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?
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) . 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 . 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 . (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 .
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 .
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.
How Do You Use Avocado Oil in Cooking?
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 grilling, sautéing 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 mayonnaise coleslaw
- Glazed aubergine with avocado oil and ginger
- Keto cauliflower hummus with avocado oil
- Paleo and keto celeriac chips cooked in avocado oil
- Keto and paleo herb roasted turkey with avocado oil
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.