When it comes to picking the right oil for using in recipes, it can be tricky to know which is best. So we’re breaking it all down and putting them to the test: avocado oil vs olive oil!
Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil: What’s the difference?
Avocado oil and olive oil are both healthy oils that carry their fruit’s flavor and health benefits into the oil, making them fun to use in cooking
Both oils have about the same nutrition profile, with 1 tablespoon containing about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat (neither has any carbs or protein). So what’s the difference?
A key aspect of any oil is the smoke point. When you heat oil in a skillet, have you noticed the “shimmer” that lets you know it is hot and ready to cook with? This is a good feature but once it continues heating, it will reach its smoke point. This is where the oil is likely to stop shimmering, start smoking, and begin to burn. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which means it should be used for different types of cooking. Let’s dig into the nitty gritty!
What Is Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil is made by removing the seed and skin of the avocado fruit. The fruit is then mashed, and put in a centrifuge to separate the oil and water of the pulp. This means the oil retains its beautiful green color. The flavor is rich and nutty, and carries a lot of the flavor of fresh avocado!
Benefits of Avocado Oil
Healthy Fat: Avocado oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid, making it a healthy choice to consume. Adding healthy fat to your vegetarian diet is great way to aid in nutrient absorption.
High Smoke Point: The avocado oil smoke point can reach 500°F (260°C), making it a great choice for high heat cooking, such as sautéing or even pan frying.
Drawbacks of Avocado Oil
Allergies: Avocado oil is more likely to cause an allergic reaction than olive oil. Avocados are high in histamines, making them a prime candidate for oral allergy syndrome. Because the plant is in the birch family, keep in mind that avocado may cause a reaction in those that have cashew, banana, mango, or other allergies.
Price: Avocado oil tends to be a bit more expensive than olive oil.
Uses for Avocado Oil
Stick with high-heat applications instead of finishing touches. While some of my roasting recipes do call for olive oil, avocado oil is the perfect substitute. I do roast with olive oil, especially at temps that are below the smoke point.
What is Olive Oil?
To make olive oil, olives are pressed and ground down until the oil can be extracted. Different pressing and extracting methods can create different types of olive oil. This is why you will see various words on the bottles such as cold pressed, first pressing, filtered, etc.
Benefits of Olive Oil
Health: Olive oil also contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which are a healthy type of fat.
Variety: Being one of the most popular types of oil, you’ll have a huge variety to choose from at the grocery store. This means you can often find it more affordably.
Drawbacks of Olive Oil
Low Smoke Point: Olive oil’s smoke point is around 375°F (191°C). This means olive oil is better suited for low heat cooking, or using to finish a recipe (think salad dressings and bread dip!)
Cost: Because the best olive oil takes extra time and care to produce, that means it can cost quite a bit more than other options. With that said, you can can decent olive oil affordably.
Uses for Olive Oil
- Infused Olive Oil is a great way to get lots of flavor ready to be used in other dishes like pasta salads.
- Garlic Confit would be great for spreading on fresh crusty bread.
- Blueberry Vinaigrette uses the fresh flavors of good olive oil and emulsifies it with balsamic and blueberries!
- Low(er) temperature cooking, such as sautéing on the stovetop, is a great application for olive oil. .
So which is best?
Avocado oil and olive oil are both heart-healthy oils to have on hand in your pantry! I like to have a couple of different olive oils (pure, extra virgin, and flavored) next to my avocado oil as they are so versatile. Just keep in mind the above notes and reach for the right oil depending on if you are roasting, finishing a mild dish, or creating an amazing new salad dressing.