour and comes with a light, buttery flavour. 

How Is Avocado Oil Made?

avocado oil: Woman's hands holding two halves of an avocado

Special care is required to make avocado oil. Avocados must be harvested at the peak of season, with the oil extracted under precise conditions in order to prevent oxidation and a rancid taste. Although not all avocado oil is made to this standard, resulting in a bitter tasting oil. 

Hunter & Gather avocado oil is extracted from the flesh of an avocado, which is made of nearly 30% oil (the pit and skin contain a mere 2% and 7% oil, respectively) [1]. Once the avocados are picked from their tree by hand, they are sorted, washed and have their skins removed. Each avocado is checked for peak ripeness to ensure a buttery smooth taste. 

The extraction process is similar to that of extra virgin olive oil, where the flesh is ground into paste, then malaxed (slowly churned to release the oil) at a low temperature for roughly one hour [2]. Finally, the oil, pulp and water from the avocado fruit are separated, resulting in pure avocado oil. Once the pulp and water are removed, you are left with a beautiful extra virgin avocado oil.

Once the avocado oil is harvested and pressed, it’s ready for bottling. After it's sealed into bottles it's ready for distribution. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Avocado Oil

As we mentioned earlier, avocado oil has a number of uses. A topical application will provide benefits to dry skin, while ingesting it can offer a number of anti-inflammatory effects. Below, we share a number of health effects of avocado oil, impacting your skin, immune system and even joint health

1. It Reduces Free Radicals 

Avocado oil is filled with antioxidants, which help reduce free radicals in the body [3]. (Side note: This is for avocado oil made through cold pressing as it has a higher concentration of antioxidants, so it's important to know how your oils are made.) 

Free radicals cause cellular damage, which can cause illness and premature ageing. High levels of free radicals cause oxidative stress, which can lead to a number of chronic diseases.

2. It's Filled With Healthy Fats 

Avocado oil is filled with healthy monounsaturated, saturated and polyunsaturated fat, and contains a balance of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids

In fact, avocado oil contains considerable amounts of oleic acid, an omega-9 monounsaturated fat which comes with a number of health benefits. Consumption of oleic acid can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease [4]. 

3. It Can Help Heal Wounds 

Avocado oil has found its way into a number of dermatology products, from lotions to moisturisers to face masks. But there may just be one more reason to keep avocado oil stocked in your medicine cabinet: It can help with wound healing

Studies show that the topical application of avocado oil can stimulate collagen synthesis, the main protein found in the skin. Through increased collagen production, avocado oil can help heal scrapes, scars and even burn marks [5]. 

4. It Can Help Treat Psoriasis and Eczema 

If you have chronic problems with your skin, you may want to keep avocado oil in stock. Not only does avocado oil contain vitamin E, but studies show that avocado oil helps repair the skin barrier, helping to treat a number of conditions.

Science shows that topical application of avocado oil can help treat psoriasis symptoms [6]. In addition, studies show that avocado oil helps treat eczema, dandruff, dermatitis and dry skin [7]. 

How Do You Use Avocado Oil in Cooking?

Avocado sliced in half on top of leaves and a bottle of oil beside it

Not only is high-quality avocado oil delicious, but it's an incredibly versatile cooking oil. It fits within a number of diets — such as paleo, keto, low-carbohydrate and ancestral eating plans — and its delectable taste fits within a number of recipes. Avocado oil can be used for cold dishes (like salad dressings or marinades) or high-heat cooking (like sautéing), making it a must-have for any home chef.

But what makes avocado oil so great in the kitchen?

Unlike olive oil, avocado oil has an incredibly high smoke point — in other words, you can cook it at a very high temperature (250 degrees Celsius) before you see smoke. This makes it the perfect complement to grillingsautéing or even frying. Plus, it won't become rancid at higher temperatures (like other vegetable oils, like soybean oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, peanut oil or grapeseed oil).

Since avocado oil has a higher smoke point, you can use it in a number of your most well-loved recipes. Try to make a stir-fry or sear your favourite vegetables. Here are a few of our favourite recipes you might enjoy: 

Avocado Oil: The Multi-Purpose Ingredient You Need 

While olive oil and coconut oil may get all the attention, avocado oil is a delicious-tasting oil that offers a number of health benefits. Avocado oil is filled with healthy fats and antioxidants, and can help prevent a number of chronic diseases, improve heart health, reduce your risk of heart disease and improve the health of your skin. 

Plus, unlike other vegetable and seed oils, avocado oil has a high smoke point, which makes it suitable for both cold use and high-heat cooking. You can use avocado to make salad dressings, mayonnaise, marinades and stir-fries.

There is no limit to the number of recipes you can try with avocado oil. Browse our library of ancestrally inspired recipes and try avocado oil for yourself to explore its vast benefits.

All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.

It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.

We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.

RESOURCES

[1] https://www.aocs.org/stay-informed/inform-magazine/featured-articles/what-is-unrefined-extra-virgin-cold-pressed-avocado-oil-april-2010?SSO=True

[2] https://www.oliveoilsource.com/definition/mixing-or-malaxation

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600360/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614059/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614059/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11586013/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/

2 comments


  • Hunter & Gather

    Hey Owen,

    Thanks so much for your comment and sharing the link to that video. We have had a look and we fear this has been over simplified although we agree with his sentiment about overly processed oils/foods and understanding about where foods come from.

    There are different types of avocado oil, Unrefined Extra Virgin Standard (like ours), refined, winterised, physically refined and then in some cases you can get chemical refined oils. You can also get oil from the flesh and oil from the skin/stone. You can get food grade or cosmetic grade. So as you can see it’s not so simple as just refined or unrefined.

    My understanding from the video is that he is pro avocado oil, especially unrefined Extra Virgin avocado oil (which our Hunter & Gather oil is).

    His problem is with refined oils which he is saying are those recommended for high heat cooking. Which isn’t 100% correct as we recommend Extra Virgin for cooking and our oil is not refined.

    Our extra virgin oil has a smoke point of 250C and we believe is ideal for cooking with but we are also fans of tallow, ghee and coconut too.

    We also disagree about the strong taste as normally this means that overripe or underripe fruit has been used and it’s rancid – the taste should be buttery and smooth, like our oil (which is a great taste award winner). The colour also differs from a soft yellow green to a darker green but if you compare an Extra Virgin to a “pure” or “refined oil” you can see a big difference – you will notice there is sediment in our oil and the colder it gets the thicker the oil becomes and almost darker in colour whereas refined oil is very clear and even water like in it’s appearance.

    I hope that helps.


  • Owen John Jones

    Please check Dr. Sten Ekberg’s YouTube video. Avocado oil not so good for cooking? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pljQrjiDC9Q&t=1345s . I’d be interested in your reaction to this as I was under the impression that avocado oil was good for high heat.
    Also I’ve noticed that the bottles of Hunter & Gather avocado I’ve bought from you have a quite yellow as opposed to green colour!


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