Olive oil has long been hailed for its exceptional qualities. However, have you ever considered stepping outside your comfort zone and exploring the lesser-known hazelnut oil?
In this article, we’ll discover the unique flavors and potential benefits that hazelnut oil brings to the table and decide whether hazelnut oil deserves a place in your kitchen alongside the tried-and-true olive oil. Let’s go!
Comparing hazelnut oil vs olive oil
|Hazelnut 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 nut, hazelnut, hazel tree pollen||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen||Olive, olive pollen|
|Paleo?||Yes||Yes||If it is not refined||Yes|
Differences between hazelnut oil and olive oil
Olive oil is a popular oil that is derived from pressing olives, while hazelnut oil is extracted from hazelnuts through a similar process, but from hazelnuts.
However, the flavors of these oils couldn’t be more different. Olive oil has a distinct fruity taste, with varying intensities depending on the type—extra virgin, regular, or virgin. On the other hand, hazelnut oil has a rich, nutty flavor that can add a delightful twist to your dishes.
Extra virgin vs regular vs virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil, known for its exceptional quality, is obtained from the first pressing of olives and contains no more than 0.8% acidity. It is often praised for its vibrant flavor and is best enjoyed drizzled over salads or used for dipping bread.
Regular olive oil, also known as pure olive oil, is a blend of refined and virgin olive oils. It has a milder taste and is great for sautéing and frying.
Virgin olive oil falls somewhere in between, with a slightly higher acidity level and a nuanced flavor profile.
Baking and cooking with hazelnut oil vs olive oil
Hazelnut oil, with its robust nutty flavor, is an excellent choice when it comes to baking delectable desserts like hazelnut cookies, chocolate-hazelnut cups and cakes, or even homemade granola. It can also be used to enhance the flavor of salad dressings, roasted vegetables, or certain cheeses, adding a delightful nutty twist!
On the other hand, olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is fantastic for drizzling over roasted vegetables, tossing with pasta, or simply using as a finishing touch to elevate the flavors of your dishes. I also love using olive oil for making a delicious lemon olive oil cake or banana bread.
But here’s where hazelnut oil takes the spotlight: its higher smoke point. When subjected to high temperatures, hazelnut oil retains its integrity and flavor, making it an ideal choice for grilling or searing meat or fish.
While olive oil is wonderful for low to medium heat cooking, its lower smoke point may result in a loss of flavor or the production of harmful compounds when used at higher temperatures.
Can hazelnut oil and olive oil be substituted for each other?
While hazelnut oil and olive oil both have their unique flavors and characteristics, they can generally be substituted for each other in certain recipes.
However, it’s important to consider their distinct taste profiles. Hazelnut oil has a strong nutty flavor, which may not work well in all dishes that traditionally call for olive oil. Additionally, hazelnut oil’s higher smoke point makes it a better choice for high-heat cooking, but regular olive oil can also be used (not virgin).
Nutrition: Hazelnut oil vs olive oil
Hazelnut oil and olive oil have their unique nutritional profiles.
Hazelnut oil is rich in vitamin E, providing antioxidant benefits, and contains a slightly higher concentration of monounsaturated fats and a lower amount of saturated fat compared to olive oil.
On the other hand, olive oil is also a good source of monounsaturated fats and is known for its high content of heart-healthy oleic acid. If you’re interested, we’ve rounded up the best olive oil brands you can buy!
Both oils can be a healthy addition to your diet, but as always, moderation is key.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Hazelnut oil||Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)||Olive Oil (Light/Pure/Regular)||Olive Oil (Virgin oil)|
|Polyunsaturated||1.4 g||1.5 g||1.5 g||1.5 g|
|Monounsaturated||10.6 g||10 g||10 g||10 g|
|Saturated||1.0 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 hazelnut oil and olive oil
When it comes to storing hazelnut oil and olive oil, it’s important to keep them in a cool and dark place. These oils don’t like light, heat, or too much air, so find them a comfy spot away from sunlight and heat sources. Seal those bottles tight to keep the air out and prevent oxidation.
Refrigerating hazelnut oil can help extend its shelf life, while olive oil can be stored at room temperature.
Opened hazelnut oil only lasts around 3 months at room temperature but can last up to 8 in the refrigerator, while olive oil lasts around 6 months at room temperature or in the fridge.
Always check the specific instructions on the oil bottles for any additional recommendations from the manufacturer.
Hazelnut oil vs olive oil: Which is better
Overall, olive oil is hard to beat. Whether drizzling it over salads, using it as a base for sauces, or simply enjoying it as a dip for crusty bread, olive oil’s reputation is well-deserved.
However, that’s not to say that hazelnut oil doesn’t have its own shining moments. With its distinctive nutty profile and higher smoke point, hazelnut oil may be better in situations that require high-heat cooking or when you want to add a layer of complexity to your dishes.
So, why not embrace the best of both worlds? Keep that trusty bottle of olive oil within arm’s reach for everyday cooking, while experimenting with hazelnut oil when you want to add something special!
Absolutely! While they have distinct flavors, hazelnut oil can be a delicious substitute for olive oil in certain recipes. Just be aware that the flavor profile may change slightly.
Hazelnut oil is considered a healthy oil due to its high content of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. It can be a beneficial addition to a balanced diet.
Hazelnut oil is great for baking desserts like cookies and cakes, as well as for enhancing the flavor of salad dressings and marinades. Its rich, nutty taste adds a delightful twist to various dishes.