Both almond oil and olive oil are natural cooking oils, but which is better? Should you choose an oil that comes from almonds or olives?
I’ll give you all the important details below, along with some tips for how to use each, to help you decide!
Comparing almond oil vs olive oil
|Almond oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Liquid||Liquid||Liquid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||430 degrees||350 degrees||390-470 degrees||350 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, light heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Tree nuts||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen|
|Paleo?||Yes||Yes||If it is not refined||Yes|
Differences between almond oil and olive oil
While both oils are derived from natural sources, their origins and flavors set them apart.
Almond oil, derived from almonds, is known for its subtly sweet and nutty flavor. Not only is it packed with essential nutrients, which contribute to its reputation as a beneficial oil for skin and hair care, but it also has a high smoke point, making it suitable for various cooking methods, such as sautéing and baking.
On the other hand, olive oil, extracted from olives, has long been a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and is renowned for its rich, earthy flavor.
Olive oil also comes in different varieties, such as extra virgin, virgin, and regular, each with distinct characteristics and suitable for different culinary applications…
Extra virgin vs regular vs virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality and purest form of olive oil, obtained solely through mechanical means without the use of chemicals or excessive heat. It retains the natural flavors and aromas of the olives, making it ideal for salad dressings, dips, and drizzling over finished dishes.
Regular olive oil, on the other hand, is a blend of extra virgin and refined olive oil, making it more suitable for cooking and frying due to its higher smoke point.
Virgin olive oil falls in between these two categories, offering a balance of flavor and versatility.
Baking and cooking with almond oil vs olive oil
While almond oil has a higher smoke point, making it more suitable for high-heat cooking, virgin olive oil is best for low to medium-heat cooking and as a finishing oil due to its distinct flavor.
I also like almond oil for baking and light sautéing. In baking, it adds a delicate sweetness to cookies, cakes, and pastries. For example, you can use almond oil to make a delicious almond-flavored pound cake or almond cookies.
When it comes to sautéing, almond oil works well with vegetables, such as asparagus or green beans, as it imparts a subtle nuttiness without overpowering the natural flavors.
Extra virgin olive oil, with its fruity taste, is perfect for drizzling over salads, bruschetta, or grilled vegetables to enhance their flavors.
When making pasta dishes, olive oil can be used to create a flavorful base for sauces or to toss with cooked noodles. For example, a simple yet delicious spaghetti aglio e olio is made with olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, and parsley.
Additionally, olive oil can be used for marinating meats or seafood before grilling or roasting to add moisture and a hint of its distinct taste.
Can almond oil and olive oil be substituted for each other?
Almond oil and olive oil can be substituted for each other in certain recipes, but the resulting flavors will differ. Almond oil has a mild, nutty taste, while olive oil has its distinct fruity flavor.
In general, almond oil works best in baking and light sautéing, while olive oil is more versatile for dressings, marinades, and medium-heat cooking.
Substituting one for the other may alter the overall flavor profile of the dish, so it’s important to consider the desired taste and adjust accordingly.
Nutrition: Almond oil vs olive oil
Almond oil and olive oil have slightly different nutritional compositions.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and supports skin health. It also contains monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that may help reduce cholesterol levels. Almond oil is also lower in saturated fat compared to olive oil.
Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is known for its high content of monounsaturated fats, which can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It also contains antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which have potential anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil is a source of vitamin E as well.
Note that bth oils are calorie-dense and should be used in moderation.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Almond oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Polyunsaturated||2.4 g||1.5 g||1.5 g||1.5 g|
|Monounsaturated||9.5 g||10 g||10 g||10 g|
|Saturated||1.1 g||2 g||2 g||2 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store almond oil and olive oil
Almond oil should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent oxidation and preserve its freshness.
Similarly, olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark pantry or cabinet, tightly sealed to protect it from light, heat, and air.
Exposure to these elements can cause the oils to go rancid and lose their flavor. So, be sure to keep them in suitable storage conditions to enjoy their full potential!
Almond oil vs olive oil: Which is better
So, which oil is better, almond oil or olive oil?
Well, the answer depends on your personal preferences and the specific purpose you have in mind. If you’re looking for a subtle, nutty flavor to enhance your dishes, almond oil might be your go-to choice. It works well in salad dressings, marinades, and even desserts.
On the other hand, olive oil offers a more robust and versatile flavor profile that complements a wide range of cuisines. Whether you’re sautéing vegetables, roasting meats, or drizzling it over bread, olive oil is a kitchen staple.
Overall, I vote for olive oil as the better choice overall for its versatility and nutritional benefits. You can choose the best variety based on what you want: extra virgin for raw and light cooking, or regular or virgin olive oil if you need to use more heat.
Both olive oil and almond oil have their own nutritional benefits, but neither can be definitively considered “better” for everyone. It ultimately depends on individual dietary needs and preferences, as well as the specific health goals you have.
Yes, almond oil can be used as a substitute for olive oil in certain recipes, but it may alter the flavor profile due to its nutty taste, so it’s important to consider the desired taste and adjust accordingly.
There isn’t necessarily an oil that is “better” than almond oil. Different oils offer different flavors and qualities, so it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the specific application you have in mind. Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil are some popular alternatives I recommend.