When it comes to cooking and baking, there are countless options for oils. Two popular choices are apricot kernel oil and coconut oil, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.
In this article, I’ll explore the differences between apricot kernel oil and coconut oil, their uses in the kitchen, nutritional values, storage tips, and finally, reveal which one I believe is the better choice for your culinary adventures. So let’s dive in and discover the ultimate verdict!
Comparing apricot kernel oil vs coconut oil
|Apricot kernel oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||480 degrees||350 degrees||400 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Birch pollen, tree nut, apricot fruit||Coconut, tree nut||Coconut, tree nut|
Differences between apricot kernel oil and coconut oil
Apricot kernel oil is extracted from the seeds of apricots through a cold-pressing extraction method. This process ensures that the oil retains its natural flavor and aroma. Apricot kernel oil is used both as a cooking ingredient and a topical one for the skin.
On the other hand, coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts. It’s either cold-pressed without the use of heat or refined.
Apricot kernel oil is a light oil with a beautiful golden color and a strong, almost marzipan flavor. Coconut oil is a bit heavier and solid at room temperature but melts down quickly and tastes like coconut.
Virgin/unrefined vs refined coconut oil
Virgin or unrefined coconut oil (the best kind) is extracted from fresh coconut meat and undergoes minimal processing. It has a distinct coconut flavor, a creamy texture, and a lower smoke point, making it ideal for low to medium heat cooking, sautéing, and baking.
Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, has a higher smoke point, making it suitable for frying and other high-heat cooking methods. It has a neutral taste and a longer shelf life compared to its unrefined counterpart.
Baking and cooking with apricot kernel oil vs coconut oil
Apricot kernel oil has a high smoke point compared to coconut oil, so it can withstand high temperatures without burning. However, my favorite way to use apricot oil is in baking, fruit dishes, and desserts, because of its delicate marzipan flavor. It’s also great in salad dressings, Asian marinades, and drizzled over roasted vegetables for an extra layer of flavor.
Coconut oil, with its tropical aroma and flavor, is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It adds richness to curries, stir-fries, and soups. In baking, coconut oil works wonders in recipes for vegan desserts, such as coconut macaroons or dairy-free cakes. It can also be used as a substitute for butter or oil in vegan or gluten-free recipes, adding moisture and a hint of coconut flavor.
Can apricot kernel oil and coconut oil be substituted for each other?
While apricot kernel oil and coconut oil have distinct flavors, they can be substituted for each other in certain recipes. For instance, if you’re making a fruit salad dressing that calls for apricot kernel oil but don’t have any on hand, you can use coconut oil instead for a tropical twist. Likewise, if a recipe calls for coconut oil in baking but you prefer a different flavor profile, you can substitute apricot kernel oil for a nuttier taste.
Nutrition: Apricot kernel oil vs coconut oil
Apricot kernel oil is a rich source of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and supports healthy skin. It also contains essential fatty acids, such as oleic and linoleic acid. However, it’s important to note that apricot kernels also contain a compound called amygdalin, which can release cyanide when consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it’s crucial to use apricot kernel oil in moderation and ensure that it’s obtained from trusted sources!
Coconut oil is known for its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily metabolized by the body and provide a quick source of energy. It also contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties. However, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Apricot kernel oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Polyunsaturated||4.0 g||0 g||1 g|
|Monounsaturated||8.2 g||1 g||1 g|
|Saturated||0.9 g||13 g||12 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store apricot kernel oil and coconut oil
Both apricot kernel oil and coconut oil should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and light can quickly degrade the quality of the oils.
Apricot kernel oil has a shorter shelf life of 1 year compared to 2 years for coconut oil. Because it’s less stable, I recommend storing apricot kernel oil in the refrigerator after opening.
Apricot kernel oil vs coconut oil: The ultimate verdict
If I had to choose one, I would lean towards coconut oil. Its versatility in the kitchen, longer shelf life, and unique flavor make it a staple in my pantry. Whether I’m sautéing vegetables or preparing a healthy dessert, coconut oil consistently delivers excellent results. Of course, apricot kernel oil adds a sweet, nutty twist to dishes that’s definitely worth trying. Happy baking/cooking!
Apricot oil is best for enhancing the flavor of dishes with its delicate, nutty taste and is particularly well-suited for use in salad dressings, marinades, and as a substitute for butter or other oils in baking recipes.
Apricot oil is generally considered non-comedogenic, meaning it is unlikely to clog pores and cause acne breakouts. However, individual skin types can vary, so it’s always recommended to perform a patch test before using apricot oil on the face and monitor your skin’s reaction.
Two benefits of apricot kernel oil are its high vitamin E content, which acts as an antioxidant and supports healthy skin, and its essential fatty acids, such as oleic and linoleic acid, which provide nourishment and moisturization.