Cooking with what?!
It's pronounced "yo" and it means oil. Cooking with oil oil! I think we all know that cooking with different types of oil can enhance the flavor of our dishes and can be a good source of healthy fats, but what you might not know is that the origin of that oil can affect flavor and the nutrition quality of your dish!
Did you know that heating olive oil is not recommended? Oops, right?! When the oil reaches a certain temperature, the fatty acids break down and cause it to smoke which also changes the flavor of the oil. This is what is meant when you hear the term "smoke point". Heating the olive oil isn't necessarily bad for you, but it is just not the intention of the oil in my opinion. My daughter loves to slather bread in quality olive oil with some heavy grinds of fresh pepper. I think that she's onto something.
Some other oils just don't have a lot of good qualities at all. Soy bean oil, partially hydrogenated oil, palm oil, canola oil, coconut oil, and more (this a lot of what you'll find in restaurants and processed foods). Why? These oils are highly refined and as such, stripped of their antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Coconut oil is mostly comprised of saturated fats, partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fat, and soy bean oils can be GMO and also contain a higher amount of Omega-6 (too much of this can cause inflammation). There's of course a lot more to know about the benefits and risks with all kinds of oil, so keep learning!
Personally, I don't use a lot of oil - raw or otherwise. (Don't get me wrong, deep fried food has a special place in my heart!) My usual routine isn't very oil heavy and so I was intrigued to learn more about Tea Seed Oil from Cooking with Yóu Yóu. It's an oil that can withstand very high heat and remain neutral in flavor with no smoke. I had not heard of Tea Seed Oil before and was glad to learn more.
Cooking with Yóu Yóu has a great website with some interesting details about their oil and cooking with various oils: "Tea seed oil is cold pressed from the seeds of Camellia oleifera which is a flowering plant. The seeds are pressed to make the tea seed oil. Each bottle of Tea Seed Oil takes 8 years to produce, from seed to harvest to cold-press. The tea seed oil has more omega-3 fatty acids than olive oil."
Tea seed is a heart healthy oil that didn't leave my food covered in a thick goopy and oily flavor. I do like to use really high heat for most of my cooking to get that nice sear on my tofu and veggies. Yóu Yóu has an extremely high smoke point - 485! I think because of this, it works perfectly for getting that sear just right without compromising the flavors of the food or giving a gross mouth feel or after taste.
Do you ever have food that is so delicious, but the minute you've done all your "mmmming" and belly rubbing, you have a mouth coated with yuck? Yeah, that's pretty much why I avoid oils.
To try out the oil, I used the Fried Rice recipe that came with the bottle. I, of course, made it vegan with Daring Chicken, Just Egg, and omitted the shrimp powder. I also couldn't figure out what mustard tuber is (help?), so I used a bit of Chinese Hot Mustard instead.
My Just Egg did stick to the pan a little, but I don't have non-stick pans and I was trying to be aware of how much oil I used. In retrospect, I would have used more to prevent that sticking, because the final product was great and not overly oily!
The dish came together so nicely and it was a great basic recipe to experiment with. I am anxious to try a little more frying with it to see the difference between tea seed oil and the avocado oil I've been using.
I'd love to know your stance on oils - good or bad? Somewhere in between?
Whether you cook with oils or are very conscientious about your oil use, I would recommend giving Cooking with Yóu Yóu a try. Let me know what you think! You can get 15% off now through June 30th with code PBGXYY15. Visit Cooking with Yóu Yóu and get cooking!