In this article, I’ll be covering argan oil for cooking, the differences between cosmetic and culinary argan oil, the benefits of culinary argan oil, and the best culinary argan oil brands to include in your diet.
Argan oil is very popular in cosmetic formulations as well as in hair care where it’s used primarily for combating split ends and breakage.
The high vitamin E content of argan oil also smoothens and hydrates hair.
I have covered argan oil for hair and beauty purposes extensively in the past. However, this is the first time I’m touching on argan oil for cooking purposes.
Can You Use Argan Oil for Cooking?
Argan oil is produced from the green nut of a tree native to Morocco. This tree is only found in the south-western part of the country and is protected by UNESCO.
It’s the main source of income for the Berber people who live in the region and is made exclusively by the women.
The argan fruit is first dried in the open air, then the fleshy pulp is removed to reveal the nut. The nut is cracked to obtain the kernels.
This process is carried out manually and is quite a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Afterward, the kernels are ground and pressed to extract the golden nutritious oil.
What’s the Difference Between Cosmetic Argan Oil and Culinary Argan Oil?
When the kernels extracted from the nuts are ground and pressed to extract the unfiltered oil, we have the oil that’s used for beauty and cosmetics purposes.
This cosmetic argan oil is bright yellow.
For culinary purposes, the kernels are lightly roasted before grinding and pressing. The result is a rich golden brown, creamy, and nutty flavored edible oil.
The toasting process makes the oil unsuitable for cosmetic use but it’s perfect for cooking.
What Are the Health Benefits of Culinary Argan Oil?
Argan oil is rich in vitamin A, omega fatty acids, and 3 times more vitamin E than olive oil, Culinary Argan is full of scientifically proven health benefits.
Some of the health benefits of consuming argan oil that scientific research has suggested includes:
- Lowering bad cholesterol levels and improving overall heart health.
- Eliminating free radicals in the body.
- Improving the quality of new hair and nail growth.
- Strengthening your immune system.
4 Ways to Use Argan Oil for Cooking
- Argan oil adds a distinct flavor to dishes and is a great accompaniment to salad dressings, sauces, and soups.
- Use argan oil as a dipping for bread.
- Toss roasted or steamed vegetables with a bit of argan oil for an outstanding taste.
- Blend argan oil with honey and almonds for a great spread. This dish is very popular in Morocco and is known as Amlou. Almonds are roasted and ground finely, then the argan oil is slowly stirred into it and finished off with honey and salt.
Though culinary argan oil is suitable for cooking, it’s not a good idea to use it for high-temperature cooking and frying. Olive oil remains the best oil to use for this.
However, you can use it for sautéing, pan-searing meat, and other low to medium heat applications.
To get the best benefits though, use it in dishes that don’t involve heat applications. Below are some great argan oil recipe recommendations:-
Why is Argan Oil So Expensive?
The process involved in argan oil production is a manual one that’s quite labor-intensive. It takes almost 24 hours for 1 person to produce 1 liter of argan oil.
The manual process as well as the high demand for the oil is the reason why argan oil is so expensive but you don’t need much at a time.
Where to Buy Argan Oil for Cooking
For culinary purposes, I highly recommend the brands below:-
Essence of Argan Moroccan Argan Oil
Dip & Scoop Culinary Argan Oil
Argania Culinary Argan Oil
Auzoud Organic Culinary Argan Oil
You can find the recommendations above and similar alternatives online at Amazon and iHerb (worldwide shipping).
For cosmetic purposes, read How to Use Argan Oil on Hair for the best argan oil brands for hair. Always purchase fair trade, ethically sourced argan oil.
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