Fat has it’s own reputation, some people banish it, some love it and some don’t really care about it. The thing about fat is that they’re filled with good things, especially if you use the ones with great quality, use them correctly and in moderate amounts. Fat can be used in so many ways, and they’re really important for you in so many aspects. They make your body absorb and bring out the benefits of some vitamins better, they keep you full (satisfied) for longer, and they also stabilize your blood sugar. There are two main-types of fat; the saturated fats and the unsaturated fats.
The saturated fat gives you an increased risk of heart disease (don’t make it get to you, too hard), and high blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are the ones that usually keep solid in room-temperature. You usually find it in; meat (especially the ones with high fat contents, and processed meats like salami), and animal-products in general, coconut (and coconut products, such as cream and milk), palm oil and other plant-based margarines. You’ll also find it in pastries, cakes, junk food and other processed high-fat snacks like chips.
The unsaturated fats are the fats more people would call the healthy fats, they do the opposite of saturated fats, they reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood cholesterol levels. These are the ones we were talking about earlier in this post, they have all the good benefits. There are two main-types of unsaturated fats; polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats are high in omega-3 og 6 fats, and are found in fish, especially the ‘fat’ ones; like salmon, herring and mackerel, some nuts, some seeds and some oils. Monounsaturated fats are great too and you find that in some oils, some nuts such as almonds and cashew nuts and some seeds.
We’ve talked about fats and the different kinds of fat, but now let’s move on to the baking and cooking part, here’s the guide for all the different fats you can use in your kitchen, and what you can use them for:
Coconut oil can be used in both cooking and baking, it’s easy to work with since it can tolerate really high heat, so you can use it for baking, frying, roasting, etc. without any problems. Coconut oil is solid in lower temperatures, but it starts to melt around room temperature. Coconut oil is one of the healthier oils, especially the unrefined, cold-pressed ones, it helps with stabilizing your blood sugar, increases your metabolism and it also kills bacteria. It’s possible to find both coconut oil with the coconut flavour, but also with neutral flavour; no flavour. You can use the solid coconut oil in raw cakes, bars and treats like that. But you can also use the melted coconut oil in all various of cooking and baking, for example in cakes and cupcakes, you can marinate baked roots in it with some seasoning, or you can use it to fry things on a pan.
Olive oil is usually used in the savory kitchen for frying, roasting, marinating, etc. but in some countries they use it in the sweet kitchen too. It adds a moist texture and can actually give the flavour an aromatic twist. Olive oil actually looses it’s flavors when heating it up, so when you’re using it for frying for instance, you don’t have to buy the priciest one with the most flavour. And when making sweets with olive oil we definitely recommend using a more mild one. Olive oil is also great for dressing, especially over a salad, here we would recommend one that’s rich in flavour.
Avocado oil is made of the pressed flesh of the avocado. It can be used in all sorts of cooking, but it can tolerate really high temperatures, so it’s perfect for frying. It has a very mild flavour, but I’m on the other hand not the biggest fan of it, so I usually only use it when it’s mixed up with other ingredients that has a dominating flavour. A drawback about avocado oil is that it can be really hard to find (especially in Denmark) and it’s often pretty expensive, so I use it as rarely as possible.
Canola oil comes from the plant called rapeseed, it reminds a lot of vegetable oil, both in the flavour, the usage and the temperature tolerants. It’s not the HEALTHIEST oil you can possibly find, but it’s still great, it’s easy to find and really affordable. It’s also really neutral in flavour, so you shouldn’t be worried about a strong and intense taste in your cooking.
I’ve talked about some basic oils for the kitchen, now I’ll just quick mention a few that I love for the flavours; sesame oil. Sesame oil has a high smoke point, and it has an amazing nutty taste to it. I especially love using it in Asian dishes, such as fried rice or noodles, it’s also great in sauces, dips and dressings. Another oil that reminds a lot of sesame oil is peanut oil. It has just like sesame oil a high temperature tolerants, and is great in the Asian kitchen, in sauces, dips, etc.
If you don’t already know nut butters are made out of roasted nuts (depending on which kind it is), that’s grounded until it turns into a thick paste; nut butter. It can be made out literally all sorts of nuts, some are more popular than others, but I personally think that they all taste amazing. Many people think that nut butters (especially peanut butter) are unhealthy, but they aren’t, at least not if you buy the “right” ones. The thing about the ones you usually see in the grocery stores is that they’re filled up with added sugars, oils and other unnecessary additives. So a great tip is to look at the ingredients on the label in the back, if you do that it’ll be easy to find the healthy ones, which usually only contains roasted nuts, and sometimes a bit of salt. Here are some of our favourite nut butters:
We all know it, and most of us love it; peanut butter. Peanut butter is a classic, and has been for a long time, both as topping for bread, but also in cooking. Another great thing about peanut butter is that it’s a great source of protein, and it can be used in so many different dishes, both in the sweet and savory kitchen. It’s great on top of bread, porridge, used in cakes, muffins and cookies, but it’s also great in sauces and stews, or simply just for dipping all types of things in. Peanut butter is also the most affordable nut butter, and probably also the easiest one to find.
Almond butter is Frida’s absolute favourite nut butter. It has a more deep and roasted flavour than peanut butter, but it’s also a bit more expensive and harder to find. It contains a little more fat than peanut butter, but not in a bad way, since it’s monounsaturated fats, and they’re great for you. Almond butter can just like peanut butter be used in all sorts of cooking, but I like it better in the sweet kitchen. It’s so great paired with fruits, both fresh and dried, on top of porridge (it’s sooo good), and in baking sweets, or other treats.
Hazelnut butter has a really rich flavour, that reminds a lot of nutella (of course), but without the chocolate. It’s so delicious, and if you really want that nutella-flavour, you simply just add cacao powder or pair it up with something chocolate; it’s per example great in brownies. We would just like almond butter recommend using this in the sweet kitchen, but if you want to, you can use it in the savory too.
Cashew butter is really creamy and rich, when you storage it the oils and the solids from the butter easily seperates. Cashew butter is great in many things, it’s really good in frozen bars, vegan cheese cakes, and make a really creamy and delicious sauce.
Tahini is made out of roasted sesame seeds, some also call it sesame-paste. It’s really delicious and is especially popular in the Middle-eastern area. Tahini is often used in hummus, but it’s great in all different kinds of dressing, or even as a marinade. A Middle-eastern classic is also to stir it up with some date-syrup and put it on top of bread.
Other kinds of fat:
You can never have too much avocado, it’s so yummy and filled with all the good fats and protein, it also contains almost 20 different nutritional components such as vitamin-B, vitamin E and lots of fibre. Avocado is good for so many things, on top of toast, in a salad, as guacamole, and you can even mash it out and use it as the fat in your baking, or use it in truffles and mousse, it gives the most smooth consistency.
Cocoa butter is the fat that comes out of the cocoa bean, and that’s why it has a mild chocolaty flavour. It’s solid in room-temperature, but it turns into a fluid if warmed up. It’s mostly used in chocolate production, but it’s great in baking too, especially in cookies.
Butter is a stable in many peoples kitchen, it can be used in many things, both in the sweet and savory kitchen, it always adds that extra finish to the taste. It’s good in moderate amounts, but since Freja’s vegan and Frida doesn’t eat dairy, we never buy regular butter, but vegan butter instead. Freja’s never been the biggest fan of butter either, but Frida actually likes the vegan ones better, in Denmark we buy a really great one called “Smørbar” from Natural’. It holds for much longer than regular butter too, which only can be a plus. Butter is great for rounding up the flavour, or for making a more creamy consistency in both the sweet and savory kitchen.