Red palm oil comes from the pulp of the oil palm fruit, which grows primarily in Africa. The oil is an intense rich colour due to the amount of beta-carotene in it. It is similar to palm kernel oil. However, this oil is obtained from the kernel instead of the pulp of the fruit. The oil has a neutral smell and a strong but not unpleasant taste. If you don’t like the taste, it all but disappears by the time you’re done cooking with it.
Palm oil is a regular component of cooking in west Africa, Asia & parts of Brazil. Back home, we use it for cooking yam and pottage, beans, and an especially delicious dish known as egusi. The seeds used in the preparation of egusi are from the watermelon.
Here’s a quick video explaining how to make egusi. While delicious, the seeds are annoying to shell and takes ages. When we were kids, every time my mum informed us we were having egusi for dinner, we’d all go ghost because that meant that was the end of an unproductive afternoon/evening.
The Differences & Similarities Between Red Palm Oil & Palm Kernel Oil
- Palm kernel oil has more saturated fat content and is closer to coconut oil in structure.
- Red pam oil has a high carotene content while palm kernel oil isn’t red.
- They are both semi-solid at room temperature.
- The cholesterol content in both is quite low.
When it comes to cooking, stick with red plam oil. The benefits for the body outweigh the benefits palm kernel oil provides.
Why You Should Cook with Red Palm Oil?
- It has a high melting point. This means it can withstand high heat without burning your food. It gives a nice crust to fried foods.
- The good fats and vitamins contained in the oil can help you to lower your cholesterol levels, keep your vitamin A levels high, maintain proper blood pressure and improve your heart health.
- The presence of vitamin E & L assists in the healthy regeneration of cells within the body and improved bodily functions. It also fights free radicals in the body.
- Red palm oil contains squalene and CoQ10, which helps protect the body from free radical damage and fight aging.
- Red palm oil is the richest source of tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E that research indicates may help fight several kinds of cancers.
- It’s an excellent addition to a gluten free diet.
Are you sold on red palm oil yet?
Where Can You Buy High Quality Red Palm Oil?
You can purchase red palm oil from your local health store. Ensure that the brand you purchase obtained the oil in a sustainable fashion as irresponsible harvesting of the oil palm can lead to deforestation and endangering orangutans. I have also made some suggestions below.
The next article will discuss some quick ideas and recipes for red palm oil. Do you cook with red palm oil? Are you considering adding it to your diet? Share your thoughts in the comments section.