Apricot kernel oil and olive oil are two delicious oils derived from different fruits – apricots or olives.
Apricot kernel oil, delicate and golden, nourishes the skin and enhances culinary creations with a nutty touch, while olive oil, robust and green, is often considered a staple of the Mediterranean diet and has been associated with various health benefits.
But the question remains: which one is truly better?
Comparing apricot kernel oil vs olive oil
|Apricot kernel oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Liquid||Liquid||Liquid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||480 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||Birch pollen, tree nut, apricot fruit||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen|
|Paleo?||Yes||Yes||If it is not refined||Yes|
Differences between apricot kernel oil and olive oil
Apricot kernel oil comes from the kernels (seeds) found inside apricot pits. On the other hand, olive oil is derived from the fruit of the olive tree, the olives. So, different sources, but both oils are plant-based, natural, and typically cold-pressed, which retains the purest flavor and nutrients.
Olive oil is incredibly versatile – it’s fantastic for drizzling over salads, dipping bread, sautéing veggies, or even marinating meats. It’s that go-to, all-purpose kind of oil. Apricot kernel oil, with its delicate almond-like taste, is better for adding a subtle nutty flavor to dishes. It’s often used in baking, making dressings, and in light stir-fries.
Extra virgin vs regular vs virgin olive oil
These are the different types of olive oil:
Extra virgin olive oil is considered the crème de la crème, boasting the highest quality and most flavorful profile. It’s obtained from the first pressing of olives and remains unrefined, without any additives.
Regular olive oil, on the other hand, goes through refining processes and may be blended with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to add flavor.
Virgin olive oil falls somewhere in between, possessing a slightly lower quality than extra virgin but still retaining some of its natural attributes.
Baking and cooking with apricot kernel oil vs olive oil
Apricot kernel oil has a high smoke point, making it perfect for high-temperature cooking without breaking down and releasing harmful compounds. It has a subtle flavor, with hints of almond-like sweetness. Use it for salad dressings, marinades, or in fruit tarts and other baked goods.
Olive oil has a lower smoke point and a distinctive, fruity taste that can vary depending on the type you choose. I love drizzling extra-virgin olive oil over salads, pizza, sautéing vegetables, and adding richness to my pasta dishes.
Can apricot kernel oil and olive oil be substituted for each other?
Apricot kernel oil and refined/regular olive oil can generally be used as substitutes for each other in cooking and baking due to their similar smoke points and versatility.
However, keep in mind that olive oil has a distinct flavor that may impact the taste of the final dish. Apricot kernel oil has a milder flavor, making it a better choice when you prefer a more neutral taste.
Adjust the quantity accordingly to match the intended flavor and consider the overall compatibility with the specific recipe you’re working with.
Nutrition: Apricot kernel oil vs olive oil
Apricot kernel oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants. It also contains omega-6 fatty acids. However, it’s important to note that apricot kernel oil also contains amygdalin, a compound that converts to cyanide when ingested in large amounts, so moderation is key.
Olive oil, on the other hand, is rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which is known for its heart-healthy benefits. Extra-virgin olive oil also provides vitamin E and antioxidants, making it one of the healthiest cooking oils available.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Apricot kernel oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Polyunsaturated||4.0 g||1.5 g||1.5 g||1.5 g|
|Monounsaturated||8.2 g||10 g||10 g||10 g|
|Saturated||0.9 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 apricot kernel oil and olive oil
Both oils should be kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources to prevent oxidation. It’s important to tightly seal the bottles to minimize air exposure, which can lead to rancidity.
I find that storing them in a pantry or cupboard works well. Refrigeration is not necessary for olive oil (it will solidify), but if you live in a hot climate, it can help extend the shelf life of apricot kernel oil. Just remember to bring it to room temperature before use.
Apricot kernel oil vs olive oil: Which is better
Both oils have their own unique qualities and can be beneficial in different ways. I find that olive oil is a healthy, versatile option that works well for most of my needs, whether I’m making a salad or sautéing veggies. However, the delicate marzipan flavor of apricot kernel oil adds something a little extra special and unexpected, which I’m a big fan of.
Overall, olive oil wins for its versatility and nutritional benefits, but why not experiment with apricot kernel oil and use both?
Explore our top-rated olive oil options.
If you’re looking for an alternative to apricot kernel oil, almond oil or grapeseed oil can be great substitutes due to their similar mild flavors and high smoke points.
Apricot kernel oil is rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and promotes healthy skin. It also contains monounsaturated fats that contribute to heart health.
Apricot kernel oil is commonly used in skincare products due to its moisturizing and nourishing properties. In cooking, it’s great for its mild flavor and high smoke point.