Have you ever experienced cooking then realized that you do not have your usual vegetable oil for the recipe?
Peanut oil can serve as a substitute for other vegetable oils, most especially for recipes that call for high-heat cooking. It can be used for cooking, baking, making soaps, and is sometimes used by pharmaceutical companies in making medicine.
It is known to be rich in vitamin E, omega-6, and omega-9. However, it must be consumed with caution because it contains allergens and is high in fats.
When to Use Peanut Oil
Peanut oil, also known as the groundnut or Arachis oil, is not only a good alternative for vegetable oil but also helps improve the taste and texture of the dish. It is made using the same procedures as vegetable oil but sourced from ground peanut seeds then mechanically compressed to squeeze out the oil.
Peanut oil is a good substitute for vegetable oil, especially for frying because it has a smoke point of about 230°C or 446°F. Peanut oil can be used to cook food like French Fries, Fried Chicken, hashbrowns, and more.
Deep frying at the recommended high heat whilst using peanut oil may help achieve a crisp outer layer and an overall flavorful dish.
It can also be used for roasting and grilling Sunday and Holiday staples like seasoned chicken, Barbequed meat, and vegetables on a stick. Simply prepare your marinade sauce, and brush with peanut oil for a crunchy texture.
Using peanut oil makes a subtle nutty and savory flavor to whatever food you are preparing. Adding this to simply sauteed vegetables, garden salads, or baked vegetables like asparagus and potatoes, creates a tangy taste and aromatic scent to the food.
In substituting peanut oil for vegetable oil, make sure to gauge the ratio of the ingredients to get the desired taste and texture.
Aside from these, peanut oil is also used to make soaps and medicines because it is rich in vitamin E. It is an antioxidant that targets free radicals or those that potentially cause cell damage.
Regulated consumption of peanut oil help reduce the risk of heart diseases, cancer, and improve insulin sensitivity. Peanut oil is also rich in omega-9 which is essential for the immune system.
However, peanut oil must be consumed moderately as it may contain nuts, which is one of the most common allergens. Moreover, those with diabetes, high triglycerides, and or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, must thoroughly regulate their consumption.
Baking with Peanut Oil
Oils are typically used in baking to keep the bread and cakes moist and prevent the food from sticking in the tray. Adding peanut oil may also help in evening out the crumbs and create a lofty structure for the bread.
Peanut oils slow down gluten and capture gasses from baking soda and baking powder which helps in the texture and form of the bread or cake.
Peanut oil also adds lubrication to the bread or pastry allowing the baker to easily remove it from its baking container and keeping the food more intact.
Moreover, it allows an even distribution of the flavor to the bread once incorporated thoroughly. Peanut oil is commonly used in baked goods like banana bread, carrot cake, and pastries that go well with the nutty flavor. It also helps in extending the shelf life due to the antioxidants it contains.
Adding peanut oil also prevents bread staling, which is the process that dries and reduces the palatability of the food. Lastly, because of its natural dark yellow color, it helps the bread or pastry achieve a brown and appetizing look.
Peanut Oil Nutrients & Benefits
A tablespoon of peanut oil contains about 119 calories with about 14 grams of fat and 2 grams of saturated fat. Aside from vitamin E, it is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. When regulated, these fats help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and reducing cholesterols.
Peanut oil also has phytosterols that block cholesterol absorption, and reduce cholesterol levels. This also helps in managing skin aging, adds moisture to the skin, and helps against irritations.
Types of Peanut Oil
The type of peanut oil to use will depend on the taste you want to acquire, and the tanginess of the flavor.
- Refined Peanut oil has a mild flavor, while still having a high smoke point. It removes the allergens, which sometimes make it safe for those with peanut allergies. This can be used in deep-frying food.
- Roasted or Toasted Peanut oil has a deep-brown color and strong flavor and is typically used too or season food. This has a relatively low smoke point, which makes it easy to burn, as compared to refined peanut oil.
- Peanut Oil Blend is a mixture of peanut oil and another vegetable oil. To achieve the best results, it is advised to mix it with those having similar smoke points like sunflower oil and almond oil.
- Virgin Peanut Oil is extracted without much alteration to its natural composition
Common Peanut Oil Recipes
When it comes to cooking, peanut oil serves as a versatile oil for various dishes. Aside from substituting the common vegetable oils, it adds a nutty kick to the food. Here are a few recipes or dishes you can try out!
- Garden Salad – Top your favorite salad by using peanut oil for the vinaigrette dressing. Simply add virgin peanut oil, balsamic vinegar, lime, or lemon juice, and mix with your preferred spices!
- Fruit Cake – Adding a bit of peanut oil to your fruit cake helps balance the sweetness of the dates and raisins with the nutty flavor of the peanut oil. Its components also help with the shape and texture of the bread.
- Sauteed Vegetables – Drizzle the pan with a good amount of peanut oil and add your spices and vegetables. For this recipe, refined peanut oil is best used in sauteing food and adds a subtle flavor to the vegetables.
- Homemade Peanut Butter – this simple recipe calls for unshelled peanuts, salt, sweetener, and a few teaspoons of peanut oil. Blend and pulse together all ingredients to achieve your desired consistency.
- Original Fried Chicken – Marinate chicken in egg and spices, then coat with cornstarch flour, and seasoning powder, then deep fry in hot peanut oil. Wait until the chicken is crisp and golden brown, then rest over a rack.
There are many other fried, baked, or roasted recipes you can try using peanut oil. It is a good substitute for other vegetable oils because of its flavor and with the proper moderation and use, it has health benefits.
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